The 10th of Muharram marks the day Musa (peace be upon him) and the Children of Israel were saved from Pharaoh and his army. Historically, Jews would keep a fast to mark this occasion and Muslims have continued this tradition by keeping an optional fast on this day as well as an additional fast a day before or a day after. The incident is mentioned in various places in the Qur’an and it is also mentioned in the Old Testament in the ‘Book of Exodus’.
The story of the splitting of the sea is well known but what lessons can we learn from this? Here are 5 lessons we can learn from Musa’s escape from Pharaoh.
1. Do your part
Musa (peace be upon him) did not lie idle waiting for a miracle. He could have stayed put and prayed to Allah to deal with Pharaoh but he did not, rather he did all that he could in his personal capacity until he could go no further when faced by the sea in front of him and Pharaoh and his army behind him. Only then, did the miracle of the parting of the sea take place.
This life is one of cause and effects, miracles can happen but our responsibility is that we do everything we can in our personal capacity then leave it to Allah.
2. Never lose hope in Allah
Musa (peace be upon him) and his people faced certain death, either it would be from Pharaoh’s army who were in close pursuit behind them or they would be forced to enter the sea in which it would be impossible to survive. Despite this, Musa never lost hope in Allah’s promise. Some of his followers started to lose hope and began exclaiming:
“Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” Surah Ash-Shu’arah, Verse 61
In spite of this, Musa’s faith did not waiver and he said to his people with full certainty:
“No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” Surah Ash-Shu’arah, Verse 61
And so, the sea was parted opening a way for Musa and the Children of Israel to escape.
We too must never lose hope in Allah, though we may be in situations where we may think that there’s no way out, let’s remember that the help of Allah is always near. If Allah can part the sea to help Musa and his people, He too can remove our difficulties and obstacles. What’s required of us is that we have complete reliance in Allah and have hope in Him.
3. Miracles can happen
Though miracles are exclusive to Prophets, we too can experience miracles in a general sense. We’ve all probably experienced moments in our lives where everything seemingly was going wrong only for the situation to be saved by a series of events which happened coincidentally or by chance. As believers, we believe that everything happens only by the will of Allah and though something may seem like a coincidental string of events, we believe that it was all planned by Allah.
4. Flee from sins
When the Children of Israel were being persecuted and they could no longer freely practice their religion, Allah instructed Musa (peace be upon him) to flee with them to another land. If we too are faced with such a situation and our Iman is at risk, we too should try to flee to a place where we can safeguard our faith.
Alhamdulillah most of us will not be in such a predicament where our Iman is in danger but we may be in a situation where we may fall into sin. It may be due to who we socialise with or places we visit or even the neighbourhood we live in. If we are in a situation where it is difficult to avoid sin or we find ourselves persistently committing sins due to such factors, we should leave those places or those associates who have a bad influence on us.
If we have ‘friends’ who we have tried to invite to good but we find that instead, they are pulling us towards the wrong path, we should disassociate with them if such a relationship takes us away from the right path.
5. Change now
When Pharaoh and his army were engulfed by the sea and they began drowning, Pharaoh cried out:
“I believe that there is no deity except that in whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims.” Surah Yunus, Verse 90
But this declaration of faith was not accepted by Allah as he had already began his transition into the next life and the veils of the unseen had begun to unravel before him. As believers we too must not wait until it’s too late. Our book of deeds will be sealed when death overtakes us and from then on, we can no longer add a good deed (except if we did acts of Sadaqah Jariyah) nor edit out any sins that have been recorded.
The mercy of Allah is vast and every day His doors of repentance is open to us. All we have to do is ask and have a firm resolve to change and our Lord, The Most Merciful will erase our sins as if they never happened!