Islamic articles

Principles Of Success

It is a well-known fact that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was the supremely successful man in the entire human history. But he was not just a hero, as Thomas Carlyle has called him. According to the Qur’an, he was a good example for all mankind. He has shown us the way of achieving supreme success in this world.

By studying the life of the Prophet we can derive those important principles which were followed by the Prophet. In short, the Prophet of Islam was a positive thinker in the full sense of the word. All his activities were result-oriented. He completely refrained from all such steps as may prove counter-productive.

First Principle:To begin from the possible. This principle is well explained in a saying of Aishah. She said: “Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice.” (Al-Bukhari)To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible, and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal.

Second Principle:To see advantage in disadvantage. In the early days of Mecca, there were many problems and difficulties. At that time, a guiding verse in the Qur’an was revealed. It said: “With every hardship there is ease” (Quran 94:5).This means that if there are some problems, there are also opportunities at the same time. And the way to success is to ignore the problems and avail the opportunities.

Third Principle:To change the place of action. This principle is derived from the Hijrah. Hijrah was not just a migration from Mecca to Medina. It was to find a more suitable place for Islamic work, as history proved later on.

Fourth Principle:To make a friend out of an enemy. The prophet of Islam was repeatedly subjected to practices of antagonism by the unbelievers. At that time the Qur’an enjoined upon him the return of good for evil. And then, as the Qur’an added, “You will see your direst enemy has become your closest friend.” (Quran 41:34).

It means that a good deed in return of a bad deed has a conquering effect over your enemies. And the life of the Prophet is a historical proof of this principle.

Fifth Principle:To turn minus into plus. After the Battle of Badr, about 70 of the unbelievers were taken as the prisoners of war. They were educated people. The Prophet announced that if any one of them would teach ten Muslim children how to read and write he would be freed. This was the first school in the history of Islam in which all of the students were Muslims, and all of the teachers were from the enemy rank. Here I shall quote a British orientalist who remarked about the Prophet of Islam: He faced adversity with the determination to wring success out of failure.

Sixth Principle:The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence. When Mecca was conquered, all of the Prophet’s direst opponents were brought before him. They were war criminals, in every sense of the word. But the Prophet did not order to kill them. He simply said: “Go, you are free.” The result of this kind behavior was miraculous. They immediately accepted Islam.

Seventh Principle:Not to be a dichotomous thinker. In the famous Ghazwa of Muta, Khalid bin Walid decided to withdraw Muslim forces from the battlefield because he discovered that the enemy was unproportionately outnumbered. When they reached Medina, some of the Muslims received them by the word “O Furrar” (O deserters!) The Prophet said “No. They are Kurrar” (men of advancement).”

Those Medinan people were thinking dichotomously, either fighting or retreating. The Prophet said no. There is also a third option, and that is to avoid war and find a time to strengthen yourself. Now history tells us that the Muslims, after three years of preparation, advanced again towards the Roman border and this time they won a resounding victory.

Eighth Principle:To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field. This principle is derived from the Ghazwa of Hudaibiyya. At that time, the unbelievers were determined to engage Muslims in fighting, because obviously they were in an advantageous position. But the Prophet, by accepting their conditions unilaterally, entered into a pact. It was a ten-year peace treaty. Until then, the meeting ground between Muslims and non-Muslims had been on the battlefield. Now the area of conflict became that of ideological debate. Within two years, Islam emerged as victorious because of the simple reason of its ideological superiority.

Ninth Principle:Gradualism instead of radicalism. This principle is well-established by a hadith of Al-Bukhari. Aishah says that the first verses of the Qur’an were related mostly to heaven and hell. And then after a long time when the people’s hearts had softened, the specific commands to desist from adultery and drinking were revealed in the Qur’an.This is a clear proof that for social changes, Islam advocates the evolutionary method, rather than the revolutionary method.

Tenth Principle:To be pragmatic in controversial matters. During the writing of Hudaibiyyah treaty, the Prophet dictated these words: “This is from Muhammad, the Messenger of God.” The Qurayshi delegate raised objections over these words. The Prophet promptly changed the word and ordered to write simply Muhammad, son of Abdullah.

These were the principles through which the Prophet of Islam gained that success which has been recognized by historians as the supreme success.

