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.
Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) preached to the people to trust in Allah (swt). His whole life was a sublime example of the precept. In the loneliness of Makkah, in the midst of persecution and danger, in adversity and tribulations, and in the thick of enemies in the battles of Uhud and Hunain, complete faith and trust in Allah (swt) appears as the dominant feature in his life. However great the danger that confronted him, he never lost hope and never allowed himself to be unduly agitated. Abu Talib knew the feelings of the Quraish when the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) started his mission. He also knew the lengths to which the Quraish could go, and requested the Prophet (s.a.a.w.) to abandon his mission, but the latter calmly replied,
"Dear uncle, do not go by my loneliness. Truth will not go unsupported for long. The whole of Arabia and beyond will one day espouse its cause." [Ibn Hisham, Sirat-ur-Rasul]
1638. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) forbade shaving a part of the head.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1639. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saw a boy, some portion of whose head was shaved and some of it was left out. He prohibited them from that and said, "Shave the whole of it or leave the whole of it.''
Commentary: This order of Prophet (PBUH) was based on the reason that that hair-style was then in vogue among the Jews and Christian priests and ascetics. This style was also popular with the group which was given to mischief and disobedience. This is, however, permissible in exceptional circumstances. In any case, either one should shave the hair completely or keep them in such a style that there is no resemblance with women.
1640. `Abdullah bin Ja`far (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (PBUH) gave respite for three days to the family of Ja`far (after his martydom). Then he came and said, "Don't weep for my brother after this day.'' He said, "Bring all of my nephews to me.'' We were accordingly brought as if we were chickens. Then he said, "Call for me a barber.'' He directed him to shave our heads which he did.
Commentary: Ja`far was the cousin of the Prophet (PBUH) and he was martyred in the battle of Mu'tah. Although martyrdom is an honour but even then the bereaved family does feel the shock of the loss. For this reason, the Prophet (PBUH) permitted them to give vent to their grief for three days. It should not, however, be taken to mean that he allowed them to lament and wail, because that is prohibited. What he actually allowed them was the natural weeping which does occur when people come for condolence and speak of the deceased. Such expression of grief is permissible after a period of three days also.
Therefore, what the Prophet (PBUH) had advised them was not in the nature of unlawful but natural. The children of the deceased called themselves "chickens'' as they were greatly enervated by the tragedy. This Hadith has been mentioned here to confirm the validity of shaving the hair of the head, especially of children, although keeping bobbed hair is more meritorious because the Prophet (PBUH) himself did so. Bobbed hair are cut short and allowed to hang loosely.
1641. `Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) prohibited a woman from shaving her head.
Commentary: This Hadith is also included in At-Tirmidhi but Sheikh Al-Albani has regarded it "Da`if'' (weak). Please see Ahadith Ad-Da`ifah. However, in order to avoid resemblance with men, this prohibition for women will stand. If it is required on medical ground then it will be permissible.