Safar 25, 1431
“And recall Our servants Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqoob (Jacob). They were powerful champions and perceptive (with resourcefulness, and presence of mind).”
Surah Saad (Surah 38), verse 45
This is a Surah that mentions a lot of the prophets’ names and tells about their different qualities that (a) were pleasing to Allah, (b) carry lessons for us lesser mortals. This particular one mentions three of them to whom, Allah gave power and perception. Power spells corruption when you see so much going around, as we normally do. There are a lot out there who go to great lengths to uphold the responsibility that comes with being in power, but because there are so many more (people you see everyday) who continue to misuse authority, one starts wondering if power is any good at all. It can bring out the worst in a majority of people; it re-defines the word ego altogether for some; in some cases, you see errors of omission, not really a “misuse”of power, but a “lack”of complete responsibility comes into play either because of an issue with resources (in terms of money and manpower) or because the job duties are poorly defined. Whatever it is, the person in power is in constant scrutiny (as he should be!). I, for one, will always choose to be NOT in complete power because of the potential it carries to change and/or corrupt people, but see how He has called these men “powerful champions”, meaning they “won” whatever battles they had to fight be those in wars or in everyday struggles that men are subjected to. I think it’s important to know that power does NOT necessarily lead to corruption, as I usually think of it as, but a responsibility that, like everything else in life really, has to be carried out with integrity, logic and trust in Him.
As for being perceptive, it’s basically a quality that develops with maturity and faith. As you grow older, you learn how to deal with different experiences and you compare your current reactions with those you had, say ten years back, only to realize that had you not bothered to learn from your earlier mistakes, you’d probably react the same way you did, those ten years back. The reason why I think faith is involved in being perceptive, is that it allows you to take decisions you think you’re incapable of, it allows you to “leave” the results of your “crazy (rather, crazily well thought-out)” decision to your Creator – that in itself, will please Allah, because then you are openly submitting to Him, come what may.