Conditions for Sound Successful Islamic Work (2)
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
(Friday Speech was delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center of Raleigh, N. C., on April 23, 1993)
There are many Islamic projects, activities, and tasks that are initiated and executed by Muslim individuals, groups and organizations. But, what makes a project or a task Islamic and which projects are successful and beneficial for the society, and rewarding for Muslims who worked on this project in the Hereafter.
There are certain conditions that must be met in every Islamic work so that it will be beneficial for the society and rewarding for the Muslims who worked on it on the Day of Judgment.
We mentioned two conditions that must be met. The first one is that the work must be allowed from the Islamic perspective, the second one is that the intention must be one hundred percent for the sake of Allah (S.W.T.).
Today, we talk about two more conditions. One of them is making a sound plan and the other is depending on Allah (S.W.T.) and putting all of our trust in Him.
The third condition is the Islamic work must have a good and sound plan for it to be successful and beneficial to the society. This is done by identifying the goals of the Islamic work and by devising all means that lead to these goals while keeping in mind that these goals and means are attainable and realistic. What determines these goals to be realistic is the accurate knowledge of the available capabilities (the existing ones and the ones to come) that are employed to accomplish these goals.
We should be cautious of the unrealistic thoughts and plans that may be entertained by some of us. These thoughts and plans may be very beautiful but unrealistic and thus they are a waste of time and effort.
There is a big difference between the unrealistic dreams of poets and the goals of the planners; some dreams of poets are beautiful but destructive and deadly and may be impossible. Allah (S.W.T.) warned us from these poets in surat Ash-Shu'ara', (verse 224 to 226), what can be translated as, "As for the poets, the erring follow them. See you not that they speak about every subject in their poetry? And that they say what they do not do."
So, it is a must for the leaders or the decision-maker in this Islamic work to stay away from these unrealistic dreams. If any one of these dreamers were in a position of making decisions, they would destroy the people and lead the ummah to disasters. Thatís why none of the prophets were poets. Allah (S.W.T.) described His prophet in surat Yaseen, (verse 69), what can be translated as, " And We have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry, nor is it fitting for him." He said that to refute the accusations of the pagans.
If you look into the various Islamic reforming works that have been initiated in the past as well as the present, without success, you will find that one of the main reasons for its failure is the absence of a sound plan or that the plan is unrealistic.
While we are on this topic, we also should be very cautious of the defeated and helpless mentality that always see that we are unable to do anything significant. If we are taken by this mentality, the Islamic work will be killed before it begins and the idea will be buried before it is born. This is a debilitating and dangerous disease that the prophet (S.A.W.) always sought refuge from.
The fourth condition while making a sound plan, it is a must that we depend on Allah (S.W.T.) and put all of our trust in Him. Because He is the one who grants victory and success. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Muzzammil, (verse 9), what can be translated as, "(He Alone is) the Lord of the East and the West, la ilaha illa huwa. So take Him Alone as Wakil (Disposer of your affairs)." Whoever puts his trust in Allah (S.W.T.) and depend on Him, He is enough, and whoever depends on other means that are created by Allah, Allah (S.W.T.) will leave him to what he depended on.
Depending on Allah (S.W.T.) means that you make a sound plan accompanied with a strong belief that the results are in the hands of Allah (S.W.T.) alone, like the prophet (S.A.W.) taught the man who came asking about his camel, and whether he should tie or leave it loose. The prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Tie it and depend on Allah."
There is no contradiction between these two issues, on the contrary, making a good and sound plan and taking the necessary steps to execute that plan are in reality depending on Allah (S.W.T.), because all of them are from the creation of Allah (S.W.T.).
So, depending on Allah (S.W.T.) does not mean throwing the plan away. This kind of dependence is a false one and it is a foreign concept to Islam that is caused by laziness and helplessness which the prophet (S.A.W.) asked refuge from many times.
The prophet (S.A.W.) is the greatest and best of people and he is the master of those who depend on Allah (S.W.T.) and he is our best example. He did not let go with the materialistic means to depend on Allah (S.W.T.), rather he was always a wise planner and an accurate executioner. His life is full of many examples. We present one of them; his migration from Makkah to Al-Madinah.
After making a good and sound plan, the prophet (S.A.W.) used all the available means at that time to migrate from Makkah to Al-Madinah.
-He left his cousin Ali Bin Abi Talib to sleep in his bed and use his blanket so that the pagans would think that they are looking at the prophet (S.A.W.) through the door slits.
- The prophet hired a guide who is knowledgeable about the roads that lead to Al-Madinah, especially the secondary roads that do not come to minds of the travelers. (That guide was Non-Muslim, his name Abdullah Bin Arqat).
- The prophet chose to stay 3 nights in the cave of Thaour so that they give up on hunting him.
Abu Bakr, in the meantime, prepared for this trip a number of things:
Despite all these precautions, the pagans arrived at the cave and looked into it and hung around it. Abu Bakr got scared and said to the prophet: If any one of them looks under his feet, he will see us, the prophet (S.A.W.) replied: "Do you think that we are two, Allah (S.W.T.) is our third? "Do not be sad, Allah will protect us"
- He fed two camels and prepared them for a period of 4 months. The prophet (S.A.W.) purchased one of them to travel on it.
- Abu Bakr ordered his son Abdullah to listen in on what goes on amongst people in Makkah and what they talk about the prophet (S.A.W.) and his companion Abu Bakr. Then, he comes back with the news in the evening.
- Abu Bakr ordered his daughter Asma' to come to them with the food to the cave every evening.
- Abu Bakr ordered his servant A'mir to graze his sheep during the day and the stops by them in the evening so that they can drink from their milk.
This is only one example that teaches us that in order for a work to be successful, we should make a sound plan and then depend on Allah (S.W.T.) and put trust in Him. If you read the life of the prophet (S.A.W.), you will find many other examples.
In the future, in sha'a Allahu t'ala we will talk about other conditions that make an Islamic work successful and beneficial to the society and rewarding to those people who do it.