Unrelenting Effort, A Secret of Success
By: Ayatullah Jafar Subhani
The system of world and every page of human history testify that everybody’s success is invariably related to his efforts. It takes hundreds of chemical actions and reactions for a small plant to become a big tree. Every living thing naturally knows that its existence depends upon struggle and efforts.
There are several reasons why our youths fail in their professions. One of the reasons of such failure is lack of continuous effort.
The rush of promising youths toward minor organizations shows that they have lost the enthusiasm and longing for great jobs. Consequently they become consumers of wealth instead of producers.
Lives of successful men show that each of them were ever struggling hard workers always making relentless efforts towards their goals.
Alexander Hamilton, a thinker and an intelligent man of his time says, "People say that I am very intelligent. But I am unaware of any such thing. I only know that I am merely a hardworking person."
Another wise man says, "Whatever I am today is merely the result of my effort. I have not partaken even a single morsel that was not earned by me with my own effort."
All the wonderful inventions are the fruits of untiring efforts of the scientists. The inventor of radio sometimes worked through the night while his family members slept soundly.
Edison, in order to complete some of his inventions, did not come out of his laboratory for days together. With an aim to control electrical energy in a way that its use may be cheap and easy, he often remained inside his laboratory for two or three days at a stretch. Sometimes he even forgot to eat. At other times he took only a few bites of dry bread and returned to his work immediately.
In the life history of the great French scholar, Pasteur, we see that the basic principle of his life was ‘work’. Sometimes he was so deeply engrossed in his work that he could not hear anything outside. So much so that when the Germans surrounded Paris and the guns were roaring, making deafening noise Pasteur was busy in his laboratory.
Napoleon slept only five hours a day and was busy the remaining nineteen hours daily.
A very intelligent scientist of the East, Ibne Sina (Avicenna) was a very studious and hardworking person. His numerous books on various subjects are the fruits of his relentless efforts. His masterpiece in philosophy Shifa and another of his great work Canon in medicine have earned global fame. Another of his book has been translated into several languages of the world.
Not a single day of the great Muslim scholar Ibne Rushd passed without reading and contemplating ever since he learnt how to read.
Jawahiral Kalam is a very valuable book and the fountainhead of Islamic jurisprudence. Till date no other Fiqh book has been written so comprehensively. Its last edition consists of around forty bulky volumes.
Muhammad Taqi Qummi is a great Iranian personality living in Egypt. He says, "When I showed all the aforesaid volumes to the professors in the University of Egypt and told them that all these books have been written so minutely by a single person they were astounded."
Another great scholar, the late Shahabadi, who was an expert in science, philosophy and scholastic theology, narrates that his father was one of the students of the writer of Jawahiral Kalam. One day when that great scholar’s great and intelligent son passed away and it was nearly midnight by the time bathing and covering of the body was over, it was decided to put the corpse in one of the rooms around the shrine of Imam Ali (a.s.) till the next morning so that more people may be able to attend the burial.
Though the author of Jawaahir had suffered a shocking blow just a few hours ago he did not postpone his routine reading and writing after reciting some parts from the holy Quran besides the body of the departed son. Thus he gave a proof of his extraordinary patience, endurance and fortitude.
The great Islamic jurisprudent, Agha Burujardi says: One night I was pondering over a problem of the principles of jurisprudence and making notes. I was so much engrossed in this that I forgot that it was time to go to bed. When I heard the Morning Azan I realized that it was dawn and that I had been working the whole night.
Let us now consider this. All of us have heard folk tales regarding treasures that lie buried in the earth guarded by huge dragons and that unless we overcome the dragon we cannot get the treasure. Though some believe it to be true the majority thinks it is just folklore. But let us think this way: Those treasures are, in fact, the mental or physical capabilities, which have been bestowed upon man, and the dragons are the barriers and difficulties, which come in the way of attaining those treasures.
Edison says, "None of my discoveries was accidental. Whenever it came to my mind that a certain work would be beneficial I used to engage myself in it. Then I used to conduct experiment after experiment until I succeeded."
Newton has said, "If I have reached any elevated status, it is only the result of work and effort."
Mc Launge says, "If people knew how much troubles I have taken upon myself for attaining this position of a tutor they would not feel surprised at my wonderful success."
In the words of Buzurgmehr, "Mouth must be kept shut and hands free; we must go on working with our hands and never talk of rest and should have faith that the golden key to success is effort."
Masterpieces Created in Prisons
Really, some people are indeed great. They remain restless like the waves of the sea. Love for work and longing for the goal keeps them busy forever and to such an extent that they do not cease working even in the most difficult moments of their lives.
The great Muslim historian, Ibne Khaldun, had written his masterpiece Muqaddimah during his exile.
The famous philosopher of the East, Khwaja Nasiruddin Tusi was imprisoned by the Ismailis at ‘The Fort of Death’. He wrote his world famous book Ishaaraat there.
Our great scholar, Shahid-e-Awwal had authored his precious book on the Islamic Laws, Lumaa in the prison of Damascus.
The History of the World was written by Sir Walter in jail.
Robin Crumm had authored many famous literary books during detention...
We conclude this discussion here and present the words of wisdom uttered by our respected religious leaders about hard work.
Work and Effort in the View of the Religious Leaders
The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) once saw a laborer whose hand had swollen up. The Holy Prophet raised his hand up and exclaimed, "The fire of Hell will never burn this hand. This hand is loved by Allah and His Prophet. Whosoever lives on his hand’s earnings will receive Allah’s blessings and mercy."
A worshipper once came into the presence of the Prophet and the Prophet was told that this person passes the whole year in worship and the maintenance of his family members is borne by his brother. The Holy Prophet said, "His brother, who bears the expenditure of this man’s family is nearer to Allah than this man. That man’s worship is more precious than of this."
Once Amirul Mo-mineen Ali (a.s.) saw a group of people sitting in the mosque of Kufa. On inquiry he was informed that they were ‘Rijalul Haqq’ meaning, they eat if someone gives them to eat otherwise they endured with patience.
Amirul Mo-mineen averred, "The dogs in the streets of Kufa are also doing like that." Then he ordered that the ‘Rijalul Haqq’ should be dispersed and that everyone must work to earn his livelihood.
Good fortune and prosperity comes to those who make efforts and work for it, not to the idle ones.
Those who have shaken the world were not extraordinary from the viewpoint of brainpower. The cause of their victory was hard work, effort and perseverance.
The great personalities of the world never hesitated to do small jobs for making both ends meet. Many of the brilliant students of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) were oil vendors, cobblers and camel-hirers.
Plato used to make up the expenses of his journeys by selling oil. The Famous botanist, Lena was a shoemaker.
It is pitiable that people look down at the job of coolies, though carrying weight is a gentleman’s honest work. If the Dockers at port or laborers of a city stop working even for a day everything would come to a stand still.
The great leader of mankind, Amirul Mo-mineen Hazrat Ali (a.s.) planted orchards with his own hands and later donated them to the needy people.
He had installed many tents in various parts of Medina with his strong hands. He was never ashamed of doing hard work.
The Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) had condemned a person who became a burden for society and said that such a person remains away from Allah’s mercy.
Our fifth Imam, Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) used to work in his fields and orchards even during the hot season and perspire there. He worked hard and also exhorted his men to do likewise.
Once his friend, Muhammad Mankadar took exception to this. He was of the opinion that it was not befitting for a personality of the Imam’s stature to toil like this. Imam told him, "To earn by ones own work is a kind of worship. Through this I want to make myself and my family needless of you and others."