A teacher asked 60 students of his class to inflate one balloon each. Then he asked the students to write their names on the balloons. He then kept all the balloons in one room and said to the students: You have now ten minutes to find your balloon. Now everyone entered the room and started finding out their balloons. There were 60 balloons and 60 students and every student was supposed to find out his balloon. Now whoever would pick up the balloon it would turn out to be someone else’s balloon. As a result, only a few students could find their balloons and the time of ten minutes was over, and the rest of the students left empty-handed. The teacher said to the students: You have used the traditional method. Everyone tried to enter the room together and only find his own balloon, therefore you all could not succeed. Just ponder! If you had used the strategy of entering the room one by one, taken out any balloon that comes into your hand in each attempt and given it to the student whose name was written on it, perhaps you all would have had your balloons even before ten minutes. I did not lay down this condition that you should only bring your own balloon out of the room, not the balloon of others! Having heard this, the students were astonished. After this the teacher advised them by saying: The person who all the time keeps in mind his own interest by thinking that whether others get or not but I should get such-and-such a thing, then even other people do not care for his benefit either. Similarly, the person who sacrifices for satisfying the appetite of others at Dastar Khuwan (Dining mat), so automatically the other person will also be anxious to satisfy his hunger. It is said: Do good, have good! I have heard and seen the same in my life that the people who are generous and do not become stingy in benefiting others are more successful than the ones who all the time remain anxious to get any benefit for themselves.
Dear students! You should also try to uphold this principle for the pleasure of Allah Almighty, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه you will succeed.
Dear Islamic brothers! From this fictitious parable we can learn a lot. We want to do many things in our life, but we cannot do all of them, but some of them are done, some are left incomplete and then we become worried about the works which are left incomplete. Just ponder, if we are habitual of carrying out every work in a specific and traditional manner! For example, in order to obtain 4 we usually add 2 to 2 or we multiply 2 by 2. However, when needed it can also be obtained in many other ways such as:
* (12/3=4) * (5-1=4) * (3+1=4) * (3+5-4=4) * (17-13=4) * (9-5=4)
The purpose of mentioning the examples is that try to change your method, perhaps the new strategy works and you may escape failure.
Lost treasure: The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has said: اَلحِكْمَةُ ضَالَّةُ المُؤْمِن، فَحَيْثُ وَجَدَهَا فَهُوَ أَحَقُّ بِهَا i.e. Knowledge and wisdom is the lost inheritance of a believer. Wherever he finds it, he should get it. (Tirmizi, vol. 4, pp. 314, Hadees 2696)
O devotees of Rasool! You must have heard the name of Sayyiduna Luqman Hakeem رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ, he was the maternal nephew of Sayyiduna Ayyub عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلاَم. He is called Hakeem because Allah Almighty blessed him with Hikmat and wisdom. The following is one of his wise sayings: My son! Do not become so sweet that you be swallowed and nor become so much bitter that you be spat out. (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 4, pp. 213, Raqm 4891) Hikmat is also called intellect and understanding as well as understanding of matters and firmness in actions are also called Hikmat. (Siraat-ul-Jinnan, vol. 7, pp. 484; summarised)
Hikmat and wisdom are needed everywhere. If you want to succeed in life or avoid failure then the role of strategy is very important. Let’s understand this thing from a fictitious parable: A king of an old age had been looking worried for many days. His old and best friend asked the reason, the king said: I have been observing strange matters for some years. Whatever important thing I share with my ministers it reaches public and in this way royal secrets are revealed which bring about loss. I investigated a lot but could not catch the one who reveals the secret. The king’s friend advised him: Meet every minister separately and tell every minister a separate secret, then see which secret is revealed to public. In this way, your criminal can be caught. On the same night the king told every minister a different secret and urged everyone not to share it with anyone. The following day until the evening the secret had been revealed which the King told the minister named Tariq. In this way, by virtue of the strategy of his best friend, the one who would reveal royal secrets was caught.
