DAY 27.COVID-19 LOCKDOWN.
Today, there was disenchantment in my mood because of all that we are going through and it escalated when it became clear that Ramadaam will dawn without taraweeh (20 units of prayer) in congregation but; the video below surfaced on my WhatsApp, all of that dissipated instantly. That is the power of hope. It is a force.
Watch this video clip and then read on.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Islam teaches us to worship Allah out of love for Him but with a healthy balance of fear and hope.
تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ الْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ
They arise from their beds and they supplicate their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend from what We have provided them.
Surah As-Sajda 32:16
And Allah said:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ
Verily, they would hasten to good deeds and supplicate to Us in hope and fear, and they were humbly submissive to Us.
Surah Al-Anbiya 21:90
Al-Bara ibn Azib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَيْكَ وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ
O Allah, I submit my face to you and entrust my affair to you. I commit myself to you out of hope and fear of you.
Source: Sahih Muslim 2710, Grade: Sahih
In the busy day of ZOOM sessions, WhatsApp consultations, GoogleHangouts, Microsoft Teams and many other APP meetings, we try to normalise the workday in finding solutions, working out resolutions and being productive. These meetings in many ways bring hope to the day’s routine at home and it makes you feel part of a wider community sharing woes and fears. This feeling of having people around you that share in your plight makes you realise that solutions lie in collective engagement. However, if you are not hopeful, the virtual group dynamic will not inspire you. You have to change and become the source of hope for yourself.
Hopeful people arise out of the company they keep and that’s a fact. Reflect on the boy in the video. Consider the company he must be in on a daily basis to be able to articulate his sincere beliefs. Surely, he could not have been in the company of fools because fools cannot hold the attention of an audience. The company you keep will define your character and your worldview so much so that if you don’t improve your own character, you will not be able to draw from them. On the other hand, if you attract people into your circle and not deep enough to share wisdom, your company becomes shallow. In such a company, how will each other learn except that foolhardy pursuits become the oder of the day will be the reality. What inspires me more with the boy in the video is the references to Quran and hadith indicating that his hope is based on superior knowledge and conviction in it too. This is sign of a successful person unlike the defeated soul.
Sheikh Yawar Baig mentioned that there are seven signs of defeated people. I gave it sound reflection and realised that there are points that fit me and the need to change is now. That said, we need to all look at these points and pinpoint where we all fit or identify with. It should lead to concrete discussion and enduring planned action. Our focus group discussions should become the agents for change and action too. The seven points are:
- Living in constant fear and dying pathetically without resistance.
- Inward looking and engrossed in meaningless internal conflicts.
- Self-serving, ignorant and corrupt leaders with blind cult followers.
- Self-centered wealthy people without concern for others.
- Waiting for miracles to solve their problems.
- Not willing to make effort and investment to solve their own problems.
- NO strategy. NO planning. NO long term investment in change.
The above, in light of Ibn Qiyyam al Jowazi’s insight that: “The leaders are the symptoms of the conditions of the people.” is so important to consider because, we are all leaders in some way or the other. Perhaps we are not aware of the effect we have therefore, we do not behave as leaders. In the pursuit of hope, we need to behave as leaders. We need to inspire hope in the people. When they take hope from us we assist them to unchain their hearts from the enigma of hopelessness and despair.
I am drawn to think on our leadership that we see around the world. Do we see Muslims behaving like a defeated people or like a people who are living through this adversity looking for solutions. The boy in the video tells me that we have the means to inspire concrete hope. The means are the Quran and the Sunnah and each of us can become more hopeful in what is said there. To internalise this, we need to make time to read and understand the two sources too. One such way is to befriend scholars, wise men and the likes so that we become aware of our beliefs and and not of those that imbibe the qualities of people of blind faith who do not question. It was the questions of the companions (ra) of the Nabi (s) that made us learn so many things of Islam that today, through their questions, we are finding answers to all our problems. This is hope. We should have circles of think tank sessions that will give leverage to our ideas and provide the means to action it.
In conclusion Sheikh Yawar Baig’s seven keys to success should leverage hope. The seven keys are:
- Connect with Allah, the High the Great and Nabi Muhmmad (s)
- Take risks. You must be action oriented.
- Focus on what you control or influence.
- Analyse objectives and face the brutal facts.
- Set extraordinary goals.
- Create a roadmap with milestones and timelines.
- Relentlessly measure your results – your own first.
In the end NEVER PLAY THE VICTIM! BE THE MASTER OF THE GAME!