ACTUALIZE YOUR DESTINY – A REVIEW

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Title:  Actualise Your Destiny
Author: Abdul Majeed Adebayo
Publisher: AMFIT PUBLICATIONS BUREAU
Year of Publication: 2015
In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

Culturally, man has evolved in a more complex manner than all the creatures of the Almighty Allah. In the process of his social and intellectual trajectory, he has altered the planet on which he lives and has displayed both creative and destructive qualities that are unprecedented in the entire cosmos. Today, his world is not being threatened by external forces but by the sinister machinations of his mind and the minds of his fellows.

In the 21st century, man still approaches the world with a mindset fit only for the medieval period while playing with the toys of 21st century technology. Challenged by the menace of a collapsing social order and conflicting ideologies that have thrown him and his likes into theatres of savagery where the ‘beast’ in him dominates public and private life, he turns away stupidly and dissipates time, energy and resources and spends billions of dollars on building sophisticated weapons of destruction to fight his so called-enemies when his real enemy is his perception of himself and the universe.

In ACTUALIZE YOUR DESTINY, Ustadh Abdul Majeed Adebayo challenges us to develop a new mind-a new attitude, a new perception of life and our roles in it and a new inner drive for nobler heights. He pulls down the walls of false notion that have continued to veil the modern man from the truth. By adopting an interfaith approach, he shows us that Allah is indeed one and that no single religion can lay a claim to monopoly of salvation. Quoting profusely from the Qur’an and the Bible, he shows that the ethical messages in these scriptures are not conflicting but rather complementary.

In this fascinating piece, Abdul Majeed places human life and its purpose under the mirror of religious tenets and argues that true success in life is anchored on enduring values that light the path of the individual and bring him to the threshold of actualising his destiny.
This slender volume has a compelling message of urgent importance. It diagnoses much of the problems that man faces in the contemporary world. It offers a psychology of social living accompanied by a philosophy of personal achievement wherein clearly spelt-out ideas and insights instill in the reader an inner drive to live a more wholesome life that is more beneficial to the individual and humanity as a whole. No matter a person’s intellectual or social background, he is sure to gain something from this book.

Two types of people populate the earth-winners and losers. In all spheres of human activities and in every land and clime, we find these two. They may come from the same home, suckle the same breast milk, grow up in the same environment or attend the same school; one thing that remains certain is that one ends up becoming a winner in life while the other becomes a loser. Why is this so despite the common background and orientation? This is the question Ustadh Abdul Majeed has attempted to answer in this small volume.

One way of summing up the contents of the book is to locate it within the parable of the game of life. In this game, Allah in His infinite wisdom has decreed that man should enjoy the freedom to choose what he wants to be, where he wants to be and how he wants to be. However, His Mighty Hand directs the affairs of the world behind the scene. Like a football match, He has ordained a time limit for the game of life, but unlike it, there is neither extra time nor injury time. Only one schedule is to be played and it lasts a life time. Every man has his team which he chooses alone and the choice of the team determines how he will fare in the game.

If you look at athletes or contestants in a sporting competition, you’ll discover that most of them look alike in their physique and most often, their outward preparation appears to be the same. What marks out the winner is therefore the internal preparation before the game. These are in the values, mind set, attitude and morality that drive the action of the person who wants to win. In this book, we are guided to the right attitudes and values that can turn us into winners in the game of life.

A true winner acknowledges that only one Authority guarantees success and that is Allah, therefore he puts his trust in Him alone. Allah says:

و من يتوكل علي الله فهو حسبه

And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him Q 65 v 4.

This trust in Allah does not become an excuse for laziness and lewdness. The winner knows that Allah Himself frowns at laziness. In His infinite wisdom, He has tied success and suffering together. Hardwork and perseverance are therefore ingredients for becoming a winner in the true sense of the word. Allah says:

و ان ليس للانسان الا ما سعي

And man shall have nothing but that which he strives for Q 53v 40.

A winner therefore combines his trust in Allah with the necessary attitude to climb the stairs of success. He stands out with two kinds of knowledge- knowledge of the law of road blocks and knowledge of the difference between motion and direction.

What do I mean by these, you may want to ask? Two men once set out on a journey. One, a winner and the other, a loser. They both drove their cars along the same path until they got to a point where a huge container had blocked the road. Here, the nature of each came out. While the loser was busy complaining about the road block and heaping blame on everybody he could think of: the residents of that area, the Local Government Chairman and the Governor of the state; the winner had asked the residents of the area whether there was another route to his destination. After learning about the new route, he had entered his car, turned it around and headed towards the new route leading to his destination while his partner continued to lament.

A winner is most often known therefore through his disposition to road blocks. He sees them as challenges to his creativity and not as impediments to his goal. He is not cowed by fear; he is not deterred by frustration; he is not constrained by persecution; everything lubricates the wheel of his determination to succeed.

The knowledge of the difference between motion and direction also reveals the personality of a winner. The state of being in motion is the state of not being static. One keeps on moving, not stopping, not relenting. But the big question is: in what direction are you moving? Is your motion bringing you closer to your destination? Are your activities moving you towards your goal? Yes, you are in motion, but in what direction? A winner sets a goal for himself and strives towards it. Most people lose because they have no goals, and when there is no goal, there is no direction. Remember the story of the boy who walked up to an Imam and said: “Excuse me sir! Can you kindly show me the way?” The Imam replied, ‘sure. Where do you want to go?” He said, ‘actually, I don’t really know”. The Imam said, ‘really? Then you may face just any direction!”

A winner defines his goal and struggles towards it. He enters into the game of life well prepared. For his defense line, he chooses three fine men namely, Fear of God, Love and charity. On the right wing, he appoints Time Management and Determination while on the left wing he places Good Behavior and Good Company. At the center, he places Humility, Patience and Perseverance while at the goal post he appoints a truly reliable player called Trust in God.

Since the winner is aware of the fact that Allah is the sole Referee, He makes all the rules and nothing is hidden from His All-Seeing glare; he tries not to play foul because it cannot escape that ever probing sight.

If you patiently go through this little book, you will discover that the parable of the game of life succinctly captures the content. It summarizes the key points but it cannot be a replacement for it because the book has its own unique appeal which I hereby challenge you all to discover while reading it.

However like every other book, it has its own infelicities. Apart from printing errors here and there, the book does not contain enough practical examples. The beautiful story of Shaykh Sunusi Adeyemi should have been reinforced by stories of other people who have applied parts of the principles laid out in the book successfully. The books of hadith, Islamic history and the holy Bible are replete with such stories. I hope that in subsequent editions, this would be taken into account.

Despite all these, the book is an important contribution to our understanding of the universe and ourselves. I dare say that anyone who leaves here without buying copies for himself and his acquaintances would be doing himself and them a great injustice. The book has my greatest recommendation.

May Allah continue to irrigate the source of the author’s wisdom with the life-giving spring of His mercy. Amin.

Thank you

 

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