Leadership Legacies – Vision

This week we focussed on vision, by exploring the Quranic question:

“So where are you going?”

[81:26]

We learnt how the life of the Prophet (SAW) was the perfect example and an inspiration for our own direction and vision in life.

The fundamental principle of Islam is tawheed, oneness of Allah, which definitively ends oppression and injustice and promotes human rights and dignity. After Allah SWT instructed the Prophet (SAW) to preach tawheed his (SAW) vision was to spread Islam to all of mankind. In just 10 years of his (SAW) lifetime, he (SAW) established Islam and eliminated paganism in the Arabian Peninsula but owing to his (SAW) wise succession planning, his (SAW) chosen caliphs established Islam further into the Middle East, Africa and Southern Europe.

Islam was preached by one man: the Prophet (SAW), and now Islam has reached the furthest corners of the earth and is the fastest growing religion in the world with almost 2 billion followers to date, SubhanAllah! But how was the mission of the Prophet (SAW) so successful? His (SAW) vision was strong and his determination was unfaltering.

There are so many examples which demonstrate why the Prophet (SAW) was so successful including in 8AH when the Quraysh refused to let the Muslims make the pilgrimage to Makkah but through his (SAW) patience and persistence he (SAW) was able to negotiate the peaceful treaty of Hudaybiyyah with the Quraysh which ultimately transformed the future of Islam. The terms of the treaty were unfavourable and humiliating for the Muslims but the Prophet (SAW) lived by his vision, the seeming short term failure was not important because the Prophet (SAW) could see that having peace would allow the Muslims to preach tawheed into the heart of the Quraysh and guide them to Islam from the inside out. SubhanAllah, in the 2 years of the treaty the same number of people, if not more, reverted to Islam than in the previous 15 years.

The last sermon given by the Prophet (SAW) was the epitome of his (SAW) vision; the Prophet (SAW) reminded us to safeguard our religion even from small things, treat women well and with kindness and that all people Arab, non-Arab, black or white are equal and only distinguished by their piety and good action. SubhanAllah, in light of the injustice around the world, these words speak so directly to us and remind us that we need to be part of the change.

What can we learn from the vision of the Prophet SAW? We must be ambitious and live by our own vision. We must look at every aspect of our lives, our religion, our health, our career, our family, etc, and ask ourselves what do we want to achieve in 5 years, 10 years or even 50 years? Do we want to memorise the Quran in our lifetime? Do we want to reach the top of our chosen career path? Do we want to raise righteous children? Do we want to become fitter and healthier? And then ask ourselves how do we get there? We must set ourselves short term goals which guide and motivate us and long term goals which focus and drive us towards our vision; goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based) and act as stepping stones to help us fulfil our vision. Remember if things do not go according to our plan that Allah SWT is the best of planners and only He knows what is best for us.

Every difficulty, every diversion and every failure is for a divine reason (whether you can see it or not) so always put your trust in Allah SWT and make Dua for success in both this life and the Hereafter because ultimately nothing can happen without the infinite mercy of Allah SWT.

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