We will review the 3rd component which marks the characteristic of the Great Muslim Innovators of the Past as per Dr.Tareq Al-Suwaidan’s assessment in his series, “The Innovators”. And just a reminder, the first part covered the early stages of these great individuals which were full of blessings from Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala) that prepared them for the great life they’ll lead, and covered the individual’s development of direction and vision, each of them having a focus in their lives and a passion to pursue.
So, on to component 3 and its elements:
3. Completing the building
Before the Great Muslims could give, they had to take and learn and become experts in their fields, the following are elements which they followed, and which anyone should follow if you wish to become a contributor to your chosen field:
- Learning: Once you’ve decided on a vision, and decided on a field, and a focus in life, start learning about it, learn everything you can learn about this field. Soak up knowledge, and reach the highest standard of knowledge in this field. If we look at the Great Muslims of the Past, this was their trait, they would learn, learn and learn, before giving back and adding to their field.
- Try to be with the pioneers in your field: Try to be close to those who are considered experts in the field you’re interested in, become their students, follow their research, discuss their findings. You can truly understand a subject by being with the experts in the field.
- Desire: Don’t give up, and let your desire for knowledge be like a thirst that you cannot quench. Keep on learning and and drinking from the fountain of knowledge. This desire should keep you going when you’re down, or seem overwhelmed.
- Continuous training: knowledge is one thing, and applying that knowledge is another. Training is key for one to become an expert in their field, especially a field that is applicable to daily life. Try to imagine yourself in the shoes of the expert, and think how you’d react/respond to certain situations/questions.
Onto the last and final part on this reflection upon the characteristics of the Great Muslims of History by Dr. Tareq Al-Suwaidan, here is a summary of what we’ve learnt so far; we understood how the innovators and great minds of history have a unique beginning that prepares them for what they shall achieve in life, and that these beginnings are blessings from Allah (Subahanahu Wa Ta’ala). We then mentioned that the Great Muslims had a focus, and picked a field and dedicated their life to it. And in the last post, we went through how for the first part of their lives, the great minds spent a great deal of time soaking up all the knowledge available in their field.
Now, we reach the last and final grand characteristic from this series of Secrets of the Great Muslims:
4. The Giving Part
- Great & Continuous Accomplishments: We reach now the giving part of the life of the Great Muslims, and this is characterized by not just one, but many accomplishments, and these are all great accomplishments. As soon as they accomplish one thing, they move to the next bigger thing, and that’s their life, giving back to the world more than what they took.
- Determination that surpasses any doubt or trouble: Some of the Great Muslims went through a lot of trouble, especially political trouble, but that didn’t stop them. We hear of scholars who produced volumes and volumes of books whilst they are imprisoned. Others taught hundreds of students when they are in exile, their determination surpassed any attempt of discouragement.
- The Students/followers: A teacher is only remembered by his students. The Great Muslims of the Past would have students that are exemplary reflections of their teachers. Most of the great characters of history who died without leaving behind many students or followers, were either forgotten and their mark in history didn’t last.
- The balance: Having said all the above, the Great Muslims also kept their work/life balance correctly. They weren’t workaholics, yet they produced a lot. And that’s a secret of Muslims, we have something called “Barakah”/Blessing, which multiplies our efforts, and multiplies our achievement by Allah’s permission.
This is the end of the small lens lending insight to great characters and innovators of the past, I hope you enjoyed reading it. I would also recommend that if there are any ‘great Muslims’ as there are many whom we can learn from, you share them with us at ProductiveMuslim.com so we can gather up the life lessons and attempt to follow in their footsteps..