It was down to one thing. TALENT.
It’s talent that makes you a great thinker and philosopher. It’s talent that makes you a revolutionary leader and great orator. It’s talent that makes you the greatest footballer or boxer that every youngster looks up to.
Talent is what improves the world, changes the world, entertains the world, amazes the world… and you know what, we all have it. We won’t all be courageous and charismatic Muslim individuals remembered the world over, but we all do have something that we’re good at, that we’re gifted in, better than others at.
So what we should all do is make the best of what Allah (swt) has blessed us with, we should have hope, dreams, be ambitious and then work hard to achieve them. It’s up to us. Allah (swt) has blessed us with the tools, now it’s up to us how we use them and what we make with them.’
What's stopping me or you from being the next Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali or Einstein? What’s stopping me or you from being the next big thinker, leader, writer, footballer or great orator? Why can’t you be the next councillor or MP? Why can’t you be the next scientist or lawyer? Why can’t you be the next premier league footballer? If you have a passion for teaching, have always wanted to be a writer then why can’t you go ahead and fulfil those ambitions?
Don’t let anything stop you. If it’s halal then go for it! Make something of yourself.If you have the talent and ambition, and are prepared to work very hard then the world is your oyster. All you need to do is recognise your talent, believe in yourself, put in loads of commitment and effort and you can perfect your talent. Whether you’re 15 or in your mid 20’s or 30’s. Whether it’s Maths, English or Science. Writing or speaking. Organising or leading. Politics or sport. Youth work or social care. Religious sciences or poetry. Fashion or graphic design... TALENT IS TALENT.
Use your talent to make a name for yourself. Make a difference. Use your talent to bring success in your life. Use your talent to make changes in your community. Use your talent to create role models in your community. Use your talent to break taboos in your community. Use your talent to give others hope. Use your talent to give a good image and representation of Islam. Use your talent to tackle the real issues facing the Muslim community.
If others can do it, then why can't you?If Amir Khan can become World Boxing Champion then why can’t you if that is your dream?
If Shabana Mahmood and Yasmin Qureshi can become Britain's first female Muslim MPs then why can’t you? If Salma Yaqoob, a practising Muslim sister who wears hijab, can become a councillor, stand to be elected for MP and represent Muslims on every platform including the BBC's Question Time - then why can't you? If Hamza Roberts - a brother who I used to see on the bus everyday on the way to work - is now a nationally recognised Nasheed singer, sharing stages with the likes of Sami Yusuf and Zain Bhika - then why can't you?
One reason why some in the Muslim community don’t do anything with their talent is due to culture or lack of support from parents and family. One example from many is that if your son has special football talent then why isn’t he given support and encouragement to explore that talent and join a professional football club? Instead he is told to get a ‘proper job’ or ends up in a takeaway or a dead-end family business!
This is a tragedy! I look at my son and say if he has the talent then why can’t he be the next Rooney, Hamza Yusuf or Prime Minister of the UK? Talent should be encouraged, supported and developed - only then can it be properly implemented!
So what’s your talent? More importantly, what are you gonna do about it?Be stuck in a dead end job or do something about your talent? Spend all your life dreaming what you could have been or done, or spend your life putting your talent in practise at the highest level?
Anything is possible if we want it to be. A few years ago the thought of a black President in the USA was laughable, but look how quickly things have changed. We need to build our skills and talent so that when the opportunity comes in our life we are ready, so that we can take that moment and make the most of it.
You got a degree but you’re working in a takeaway? Why? You’re a computer whizz kid but you’re doing taxi’s? Why? You’re a fantastic writer or a prolific athlete but you’re working in a factory? Why? If you have a degree, are a computer whizz kid, are a fantastic writer or a prolific athlete and so on, then don’t let yourself get stuck in a dead-end, unskilled job that doesn’t showcase your talent. You have talent so why are you wasting it?
It’s never too late to do something about your talent. So what if you're 25, 33 or 41? If you really wanna make something out of life and you have some talent then all you need to do is firstly to make that decision to do something about it; whether it means going back to college or uni or speaking to a careers advisor or specialist, and then follow that path to perfect and use that talent, it might change your life for the better and give you the opportunities you’d never dreamed about.
The Muslim community needs MPs, leaders, orators, architectures, scientists, writers, scholars, sportsmen, producers & directors, doctors, midwives… and much much more. The Muslim community needs living role models. Only by perfecting your talent and living as a practising Muslim will you get true success in this life.
Only then will we see real leaders and workers in our mosques. Only then we will start seeing unity in the Muslim community. Only then will we be able to fully cater for the needs of the Muslim community, especially the youth. Only then will we be able to stand up and speak against oppression and corruption. Only then will we be able to react properly when Islam or the Prophet is insulted.
Only then will we be able to produce high calibre individuals who can represent Muslims and Islam well in the media.
Making the most of your talentThe key is put in massive amount of effort because without hard work and effort your talent will be wasted. You need to always develop your talent and skills and never be shy to ask for help or advice to enhance your talent. Don’t let your talent go to your head and don't let age put you off. Always remember talent is from Allah (swt). Finally, take every opportunity given to you to take your talent to the highest possible level.
Now tell me again - what’s your talent and what are you going to do with it?