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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lessons From The Past

I love this story and its implications. Its from the life of prophet Mohamed (pbuh). Many of the problems the Prophet faced in his life are very similar to what we experience today. There is alot to learn if we analyzed the strategic thinking of the Prophet. So the story goes like this: When the prophet was assigned with the task of spreading Islam, he started doing so in secret first. Few people, mostly black and slaves, started converting and rumors started to spread about the new religion. The rich and wealthy in Mekka were not happy about this new religion mainly because it calls for equality between the rich and the poor, the slave and the free. Their natural response to maintain their status was to fight Islam and they started torturing the prophet's followers to force them to convert back. The Prophet's decision at that time was to move from Mecca to the neighbouring city of Al-Madina. This decision is really the key of the story. The Prophet did not say, I am gonna stay and God will help us. He did not say it does not matter if the followers died because its for a good cause and they will eventually be rewarded in the after life. Instead, the Prophet was practical. He had a plan and long term goals. He recognized his weakness and that staying in Mecca would slow down the spreading of the religion. He decided to move to Madina where muslims can grow in size and power. And it did not exactly happen over one night. It took around 8 years before Muslims were strong enough and went back to Mecca but this time victorers. What's interesting to note from this story: is that it is not enough to only have a just cause, you need strength as well. Otherwise your voice won't be heard and the facts could be distorted and you won't have the means to correct that. In the Prophet's story, when the Muslims seized back Mecca, the Prophet did not take revenge but instead set his enemies free. That had an enoromous effect in making more and more people convert to Islam. Can we learn from this story and apply it to what's happening in our lives today?