In the end, I would like to repeat those ten principles of success:

1. To begin from the possible
2. To see advantage in disadvantage
3. To change the place of action
4. To make a friend out of an enemy
5. To turn minus into plus
6. The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence
7. Not to be a dichotomous thinker
8. To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field
9. Gradualism instead of radicalism
10. To be pragmatic in controversial matters

Islamic short stories, Mindful

Story of Success

Kullusham was a very good girl at heart, but she wasn’t taught about mazhab in the light of Islam.  She was an ordinary Pakistani girl who knew just the basics of Islam ritually, like praying, fasting, giving sadaqa, and etc.  But practically, she was nothing, aside from wearing hijab on a uniform.  Although her parents weren’t religious, they cared about the difference in public and Islamic schools.  So, she was a talib-e-ilm of Banaatul Islamia, which was the school name, but she had no strong belief of Islam in her.  She felt the emptiness in her, but didn’t know how to fill it.  Her parents had thought that Islamic school would help her in Islamic studies, but that wasn’t it.  Her parents, too, wanted her to learn more about Islam, and what they learnt they passed on to her. Although they were themselves not knowledgeable about Islam that much, they wanted it for her.  However, she needed experienced guidance and social environment that could prompt her to change.  Her friends, too, were not very good girls because at some point they were exposed to the wrong media such as, music, films, pictures, etc.  So, Kullusham ended up in the same class as these girls and of course the consequence would be that she would adapt their behaviors!

Now Kullusham had exposure to some of this kind of media too, but it wasn’t as bad as what these girls watched or listened to.  Here I would like to mention that even a strong Muslim shakes off the path if he has the wrong time of peer group, so Kullusham didn’t have any environment at all about true Islam.  The result was going to end up here of course because she was uninformed thoroughly.  The only thing in her knowledge was that there is a limit to what’s good and bad as a culture.  Despite the fact that she was pressuringly involved in this stuff, she felt a weird type of guilt inside her.  It was as if someone was whispering to her, “This is Shaitan….don’t follow…..this is the path to destruction…” “Find the path to your achievement…..the path of Allah….the path of Islam….!”

For Kullusham, this thing started a tug of war because at one point she was into the worldly status stuff and in the other the path to the truth.  Her parents knew about her friends and since they were experienced people, they knew that they were spoiled girls.  They just prayed for their daughter and took her to Islamic gatherings to try to give her some environment of Deen.

Then suddenly, one day she just started avoiding all these activities and spent more time in Islamic studies or the Islamic discussion groups in the local masjids.  When her dad went to the masjid, she would insist on going too.  Her parents were both pleased and surprised at this sudden change in her, but they thanked Allah for bringing this change about.   At the same time they prayed for themselves to be more good examples for their daughter too since they hadn’t already been educated about Islam.  They remembered that when Kullusham used to come home and tell them about the Islamic studied lesson she learned, they would just pass it on without much importance saying, “Oh that’s good beta….very nice….hmmmm really?” and etc.

Now though, her parents were really getting happy with each coming day because their daughter was increasing in the Light if Deen and this was their inner heart’s desire ever since they had realized Islam’s importance.  Allah had granted their prayers and gotten them into more deenistic activities.  Kullusham and her mom wore the veil with abaya and her dad grew a beard and wore shalwar khamees most of the time.  He aslo went to the masjid on regular basis.  The whole family got so much closer to Allah now, that they would not like to do anything else but ibada!

Then smiling moments came in their life, when Kullusham had 2 brothers and one sister more added to their family.  However, they moved overseas to the MiddleEast so they could more freely practice their religion and provide a better educative environment for their children.  Kullusham went to college in Saudi Arabia, which was now their home, and her siblings to the school there that were separate.

Overtime, Kullusham and her family achieved the level of imaan that every naik person could wish for and Allah helped them excel in their life.  Her brothers’ became successful businessmen, along with respectful sons to their parents.  Also they were trained for self defense and weaponry in case of jihad.  Kullusham became a naturopathic healer and had a private job of her own.  Her sister became a doctor for females and girls.  Her parents were pleased with all their children and said in their time alone, “I am very thankful to Allah that he guided us to this path and kept our children on it too.” “Alhumdulillah we have done our part for them,” they would say to one another, “Inshallah they will do the same for our coming generations ameen!” And they lived happily in Saudi Arabia afterwards!