Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Productivity Lessons from the Hijrah (Part 2)

In our previous post Productivity Lessons from the Hijrah (Part 1), we explained how the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) from Makkah to Medina was a productive act by the Prophet since he didn’t just sit in Makkah and give up after all the hardship he faced in spreading the message to the people, rather he was proactive to find avenues where his message could flourish and transform the world.
In this post, I want to pick up from where we left off and take snippets from the Hijrah – stories which we’ve probably heard many times before but explore them from a productivity point of view inshaAllah.

The Pre-Planned Journey
Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his companion Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq (May Allah be pleased with him) went through a lot of preparation for this epic journey. They prepared their transportation, planned how to hide their tracks, hired a guide, and even appointed the people who’d bring them the news from Makkah and who would bring them the food each night.
One might ask: Why did the Prophet and His companion have to go plan so meticulously to go on this Hijrah? Wasn’t this Journey blessed by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)’s permission for the Prophet to migrate to Medina? Aren’t these the best of people in those times? Surely, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) could have prepared for them a miracle of instant transportation to Medina like He did in the journey of Israa wal Mi’raaj?

Placing Your Trust In Allah
When we think of these questions, we realise, that this journey was not about the Prophet and his companion only, this journey was for us – the Muslims – to learn deep lessons from, to study from it and extract unforgettable lessons that apply to all times.

The Prophet and his companion prepared and took all the means to teach us the lesson that even being the best of mankind, even if you worship Allah, you need to use the means Allah has provided to achieve your goals in life. This indicates the need for action to fully trusting in Allah’s decree, in fact it’s part and parcel of believing in Allah’s decree. The above point is highlighted further in those precious moments where Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq (May Allah be pleased with him) spent with the Prophet in that cave between Makkah and Medina. They were hiding there, but the Makkans were able to trace their tracks to the cave. When the Makkans approached the cave, Abu Bakr Al-Siddeeq started panicking saying: “O Prophet, if they look to their feet they’ll see us!” But the Prophet’s confident response was: “Don’t be Afraid, Allah is with us”.

These powerful words should be on the tongue of every Muslim and Muslimah in any situation of difficulty he/she faces after you’ve exhausted all possible means.

Practical Lessons From The Hijrah

I want us to think about this practically, how we can apply this concept of balancing between taking the means and trusting in Allah in our lives? This requires a special mindset that comes with training and constantly self-evaluating your actions. When you have goals, you need to force yourself to prepare the utmost whilst at the same time praying and pleading to Allah as if you’ve no means at all.
I remember once I was given an extremely challenging task at work, I did my utmost and worked hard to surmount the task but at the same time I started praying to Allah to make it easy and finish it on time, and subhanAllah it all went smoothly. You honestly taste the sweetness of true tawakkul when you strike this balance between taking the means and trusting in Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).

The Measuring Stick of Justice
One final beautiful lesson from the Hijrah is the instruction that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave to his cousin, Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) asking him to return the ‘Trusts’ that were with the Prophet to the rightful people in Makkah. I had to stop at this and really imagine the situation to understand the magnitude of this act of honesty.

Imagine you’re in a town where most people don’t like you, they make lies about you and they want to kill you. But they also trust you with all their precious goods. On the night you are about to leave, you could potentially take ‘revenge’ for all the pain and suffering they caused you, instead you actually return these goods to them! What does that teach us? What does that tell us about our attitude to the Non-Muslims even when they harm us?

It teaches us that our measuring stick in Islam is Justice, not our whims and desires or revenge or hatred. We do justice even to our worst enemies and this is how we become servants of Allah instead of servants of our desires. We become truly the Best of All Nations when we apply such principles in our lives.
These were some of the productivity lessons from the beautiful Hijrah, I hope we can learn from them and apply them to our lives so we can have a true turning point within ourselves just like the Prophet and His Companions did after the Hijrah. Thinking back to the Hijrah, what other lessons of productivity have you come across? Share your thoughts with us below!