Readers of monthly Faizan-e-Madinah:
Few strategies are presented here. Act upon them according to occasion and situation with a little change as required, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه you will find it beneficial:
1 Many parents remain worried about the stubbornness of their children. They can reduce their worry by following ‘give and take policy’ instead of saying ‘No and not at all’. It is in this way that they can reduce their worry by accepting those demands which are not harmful and try to provide the substitutes of those demands which are harmful. For example, if a child wants to play with a toy pistol, so he can be coaxed into giving a toy jeep or a toy car. If you try to convince your child, he will also try to convince you and at the end of the day it will result in stubbornness and there will be a trouble after all.
2 Scolding a child all the time makes him obstinate. If you give him gift and persuade him, you can easily make him accept what you want. Sayyiduna Zubayd Iyami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه was a Mu’azzin in the Masjid of his neighbourhood. He would say to children: O children! Offer Salah. I will give you walnuts. Children would come and offer Salah and after that they would gather around him. We asked him: Why do you do this? He replied: I have no loss in buying walnuts for five dirhams if they start offering Salah regularly. (Hilyat-ul-Awliya, vol. 5, pp. 35, Raqm 6220) But keep in mind that the gift for which the child is promised should be given. Otherwise, you will not be able to control him in future.
3 ‘Tit for tat’ usually proves to be harmful. Politeness is an excellent strategy because fire can be put out with water not with fire.
4 Those who make a mountain out of molehill definitely invite troubles. Learn to ignore trivial matters, otherwise your life will become difficult. People stop giving importance to those who notice small issues unnecessarily.
5 Do not interfere in the matters of anyone until it becomes compulsory for you as per Shari’ah and real practice such as so-and-so should wear this, eat it, come here, should not go there etc. If you indulge in this practice, people will get sick of you and will start avoiding you.
6 Similarly, in the collective matters of office, organization, school, college, etc. the person who does not create problems for others on trivial matters remains happy. So, be the person who does not create problems for others and as a result people will not create problems for you either. Learn to sacrifice personal interests for collective benefits. When you do it, people will like to join your company.
7 For some pieces of work there are some special people. Let them do their work. Do not start teaching a butcher the methods of cutting meat when visiting the butcher shop and nor do start teaching a bus driver driving, but keep in mind: Every man to his trade.
8 When you take a huge amount of money or expensive things somewhere, do not check your pocket or bag by placing your hand over and over again on it, otherwise the thief or dacoit from whom you want to stay away will guess by your posture and movements that you have money or precious things.
9 Do not give suddenly sad news to anyone such as ‘Your shop is on fire.’ ‘Your young son has passed away.’, etc., but rather first give a reasonable explanation. In this connection, read the following account: Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Sulaym رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهَا gave the news of her son’s demise to her husband in this manner: First she asked a question from her husband: O my beloved husband! Tell me. If we have anything belonging to someone as a trust and he takes the trust back from us, will we mind it or feel displeased? Sayyiduna Abu Talhah رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ said: Not at all! The person whose trust it is should be returned to him happily. Having heard this reply of her husband, Sayyidatuna Umm-e-Sulaym رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهَا told: My beloved husband! Today the same thing has happened at our home. Our child who was the trust of Allah Almighty with us has been taken back by Allah Almighty today. Our child has passed away. (‘Uyoon-ul-Hikayaat, pp. 6; summarised)
10 If you experience a break failure in your vehicle or the tyre of your vehicle bursts, so first thing that you should do is to control yourself; do not lose your senses. It is said when a tyre bursts, one should not slam on the brake immediately out of nervousness otherwise the car may overturn. وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ
11 If someone is addressed by wrong names such as ‘potato’, ‘bear!’ etc., though it greatly hurts that person and it is Haraam, if he wants to avoid it in future, he should not feel irritated and show anger, otherwise they will make him a laughing stock. However, those who ridicule should be advised gently.
