THROW IT AWAY…… 20:38-39

The Nile in Egypt

My reflection on studying tafseer of section of Surah Taha with Shaykh Magraoui at the retreat in the Ozarks:

Surah Taha 20:38-39

إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّكَ مَا يُوحَىٰ ﴿٣٨

 أَنِ اقْذِفِيهِ فِي التَّابُوتِ فَاقْذِفِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّي وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهُ ۚ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّي وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَىٰ عَيْنِي ﴿٣٩

“Behold! We sent to thy mother, by inspiration, the message:

“‘Throw (the child) into the chest, and throw (the chest) into the river: the river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him’: But I cast (the garment of) love over thee from Me: and (this) in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye.

It is Surah Taha today, read so many times yet never like this…….

How many ways and how many things within and without ourselves do we have to throw away to reach the point of “fana” which is when one jumps into the fire or dives of a cliff with the full yaqeen that it is only Allah who holds, life death and resurrection in his hands………

Fana is a very complex topic and its relationship to Surah Taha is even more complex and needs to be addressed separately.

What is obvious are the loves that we hold in our hearts. All of them are a close and well-guarded secret. Many a time they are evident only to our subconscious. However He Subhanawataala knows what sits within our hearts as a conscious desire or if our actions are being dictated by a subconscious desire. He knows like no one else does.

To others we can pretend to be in love or pretend not to care…….it is a mute point because He knows what is in our hearts and especially He knows what is in mine.

When I read and listen about the mother of Moses……….I am speechless. It is no longer a story but in this quiet room by the lake I feel her anguish.

She delivers a baby boy with the knowledge that certain death awaits him at the hands of the Pharaoh and then she gets an inspiration from Allah to put her living baby in a box and throw it into the fast moving waters of the river Nile.

I wonder if she stops to choose between the two options: The Pharaohs secret police or the dark waters of the Nile?  Perhaps she is of those muttaqeen, God conscious people whom Allah has chosen to cleanse from the inside by first testing them by steeping them in heart pain and anguish before sending His sakeena, love and mercy to bring solace to her heart?

Does she pause and wonder which choice to make? Should she take a chance that the Pharaoh perchance may miss her house and spare her son or does she know with certainty that in the final analysis it is Allah and only Allah who can save her son or take him to be killed.

“Throw it ………” is repeated several times in Surah Taha………but when Allah asks the mother of Moses AS to throw him into the Nile in a box……. I can feel her anguish. She has lived in Egypt all her life she is well aware of the dark swift waters of the Nile that can take the box with her baby to a far away unreachable place in minutes.

What does she do??

She does what Allah ordains!

Allah chooses some folks to cleanse their hearts, sometimes by physically wrenching from them what they love excessively. He then waits patiently for them to turn to Him for help and pours into them the ultimate certainty that what has happened was the will of Allah that he can see what no one can…….. Those are the fortunate ones.

Did he ask me to “throw it” and I did not and then he physically wrenched my beloved child away as a precursor to immersing me in Tazkiyah tun Nafs and cleansing my heart?

Only when the heart is pulled out and washed in snow can we have certainty that no stain remains behind to taint the absolute Tawheed of The Absolute. That was for Rasullallah peace be upon him, for the rest of us it is different. First comes the physical wrenching and then the complex responses begin.

Do we wail and bemoan refusing to cleanse the heart and fill it with the sakina from Allah or do we replace it with some one other than the lost love as a bandaid? Hindsight is 20/20; Allah Subhanawataala provides that for us in the Quran in the story of the mother of Musa AS,

Who can fill in between the lines of the story of your lost love, other than you yourself? What have you lost and who is going to replace that spot in your heart? Will it be another warm body or the still waters of “yaqeen” that no matter what happens your beloved in a box in the swirling swift waters of the Nile, will not only be rescued but also groomed for the service of Allah?

Meanwhile the command to “THROW IT” has already come and we may have lost or chance or we may be hesitating in obeying our Lord and looking at our options…………. should we be doing that? Or should we THROW IT and throw ourselves to attain “fana “ or even better put our selves In His hands who creates us with His love in our mothers womb, raises us in life, and lays us down in death and will finally returns us in resurrection…………..all in His mercy.

Do we earn our freedom in this dunya by releasing ourselves to him now or do we chain ourselves to the last remnants of memories of our lost love and hope and pray for Him to give it back to us…

Being human, a mother with a lost beloved son, I admire the mother of Musa and cannot stop admiring her.

Being placed in a similar situation I cannot even begin to fathom what I would do.

What would you do?

9 thoughts on “THROW IT AWAY…… 20:38-39

  1. The burden on the prophets and believers before us was huge. Besides the story of Musa (AS), there is Surah Al-Buruj. Maulana Rumi has a beutiful rendering of it in Farsi and drawn a vivid picture of the difficulty situation of the mother whose child is thrown into the fire and who beckons her. Then there is the story of Ibrahim (AS) and the fire.
    So Allah has taught us to pray in Surah Baqara’h: Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which you did lay on those before us; Our Lord ! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Ameen


  2. Assalamaualaikum,
    An eye-opening article!
    Allah subhanawatala gives us pain to draw the erring people close to Him and make them feel the Bliss of being close to Him than any other of his creation.
    Fabi ayyi alaa aayi rabbi kuma tu kazzi baan.( Sura Al Rahman)

    Then which of the favors of ur Lord do u deny!


  3. This post…melted my heart. I thought the loss that I experienced was hard but subhanallah, yours is a bigger test. You had no preparation of what was to come, yet Allah prepared you in ways unimaginable. May He always keep you on the straight up, steadfast and never wavering.


  4. The following lines have opened a new window in my heart:

    Allah chooses some folks to cleanse their hearts, sometimes by physically wrenching from them what they love excessively. He then waits patiently for them to turn to Him for help and pours into them the ultimate certainty that what has happened was the will of Allah that he can see what no one can…….. Those are the fortunate ones.

    These days I really need such cues that enhance my understanding about how and why Allah gives and takes away.


    • Asalaam o alaikum,
      In the haze of grief sometimes one is unable to see the beacon of light that Allah Subhanawataala is casting our way. We may be looking down while we could find it if we were looking forward.
      May Allah Subhanawataala pull you towards Him. Do take that first step at which He Subhanawataala promises that he will take TEN.
      JazaikAllah hu Khairan!


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