Ten Principles of Success in the light of the Seerah

Principles of Success—
In the light of Seerah
By Maulana Wahiduddin Khan


It is a well-known fact that the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) was the supremely successful man in the entire human history. But he was not just a hero, as Thomas Carlyle has called him. According to the Qur’an, he was a good example for all mankind. He has shown us the way of achieving supreme success in this world.

By studying the life of the Prophet we can derive those important principles which were followed by the Prophet. In short, the Prophet of Islam was a positive thinker in the full sense of the word. All his activities were result-oriented. He completely refrained from all such steps as may prove counter-productive.

First Principle: To begin from the possible
This principle is well explained in a saying of Aishah. She said: "Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice." (Al-Bukhari)To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible, and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal.


Kindness to Animals

The Prophet (pbuh) not only preached to the people to show kindness to each other but also to all living souls. He forbade the practice of cutting tails and manes of horses, of branding animals at any soft spot, and of keeping horses saddled unnecessarily. [Sahih Muslim] If he saw any animal over-loaded or Milad he would pull up the owner and say,
"Fear Allah in your treatment of animals." [Abu Dawood]
A companion came to him with the young ones of a bird in his sheet and said that the mother bird had hovered over them all along. He was directed to replace her offspring in the same bush (Mishkat, Abu Dawood)

During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird's painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (pbuh), who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Sahih Bukhari]

As his army marched towards Makkah to conquer it, they passed a female dog with puppies. The Prophet (pbuh) not only gave orders that they should not be disturbed, but posted a man to see that this was done.

He stated, "Verily, there is heavenly reward for every act of kindness done to a living animal."


The Light of the Prophet by Dr. Badawi

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Some of the Prophet’s Companions were given to see this light as even brighter than both the sun and moon, for when they walked with him they noticed that he cast no shadow on the ground.[10. al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi] Those who saw him in the full moon noticed that his blessed face was brighter than the moon,[11. Tirmidhi] and one of his Companions, the Lady Rubayyi‘, when asked to describe him, said, "My son, had you seen him, you would have seen the sun shining."[12. Tirmidhi]

The light of the Prophet shone at all levels, it filled the material, intermediary, and spiritual worlds, dispelled the darkness of ignorance and disbelief, and is destined to shine across the ages till the end of time.

That this light was physical as well as spiritual was borne witness to most amply by those who saw him. The Lady ‘A‘isha related how she saw the whole room fill with light one night, then it disappeared, while the Prophet continued to call upon his Lord. Then the room was filled with a more powerful light which disappeared after a while. She asked, "What is this light I saw?" he said, "Did you see it. O ‘A‘isha?" "Yes!" she replied. He said, "I asked my Lord to grant me my nation, so He gave me one third of them, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked him for the rest, so He gave me the second third, so I praised and thanked Him. Then I asked Him for the third third, so He gave it to me, so I praised and thanked Him." She said that had she wished to pick up mustard seeds from the floor by this light she could have.[13. Abu Nu'aym in Hilia.] In the famous description of Hind ibn Abi Hala, the Prophet’s stepson from the Lady Khadija, "He was dignified and awe inspiring, radiant like the radiance of the moon on the night it is full…"[14. Tirmidhi in Shama'il, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, and ibn Sa'd.] Ibn ‘Abbas described how he saw light shining from between his front teeth.[15. Tirmidhi in Shama'il, Darimi, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, and ibn Asakir.] Abu Qursafa, as a boy, went to swear allegiance to the Prophet, together with his mother and her sister. When they returned home they told him, " My son, we have never seen the like of this man, nor anyone better looking, cleaner dressed, or gentler in his speech; and we saw as if light came out of his mouth." [16. Tabarani.]

Short Quotes

Superiority only in Rightousness

On a certain occasion the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) was travelling on his camel over hilly terrain with a disciple, Uqba Bin Aamir. After going some distance, he asked Uqba to ride the camel, but Uqba thought this would be showing disrespect to the Prophet (s.a.a.w.). But the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) insisted and he had to comply. The Prophet (s.a.a.w.) himself walked on foot as he did not want to put too much load on the animal. [Nasai]