Adapted from Kuliah Tafsir Mufti on 22 Jul 2018.
As people of faith, it’s important that we continuously expand our religious knowledge for the betterment of our own character as well as to hopefully attain God’s merit. The benefits of doing so are between Allah s.w.t and our individual selves.
How can we do this? Let’s consider the following excerpts from the stories of Prophet Yusuf and Prophet Musa:
“And the king said, "Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself."
And when he spoke to him, he said, "Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted." [Yusuf] said, "Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian."”
“Then one of the two women came to him walking with shyness. She said, "Indeed, my father invites you that he may reward you for having watered for us."
So when he came to him and related to him the story, he said, "Fear not. You have escaped from the wrongdoing people." One of the women said, "O my father, hire him. Indeed, the best one you can hire is the strong and the trustworthy."”
There are two common points mentioned in the above verses as the most important pre-requisites to attain a better position in this life.
Different roles require different abilities in order for them to be carried out well.
Prophet Yusuf asked to be appointed for a specific role in the king’s employ after he had accurately interpreted the meaning behind the king’s dream and subsequently proven his value. He was thus qualified for the role due to the knowledge that Allah s.w.t. had given him.
Prophet Musa was recommended for employment due to the strength that he had demonstrated while helping two women to water their flocks. Thus, he was qualified for the role due to the strength that Allah s.w.t. had given him.
Both Prophet Yusuf and Prophet Musa displayed the qualities of being trustworthy, dependable and honest.
One of the ways that we can be trustworthy is by not rushing to attain a particular role that we want despite being unqualified. We ourselves are responsible for ensuring that we have the necessary training and capability to carry out well the role that we want to achieve.
If we are unqualified for a dream role that we want in this life, should we then give up on it? No.
Instead, recognising our shortcomings can and should motivate us to improve upon our current knowledge and skills. Right now, we may not be qualified for a particular role that we want, but by putting in the necessary effort and training needed, we can certainly attain it later on.
Once we have established ourselves, insyaAllah, we can further direct our efforts towards contributing to the larger society and community.