Subsequent to reading a series of children’s books about the prophets in Palestine, I am thinking about the prayers of the prophets, and how much they prayed. And I am particularly moved by the reliance upon Allah shown by Prophet Musa (peace be upon him), also known as Moses.
Water and Tears
Musa (peace be upon him) was in Egypt, standing at the edge of the Red Sea, and attempting to escape from Pharoah / Firawn and his army. Yet Pharoah and his army charged towards Musa and his companions. And the companions of Musa (peace be upon him) said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” (Qur’an 26:61)
But Musa (peace be upon him) replied, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” (Qur’an 26:62)
And what happened? Amazingly, Allah made a pathway through the water for Musa (peace be upon him) and his companions, the Banu Israel. And they proceeded to safety and headed towards Palestine.
Afterwards, for us today, it is easy to imagine this well known miracle. However, at the time, we can understand the Banu Israel felt trapped.
Isn’t it always worth remembering that Allah can do anything? Always, glory to Him.
So I am reflecting upon the fact that Musa (peace be upon him) and the Banu Israel found their way forward through water….
Day to day, I recognise that when I begin changes there is an excellent way to proceed: through wet, tearful prayers to Allah. This brilliant process effects inner peace and often leads to outer peace, to increased peace in my relationships, alhamdulillah.
But in 2014, I did not weep in my prayers. I was ill, suffering from Post Natal Depression. At that time, I wrote this poem about Palestine:
Promises prepared, promises spoken,
Horizontal fragments that haven’t settled.
Upon the paths I’ve been digging for Palestine
I’ve choked up in my own dust.
Upon the rash of my sensitive, flaking skin
Neglect thrives and proceeds to spread.
Upon the surface of unstable entreaties
Pronounceable names go unrecognised.
Resolutions posed, resolutions forced,
Attempted ablutions while the dust keeps flying.
Palestinians prostrate into the itch
Of my metastatic aversion to inner peace.
When will I dissolve my indolence in knowledge
To rain a multitude of assured prayers for Palestine?
Inner and Outer Peace
In 2014, I also wrote a Palestine Rainbow Poem when I could hardly acknowledge any external oppression, conflict, and trauma. Because I was battling internally.
During my illness, I retreated and protected myself a lot from traumatic happenings that I felt powerless to prevent. Since my full recovery, I have cautiously, incrementally, allowed myself to return to reading news articles. And, alhamdulillah, I have prayed to Allah for help. I want to pray for my brothers and sisters in Palestine; I want guidance to do more; and I want to be active, because I want to at least try, insha’Allah.
Prayers, Plans, Feelings
Alhamdulillah, not long after I asked Allah for this help, I have been connected to the stories of The Prophets in Palestine and to Friends of Al-Aqsa who produced them, masha’Allah. Also, I have embraced an opportunity to collaborate on an amazing project insha’Allah.
Of course, I don’t know where Allah plans to take me in this world, or the next. Because the Banu Israel refused to fight to live in Jerusalem in peace, Allah did not permit Musa (peace be upon him) to lead them into Palestine. So Musa (peace be upon him) got as close to the holy land as he physically could. And, through prayers, he kept close to Allah. I have been very inspired by his example, masha’Allah.
Also, I have felt saddened for Jerusalem. Mercifully, Allah blessed the land, animals, and plants in the holy place of Jerusalem. But when Musa (peace be upon him) and the Banu Israel did not arrive, the land, animals, and plants did not get to hear people praising Allah.
As a result of going through the tears of this sadness, I have increased my awareness of the wonderful nature of Jerusalem.
Swelling with Love for Jerusalem
Furthermore, even though I have only recently started working on the project with Friends of Al-Aqsa, alhamdulillah, my heart is already swelling with love for Palestine, for Jerusalem, and for Masjid Al-Aqsa (including the Dome of the Rock). Already, I flow better in my prayers for my sisters and brothers.
“Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me.” (Qur’an 26:62)
Indeed, glory to Allah.
You Can Swell Too
Musa (peace be upon him) did not have a ‘perfect’ background to be a leader. He grew up in Firawn’s home. He had a tyrant for a role model. And, as a young man, he inadvertently killed someone when he tried to bring peace to a dispute.
We don’t need a ‘perfect’ background to be good enough to work with leaders. We bring excellence through prayers. We can achieve inner peace, and process towards outer peace, through tearful prayers to Allah. We can start now.
I am trying to be better led by Allah. I am crying in my prayers more. And I am getting braver, alhamdulillah. I have allowed myself to imagine I can achieve more than I have been doing. And I have started doing more.
Insha’Allah I will tell you more about the project soon. In the meantime, let’s keep as close to Allah as we can. And let’s remember that Allah can do anything. Let’s use one of the prayers to Allah of Musa (peace be upon him):
“My Lord, expand for me my breast [with assurance] and ease for me my task” (Qur’an 20:25–26)
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