Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Passing of Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey passed away on July 16, 2012. At the age of 80, he died as a result of a bicycle accident.  On his website, you can read more about his passing and the great legacy he left behind.

Stephen Covey was a religious individual and taught principles that were in line with Islam, as far as I know. His books and seminars showed that he was a man of great character and virtue. His book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", as well as his other works, had a profound impact on my perception of life, and thus I have quoted him extensively in my posts.

I wonder if he had any exposure to Islam's lofty values and principles, or if we as Muslims played our role in reaching out to this great individual.

Below is a beautiful passage from Stephen Covey at the conclusion of his Seven Habits, which illustrates his insight and connection to the Divine:

"As I conclude this book, I would like to share my own personal conviction concerning what I believe to be the source of correct principles. I believe that correct principles are natural laws, and that God, the Creator and Father of us all, is the source of them, and also the source of our conscience. I believe that to the degree people live by this inspired conscience, they will grow to fulfill their natures; to the degree that they do not, they will not rise above the animal plane.

I believe that there are parts to human nature that cannot be reached by either legislation or education, but require the power of God to deal with. I believe that as human beings, we cannot perfect ourselves. To the degree to which we align ourselves with correct principles, divine endowments will be released within our nature in enabling us to fulfill the measure of our creation. In the words of Teilhard de Chardin, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience."

I personally struggle with much of what I have shared in this book. But the struggle is worthwhile and fulfilling. It gives meaning to my life and enables me to love, to serve, and to try again.

Again, T. S. Eliot expresses so beautifully my own personal discovery and conviction: "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.""

Allahumma salli 'ala sayyidina Muhammad.


  1. Thank you for the entry, our company used to make it mandatory to all employees to attend a one-week class regarding the 7 habits, I still apply many of these in my day to day life.
    I also concur that many principles he taught were in line with Islam, I even made a halaqah topic one day in UK on this topic, highlighting these fact and the similitude to what Islam teaches us.


    1. Thanks for the comment. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf also did a workshop on the 7 Habits several years ago. A recording of that workshop was made.