Maulana Wahiduddin Khan: Quranic Wisdom
The Prophet Moses was born in Egypt, where he lived for about thirty years. Then, for some reason he had to leave Egypt and after a long journey reached Midian (Syria). When he was resting under a tree on the outskirts of Midian, an interesting incident took place which has been narrated as follows in the Quran:
And when Moses arrived at the well of Midian, he found around it a group of men watering their flocks, and he saw two women standing apart from them, who were holding back their flocks, so he asked, ‘What is the matter with you?’ They replied, ‘We cannot draw water until the shepherds take away their sheep. Our father is a very old man.’ So Moses watered their flocks for them; and returned into the shade and prayed, ‘Lord, I am truly in need of whatever blessing You may send down for me.’ And then one of the two women came walking shyly up to him and said, ‘My father is asking you to come so that he may reward you for watering our flocks for us.’ When Moses came to their father and gave him an account of himself, he said: ‘Don’t be afraid! You have escaped from those wrong-doing people.’ One of the girls said, ‘Father, hire him! For the best man to hire is someone strong and trustworthy.’ (28:23-26)
According to this story, Moses lived with his Midian hosts for almost eight years. His host, Shuayb, married his daughter to Moses; then after eight years Moses left Midian and returned to his homeland, Egypt.
What the woman said when she asked her father to hire Moses is the best formula for success in this world. It is a two-point formula—honesty and hard work. Honesty makes one a trustworthy member of society and hard work means that a man is ready to dedicate himself to his work.
Being strong and being honest are two desirable human qualities. ‘Strong’ refers to physical strength and ‘honest’ refers to spiritual strength: both are equally important. One who has these two qualities can be described as a well-equipped person. These two qualities make one a super-achiever in this world.
There is a saying: ‘God helps those who help themselves.’ What is self-help? Self-help means to prove that you have these two natural qualities—honesty and the ability to work hard.