Learning from the Prophets: Part IIby Muslim Pro
Striving for Success
Quran al-Kareem is a school. Allah teaches us through the stories of the prophets. It is a guide for believers on how to be prosperous Muslims.
Tawakkul allowed them to brave every obstacle that came their way. They sacrificed but never gave up. They were grateful, for they knew Allah would do nothing without purpose.
Allah guided them as He willed. Here are some of the qualities and traits of the prophets that we can incorporate into our daily lives and strive to walk towards the path of success, inshaAllah.
1. The Hope of Prophet Jacob
Prophet Jacob (or Nabi Yaqub) holds a reputation of being full of wisdom and righteousness.
فَلَمَّا ٱعْتَزَلَهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَهَبْنَا لَهُۥٓ إِسْحَـٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۖ وَكُلًّا جَعَلْنَا نَبِيًّا
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُم مِّن رَّحْمَتِنَا وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ لِسَانَ صِدْقٍ عَلِيًّا
So when he had left them and those they worshipped other than Allah, We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each [of them] We made a prophet.
And We gave them of Our mercy, and We made for them a mention [i.e., reputation] of high honor.
[Surah Maryam 19:49-50]
Prophet Jacob was aware of the jealousy of his sons towards Prophet Yusuf. They left Prophet Yusuf in a well, yet he loved them all. When his sons questioned his grief:
قَالُوا۟ تَٱللَّهِ تَفْتَؤُا۟ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّىٰ تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْهَـٰلِكِينَ
They said, “By Allah, you will not cease remembering Joseph until you become fatally ill or become of those who perish.”
[Surah Yusuf 12:85]
Prophet Jacob responded with hope and tawakkul:
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشْكُوا۟ بَثِّى وَحُزْنِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
He said, “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know.
[Surah Yusuf 12:86]
Years later, Prophet Yusuf returned his ignorant brothers from Egypt to call for his parents to visit. When Prophet Yaqub smelled Prophet Yusuf’s shirt, he addressed his sons,
فَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَ ٱلْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَىٰهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِۦ فَٱرْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا ۖ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And when the bearer of good tidings arrived, he cast it over his face, and he returned [once again] seeing. He said, “Did I not tell you that I know from Allah that which you do not know?”
[Surah Yusuf 12:96]
Prophet Yaqub never lost hope, never shared his grief with others, never mistreated his sons. Have hope and believe in the course that Allah has set you upon. Just like Prophet Yaqub did.
In the end, he was reunited with all his beloved sons, Benjamin and Prophet Yusuf.
2. Acceptance of Faith of Prophet Ibrahim
After Prophet Ibrahim questioned when the people worshipped idols, he was thrown into a raging fire. In that defining moment between life and death, Prophet Ibrahim said these words:
حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْرَائِيلُ، عَنْ أَبِي حَصِينٍ، عَنْ أَبِي الضُّحَى، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ كَانَ آخِرَ قَوْلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حِينَ أُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ حَسْبِيَ اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
The last statement of Abraham when he was thrown into the fire was: “Allah is Sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer (of affairs for us).”
[Sahih al-Bukhari 4564]
Throughout his life, he questioned the wrongdoers. He patiently built the Kaaba with his son Prophet Ismail and spread the message of Oneness and Allah. Such was his tawakkul and acceptance of our creator.
وَٱذْكُرْ فِى ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا
And mention in the Book [the story of] Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet.
[Surah Maryam 19:41]
In times of personal and professional peril, we doubt ourselves and our circumstances. We indirectly question Allah. Instead, we should have tawakkul and accept our faith. Make prayer and work hard to increase our good deeds, so Allah may clear our raging paths just like he did for Prophet Ibrahim.
3. The Humility of Prophet Isa
Propet Isa Ibn Maryam spoke from his cradle when his mother was questioned by the people and displayed his quality of being humble.
قَالَ إِنِّى عَبْدُ ٱللَّهِ ءَاتَىٰنِىَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيًّا
وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَٱعْبُدُوهُ ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٰطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
[Prophet Isa] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.
[Prophet Isa said], “And indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.”
[Surah Maryam 19:30,36]
The life of Prophet Isa is exceptional. He was bestowed with innumerable miracles. Yet he stayed kind, considerate, and righteous until he lived among his people.
إِذْ قَالَ ٱللَّهُ يَـٰعِيسَى ٱبْنَ مَرْيَمَ ٱذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِى عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰ وَٰلِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدتُّكَ بِرُوحِ ٱلْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ ٱلنَّاسَ فِى ٱلْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا ۖ وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَٱلتَّوْرَىٰةَ وَٱلْإِنجِيلَ ۖ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ ٱلطِّينِ كَهَيْـَٔةِ ٱلطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِى فَتَنفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًۢا بِإِذْنِى ۖ وَتُبْرِئُ ٱلْأَكْمَهَ وَٱلْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِى ۖ وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِى ۖ وَإِذْ كَفَفْتُ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ عَنكَ إِذْ جِئْتَهُم بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِنْهُمْ إِنْ هَـٰذَآ إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ
[The Day] when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit [i.e., the angel Gabriel] and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind [from birth] and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.”
[Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5:110]
Prophet Isa never raised his voice against wrongdoers. He responded with pure words of love. He was made from the spirit of Allah, untouched by Satan.
How Can You Achieve Your Success?
As human beings, we may not be as pure as the messengers, but we can try and imbibe their values. Allah indirectly guides our beliefs and practices through the stories of the prophets.
وَمَن يُطِعِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَيَخْشَ ٱللَّهَ وَيَتَّقْهِ فَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْفَآئِزُونَ
And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him – it is those who are the attainers.
[Surah An-Nur 24:52]
Aspire for success with dignity. Live and forge ahead with hope, acceptance, and humility. Eventually, enlightening your journey in this world and hereafter. InshaAllah.