Aim as high as your imagination allows

March 17th, 2014 @   -  No Comments

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) had a very clear and unambiguous vision for what he wanted for himself and his Ummah in this life and the hereafter.

For the hereafter, he repeatedly told the people around him that following the guidance of Allah and His messenger would lead them to paradise. Also, the more good they do, the higher their status in paradise would be. If they don’t follow the guidance of Allah and His messenger, they will end up in hellfire.

For this life, the Prophet (PBUH) wanted to spread Islam in all corners of the world to save as many people from hellfire as he could. In addition, spreading Islam would establish peace on earth where people are honest, trustworthy, and aware of Allah watching over them so they would refrain from wrongfully taking what does not belong to them and harming others. This goal is clear in the Hadith in which the Prophet (PBUH) promised `Adi ibn Hatim At-Ta’iy three signs when he accepted Islam: that Islam would reach the east and the west; that the companions would obtain the treasures of Kisra, the king of Persia; and that peace would be spread all over the world when Islam reached the east and west so that a woman would be able to travel alone from Yemen to Hadramout not fearing anything but Allah and the wolf.

As a leader, what kind of goals have you set for yourself and your organization?

Traditional goal setting literature would start by explaining to you how you set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. This literature is very useful in helping you with the techniques of goal setting.

What I would like to touch on in this article is how you, as a Muslim, would differ from other leaders when it comes to the types of goals you set.

As a Muslim leader, you have a lot in common with other leaders in terms of worldly goals. You and your organization may also share many of their values, which are generally universal and timeless. You would differ from them, however, by linking your goals to those of the Prophet (PBUH).

Whatever goals you choose to set for yourself or your organization must be linked to your ultimate goal of gaining entry into paradise. In addition, your goals in this life must contribute to making this world better for all of God’s creatures. That would include the following:

  • Allowing everyone to live in peace regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnic background, color, or language. There are Muslims who sometimes look at others on a war footing. They feel they are at war with the rest of the world. However, Muslims are at peace with the vast majority of the world except where war is actually taking place. They therefore need to be a mercy for all creatures. Allah tells His Prophet (PBUH), “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures” (Quran 21:107).
  • Participating in just causes with Muslims and non-Muslims. This is a vast area of action. It includes every type of good action whether related to spreading peace, helping the needy, promoting the right education and knowledge, or protecting the environment.
  • Being a good and productive citizen. Participating in building the country or community we live in is an obligation for all Muslims. When the Prophet (PBUH) arrived in Madina, which at that time was a foreign land to him, he got to work with other residents of Madina to make it a great place for all. It was related that “When people saw the first fruits of the season, they brought them to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). He took them and said, ‘O Allah! Bless us in our fruits. Bless us in our city. Bless us in our saa* and bless us in our mudd*. O Allah! Ibrahim is Your slave, Your Khalil and Your Prophet. I am Your slave and Your Prophet. He prayed to You for Makka. I pray to You for Madina for the like of what He prayed to You for Makka, and the like of it with it.’ Then he called the smallest child he saw and gave him the fruits.” This story confirms that all the prophets of Allah did their best for whatever land or people they came across.

How high should you aim? The Prophet (PBUH) taught us to aim for the highest possible places in paradise. He also taught us that Allah will reward us according to our intentions even if we don’t achieve our intended goal. Therefore, aim as high as you can and leave the rest to Allah. Nothing is big for Allah and He will facilitate whatever is good for us and those around us. Even if you don’t achieve your goal, you will still get the reward.

* The ‘saa’ and the ‘mudd’ were measures of weight during that time.

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