Pilgrimage (Hajj) was a great personal transformation platform. There are a plethora of opportunities to grow personally, professionally and spirituality. It is up to the Pilgrim to decide how to get the best out of these opportunities.
Think about it, there were more than two hundred Pilgrims in our Residence in Azzizia; a great mixture of people. We had Doctors, Engineers, Marketers, Financiers, HR Professionals, Teachers, Islamic Scholars, Volleyball players and Bodybuilders!
We were fortunate to be close to the room of the Scholars. In fact, the distance from our room to theirs was only 2 meters! Because of this proximity, we exchanged frequent visits and we chatted on different matters. We were amazed by the kindness and humbleness of the Scholars. We liked them so much. We will forever cherish these memories.
One of the Scholars is unique. I am sure he is more unique than what I think because I only knew him for two short weeks.
One of his unique attributes is that he records extensive notes during the lectures of other Scholars.
When I asked him: Why do you do this?
He replied with the most satisfying answer: “I never stop learning and I like taking notes because these notes will trigger many ideas for my future lectures.”
I love this attitude. I am a firm believer in Life Long Learning which will be an interesting topic to talk about in the future. The Scholar follows the advice of Prophet Mohammed (PBUHAHH): Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.
The other unique feature I noticed about him is the use of PowerPoint Presentations and the Data Show Projector for delivering his speeches. He has some great contents and graphics.
One day I invited him to our room to give us one of his famous and creative lectures entitled: Don’t Get Stuck in the Mud. In Arabic: La Tegharez.
I invited few Pilgrims to our room so that we all benefit from the lecture.
So here is some of what we saw and learned.
He started his presentation by revealing a slide showing a car stuck in the mud. Then, he showed another slide where another car was trying to pull the first car from the mud. Then, he showed us one more slide. Guess what, the second car got stuck in the mud too!
He continued showing slides of bigger cars and trucks which wanted to pull the first car from the mud. Guess what, they all got stuck in the mud.
He looked at us and said: What did you learn from this?
Think about it for a minute and share your thoughts with the group? (By the way, this is a good method for keeping the audience highly engaged and connected).
We all shared our thoughts and then he proceeded with his slides to reveal the lessons learned from this ludicrous situation and here they are:
Lesson # 1: History is a great teacher. Learn from it.
Are you a student of history? The World is full of insightful incidents, learn from them.
Lesson # 2: For every move you take, there is a knowledge you must acquire.
- When was the last time you connected the cables of a DVD player without reading the User’s Manual?
- In the age of internet, you can get useful information on any decision you are planning to make. Make use of this powerful tool.
- Will you invest in a company before researching its operations, performance and management team?
- Can you get married to someone you just met five minutes ago?
Lesson # 3: Learn from the mistakes of others.
The cars and trucks drivers should have known better on how to approach the situation. The total of cars and trucks stuck were five! Can you imagine that!
Lesson # 4: The danger of getting stuck in the Mud of Sins
He who steals an egg will steal a camel. There are no small or big sins. When you commit a sin, don’t think of it size but instead think of the size of God you are disobeying.
The scholar then shared with us few reasons on why people get stuck in the Mud of Sins and here they are:
- Going out with bad friends. One bad apple spoils the bunch.
- Ignorance. Someone once said: “We are all ignorant, only on different matters.”
- The lust for Worldly Pleasures. Don’t be a slave of your fantasies.
- Not listening to the advice of their parents. God bless us parents nowadays, it is very challenging to raise kids with the so many forceful factors of this age. Satellite Channels, the Internet and globalization.
You might say the lessons learned are just common sense. This might be true but the other truth is common sense is not common practice. This is what some people refer to the Knowing-Doing Gap.
This was our fascinating lecture on how not to get stuck in the mud. I wish you a safe life journey away from the muddy roads!