Because good enough, never is.
The lamp which he lit shines undiminished across the ages, generations and centuries and spreads its light across the earth and into the lives of all those who are willing to open their hearts to his message.
If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who would dare to compare any great man in history with Muhammad (PBUH)? Philosopher, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images, the founder of twenty terrestrial empires and one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?”
Leadership of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) | Extraordinary Qualities
Faith, in the language of Islam is Tawakkul.It is a dynamic process that is based on the interaction of three factors: Patience in the face of hardship and thankfulness for Allah(SWT)’s bounties; repentance for our transgressions and mistakes and seeking Allah(SWT)’s pleasure and closeness to Him by His worship because we love Him.
Rasoolullah(SAW) had powerful, deep, enduring and unshakable faith because of his complete reliance on Allah(SWT) for success whereby he simply did what he had been ordered to do without allowing anything, including his own judgment, to interfere in the way that he had been ordered to follow.
Who but a Messenger of Allah(SWT) could have the courage, fortitude and perseverance to continue on a mission when there was no material proof to show that it would ever succeed? Who but someone with total certainty in the worth of his mission and faith that in the end it would be successful could find the energy to continue onwards in the face of disappointment after disappointment? Who but a Nabi could have a heart big enough to take rejection after rejection, yet not falter in the least about taking his message to people who showed no sign of appreciating or wanting it?
It is only when people realise the return that they get from something that they are able to commit to it. For Rasoolullah(SAW) this was never a matter of the slightest doubt. But his major achievement was in building a generation which shared his commitment and proved it to the final extent by giving their lives for the cause. He was able to do this by setting a personal example which left no doubt in anyone’s mind about the extent of his own commitment to the message of Islam; living it and propagating it. Not only did Rasoolullah(SAW) demonstrate this commitment but so did his Sahaba who learnt this lesson very well from him.
Allah(SWT) created a generation of people around His Nabi who were benchmarks in themselves.It was the Will of Allah(SWT) that Muhammad(SAW) was to be the last of the Messengers and so it was necessary to create successors who would take the message onward. They were the Sahaba of Rasoolullah(SAW), who he called the Best Generation.
Rasoolullah(SAW) had a task very different from any Nabi and much more complex. The task of all the Anbiya before him was to get people to accept their message. So they had followers. The task of Muhammad(SAW), who was to be the last of the Messengers of Allah(SWT) and the Seal of Prophethood, was not only to convey his message but to create a generation of people who would take his message onwards across the lands and down through the centuries until the end of time.It is the Baraka of the Seal of Prophethood that the work of Da’awa was given to the Ummah.
Quality is the single biggest differentiator, the single biggest inspiration for followers and the single biggest guarantee of ongoing success.
For Rasoolullah(SAW) and his Sahaba, the Salah was the meter to measure everything. Salah was the definer of their lives. Salah was what they turned to for all their needs. Salah was their quiet time, their time with their Rabb, the recharging of their energy. Salah was their way of relaxation, distressing tool and their strength. Rasoolullah(SAW) used to call to Bilal bin Rabah(RA) and tell him to call the Adhaan for Salah, saying, ‘Farehna biha Ya Bilal,’ (Give us happiness through it O Bilal). It was Salah through which Rasoolullah(SAW) gave his final message about his successor and it was the Salah of the Sahaba which made him so happy, which was the last sight that he saw of the outside world before he met his Rabb. So it is only natural that Rasoolullah(SAW) described quality also in terms of Salah.
The leader must have the courage to go where nobody dared to venture before in the world of the minds and spirits of men. He must question what was always assumed to be correct. He must challenge beliefs handed down from generation to generation and accepted as being real. He must stand for the truth no matter what the cost. He must support the oppressed, the weak and the deprived and stand up to the raw power of the oppressors, no matter who they may be. All these things help the leader to inspire trust, the very foundation of leadership. A leader must not only be trusted personally but people must have faith that to follow him will benefit them. Leading, by definition, is from the front. And so leading is a matter of great courage. People don’t rise to low expectations. They rise to high expectations. People need leaders they can look up to; not down on.
The leader must simultaneously have great clarity of vision and strategy. It is not sufficient to merely dream of great things if one has no clue about how to achieve them. The leader must be able to dream and then to lead his people on a path that actually leads to the fulfillment of that dream. To be extraordinary is to be able to do both the ephemeral task of dreaming and the concrete task of translating the dream into an actual roadmap with milestones. Then it consists of finding people to fulfill the many roles that are bound to emerge because no leader can do everything himself. Without a team of highly competent and dedicated people to implement the strategy, the greatest of dreams must remain relegated to the realm of desires. Recruiting a team, inspiring them to give their best, training and directing them and finally watching them from the sidelines as they fulfill the tasks that they have been trained to do are all roles that the extraordinary leader must perform.
Finally the extraordinary leader must create a system that can take his legacy onwards, long after he has gone the way of all life. For personal charisma that remains untranslated into processes is destined to die with the leader – remembered with nostalgia perhaps, but of no benefit to those who come after. For any great enterprise to succeed, its leader must lead its transformation from being person-led to becoming process-driven. Failure to do this successfully invariably leads to the legacy of the leader not transcending the generation change.
Rasoolullah(SAW) set the standard of extraordinary leadership so convincingly and clearly that even his worst enemies were forced to speak in his favor. The most famous incident which illustrates this is the conversation of Abu Sufyan with Heraclius, the Roman Emperor of Byzantium, when the Emperor received Rasoolullah(SAW)’s letter.
Excerpt from Sheikh Mirza Yawar Baig book – “Leadership Lessons from the Life of Rasoolullah: Proven techniques of how to succeed in today’s world”