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Law of Navigation: Anyone can Steer the Ship, but It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
The Law of Navigation states that it’s the leader who sets the vision for his people, and then he leads them to that vision.
Are there words to describe the incredible vision of the Prophet ? Can you imagine what it would be like if you and the people you led were tortured, boycotted, mocked, murdered and driven out of your homes and still having the wherewithal to talk about conquering Rome and Constantinople? Allahu akbar! How amazing is that? The Prophet always kept the greater vision for his people at the forefront of his mind and the minds of his people. He never took his eyes off the ultimate prize and greater mission.
He had the vision and foresight to:
- send Musab to Madinah long before he made hijra in order to develop a following there before his arrival.
- send the believers to Abyssinia even when they didn’t want to leave.
- always remind the people of the greater life to come.
- sign the treaty of hudaybiyya despite some of his companions objections.
- listen to his advisors in the battle of the trench and in the thwarted trip to Makkah for Hajj.
- develop young and dynamic leadership all around him so his work would continue after his death.
- know when to be patient and quiet, and when to step up and speak out.
- give the right roles to the right people at the right times; ibn Masud, Khalid ibn Waleed and Musab ibn Umayr are a few that come to mind.
These and countless more examples from the Prophet’s life show that he was a forward thinking person of great vision, therefore we should be the same.
Reflection Questions on the Law:
- How do we exemplify this quality from the Sunnah in our lives?
- What is our long term vision for ourselves, our families, our communities and our organizations, and what steps do we need to take to make that vision come to life?