This article is a contribution by fellow blogger, avid reader and a great analyst, Umer Ilyas
Grooming of Kids – The Directional Part…
[We all have kids and siblings. Their education and futuristic grooming is important to us, and we employ all the techniques whatsoever to make sure they learn and become the best of human beings and excellent in their professions, social settings and successful in both lives. It is with this backdrop of success that this comment has been written.
I have had experience of selection out of hundreds of thousands of candidates, and have been looking into layers of personalities, origins of strengths / weaknesses as well as potentials of leadership / otherwise, grooming standards of Cadet Colleges, various boarding Schools as well as bonded institutes of Pakistan Armed forces. During this diverse experience, I have assessed kids of generals, gardeners, bureaucrats, cooks, drivers, peons, shaheeds, imams, farmers, teachers, widows, land lords, businessmen, physicians, to mention a few out of a wide variety of Parents. In the backdrop of my experience and as an interest of study, I have ventured into this area during formal and informal research activities.
I have following submissions to make. The views are however based on my knowledge and experience, and as such form my personal opinion only]
In the jargon of physics, human qualities are vectors. Meaning thereby, human qualities have magnitude as well as direction. The energies and strengths form the magnitude, while the objective forms the “direction”. I cite following examples for explanation:
– Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed for either of the two (Umr bin Khattab and Amr bin Hashshaam) to be blessed with Eemaan. Well, they both had their strengths, however, later, it was not the strengths those mattered. It was the “direction”.
– Khalid bin Waleed (RA)’s military tactics were equally killing before he embraced eemaan (refer Ghazwa e Uhud’s results). Well, after that it had Allah’s blessings added. So, his change of “direction” mattered.
– Ma’az and Muawwiz (RA) were kids, with an aim, during Ghazwa e Badr. They were fiercely persuasive for their objective. What mattered was not their age or height or fighting skill or energy. It was their “direction”.
– Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was working as Secy of Congress in the same zeal. However, when he left them (after knowing their designs / future plans), his “direction” changed. There came a miracle in the form of Pakistan (Masha-Allah).
– Junaid Jamshed changed his “direction” to be a much better human being (insha-Allah) in the eyes of Allah. From a common man’s perspective, his “direction” was changed in an exemplary manner.
– Muslim soldiers fighting in Indian Army as well as Pakistan Army during 1965 war did not have much difference in training or expertise. It was “direction”.
Various studies have been carried out with focus on projected assessment of kids on the basis of childhood habits, sibling order, family composition, culture and many other diverse factors. While there may be a thousand areas, viewpoints and explanations of human behaviour, it is a fact that man is a complex being when it comes to psycho-social issues, factors and effects. Then there are surprises, like it was a big surprise for me to know that Steven Spielberg had dyslexia (a learning disorder) and Jim Carrey had ADHD.
Generally speaking, a man is made of following:
1. Nature (Something that is different for everyone, since birth. Like, people are meek, loud, soft, easy going, ease loving, determined, sharp, smart, aloof, etc, etc).
2. Aptitude (The God-gifted package: including IQ / mental capacity, physical well being, five senses, body, soul, natural & basic instincts, etc. Here it is significant to mention that Allah gives a level-playing field to all of us. If someone lacks one out of five senses or a body part since birth, they are compensated in equal terms on other grounds).
3. Integrity, Moral Courage, Concepts & Mannerisms (Which are functions of Grooming by elders, seniors, society and environment in which a person is brought-up. It includes home, street and school environs, as well as society, media, etc at-large).
4. Skills & Knowledge (Which are functions of training and “saw sharpening”).
5. Habits (Which are functions of one’s routine behaviour and form most part of his unconscious / spontaneous acts and words).
6. Qualities & Attributes (Which are observable to others. These are the external view of one’s personality, or how it looks like from outside).
7. Attitude (The way one thinks, feels and acts. The most important element of personality in my view. It is the futuristic barometer of personality. Just like aircraft – nose up / nose down – it defines the future of a person. Attitude is so strong that it effects above factors to a large degree).
Now, talking about Success…
After having studied and researched hundreds of people across human history, who were regarded successful, I must say that like “hero”, “successful” also is very much relative in terms of community-thoughts, conceptualizations, nations, schools-of-thought, social norms, religions, cultures, etc. However, the definition that I found in Soorah Al Asr was the most relevant, most beautiful and most true: “Eemaan, Good acts, Enjoining Haq and Enjoining Sabr”…[Al Asr: 3]
I’d agree that what most people define success as which involves materialistic gains through occupation / profession, and unabated popularity among people. This definition is perfectly okay. I’d summarize it as: Rizq and Izzat.
The honest part is that we all gauge success through this same very criteria, and not from Soorah Al Asr…… + In a society that we live in, the benchmarks of success are worldly and we are all part of this society. We like it or not, our conformations are to the social standards and to break the social inertia is a difficult thing to do.
However, The Book has following guidelines for rizq and izzat.
“Indeed, the most honourable of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” (Al-Hujuraat: 13).
“Say: O Allah, O Lord of the Kingdom, You give kingdom to whom You will, and take kingdom away from whom You will; and You bestow honour on whom You will, and bring disgrace to whom You will. In your hand lies the good. You are surely powerful over everything. (Aal e Imran: 26)
“And enjoin upon thy people worship, and be constant therein. We ask not of thee a provision: We provide for thee. And the sequel is for righteousness.” (Taaha: 132)
“And whoever fears Allah, for him Allah brings forth a way out, and gives him provision (rizq) from where he does not even imagine.”(At-Talaaq: 2/3)
“Verily thy Lord does provide sustenance in abundance for whom He Pleases, and (for some) He provides in a just measure: for He does know and regard all His servants.” (Israa: 30)
“Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but in nearness to Allah is the best of the goals. (Aal e Imraan: 14/15)
“And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you.” [Al Israa: 31 and Al An’aam: 151]
However, since Islam is a system (1) and a way of life (2) (and not a ritualistic “-ism”), every thing is part of the process. This entails that rizq / izzat is promised by Allah, given all the prerequisites are complete. Like for rizq, effort is to be made, and for Izzat, righteousness is a must. This clarification is stated at this point because, many people get misled on the concepts of rizq and izzat by looking around (their view of) the world, and do not take into account the larger picture in context.
With my above description of Personality determinants and Success, I state to explain that that real success is the result of conforming to Creator’s Will and Criteria (fame and wealth will come handy). Most important challenge for Parents should not be the future success of their kids in terms of fame and wealth. It should be in terms of Eemaan (Attitude, Habits), Good Acts (Qualities & Attributes, Skills & Knowledge), Enjoining Righteousness and Steadfastness (Integrity, Moral Courage, Concepts & Mannerisms).
1. System is a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network; a complex whole.
2. Way of Life consist of the code of conduct, behaviours and habits that are typical of a particular person or group.