The book opens with a succinct yet impressive preface. The author gets autobiographical on the very first chapter and divulges out his life struggles and as to how they actually turned out to be boons for him in the longer run by conferring upon him lifelong skills. Qasim Ali shah— the author— laments the moribund as well as the out-dated education system of Pakistan which produces youngsters who have hardly any skills even in their own area of study. There is no denying the fact that our education system is based on rote learning and has produced not so much fruitful results ever since its inception.
Whosoever swots up on the books in syllabus has chances to obtain high grades without a little concern for what they gain pragmatically. This system has been ‘in’ for decades and has produced anything but intellectuals except for a handful of people. Those few fortunate people might have the passion for learning and have had been lucky enough to have found worthy mentors, otherwise the majority of them would have also been undeniably in the same row.
Real stories and references from great books are galore in this book “Unchi Urraan” to provide a clear roadmap to the readers as to how to achieve greatness in life by honing their skills and changing a handful of habits. From Islamic point of view, today’s Muslim has forgotten almost all the virtues prescribed by the sacred religion, holy book and the ones Sahabah (companions of Prophet Muhammad Pbuh) would observe during their lifetimes.
There is a guidance in the life of our Holy Prophet Muhammad Pbuh and rewards in this world as well as in hereafter for all who adopt such traits and qualities. Compassion, scrupulousness, empathy, respect for elders, affection for children, thankfulness and above all patience are the qualities that make not only our life better and easier but also develop our love for His creations. It is improbable for a person to woo anyone’s heart without thanking them. In order to become successful, it is mandatory to widen one’s social circle. It is easy for a gregarious person to have a large number of people in his connections. But for a shy one, thanking is the easiest and best way to increase his connections. In religious terms, thankfulness has its own benefits for the believer. The following hadith produced below underscores the importance of thankfulness in a Muslim’s life:
“The Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: He who doesn’t thank the people is not thankful to Allah”.
Apperception is something the author has dilated upon in almost all his books. Sufis and saints of Muslim world have also contributed a considerable knowledge to this particular subject and have told that whatever a person is seeking resides only in his inner-world.
Undoubtedly, a person immerses in the ‘self’ to know what he is created for only when he is low in his life. Young minds belonging to the neglected sections of society have dreams to achieve. They have got aspirations and passion to serve humanity because they have had first-hand experience of the callous monster named poverty.
The biggest philanthropist Pakistan ever produced was Abdul Sattar Edhi Sahib and he happened to be a very poor boy in his childhood. Some incidents in his life made him realize what it took to be a poor person in this world. Charity and creating opportunities for others occupy an important part of a successful as well as happy person’s life.
A person who believes in “giving” and spreading smiles on the faces of less fortunate people is found to be happier than the close-fisted person. According to sources, Bill Gates has up till now given more than 35 billion dollars in charity and is considered to be the most charitable person in the current times.
In the same way, appreciating and encouraging the people who surround us are also very important factors in the lives of big shots. They carry a slight smile on their faces and are thankful to their employees for being a part of their lives. On the rights of subordinates or employees, our Holy Prophet Muhammad Pbuh is also reported to have said “Your slaves are your brethren upon whom Allah has given you authority. So, if one has one’s brethren under one’s control, one should feed them with the like of what one eats and clothe them with the like of what one wears. You should not overburden them with what they cannot bear, and if you do so, help them (in their hard job)”.
Besides many other things, the author reiterates the importance of having a role model in life throughout the course of this book. And the best role model for any Muslim is indeed The Holy Prophet Muhammad Pbuh. He is an embodiment of sanity, patience, love, courage and tens of thousands of other qualities. Perhaps, some parents are lucky enough to have found worthy mentors for their children who know as to how to lighten up different aspects of a student’s personality.
A good mentor tries to make the students think, dream, visualize, ask questions and so on. Presence of a good mentor somehow increases the chances of a student achieving something great in his later life manifold. Selection of a worthy mentor is kind of a very demanding task in our society as it’s hard to find one but as I usually say not ‘improbable’.
Last but not the least is the need to bring the element of change in our lives as it is the law of nature and helps one to stay abreast of times. Everything changes, the Sun rises even after the darkest of nights and brings in its wake a number of opportunities for the keen people. But every day is a different day and so are the opportunities. For instance, after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the countries, the ones which agilely adapted themselves and turned to online learning and work from home mode suffered less in most of the terms—except for the loss of human lives as it depended upon the immunity levels of their citizens and they differed from region to region.
When times require to undergo a change, people must not hesitate and indulge themselves in ifs and buts rather they ought to welcome the incoming change as it enhances personal growth, flexibility, progress, and strength against unfortunate times. Therefore, it’s well said:
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw