Assalamu’alaikum everyone. Welcome to Amazed by the Quran, a series in which I try sharing with you things I find amazing about the Quran, and today Inshaa Allah I share something with you about how Allah gives us universal lessons in the course of just telling a story.
I happened to believe and I think that is a universal believe for Muslims, that everything in the Quran is of timeless value. And when Allah is telling us even the account of something that happened long ago, every detail He mentions is actually very selective. In other words, there are a lot of things happened in a story especially in historical account, and then you can’t have enough, there’s no such thing as too many details.
But Allah is very selective in telling a story, He only tells us bits that are the most relevant for our guidance, right? So, Allah will skip lots and lots of details about the life of Ibrahim, and tell us the parts that are the most essential for our permanent guidance. Similarly the story of Musa AS so much repeated in the Quran, and yet He only highlights a few things that are of key value.
So one thing that really struck out to me, and I’ve been thinking about it for some time, is when Musa AS had fled and he was in Madyan, and he helped these two girls get water for their animals. And then they left. And their father asked how did you get water so early, and he sent one of them back. And of all these details, like you would imagine Allah would highlight details about Judgment Day, the battle between the Pharaoh and Moses, or when he was able to come back and challenge, or how he escaped, big details.
But in the middle of all of that, in the final revelation of Allah, Allah takes the time out to mention this little… what seems like a minor detail. (QS Al Qasas verse 25) “One of them came all the way, walking.” – There’s two ways to translate this – “She came walking shyly, like in a shy way.” And “She came walking over to him despite being shy.”
There’s two ways of looking at it, ok… And I was fascinated that Allah would actually go out of His way – it is final revelation to humanity until the Day of Judgment – to highlight the way a woman walk. Like… What benefit could that have? Why is that important?
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I realized that Allah SWT, He highlights things in His book that are so pertinent to human guidance. The way a female walks is a powerful thing, it has an impact in society. As a matter of fact, the female has a presence that has been talked about across cultures, across cultures, just her presence.
Has a power, has an awe, it inspires something. At the very least it catches the attention of the male, but there’s more to it than that, there is actually psychological, even a spiritual effect, when there’s the presence of a woman and when she’s walking by. This is something society was so aware of, that in many cultures the elite women of a society were actually kept hidden away.
Like in old Korean society for example, they would go out until the night time, the elite women. It has nothing to do with Islam, it’s just they were aware of the power of the presence of women. And so Allah SWT describes, and He is highlighting to women and to men, the effect that the role of a woman in public can have. And yet at the same time Islam is not saying keep women in doors, cause they have too much of an effect, they have too much of an impact.
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Guys know, the ones that are watching this video, they are sitting in an auditorium classroom and a girl walks into the class, right? She doesn’t have to be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, but so long as she’s a female, you’re gonna be like… He he he. Everybody in the room, is gonna… at least for a second look… And then ok, yeah. It has an effect.
But if a guy walks in… meh. That’s what happens. So now Allah is highlighting a couple of things, one of the most beautiful things has been highlighted here is… Despite her shyness, in other word she has to engage in society, she has to go out, And yes there will be people that stare, and sometimes, if you have a vulgar society people comment, and whistle, and make passes at them, or worse. There’s society where even harassing women on the street has become common, sometimes verbally and sometimes even physically. It’s become common.
But yet, she has to engage in that society. So she has to find a way of engaging in it that she can protect herself, and yet at the same time be a participant in society. The second thing that’s really beautiful here is, she walked shyly, in other word, and she walked guarding her modesty. She realized that she has a presence, and she realized that this is something that has an impact on others. It’s not just about her, it’s actually about recognizing the presence that she carries.
And so she walked in a way that is shy, she walked in a way that is not showing off, or it’s not provocative as to get the attention. She’s walking over to a young man as a matter of fact in this case, “‘Alastihyaa”. A female must recognize the power that she has, and so even the way in which a woman walks is highlighted in such a subtle, beautiful way. And it’s not like this girl was shy, it’s not.
She walked over by herself to this strange man and said, (QS Al-Qasas verse 25) “My dad’s calling you, ok. He wants to pay you for the services you’ve provided.” And if she was all that shy and scared she would’ve called her sister, at least two of them would’ve come, but she came by herself. And her dad was confident enough in her to send her by herself.
So there’s this amazing balance between confidence and engagement even when you’re on your own and at the same time holding on to your modesty. All of it captured in just the way that she walked. It’s incredible.
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