DAY 26. TUESDAY 21 APRIL 2020.
Don’t Refuse the Opportunity.
Let the opportunity Refuse You!
‘Curiosity‘ , a space probe landed on Mars in August 6, 2012 after been launched from earth on 26 November 2011. This incredible achievement has created the opportunity for yet another probe called PERSEVERANCE. It is space craft that rose up from the opportunities created by the CURIOSITY. The astounding exploration of CURIOSITY has opened new vistas of technological advancements that has given us new insights into the world beyond earth.
I gave thought to what was happening before November 2011 that actually led to the making of CURIOSITY. The initial sprouting of the idea way before 2011 and how it was received by NASA and all countries involved in the International Space Station. The opportunity to send a probe to Mars opened at that time was probably a moment of inspiration which professionals in that circle saw it as a crazy idea but; there were among them a few that saw it as a real thing. This is opportunity. It comes in the most inopportune time and we don’t see the gap.
The spin off from the above inventions and discoveries led to new business ideas, teaching ideas, scenario planning and pushing new boundaries of exploration that will enable us to understand the world in a new way and how the cosmos has a significance to our existence too. My contemplation on the naming of the first probe as CURIOUS remarkable because it emanates out of the intense desire to explore the impossible and the naming of the second probe as PERSEVERANCE is to acknowledge the reality of persistence paying off after great effort. The two names put together reads like this for me: The CURIOUS filled us with PERSEVERANCE.
I am in awe of these remarkable people who took the opportunity and persevered with zeal, zest, gusto, excitement, creativity, ingenuity, passion, rigour, wonderment, joy, happiness and sincerity of intention and purpose to achieve a seemingly impossible goal. The reason of this contemplation also delayed my publishing on the Blog before the start of the next day because, it left me feeling disenchanted in light of the fact that my life cannot measure up to taking risks in the face of opportunities. Therefore, it was a deep reflection of my life and say to myself that: “Persevere with excellence in all that you do and that will also make you part of great things. All the people who were part of Curiosity’s and Peserverance’s are not known to the world but, are known to Allah, the all Knowing. So if you are part of anything good, you name is written with Allah, the Majestic because the people you choose to work with have greater sincerity and trust in Allah, the Pure.”
This gave me courage and I was drawn to this by Sheikh Abdulbari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti – 28 Muharram 1436
“Life is an opportunity in itself, and it is, in its turn, full of countless opportunities that are always open to man and that Allah makes available to His servants one after another. There are opportunities of all types and in every field. Some of them change the entire course of people’s lives, while others effect drastic changes for those who seize them and make the best of them. Some opportunities, however, never recur. One of the righteous predecessors once said, “If a door to goodness opens up before any of you, then hurry to go through, for you do not know when it may be closed against you.”
The Sheikh draws on the Quranic ayah (evidence): “O You who Believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (Peace and blessings be upon him), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise).” (Al-Ahzab: 70-71)
The names Curiosity and Peserverance are names given my western scientists that worked on the probes and it was ground breaking then and now. This made me think if the Muslims were involved in this remarkable feat, what names would we have given to these probes? I wonder. The stars enchant me and gets me to gaze. In the gaze I am drawn to the reality that more than 60% of the stars were name by Muslims. It was Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (known as Azophi in the West) who wrote a book on the stars and their names. Again, he saw an opportunity and exploited it to the best and named the stars from his exploratory knowledge of the world based on his Curiosity and Peserverance to achieve something unknown to the world at the time. The phenomenal aspect of the naming conventions of the stars have reference to the Holy Quran in many instances. So, the world at the time were learning of the cosmos with the names of stars in Arabic and therefore, it was added to the vocabulary in the language they spoke. The word, computer example, is a new invented word in the English language that we have added to other languages save that the pronunciation is different. Look deeper into this and you will realise that the opportunity opened vistas for new beginnings for Islam then and now too. Again, the reading of Dr.Md.R.Mirza Siddiqui’s MUSLIM CONTRIBUTION TO SCIENCE, indicates that Muslims were in the forefront of thousands of inventions therefore, the had it to the best effect rings true that, “knowledge is the lost property of the Muslim, wherever he finds it he should snatch it/claim it.” This said, what is it that made the Holy Prophet (s) say that? It is the fact that He (s) inspired by example to read in the name of Allah, to learn in the name of Allah and more for the name of Allah for the hidayaah (guidance to Allah and HIS Messenger) and benefit of humanity at large. To achieve this, the early Muslims and those that followed became the leaders in every field of science, technology, education and more so much so that scholars today say that Muslims wrote on all subjects and that there is a wealth on untranslated works of Muslims into English waiting to uncovered. This opportunity lies with us now. Who amongst us is going to take this opportunity?
Sheikh Abdulbari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti goes on saying: “An opportunity may be an act of obedience to Allah or a pious act to build the nation and help develop society. It may be a high status or position which can be used in the service of the religion and the Ummah. It may also be trade, as the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “How excellent good money is in the hands of a good man!” (“Good money” is money that is gained by lawful means and spent for lawful purposes.)”
This came alive for me when I was an invited participant on a ZOOM SESSIONS held daily with a group of men of wisdom. The ZOOM session is under the title MINDS ALIVE. Here the opportunity to share wisdom on the experience of the world, it makes active and opens the opportunity to think out of the box. This is the start of great things because it was thinking out the box that led to the development of Curiosity and Peserverance. It is this kind of activity that looks small to the world but, has reach beyond the ordinary and that what it takes to open the door of opportunity. The biggest door of opportunity one can open for another is to THINKING and then spurring the person to ACT ON THE THOUGHT. Sheikh Yawar Baig’s quote comes to mind, “It is only in action that the glory of thought can manifest itself.” comes real in this scenario therefore, we need to pursue the boundaries of excellence.
In context of the scenario POST COVID-19 LOCKDOWN, what opportunities are going to open? We don’t know but, it is camouflaged in the trials and tribulations we see of the capitalist system that is crumbling like a house of cards and; the opportunity is to introduce Islamic Shariah economics into our organisations and institutions to a level of excellence because this will showcase a real example. The world knows about Islam but, they want to see a practical example in the daily life of our social, economical, political, technological cultural practices to the extent that it must manifest in the hearts that it is enduring and has no intent of raping humanity of its innate dignity.
To end this article I am urged to quote Sheikh Abdulbari ibn Awwad al-Thubaiti
“Valuable opportunities pass quickly; they are brief and short-lived. Just reflect on the course of life of someone in his advancing years, and you will see how quickly his conditions change from health to illness, from affluence to poverty, from security to fear, from occupation to idleness, and from youth to old age. The necessity to take opportunities becomes all the more important in times of trials and adversities. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Hasten to do good deeds before you are put to trials and tests that are as deluding as the dark of night. A man would be a believer in the morning and a disbeliever in the evening, or he would be a believer in the evening and a disbeliever in the morning, abandoning his faith in exchange for some worldly goods.” It is for this reason that our Noble Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, instructed his Ummah to seize opportunities and hasten to do good deeds before it is too late. He said, “Take advantage of five [states] before [you get into] five [others]: your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before your being busy, and your life before your death.”
My teeming brain brings me to the close of this article in the closing of DAY 27 and it gives me the idea of the next post which will begin tonight.
DAY 27 is alive. I am in it and its giving me the opportunity to open a new chapter on this blog. What has it given you thus far because the emerging of darkness is upon the horizon.