Once, a man came to the court of the Khalifah and proclaimed, "I have an amazing talent, if I may...?" The Khalifah gestured for the performer to come forward. The performer paced to the middle of the courtroom and fixed a needle into the ground. He took ten steps back, pulled a second needle out of his pouch, aimed, and sent the needle through the eye of the first needle. An uproar was heard from the courtiers, acknowledging the marvelous performance. The performer stood beaming, waiting for a handsome reward. The Khalifah exclaimed, "Present one hundred dinars (gold coins) to the man..." As the reward was brought from the royal chambers, the Khalifah cleared his throat and bellowed, "...and give him one hundred lashes!" The courtroom was thrown into a sudden silence. The performer's broad smile turned into a frown, and the courtiers stood with heads bowed down, not daring to challenge the Khalifah's order. Eying the audience, the Khalifah explained in an irritated tone, "One hundred dinars for such amazing talents and one hundred lashes for channeling them in such useless pursuits."


This anecdote exemplifies the Hadith:

عن أبي هريرة بحديث يرفعه قال الناس معادن كمعادن الفضة و الذهب...(الصحيح لمسلم ج-٨ ص-٤١، دار المنهاج)

Narrated from Abu Hurairah, attributing it to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, that he said, "People are mines like mines of silver and gold..." (Muslim vol.8 pg.41, Dar Al Minhaj)



Just as a miner has to dig deep to find gold and silver, a person needs to exert himself to unearth his talents. But that's not all. The greater challenge is to channel one's talent(s) in the right direction. It is very simple for each person to serve the Deen through his profession or craft.


Today, the Ummah is in dire need of people with expertise in different fields utilizing their respective talents in the establishment and upliftment of Islam. Just as we need competent Imams to fill our Musallahs, we require doctors and medical professionals to establish hospitals and clinics offering treatment in an Islamic environment. Where we need experts in Hadith and Fiqh, we also need Muslim historians to record the factual events of today (the last two decades will record Muslims as barbarians unless explained otherwise) and Muslim economists to introduce Islamic commercial values to a world drowning in interest.


Though there may be many challenges and obstacles, one must persevere to accomplish his goal. If a miner were to be intimidated by the massive boulders and rocks blocking his path, how would he ever excavate valuable minerals, silver, and gold? If a miner was scared of the long, dark tunnels, how would he accomplish his goal? Determination, courage, and perseverance are from the salient qualities of our predecessors. When Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet, pleaded with him to put a stop to his mission upon the persistence of the Quraish, the Prophet   replied:


يَا عَمِّ، لَوْ وُضِعَتِ الشَّمْسُ فِي يَمِينِي وَالْقَمَرُ فِي يَسَارِي مَا تَرَكْتُ هَذَا الأَمْرَ حَتَّى يُظْهِرَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى أَوْ أَهْلِكَ فِي طَلَبِهِ (دلائل النبوة للبيهقي ج-٢ ص-١٣٥، دار الحديث)

"O my uncle, if the sun was to be put in my right hand and the moon in my left (In other words, if I was given everything of this world), I would not abandon this mission until Allah Ta'ala grants it success or I die in attaining it" (Dalail Al Nubuwwah of Baihaqi vol.2 pg.135, Dar Al Hadith)


Molana Ilyas Saheb   on a journey to the mountains of Mewat said to his companion, "How many mountains did Rasoolullah  not have to climb in spreading the Din? This is the first time that we have had an opportunity to climb a mountain. What a great bounty of Allah."[1]

Iqbal, the famous poet, says:

"When an eagle's spirit awakens in the youth, it sees its abode in the heavens."


Now it is our turn to uphold this legacy. Let us personify the celebrated texts of Islamic literature that speak of a great glory that contributed to a dynamic Ummah.


Written By: Hisham Dawood  

Student, Darul Iftaa USA        

[1] Hadrat Mufti Mahmud Hasan Sahib Gangohi and the Tabligh jama'at, pg.19


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