Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome to Prophetic Principles

As-salaamu alaykum (Peace be upon you).

Thanks for visiting my blog. This post will give you an idea about whether or not this blog is for you. In a nutshell, this blog is specifically for Muslims that want – and are ready to put in the required effort - to be Successful, Productive, Effective, in Control, Influential, and ALive (SPECIAL), using principles that can be derived from the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him).

During the past couple of years (as of this post), I underwent profound changes, thanks to the guidance of a personal development coach, and through reading books on personal development like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, The Success Principles, and Secrets of a Millionaire Mind. As I implemented the principles that my coach and these books were advocating, I started noticing personal growth. I was able to explain my previous successes and understand the reason for my failures. My life started becoming organized, goal oriented, and principle centred. I was overcoming my fears. I became a better communicator.  I was accomplishing in weeks things that had been nagging me for years.

Moving beyond myself, I wanted to share the field of personal development (also referred to as “self help”) to others, especially Muslims. That desire inspired me to create this blog. Initially, my vision of this blog was to illustrate principles of personal development through my own life examples. But that idea evolved to something greater.

When I talked to Muslims about personal development, I generally aroused reactions of resistance, pessimism, and rejection. Lack of time, energy, and faith were cited as reasons for the negativity.  A few Muslims even argued that the field of personal development undermines Islam’s belief system, and that Islamic spirituality should be the true means to personal development. I shared these same concerns to some extent, so I raised this issue with two independent scholars, both of whom gave the same response – that all of personal development can be traced back to the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him).

The relationship between personal development and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) had already been on my mind. After all, “You [we] have in the Messenger a beautiful example” [33:21]. Furthermore, many experts encourage learning about successful people as a means to becoming successful. Obviously, the most successful individual to ever exist, even according to non-Muslims such as Michael Hart (in his The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History), was our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon Him). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any material that elaborated on the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon Him) habits, mind, and principles from the perspective of personal development, except in isolated excerpts of talks, lessons, and books. There were scarce resources on what I have coined, Prophetic Principles

Hence, I decided that this blog would not just be about my personal growth through the field of personal development, but also about how many of the principles taught in personal development are enshrined in the Prophetic Principles. I hope that what I have to offer inspires positive change in the reader. I also look forward to reading comments from others on their experiences.


  1. Very interesting. Can't wait to read your next post on this life changing journey of yours. Hopefully I can pick up some good habits to make life easier :)
    Good Luck!

  2. Mashallah - excellently written.

    This blog addresses an extremely important topic. I've always been searching for practical tools to help fulfill our Islamic responsibilities, while bringing surpassing value to both my dunya and deen. Mashallah!

    I look forward to reading up on your posts. Keep them coming Abu Dawud.....you're on to something new and very special.

    Wa Billihi Tawfiq

  3. salaam,

    Thanks for starting this blog. I'm definitely looking forward to future posts. I'm always seeking practical self-development techniques that incorporate an Islamic perspective. Historically, i've tried a lot of different things but realized that I've missed the core issue. After talking to my spiritual teacher, I've realized that external impact is a function of internal transformation. I’d love to learn more about your views on how to control your ego/desire/feelings and the impact these have on our day to day decision-making and our ability to take consistent action. Shifting my focus from always thinking from the head to ‘thinking from the heart’ is a major shift for me. I’m very, very poor at it right now, but I’ve realized that I will not reach the next level of transformation until I’m more in tune with my heart.


  4. Dear Abu Dawud,

    I wanted to thank you for starting this blog and the introduction you provided. I look forward to read, learn, understand and benefit from your postings.

    There have been times when I felt that the Prophetic training and personal development were two conflicting areas. I hope that your blog can shed light on this matter and help us on the Muhammadan way.

    take care,
    abu adam.

  5. You have definitely touched on some critical points that, if addressed, can turn your life around and ultimately become SPECIAL! I look forward to your blog and how it can benefit myself, as I have struggled with similar issues.

  6. i'll keep reading, while you keep writing :)

  7. What means did you use to monitor your personal growth and development? How did you conclude that you went upon 'profound changes'?

  8. Great blog! I also struggle with personal development and find it tricky being productive without going overboard. It's a fine line, because as we may be making the best out of our time and strive to be "principle centred", we can unintentionally surpass the rights and responsibilities of others. I would be interested in reading how we can acheive the balance between the two.

  9. @Nadir Ahmed

    Thanks for the question. My first question!

    The answers are implicit in your questions. InshaAllah, I will elaborate on them in a future post.

  10. @Atikah

    InshaAllah, in a future post, I will discuss my take on balancing rights and responsibilities.

  11. As salaamu alaykum Abu Dawud,

    JazakAllah Khairan for starting and sharing this blog. Based on your opening address, I feel this blog has the potential to benefit us all by helping us develop personally in concordance to Prophetic principals with the goal of coming closer to Allah(SWT).

    I hope to learn how you were able to systematically reflect on your life experiences along your journey using principals derived from the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)in order to facilitate your personal growth.


  12. Assalamu 'alaykum Dear Abu Dawud,

    Thank-you for sharing with others what has benefited you. The books that you have listed teach skills that are vital for everyone, especially the talib al ilm. Merely learning seerah, fiqh, or arabic grammer will not provide the skills that it takes people a lifetime of experience and struggle to develop: professional etiquette, time management, organization, and many others. True, all of these qualities are within our deen, but it requires a special ability to extract and present them. The books that have done so should be exploited because all beneficial knowledge is the lost property of the Muslim, but if people like yourself who have studied both can break it down into bite sizes for Muslim consumption, it would be a great service indeed.

    By the way, great use of the arabic script for the title of the blog.


  13. Ma sha'allah. This looks unique and interesting. I look forward to reading more of what you will share with us.

    Abdullah L

  14. Al-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatu Llahi wa barakatuh.

    I, too, have undergone a significant journey in personal development, and I've seen the benefit it has served in my deen.

    There are life skills that are beneficial for the believer, life skills that can help you implement your deen better.

    Take health and medicine, for example. Being healthy can help you implement your deen better.

    Take business, for example. Being wealthy can help you implement your deen better. (I know that might be hard for some of us to swallow.)

    Take psychology, for example. Being emotionally balanced can help you implement your deen better.

    Take time management, for example. Being organized can help your implement your deen better.

    And non-Muslims often have great expertise in such areas. So it proves useful to learn from them these sciences. But in the context of the Prophetic guidance.

    Spend some time with Imam Ghazali's Ihya `Ulum al-Din. You'll see his insight not just into the deen, but into applying the deen in *context*, not in a vacuum.

    Understanding the world, human nature, success principles, personal development, etc. helps us apply the deen in real life, not just in a vacuum.

    May Allah reward you for facilitating people's understanding personal development through the light of the Prophetic guidance and for facilitating people's applying the Prophetic guidance in the context of our daily reality.

  15. Wow, this is neat! I was doing some research for my religions class and came across this blog. Nice work!


  16. Salam Abu Dawud
    Thank you for sharing your journey and insights. May Allah rewards you for your efforts.

  17. It can be intimidating to coach strangers and a few sessions with people you know might allow you to become more comfortable with yourself and your coaching position personal development