Amina came to me filled with frustration, exhaustion and angst over how much her workplace was demanding from her. She felt they didn’t value or respect her time and it was definitely taking its toll. Her health had deteriorated significantly, her relationships were strained, and she felt spiritually depleted. When I asked her whether she had raised this with management, I heard her sigh and could see her sink into her chair, already resigned to her current situation.
Amina was hesitant to approach management as she was worried about losing her job or creating a commotion at work. What I found most interesting was the fact that although she was describing all the physical symptoms she was experiencing as a result of work stress, managing her health was nowhere on her radar. Our time together involved examining her life purpose and what the best version of herself looked like. As she explored, she began to appreciate the link between her health and spirituality. She no longer was willing to fulfil the demands of her workplace at the expense of not fulfilling the rights of her body.
Along with shifting her outlook, she reconnected with her life’s purpose and built on her Tawakkul. This helped her generate a deeper level of courage; one that was driven by her trust in Allah. Amina realised that Rizq (sustenance) is from Allah and was no longer willing to compromise her physical or spiritual health.
Armed with this newfound courage, she rose above any concerns of compromising her career path at work and took action.
I’m pleased to say, she approached management, discussed and agreed on new work boundaries but when work kept pressing and demanding, she had the courage to walk away and is now busy setting up a new business, one that is close to her heart. Even though this process has not been easy, Amina says her life has much more meaning and this gives her a much greater sense of inner peace and fulfilment Alhamdulilah.
Many of us hesitate in life, just like Amina did, and step back from taking action because we get so caught up in our fears and worries. Perhaps we wanted to share our point of view but felt too uncomfortable or nervous to say what’s on our mind. Or we received negative feedback and responded in a defensive manner that we later regretted. Or we saw someone treated unfairly and turned a blind eye because we didn’t have the confidence to speak up.
If any of the above sound familiar, it is my hope that this article inspires you to follow in the footsteps of our prophets (peace be upon them) and take the path of courageous action when faced with challenging situations. This is the path that I’ll be teaching in my upcoming 6 week – Confidence masterclass (learn more here) designed to help you:
- Stay in control of how you receive and respond to negative feedback; this includes not reacting impulsively or from a place of ego and being able to create moments of pause to determine your most mindful and best response.
- Take action and speak up in alignment with your authentic self even in the face of doubt or difficulty.
- Develop a heart filled with Yaqeen (certainty) and Tawakkul (trust in Allah); enabling you to make those harder choices knowing His Help is near and whatever He decrees is always for the best.
We tend to think of courage from a modern day perspective to mean believing in oneself, taking purposeful action regardless of any personal risks, to drive forward with confidence during times of fear and uncertainty.
But what if there’s a deeper level of courage that we need to tap into…a level of courage that can be learnt from prophets which could yield even greater results.
Prophetic Examples of Courage
The courage of our Anbiyah (peace be upon them) was rooted in their Yaqeen (certainty in Allah). This created the highest levels of courage within them because it influenced how they saw themselves, situations and what they believed could be achieved. They knew that along with their efforts, they had the Help of Allah. They knew their vision was limited but with Allah’s support, they could create unimaginable outcomes.
Their hearts and actions were aligned with this ayah:
As a Confidence coach, I have spent the last 6 years researching, studying and coaching people on how to develop spiritually centered confidence (Article: What is Spiritually-Centered Confidence?). This experience combined with my research led me to create a framework called the Belief Model ™ designed to help others generate those higher levels of spiritually rooted confidence.
Here are few Prophetic examples which illustrate courage using the Belief Model:
We can see from the above examples that developing this level of courage enables you to tap into deeper levels of your potential, helps you stay connected to your true self and see past other people’s judgement. With modern day understanding of courage, we are still limited by our self belief but with this spiritual framework of courage, the possibilities are far more expansive.
Why is it important to develop Prophetic Courage?
With Prophetic courage, we could walk the intentional path knowing in our hearts that even micro actions can achieve macro results – the Barakah Effect! We could find comfort in the knowledge that there is an infinite powerful source supporting our own efforts. Too often we get distracted with seeking self-serving dunya results. However, having a mindset that relies entirely upon Allah would help extend our goal line to seek outcomes beyond our self and to serve our Hereafter too.
For example, if you approached your manager at work requesting space to perform your compulsory prayers, exercising that spiritually fortified courage could result in a designated prayer room used by generations of Muslims to come!
But what happens if they say no?
Even if management declines your request, this courage will allow you to continue to fight for your right to pray despite any career or social impact. Your priorities and actions will be driven by a more meaningful purpose and any concerns will be washed away by a deep sense of trust that Allah will take care of you and reward your efforts.
Armed with this courage, your conduct and interactions with others could also change the way all Muslims are perceived and treated in your work environment. Speaking up against an unjust practice that’s been in the family for generations, could pave the way for an entire culture to be changed.
The blessing in this model of confidence is that the less self-centric we become, the more our real confidence can grow.
Our Islamic history is rich with inspirational examples of courageous people who embodied bold spiritually rooted confidence in the face of the most unthinkable situations. When they relied upon Allah, their courage took on an even greater form, which enabled them to take on bigger tasks. Their actions reverberated for centuries afterwards, affecting generations of people and their faith. Their courage was nourished and nurtured by their love, reliance, and Yaqeen in Allah and that gave them superhuman-like strength to stand firm in the face of huge tests.
For example, Nusaybah Bint Ka’ab (radiyallahu anha) was the first female warrior in Islam. During the battle of Uhud, Muslims started to flee the scene as they faced impending defeat. Upon seeing this, Nusaybah ran in the opposite direction straight into battle to shield the Prophet (saw). She fought so bravely to protect him, that he made duaa for her and her family on the battlefield itself.
SubhanAllah, these acts of heroism were not just as a result of their belief in their own ability, it was fuelled by a higher purpose and their total reliance, conviction and trust in Allah.
How can these stories relate to us today? These examples show us the power of faith. If we only rely on ourselves, we’re limited to what we think we’re capable of in the moment. But with Tawakkul, a whole ocean of possibilities opens up as we believe wholeheartedly that there is no limit on Allah and what He can do for us. This creates another level of courage, resourcefulness and solution-focused determination.
Practical Tips to Develop Prophetic Courage
Have you ever wanted to share your point of view but felt too uncomfortable or nervous to say what’s on your mind?
Practical tip: Shift the focus from how you might look or sound to the potential value they could gain from your point of view. How can they benefit from what you have to say?
Have you ever received negative feedback and responded in a defensive manner you later regretted?
Practical tip: Take a few mindful breaths. Bring your attention to seeking understanding of the other person’s actions through the lens of compassion and visualise the greater good that can be achieved if you choose a more forgiving response.
Have you ever seen someone treated unfairly and turned a blind eye because you didn’t have the confidence to speak up?
Practical tip: Focus on what Allah would want from you in that moment and think about how you could intervene with that in mind. Perhaps you could also approach the person being treated unfairly with empathy and help them explore their options.
I invite you to reflect on areas in your life where you could show up more courageously.
How could the Prophetic examples of courage help you do that?
If you’d like to hear more about this, listen to the recording of my recent webinar on “Prophetic Model of Confidence” where I explored examples of Prophetic confidence and how we can apply it to modern day scenarios.
What you could achieve with more Prophetic courage will also be covered in the upcoming Confidence Masterclass, where I’ll be guiding you through a 6-week programme teaching you how to develop spiritually centered confidence using the Belief Model™. You can learn more about it at barakahacademy.com/confidence/.