How to Achieve Excellence?

A famous hadith that many of you will know, starts with: “Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (perfection) in all things.” (Muslim) This striving for perfection and excellence is a concept that is frequently mentioned, especially within Islamic work. But how can we actually achieve it?

In a two-part blog series, we will break down some simple but key steps we can take to work towards achieving excellence in the work that we do in Charity Week and further afield too.

It is narrated in a particular hadith from an occasion when historians say a delegation from Bahrain, around the year 8 or 10 AH, came to visit the Prophet peace be on him (PBUH). The chief of this delegation was Al Mundhir. When everyone was rushing to greet the Prophet PBUH, shake his hands, and kiss him, the exception was Al Mundhir who stayed back, ensuring that everything was in order: that the camels were adequately tied or no belongings were mislaid in the rush. He then changed his clothes and got ready. When he met the Prophet PBUH, the following exchange took place:

The Prophet PBUH said:

‘You have two qualities Allah loves.’

I asked: ‘What are they, Messenger of Allah?

He said: ‘Forbearance and deliberation.’

I asked: ‘Have they been with me for a long time or are they new?’

He said: ‘You have had them long.

I said: ‘All praise to Allah for having given me two qualities He loves.’ (Bukhari)

What we have to first understand is that it is quite unusual for the Prophet PBUH to praise someone in public, but he did on this occasion and he even mentioned two qualities they embodied. So, it is clear he is drawing attention to these characteristics so that we can embody them if we are not already and hold on to them.

In light of achieving excellence, we’ll be focusing on the second characteristic mentioned; deliberation; Al Annat. We have previously touched upon forbearance in our dealing with conflict post.

So what is it that is so importance about deliberation? The companions of the Prophet PBUH are well known for rushing to do good. However, this could be misunderstood that there isn’t a need to be deliberate, or calculated, in what you do. The opposite of deliberation being haste.

The Prophet PBUH is highlighting that deliberation is a quality Allah loves. Deliberation means to do the good, to do an action, but to take time to ensure everything is done right, with its proper order.

It should be clear that in order to achieve excellence, we need to display Al Annat. We need to complete our tasks with planning, ensuring they’re thought through with a structured plan to ensure they’re completed properly.

However, it is also important to note that deliberation is to be done in a way that doesn’t hinder progress, in fact done properly it is a way to sustain progress for the long term!

For those in the Charity Week team, as we return from the Eid break, this is the perfect opportunity to display deliberation, a quality Allah loves. This will definitely help us in achieving excellence in the work we do Insha’Allah.

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