12 When you go to a gathering, avoid sitting on a seat of the first row because you may have to vacant it (as a token of respect) when any superior personality gets in and there is no seat available for him. After that you may get a seat, not in the second or third row, but rather in the last row. So, it is better to occupy a seat in the second or third row.
13 If an animal or bird such as a dog, bee, wasp or eagle chases you, adopt the strategy according to the nature of the animal because there are some animals which stop chasing if you stop in front of them, whereas some animals do not chase if you walk at a normal pace. It has been observed that if you move your hands and feet haphazardly before bees, they will attack you more savagely. So we should have correct information about what reaction should we have to which animal or bird or insect, otherwise we can be in trouble. For example, if a dog chases a person, he becomes frightened and starts running, but the dog also starts running after him. Then the person falls to the ground after hitting himself against something and the dog overpowers him. In short, it is not effective to run in front of every dog; in fact, it is effective to stop in front of some dogs. If you move at a normal pace without paying any attention to some dogs, you can get out of their range. If a dog is stray and mad, one should get out of its range at all cost, otherwise he can even lose his life. In short, you should employ the strategy according to the animal.
14 If you get stuck in a crowd and try to make space by pushing others, it will make you feel tired and cause inconvenience to others. Move ahead as space gets clear. If you do it, you will not need to struggle more to get out of the crowd.
15 Similarly, if there is a stampede somewhere because of a huge crowd, do not run with them by losing your senses, but rather reach a place behind a pillar, car, or building, walking at a normal pace, or climb up a high place on a terrace, etc. When the situation improves and becomes normal, immediately get out of the place.
16 Some parents and elders neither see the situation nor the time! They keep lecturing their children at all times. Do not do so, otherwise children will get bored and not pay attention to what you say. A study shows that there are at least five such times when a child is in receptive mood:
٭ When a child starts sleeping at night, he is in a learning mood. Therefore, many children request their parents to tell them a story. At that time, if they are told an instructive story, they will remember the lesson for a long time. (Note: In the monthly magazine Faizan-e-Madinah, many such stories are published every month in the topics related to children. These stories can also be told.)
٭ When a child is sitting with you in a car or a bus, he is in a receptive mood; therefore, he asks different types of questions. At that time, if we continue to use our mobile phone or quieten him by scolding, we may miss this opportunity.
٭ A child can be taught good things while having a meal as per the situation.
٭ When a child is bedridden due to a fever, etc., he is in a learning mood at that time as well. At that time, whatever advice you give to your child can be effective for him.
٭ In the same way, many things can be taught and advised at the waiting room of an office or bus station or railway station or airport.
٭ In our society, if there is anything wrong in the administrative matters of an institution, school or university, such as water finishes or electricity goes off, people usually make a complaint in this manner that they first criticize the concerned administrator in a hurtful manner and try to prove him incompetent and unworthy, and then he is asked to solve the problem. Just ponder! Will he be sad, or be over the moon and solve your problem in no time? If he becomes stubborn, there can be an extraordinary delay in your complaint getting resolved. Anyhow, its effective method is to first appreciate his good performance in the past and then mention the problem in a gentle manner and request him in a humble tone to solve it.
O devotees of Rasool! Remember, all that has been mentioned are not formulas but rather pieces of advice. You have to act upon them according to your understanding, wisdom and information. Anyhow, the problem which cannot be solved in a traditional manner should be solved in a new different manner and strategy. Sayyiduna Imam Ghazali رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه has said: The person who earns Halal sustenance continuously for forty days and does not mix Haraam morsel in it, Allah Almighty brightens the heart of that person with His Noor and the springs of wisdom start flowing out of his heart. (Kimiya-e-Sa’adat, vol. 1, pp. 344)
Ilahi! Apni rahmat say Tu hikmat ka khazeenah day
Hamayn ‘Aql-e-Saleem Maula! Pa’ey Shah-e-Madinah day
May Allah Almighty help us!
اٰمِيۡن بِجَاهِ النَّبِيِّ الۡاَمِيۡن صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم