In the 9th session of the Leadership Legacies, we discussed Practical Wisdom.
Practical wisdom is about:
- Foresight and thinking ahead.
- Using experience to apply it to your situation.
- Integrating knowledge into your judgment.
Ibn al-Qayim writes:
“Wisdom is to act as one should, in the manner that one should, in the time that one should.”(Madārij al-Sālikīn 3/449)
Many examples of practical wisdom in the sunnah range from the illegality of alcohol to a bedouin urinating in masjid Al-Nabawi. This bedouin entered the masjid, he prayed, and then he casually answered the call of nature! The companions were up in arms and so angry but the Prophet (SAW) asked them to stop, not say anything, and let him first finish urinating. Afterwards, he asked someone to clean it and kindly taught him not to do it again. The bedouin said
“The Prophet (SAW) stood before me – may my mother and father be ransom for him – and he (saw) neither cursed nor scolded nor hit [me].”
SubhanAllah look at the adab, the etiquette, the wisdom. The bedouin says he would ransom his parents for the Prophet (SAW)! The Prophet SAW knew to reach this person’s heart in his approach and that is practical wisdom.
The art of knowing the right thing to do at the right time, in the right way is a skill we all want to attain and should try to aspire towards. A leadership quality is to see ahead and anticipate how things may unfold, with the ability to forsee consequences.
Implementing it in Charity Week:
- How often we make rash decisions?
- Do we do what’s best for us and our teams or think about the bigger picture?
- Do we ask those with experience for their advice before taking steps?
- Do we take time to learn ourselves before doing something?
3 Steps to using Practical Wisdom:
- Think long term (10 steps ahead).
- Deliberate, then consider all of the relevant factors.
- Use skills, experience, and knowledge (or counsel with those that have it), and then move forward accordingly.