Failure is a ladder to success
By: Ayatullah Jafar Subhani
One of the secrets of success is that we should not fear failures. Rather, we must pick up the sweet fruits hidden in defeat. Failure is like a mirror, which shows us our weaknesses and defects accurately.
Great and wise people consider failure as a bridge to victory. They endeavor to see that the causes of failure are not repeated. In fact they do not consider failure as defeat. What they really fear is that they should never be disheartened or demoralized.
History shows that many victories came after defeats. It is so because the failed person enters the field again with a new determination and spirit and achieves success as he is convinced that the distance between success and failure is very less.
Those who fail but do not get disappointed are the ones to give up so easily. They continue to march forward gradually with a strong will and rest only after reaching their goal.
In the battle of Uhad, Muslims had to taste defeat due to an act of disobedience. But that defeat was so educative that it cleared the road to future success.
Napoleon says, "I have seen so many defeats that I have now learnt how to defeat the enemy."
And what an apt statement is made by someone else: For those with weak spirit defeat is a fatal poison but for powerful souls it is a ladder to success.
In the Islamic Law, despair is considered a great sin. An apparent effect of defeat is disappointment but since the days of old people have said: The brightness of dawn comes after the end of a dark night.
It is also said that sometimes hope remains hidden behind hopelessness and disappointment. Hope follows hopelessness.
The great Iranian military commander Nadir Shah was determined to conquer Baghdad after capturing Kirmanshah from the Turks. He also conquered Samarrah, Kerbala, Najaf and some other towns of Iraq and then besieged Baghdad. But very soon, Topal Shah reached there with eighty thousand selected warriors to break the siege.
That army of the Ottoman Turks was armed with heavy artillery and numerically too they were more than the Iranians. During the fighting the horse of Nadir Shah was hit by an arrow, which drowned that animal in blood. The Iranian soldiers imagined that Nadir Shah was killed so they disintegrated and anarchy spread. When Nadir Shah saw this he ordered retreat. Nearly 30,000 Iranians and 20,000 Turks fell in this battle. The Turks took control of the entire artillery and arms of the Iranians. Nadir Shah reached Mandali with surviving soldiers most of whom did not even have shoes on.
In the eyes of the ordinary people this defeat has finished the Iranian army. But what gave salvation to Nadir shah was that he did not accept defeat, as his spirit was till alive. After returning to Hamadan, he collected fighters from all over Iran and prepared a fresh army within two months. There were at least 2,00,000 men it. Then he went to Kirmanshah. From there he went to Karkook and gave a severe defeat to the Turkish army. Then he surrounded Baghdad once more and compelled the Turkish warriors to surrender. As a consequence the Turkish government had to promise that all the Persian lands would be returned to Iran within ten years.
The Persian King plucks Sweet Fruit from a Sour Tree
Behram Shah was very fond of hunting. But he was totally unaware of the conditions of his people. He used to become pleased merely by seeing his well-managed military and the flattering talks of his courtiers. He knew nothing about innocent prisoners languishing in his jails.
In such circumstances a war broke out on the borders of Iran. The king was compelled to ask help from the people. But they did not pay any attention to his call and did not cooperate with him, as he had not cared for them. The king was shocked to see this. He began to think about the reasons of his helplessness before his masses. He realized that there was some irregularity in the government administration, which he did not know, and that irregularity had turned the people against the regime.
One day, he went out of the city in disguise. There he suddenly saw that a man had hung the skin of a dog in front of his tent. The King of Iran went forward, said Salam to that person, introduced himself as a traveler and asked the reason for hanging the dog skin. After much persuasion the man replied, "I was maintaining myself with the help of some sheep that used to graze in this greenery. This skin is of a dog, which used to guard them. My shepherd and I were hopefully thinking of expanding our work. But after a few days the shepherd came and informed me that wolves had taken away a sheep. He brought similar sad news for two or three days continuously. So I became suspicious about the dog. Then the shepherd and I kept a vigil on the dog for a whole night. We observed that the dog had cultivated sexual relations with a female and his passion had allowed the wolves to attack our herd. So we have hung its skin here that people may understand that such is the end of those who accept a responsibility and then show dishonesty in their duty.
This story shocked the king who told himself, "Perhaps, the reason of my failure is that I had over confidence in my courtiers." Thereafter he personally contacted different sections of the public without informing the yes-men of the court. He found that the unhappy people were not allowed even to complain and that a number of innocent people were imprisoned for not paying ‘illegal’ taxes.
He instantly brought about a kind of basic revolution. He transferred his courtiers, ministers and officers, punished the oppressors and thus regained the confidence of his masses. Soon thereafter he began to get support from all the sections of the society.
The Defeat of Hitler
Hitler had met defeat in the way Napoleon had suffered defeat. Napoleon had marched to conquer Moscow in a severe winter. So he could not succeed and this thoughtless gesture proved to be the cause of his downfall. Had Hitler learnt a lesson from Napoleon’s defeat he would not have repeated his mistake. Hitler invaded Russia in the scorching heat of summer on the 2nd June of 1941. He also saw almost what Napoleon had seen. Initially the German forces got some success and the allies had to retreat. Germans pursued them but thereafter the Germans had to suffer many difficulties in surrounding cities like Leningrad in a very hot season. Russians attacked them severely and the Germans were defeated.