Courage in Islamic History

Asalaam 'Alaikum:

I just thought I would mention a few thoughts that might help you to further develop these lessons – depending on the age and interest of your child. There are many instances of courage and bravery throughout the history of Islam – but there are also many instances of courage and history throughout time – when Allah has sent Prophets and Messengers to the people before us to remind them to worship Him. Remember these stories and reflect how you can impart to your child these examples of courage and bravery. Consider the following instances:

When Mary received message that she was going to have a child:

Allah sent a messenger who carried Allah's message to Mary (pbuh): "She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: 'I seek refuge in The Most Gracious from you: (come not near) if you are conscious of Allah.' He said: 'No, I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a holy son.'" (Sura 19:17-19)

Imagine the stigma at that time (definitely not like now) to have a child and not be married. Yet, she exhibited great strength and patience. Isn't this a good example of courage and great faith in Allah?

When the Mother of Musa was told to put her child in the river:

In that era one of the Israelite woman gave birth to a male baby who was extremely beautiful. The mother thought that the soldiers of Pharaoh would soon find him out. They would throw him to the fish in the river. God revealed to her to be patient and not to be frightened. She was communicated the glad-tidings that her son would become an Apostle. The newly born baby was named Musa (Moses). He was very attractive. His mother fed and concealed him for a few months.

When she was unable to hide him any longer, God guided her saying:

"And We revealed to Musa's mother saying: Give him suck. When you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear nor grieve, surely We will restore him to you and make him one of the apostles." (28: 7)

The same direction is expressed in other Verses:

"Call to mind the occasion when We revealed to your mother: Put him into the chest and cast it down into the river, then the river shall throw him on the shore; then shall take him up to one who is an enemy to Me and enemy to him and I cast down upon you love From Me and that you may be brought up before My eyes." (20:38-39)

When the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) had attained the age of a few months, his mother got made a very tight box. She put a blanket in the box. She lifted her affectionate son and kissed him again and again. She put him in the box with tears in her eyes. Her heart was beating violently. She pushed the box into the water when it was still dark. The box moved slowly on the surface of the water. His sister watched the box at a distance but the mother went back home wailing and sobbing. She was full of anxiety due to the separation of her beloved baby.

The Prophet Musa's sister was hiding from place to place along the shore of the river. She was constantly watching the box and praying for the safety of her brother. The box went on moving and gradually came near the shore. Some People were washing their clothes at the shore. By chance they saw the box floating slowly. They waded through the water and picked up the box. They were greatly surprised to see a beautiful infant enclosed in the box. He had a smiling countenance.

The people took the box to Pharaoh and his family. All of them were full of excitement. The Prophet Musa's sister followed them but no one recognised her. The wife of Pharaoh fell in love with the baby. She decided to make him her own son: "And Fir'aun's wife said: Joy of the eye to me and to you, do not slay him, may be he will be useful to us or we may take him for a son. But they knew not what they did.'' (28: 10)

The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) became awfully hungry. He began to cry out of hunger. The baby was handed over to a woman who was appointed to nurse him. He did not take her breast and kept on weeping. Every one was in a fix what to do. The sister of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) who was standing near remarked: May I bring a woman whom the baby requires? She was directed to go immediately and call her. She rushed towards her house and informed her mother of the whole situation. She requested her mother to accompany her to Pharaoh's house. The Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) was still crying due to hunger. The mother gave him her breast. He was much pleased and drank milk to his heart's content.

Pharaoh's wife requested the mother of Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) to stay with them and nurse him. The Holy Qur'an states: "So We restored him to his mother that her eyes might be refreshed and that she might not grieve and that she might know that the promise of Allah is true but most of them do not know." (28: 13)

How many of us would have the faith and courage to done this? Reflect on how she was rewarded for her bravery, by being chosen to suckle her own child.

These stories (and many more that can be found) are great lessons to us and our children about Courage in Islam. We just have to look at it from a different perspective and see how we can impart this wisdom to our children. You can use these as stories to tell your children – emphasizing the courage and faith that it required – you can create felt story boards based on these stories – you can also have your children act out stories from history to make the story more meaningful. Just be creative – our history is rich with opportunities to teach our children about bravery and courage.

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