Man shall attain only that which he strives for, so says the book of guidance which distinguishes the truth from error, the criterion. The implication is that we are not to gamble about life.
We are to make deliberate choices, to plan and act in accordance with verifiable and objective criteria. We are not just to wish or dream or to pray only, but to reflect and visualize and work that vision with passion, then PRAY.
So in management classes, we are taught to plan, act and review. We are also told to ensure that our plan is SMART, that is it must be simple, not complex or confusing because if it is, we too can get stuck. We are to ensure that it measurable, as well as realistic and have a timeline or time-bound within which we can mark our milestones.
Yet there is the last “T” which many of us in our illusory overconfidence does not factor, Trust in Allah.
No matter how perfect we plan, all things being equal, we do not own the time within which we are to achieve our objectives or goals in life. Nor, do we know what Allah has in stock for us despite our preparation and perfection of our design or the orderliness of our implementation.
That is why our intelligence, creativity or creativity must not deceive us to the extent of going to sleep in confidence or assume that everything is perfect. Insha Allah, we must submit and conclude that Allah knows best or if Allah Wills because wa mokaru, wa makarallah, w’Allahu khaerun maakirin. Also, He Allah is the best disposer of our affairs.
We might have done all the research and considered all the variables, we might do all the permutations or the predictions, we might have factored everything that needs be factored, yet situations or contexts can still be altered because the Owner of time did not will or that the One who inspires, the “All-Knowing” knows what is better for us or knows the best order for us to follow
So if we falter or fail in our plans, we are not to be frustrated nor should we be fooled or full of ourselves when the order is fast or the success is frenetic and free.
In either situation, we are to be careful, conscious or composed. We are to watch and always be in touch with the One who teaches, the Owner of the Pen who writes the order of life.
Dear beloved ones, let us be aware, and there is every evidence from the Criterion, that failure or success are two sides of the same coin. Under the one that faces up is the other. So, the one that turns up is not the absence or denial of the other. It also does not symbolize the permanence of either.
So, if our affairs get muddy in certain times despite our brilliance or perfection of our plans, we are not to be frustrated or desperate because patience is the key element for the clarity of purpose and mission. We are to develop keener insight to see through the mud and the sediments. And if our success is fast-paced, we are to consciously be applying the breaks or be thinking and asking, is this not a drive to death?
The reality is the speed and smoothness of a journey leads to early arrival or the end of the journey. Early arrival itself has intricacies. For, in arriving early, we hunger for more, desperate for fresh challenges. Or we despair over its sustainability because much time is still available.
Dear beloved, the attitude we must adopt is that no matter how solid is our plan, how orderly is its implementation or how lofty is attainment, we are to always consider that as Not The Ultimate, Not The End. The real success is the peace and freedom whether our plans fail or succeed.
I say this because success can enslave and lead to more hunger or lust, a kind of lust in which we are lost in the luxury of what success brings and so we lose connection with our Creator, losing conscience in the process or even losing life in the consuming passion of enjoying our success.
If our plan flops or fails, this is not yet a failure. You fail only when giving up. When you flop, it might be for you to have more experience, to cover more field on your field. It might be to delay you for a better opportunity, get greater cuts or deals. It might even be to restrain or hold you down from meeting a disaster.
It might be for you to develop keener insight and meet more benevolent chances. If we are conscious of these truths, we will never be floored in failure or consider our person or performance as flawed. Rather, we will see more chance and a better choice.
The true believer is therefore not to be fretful in uncertain timed or when his plan flops nor is he to fool himself as a superhero when he finishes gallantly.
Whatever we achieve in an affair is not the end at all. It is to test our trust in Allah and perhaps we might be grateful or fretful because inherent in both the success and failure of our plans are big trials.
In every effort are chances of success if we are patient and watchful if we journey with Him who gave us the idea and created for us the chance or opportunity to plan and work our plan. In the end, WE ARE ALL BLESSED.
By Abdulwarees Solanke Director, Media & Strategic Communications,
Muslim Public Affairs Center
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