The true potential of Muslims is revealed in the Quran.
Let’s take a moment to read these two verses.
Forget everything about fighting. Just focus on potential.
“O Prophet! Motivate the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast among you, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are one hundred of you, they will overcome one thousand of the disbelievers, for they are a people who do not comprehend.” [Quran 8:65]
“Now Allah has lightened your burden, for He knows that there is a weakness in you. So if there are a hundred steadfast among you, they will overcome two hundred. And if there be one thousand, they will overcome two thousand, by Allah’s Will. And Allah is with the steadfast.” [Quran 8:66]
The ratio in the first verse is 1 to 10. In the second, it’s 1 t0 2.
So when all other things are equal, a believer can be twice to ten times better than a disbeliever.
Why? Allah said because 'they are people who do not comprehend'.
What the believer comprehends that the disbeliever doesn't?
The disbelievers don't believe in the Hereafter. So they hold on to their life on Earth. Also, they rely entirely on their preparation and strength.
On the other hand, life on Earth is just a passage for the believers. They get rewarded no matter the outcomes of a battle. Plus, their reliance is not only on their preparation and strength but also on Allah.
The condition to unlock this potential is to be steadfast. And what makes the balance shifts in favor of the believers is the power of faith.
Now, how can we apply this teaching in our daily life and hope to unlock a similar potential?
There are two types of work we need to do:
1- Catching up with others and having similar knowledge.
2- Strengthening our faith.
Imagine Muslims showing up to the battlefield with wooden sticks. No matter their faith, they would lose.
For winning, it is better to have the same equipment.
The same principle allowed Islamic civilisation to flourish.
The Golden Age started with a massive movement of translation. Muslims wanted to know what other civilizations have. By doing so, they caught up with the rest of the world.
The second part is to strengthen our faith.
And here I don't want to talk about rituals, obligations, or prohibitions, just about knowing Allah.
No one can know Allah entirely. But even if we know 1% more than yesterday, we can transform our life.
It will light up our hearts and expand our minds.
You would be surprised about how many Muslims have misconceptions about Allah, how He distributes subsistence, how a dua works, or what is the real meaning of relying on Him.
It is a waste to spend a lifetime praying to a God we know so little about it!
By doing so, we never get to taste the sweetness of faith, build the resilience to go through adversity, or unlock a potential available to us.
Personally, I don't believe in saviours who will come and fix everything in the Muslim community.
I believe in the silent and steady effort of developing ourselves over time.
With the Internet, Muslims have access to the same resources as anybody else.
Whatever the field we are interested in, we can find someone to learn from.
Some contents are free. Others we have to pay for. And this is normal.
Acquiring knowledge is an investment in time, money, or both.
The companions weren’t the only ones capable of showing extraordinary potential.
Ordinary Muslims of our time could too.
Someone like Ifran Hafiz left us no place where to hide.
Ifran was living in Sri Lanka. At the age of 18, his entire system collapsed due to muscle illness. He was bedridden for 19 years and living on a ventilation system.
The only thing working in his body was one finger. He taught himself to read and write in English. He published 3 books and sold thousands of them.
With one finger and faith, Ifran left this world as an inspiration for many people.
This kind of potential is available to all of us.
If we don't go after it now, then when? If not us, then who?
My goal is to revive curiosity in Muslims. I believe we can learn something from everyone. I write at The Muslim Shepherd: https://themuslimshepherd.org/
I write for the Muslim Shepherd.
The Muslim Shepherd has big dreams- awakening the dormant potential of Muslims. We want to empower Muslims so that they learn, grow, prosper, form strong communities, and become valuable to the world.
Let’s set a healthy foundation for the next generation of Muslims, so they can stand on our shoulders and continue our work, insha'allah.