Enjoy your life (under construction)

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  • Enjoy your life (under construction)

  • Why do we search for skills?

    I once visited a deprived town to deliver a lecture, after
    which there came to me a teacher from outside the town. He
    said, “I hope you can help us finance some students.”
    I said, “Strange! Aren’t the schools government funded, and
    therefore free?”
    He said, “Indeed they are, but we would like to fund their
    university education.”
    I said, “Well, the universities are also government funded.
    They even offer student grants.”
    He said, “Allow me to explain to you...”
    “Go ahead”, I said.
    He said, “Our students graduate from their secondary school
    with no less than 99%. They are so clever that if their intelligence
    was divided amongst the ummah, it would suffice! But when a
    student becomes determined to travel outside his town to study
    Medicine, Engineering, Islamic Law, Computer Science or anything
    else, his father prevents him from going, saying, ‘What you
    know is sufficient! Now, remain with me and be a shepherd!’”
    I screamed impulsively, “Be a shepherd?!”
    He said, “Yes, a shepherd!”
    And indeed, the poor boy stays with his father and becomes
    a shepherd, whilst all his abilities are wasted. Years go by and he
    remains a shepherd. He may even get married and have children
    whom he may treat exactly as he was treated by his father.
    Hence, all his children also become shepherds!
    I asked, “So what’s the solution?”
    He said, “The solution is to convince the father to employ
    someone as a shepherd for a few hundred riyals, which we will
    pay, and allow his son to take full advantage of his skills and
    abilities. Of course, we will also continue to fund his son until he
    The teacher then lowered his head and said, “It is inexcusable
    that such skills and talents in people are wasted when they
    long to utilise them.”
    I contemplated upon what he had said and realised that we
    cannot reach the pinnacle except by taking advantage of the abilities
    we have and acquiring those that we do not.
    Yes, I would challenge anyone to find a successful person,
    be they successful in academia, preaching, lecturing, business,
    medicine, engineering, or influencing others; or be they successful
    in family life, such as a successful father with his children, or a
    successful wife with her husband; or be they successful in their
    social life, such as a person who is successful with his neighbours
    and colleagues – and I mean a truly successful person, not one
    who simply climbs upon others’ shoulders! – I would challenge
    anyone to find me any such highly successful person who does
    not practise certain interpersonal skills through which he has
    been able to achieve such success, whether they realise it or
    Some people may exercise such interpersonal skills instinctively,
    while others may have to learn them in order to be successful,
    and these latter people are the types of successful personalities
    whose lives we would like to study and whose methods
    we would closely seek to follow in order to discover how they
    were successful, and to find out whether or not we can take
    their route to success.
    A while ago, I listened to an interview with one of the most
    affluent people in the world, Shaykh Sulayman al-Rajihi, and found
    him to be a mountain in terms of his manners and thoughts. This
    man owns billions, possesses immense real estate, has built hundreds
    of mosques, and has sponsored thousands of orphans. He
    is hugely successful. He spoke of his humble beginnings around
    fifty years ago, when he was a regular person who would only
    have enough money to feed himself for the day, and sometimes
    not even that. He mentioned that he would sometimes clean
    people’s houses to feed himself and continue working at night
    at a shop or money exchange. He discussed how he was once
    at the bottom of the mountain, and how he continued to climb
    until he reached the summit.
    I thought about the abilities and skills he possesses and realised
    that many of us are well capable of being like him, if Allah
    grants us the ability. If one learns these skills, exercises them,
    perseveres and remains steadfast, then yes, he can surely be like
    Another reason for us to search for these skills is that some
    of us may have certain abilities, which we remain unaware of, or
    which nobody has assisted us in discovering, such as the skills
    of delivering a lecture, business acumen, or possessing general
    One may discover these skills on his own, through a teacher’s
    or a work colleague’s help, or even through a sincere brother,
    however few they may be! However, these skills may remain
    buried inside the person until his personality becomes as stale as
    anyone else’s, and this is when we all lose out on another leader,
    lecturer or scholar, or perhaps a successful husband, or a caring
    Here we will mention certain skills which we would like to
    remind you of if you already possess them, or which we would
    like to train you in if you don’t. So come along!
    A thought...
    When you climb a mountain, look to the top and not to the
    rocks that surround you. Make sure of where you step as you
    climb, and do not leap in case you loose your footing.

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