The days of just hoping for the best have long gone. Now is the time to work and strive. Without this hopes and dreams will perish along the way. Allah says in chapter al-Baqarah verse 202, “For them will be allotted a share for what they have earned”.

Efforts that bring good results are efforts that are based on detailed planning. According to Imam Tarmizi, the Prophet said, “Take the benefit of five before five; your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free-time before your preoccupation, and your life before your death.” This Hadis shows that successful people are those who plan early. They are proactive. They take advantage of the opportunities today before tomorrow comes.

In this context, Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) was a good example. Based on the dream of the king of Egypt, he realized that Egypt would experience a serious drought. Hence, he recommended several economic strategies. These strategies were revealed by God, as mentioned in chapter Yusuf verse 47-49, “(Yusuf) said: “For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave in ears, (all) – except a little of it which you may eat. Then will come after that, seven hard (years), which will devour what you have guarded (stored). Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil)”.

These verses indicate that before embracing tawakal (reliance on God), God requires Muslims to properly plan their lives. The strategies for overcoming the economic crisis, as recommended by Prophet Yusuf, are so relevant to our lives today. He recommended that planning should be done while the economic climate is good. He also showed that  a good plan is one that has a specific time frame, because it ensures the commitment of all persons involved to actualise the goal. It also ensures that each individual would not be negligent and lackadaisical in performing his or her task. Moreover, Prophet Yusuf also emphasized on saving in all situations. Thus, good strategies are important for success.

– Extract from 7 Formulas of Excellent Individuals by Dr. Danial Zainal Abidin

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