“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” (Sam Walton)
Prophet Muhammed (sa) was the most perfect leader humanity has ever witnessed. He led by example, successfully reforming a society drenched in the darkness of falsehood. Those who followed him swam against the tide. It was their belief in self and their trust in Allah (swt) that helped them recognize and value their God-given abilities and use them for personal benefit as well as for the benefit of others.
Lack of self-esteem can result in falling prey to the false standards set by the society. In Surah Al-Maidah (5:20-24), Allah (swt) talks about Musa (as) and his people. After the exodus from Egypt, Allah (swt) instructed Bani Israel to enter Palestine and conquer it. But Bani Israel had lost confidence in themselves, having spent years in slavery to the Pharaoh. Consequently, they were too shy to take on the challenge.
The Bible refers to the incident and reports how the twelve heads of Israelites responded to the call of Moses: “We came to the land to which you sent us; it flows with milk and honey. Yet the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; … and there we saw the Nephilim (men of great stature); and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” (Numbers 13:27-33)
This episode confirms that a people possessing low self-worth cannot achieve high goals. On the contrary, we have the example of a small group of believers, the companions of the Prophet (sa), who not only fought but also won a war at Badr against a military force much superior to theirs in numbers and weaponry. How did they achieve the seemingly unattainable? Through knowledge of their self-worth, while maintaining a strong connection with Allah (swt).
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