This week we focussed on courage, by looking through Islamic History and finding examples that we can learn from.
The Prophet (SAW) displayed courage throughout his life. One example would be the time of him openly declaring his prophethood and the message of one God to the people of Quraysh, and being faced with immediate rebuke. Another would be when the Muslims went into the Battle of Badr, 313 versus 1000, the odds stacked against them. The examples continue into the courage of the companions; Nusaybah bint Ka’b and her efforts in the battle of Uhud, where the Muslims were on the verge of defeat and she rushed to the Prophet (SAW)’s side.
We see here, courage being displayed in different ways:
Courage of faith, believing in what is right
Courage of being a lead, standing up for your team and leading the team towards what is right
Courage to give others courage in times of need
In practical terms we can view courage within three basic forms.
TRY Courage: Making that first attempt, pursuing pioneering efforts and stepping up to the plate when no one else is coming forward
TRUST Courage: Letting go of the need to control the situations or outcomes, having faith in people, and being open to direction and change. Within TRUST courage there are different angles to consider: not just trusting people but also different methods and ways of getting to the desired outcome, not thinking that ‘if it doesn’t happen my way then it won’t work’ but actually trusting in the plan and decree of Allah as Allah is the best of planners – this links with tawakkul.
TELL Courage: Raising difficult issues, providing awkward feedback and sharing unpopular opinions. It is also about being able to speak truth to power
When it comes to implementing courage, the journey we take is very important. This is to ensure that we develop the right sense of courage.
We want to first start on ourselves and to work on purification of our heart & intention, to face away from sin. Courage in doing this will enable us to then develop ourselves further and achieve so much more.
The pursuit of this will not be easy and it is important to remember that Allah will never let us down so we should keep trying again and again. Allah has a plan for us!
“La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah” – There is no strength (to do good), nor power (to resist evil) except with Allah
Beyond this, we can focus on the forms of courage listed earlier by making a list of things that we find difficult / scare us. We need to ask ourselves what about the particular task we find difficult. From the list, we can then find the easiest ones to eliminate and work on facing those fears (but wisely). Ideally we want to find company who can support us and help us grow out of our fears. There are also many resources, and training etc that we can also use, depending on what it is we choose to face.
No matter what we decide to do, we must also rely upon seeking Allah’s help too.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ، وَالْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ، وَضَلَعِ الدَّيْنِ، وَغَلَبَةِ الرِّجَالِ
Allaahumma ‘innee ‘a’oothu bika minal-hammi walhazani, wal’ajzi walkasali, walbukhli waljubni, wa dhala’id-dayni wa ghalabatir-rijaal
O Allah, I seek refuge in You from grief and sadness, from weakness and from laziness, from miserliness and from cowardice, from being overcome by debt and overpowered by men (i.e. others).