What purpose does Prophet Moses’ have by using these words in his prayer; "O my Lord! Expand me my breast, Ease my task for me. And remove the impediment from my speech. So they may understand what I say:”? (Surah Taha, 20/25-28)

Details of the Question
What purpose does Prophet Moses’ have by using these words in his prayer; "O my Lord! Expand me my breast, Ease my task for me. And remove the impediment from my speech. So they may understand what I say:”? (Surah Taha, 20/25-28)
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The interpretation of the related verses:

“(Moses) said: O my Lord! Expand me my breast;

Ease my task for me;

And remove the impediment from my speech.

So they may understand what I say:

And give me a Minister from my family,

Aaron, my brother;

Add to my strength through him,

And make him share My task:

That we may celebrate Thy praise without stint,

And remember Thee without stint:

For Thou art He that (ever) regardeth us." (Surah Taha, 20/25-35)

In these verses of the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad (BPUH) and all anunciators who convey the belief in oneness of Allah (SWT) are told about the necessity of the idea is being suggested that whatever conditions are in, not losing the trust for Allah (SWT) even for a while from the life of prophet Moses.

As a matter of fact, Moses was worried that he would be unsuccessful due to the weight of the duty but he took refuge in the vast grace of his Lord. Allah informed him that his wishes regarding the expansion of his breast, clearing his mind, easing his task for him, removing the impediment from his speech and being supported by a minister from his family so that he will fulfill his duty successfully; and in the following verses, he was reminded how he reached his situation at that time.  

As it is known, prayer (dua) means presenting one’s needs to his Lord and begging Him to accept his wishes. From this point of view, a prayer is eloquent, decent, reasonable and acceptable to the extent that it is connected with the problems of the person, it is in harmony with his wishes and that person is capable of expressing himself.

Doubtlessly, as regards every issue, the most skilled people about prayers (dua) are prophets. That prayer of Moses is a kind of petition having those features.

What Moses needed most at that time was the expansion of his breast and heart, to be capable of uttering wise and convincing words and to persist in conveying the message despite the resistance of the people. He asked Allah to meet his needs like that by saying, “expand my heart”.  

Besides, it is a difficult task to revolt against the Pharaoh, the tyrant, and to declare a new religion against the administrators of a country with powerful armies. Thus, in an environment where it was difficult to cope with things, Moses asked Allah to help him with His grant and grace – not with His wisdom based on causes but – with His endless power, which is beyond all causes, with his prayer, “easy my task for me”,

The struggle of Moses against the Pharaoh and his followers was not through sword but tongue. Therefore, his most urgent need in this spiritual battle was fluency and eloquence, which were the bullets of the tongue. Thus, Moses took refuge in the mercy of his Merciful Lord through his prayer, “and remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say”, asking Him to make his tongue (sword), which he needed the most in this battle, sharp and to make his arrows (words) that he would shoot through his bow (tongue) hit the target.

It means the speaker must study hard and be able to convey his message very well so that the people he addresses will understand it and be convinced. It is an important point to understand from the verse.

- One of the meanings of the expansion of the heart may be “the breast being filled with divine light” because the heart that is filled with divine light settles and becomes brave. They also express being freed from stress, downheartedness, anxiety and fear.  

- Moses asks for help in detail instead of asking in general. First, he requests his breast to be expanded and his task to be eased due to its difficulty. We can understand this from his prayer: Man should ask help from Allah for the good deeds that he will do. He should believe that Allah will help him and he should be conscious about it.

The impediment and lisping of Moses prevented him from being understood well when he spoke. What was meant by impediment was what made the people who listened to him difficult to understand him. Therefore, both the listener and the speaker are important; and being understandable is also important.

- Moses made this request because he wanted the people who listen to him understand him, and because he needed support and someone to share his duty. Moses asked Allah to strengthen him by appointing Aaron as a prophet, too. On the other hand, he would be a partner for Moses. A Muslim should know whether he can manage to fulfill, on his own, the task given to him and should do whatever is necessary about it. If necessary, he should find an assistant. On the other hand, brothers should not be jealous of each other; they should be able to see the different of features of his brother(s) and to make use of them.   

After Asking Allah to remove the impediment from his speech and to appoint Aaron as a prophet to help him so that he would convey the divine revelation better, Moses wanted the freedom to worship Allah in a secure place, which they could attain with the help of Allah.

- The expression, “for Thou art He that (ever) regardeth us” is a dua and dhikr. Besides, it means help us, look after us and protect us. You know our feelings and our acts; you always watch us; you know what we need. It means if our prayers comply with our needs, you will help us.

Allah informs us about the prayer of Moses and asks us to lead a life in compliance with it: “There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham, and those with him”. “There was indeed in them an excellent example for you to follow― for those whose hope is in Allah and in the Last Day” (see al-Mumtahina, 60/4,6)

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