Are You Coachable?

In order to learn, to progress, all of us at one time or another will require a coach. That person who either knows more than we do about a given subject and may also know differently than we do.

Some of say that Islam is like a life coach:

  • God/Qur’an: timeless instruction about what life is all about; what is its nature; what governs life, death, and what comes after it;
  • Prophet: a bona fide life coach, whose techniques are “God approved”, for he himself was coached and molded by God.

فَبِما رَحمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُم ۖ وَلَو كُنتَ فَظًّا غَليظَ القَلبِ لَانفَضّوا مِن حَولِكَ ۖ فَاعفُ عَنهُم وَاستَغفِر لَهُم وَشاوِرهُم فِي الأَمرِ ۖ فَإِذا عَزَمتَ فَتَوَكَّل عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ المُتَوَكِّلينَ

It is a mercy from God that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult with them about the matter. Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in God. God loves those who put their trust in Him.

Qur’an, Chapter 3 (Al-’Imran), verse 159.

But like a star athlete, the part that discerns him/her from other athletes, that makes him/her a champion, is not simply his/her ability to perform, but their ability to be coached. Success lies beyond the boundary of talent. And coaching, above all else, is about trust (tawakkul).

Many of us today don’t fully trust God. We see things that happen in the world which appears to contract our notions of omnipotence and control.

هُوَ الَّذي يُسَيِّرُكُم فِي البَرِّ وَالبَحرِ ۖ حَتّىٰ إِذا كُنتُم فِي الفُلكِ وَجَرَينَ بِهِم بِريحٍ طَيِّبَةٍ وَفَرِحوا بِها جاءَتها ريحٌ عاصِفٌ وَجاءَهُمُ المَوجُ مِن كُلِّ مَكانٍ وَظَنّوا أَنَّهُم أُحيطَ بِهِم ۙ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخلِصينَ لَهُ الدّينَ لَئِن أَنجَيتَنا مِن هٰذِهِ لَنَكونَنَّ مِنَ الشّاكِرينَ

فَلَمّا أَنجاهُم إِذا هُم يَبغونَ فِي الأَرضِ بِغَيرِ الحَقِّ ۗ يا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ إِنَّما بَغيُكُم عَلىٰ أَنفُسِكُم ۖ مَتاعَ الحَياةِ الدُّنيا ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَينا مَرجِعُكُم فَنُنَبِّئُكُم بِما كُنتُم تَعمَلونَ

It is He who conveys you on both land and sea so that when some of you are on a boat, running before a fair wind, rejoicing at it, and then a violent squall comes upon them and the waves come at them from every side and they realize there is no way of escape, they call on God, making their religiosity sincerely for Him: ‘If You rescue us from this, we will truly be among the thankful.’ But then, when He does rescue them, they become rebellious in the earth without any right to do so. Mankind, your rebelliousness is only against yourselves. There is the enjoyment of the life of this world and then you will return to Us and We will inform you about what you did.

Qur’an, Chapter 10 (Yunus/Jonah), verses 22-23.

Many of us today don’t fully trust God. We see things that happen in the world which appears to contradict our notions of omnipotence and control.

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