“Change” is important in our life. A business that does not embrace change may sooner or later, die. However, changing a human being is not as simple as changing a procedure or a manual. That’s because changing a human to become better does not only require effort but also requires patience, honesty, sincerity and love.
To change someone you love becomes even harder when he or she has been living that way most of their life. A person may have been so used to practicing a certain way of life until they are too comfortable to care for any change.
Of course, as a normal human being we tend to think that the way we can change someone is by commanding or persuading them. However when it doesn’t work, our motivation goes down and our hope becomes thinner.
Well whenever we talk about change, we should always look back at how Allah swt has taught the Prophets to change the whole mankind. Indeed, the Prophets were chosen by Allah to not just change one man, but the whole of mankind! SubhanAllah! Just like how the Prophets have managed to change people, you too have the possibility to help people change! Today we’d love to share with you a story of someone so dear and close to Rasulullah ﷺ , A’li bin Abi Talib r.a.
Ali’s Stolen War Shield
So the story of A’li r.a started when he lost his war shield. He tried searching for it but to no avail. Then he found a Jew who was also holding a shield. He immediately recognised that it was indeed the war shield that he was searching for. So, he claimed that it was his and asked the Jew to hand it back to him. Of course, the Jew refused and refuted. That’s when they both agree to bring the matter to court.
In the court, the judge asked A’li r.a , who was the Khalifah at that time, if he has any proof to show that the shield belongs to him. A’li r.a with so much humbleness then answered that he unfortunately did not have any proof. Consequently, the judge decided that the war shield should go to the Jew and A’li r.a can’t do anything but agree with the outcome.
Following this event, the Jew was amazed by the act of A’li r.a given that he was the ruler at that time and had the power to seize the shield if he wanted too! So the Jew went back to A’li r.a and declared that such beautiful act was really the rulings of Rasulullah saw. And because of this act, it made him revert into Islam. He wanted to give back the shield to A’li r.a but A’li r.a presented the shield to him as a gift for his reversion.
The Best Way is Through Character
From this story, we can learn that the best way to change someone is actually by having the best of character ourselves. It is also a great reminder that one should change him or herself first before planning to change someone else! This is actually aligned with what Allah has stated in the Quran too – “O, you who believes, why you say that which you do not do? Indeed, it is a great hatred to Allah that you say that which you do not do” (As-Saff: 2-3). However, this doesn’t imply that you have to be all perfect in order to encourage someone to change. Simply try your very best to improve yourself, so that you may inspire others to change too.
Never Give Up!
As mentioned earlier, to change a human requires patience – a lot of patience! Remember that it didn’t take a day or even a year for Rasulullah saw to convince the Polytheists to revert. It took many years! Some, refused to embrace the teachings of Islam even until their death came. The same thing applies even to those who were very close and dear to Rasulullah saw like his uncle, Abi Talib. If this does happen to you, keep your chin up, because you will surely still be rewarded by Allah for your good efforts and intentions. Always keep in mind that what matters most to Allah is not result but your pursuit – “And that his effort shall soon be seen” (An-Najm: 40). So, never give up because Allah knows!
Great! Now that we know that it is possible to change someone for the better. And better yet, all your effort will be rewarded by Allah! Don’t be all discouraged anymore! Remember that the best way to change someone is through your own character. Perhaps you can’t see it now but who knows maybe you’ll be the one who have planted a little seed of light in the hearts of others, which will eventually grow to be a shining sun of wisdom. May Allah ease!