In this article, we will continue the discussion of the requirements needed to build a new habit.
When we choose for ourselves a higher goal or objective; and when we see that the tasks before us are difficult and many, we may experience the feeling of weakness and the fear of failure. How should we face this situation?
We have a great example in the Prophet.
Mohammad (ﷺ) was given the mission of the Prophet and the Messenger receiving the last revelation at the peak of prophecy. This weighty and heavy task was not covered up or underestimated in any way or shape. On the contrary, Quran told the Prophet from the outset: “Soon We shall send down to you a weighty message.” [73:5]
There should have been a strong incentive for the Prophet to liberate himself from the cover and the comfort of the cave where he received the message. And he did not come back to it!
There should have been a strong incentive for the Prophet to migrate from the cave, i.e., from the state of being to the state of becoming in response to the order from Allah. “O you wrapped up! Arise and deliver your warning.” [74:1-2]
What was that incentive?
The Prophet had to believe in the One who is larger than him, larger than his life, larger than the Universe he was reflecting on, and larger than the message itself.
“And your Lord, you do magnify.” [74:3] made Mohammad (ﷺ) stronger than the tasks waiting for him no matter how big or multiple they are. The Prophet went full cycle and produced the results without doubt or reluctance. “Nor you weaken, so you don’t see (the tasks) many.” [74:6]
When we allow weakness to creep into our hearts, we see the tasks many and difficult to tackle.
Now, we can put the subsequent verse in its perspective. “For your Lord be patient and constant.” [74:7]
Patience is a needed attribute that gives us the resolve and the strength to endure while we are waiting for the desired outcome.
Whoever practices patience gets closer to Allah who is the most patient, Al-Sabourالصَّبُور. In return, listen what the patient believers receive:
“Give good tidings to those who patiently persevere.” [2:155]
“Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” [2:153]
“Allah loves who patiently persevere.” [3:146]
In addition to patience, prayer gave the Prophet the strength to execute his mission successfully. Quran tells us that prayer and patience go hand in hand and they are the tools to assist us in our mission. “O you who believe! Seek help with patience and prayer.” [2:153]
Why prayer? Prayer reminds us continuously of our ultimate and highest qibla, Allah. It is not by random but by design that we enter prayer by saying Allah-Akbar.
Prayer and patience empowered the Prophet, strengthened his resolve, and increased his self-esteem. All the tasks before him became much easier to undertake. The burden remained the same, but the Prophet became stronger, and the heavy weight was felt lighter.
“Have We not expanded for you your breast? And removed from you your burden which did gall your back?” [94:1-3]
The message from the parents to their children, from the educators and teachers to their students, and from mentors to their mentees must be the following:
Elevate your stated goals and believe in them. Do not be frightened by the obstacles on the road to success but face them with patience and perseverance. Prayer is the fountain of patience that does not dry up. Tap into it during challenging times. The prayer of Mohammad (ﷺ) was an integral part of his response to every challenge. He would resort to prayer whenever he faced a challenging matter.
By Dr. Walid Khayr