Moderation applied: the curse of having a mission

Having a mission in life is so important. I will not be exaggerating if I say “a true Muslim is a Muslim with a mission.” Everyone has a mission and every organization has a mission. One should dedicate his/her life to this mission and should put effort and money to make this mission happen. Our life should be centered to around this mission. All missions I am talking about here by the way are good missions, noble missions, missions with a lot of reward in this life and the life after.

If the mission is a life-long mission, it becomes one of the strongest pulling forces in one’s life. This pulling force can get you into taking extreme positions and abandon many of the foundations, even those which your mission is built on. I call this “the curse of having a mission.”

A trivial example, yet a very true one, is the mission that many of us have for our kids. I, for example, want my kids of be the best people ever: I want them to be successful in school, I want them to memorize the Qur’an, I want them to be knowledgeable in Islam, and I even want them to be the best in sports. There is nothing wrong in this mission and as a matter of fact, if this is my mission in life, it is a very good mission to have. Do not think of the argument whether or not this is the right mission to have and just follow the train of thought.

Many of us would try to make this mission happen. However, (again remember that this is a trivial example that is made to make the point) we cannot do the following:

  • I can’t earn from unlawful means convincing myself that the mission I am trying to achieve requires money and it takes more priority. The benefit of achieving the mission outweighs the wrong in earning from unlawful means
  • I can’t divorce my wife because she is not helping me push in the direction of this mission. She is very satisfied with a mediocre achievement. She is an obstacle in the face of this mission.
  • You cannot turn the life of the family into a very tense life pushing the kids to excel in a pace that is not reasonable, building your relationship with your kids based on their progress in the mission.
  • Some might even think of changing family. My family is just the family that does not provide success. I can never be a successful father if I continue with this family. If my current wife and kids can’t do it. I better have others.

As funny, silly, and probably hypothetical this example is, it demonstrates a mentality that many of us have. Under the obsession of having a mission and working for it we forget many principles without which we can’t achieve anything. This man above forgot about the principle of lawful earning that is a must despite the low income and its obstruction to the his mission. He forgot about the principle of including his wife into his mission and being patient on her to embrace his mission. He forgot that it is possible for him to achieve what he wants despite the fact she is not 100% convinced. The man forgot that healthy family life is a goal that is even bigger than his mission and no mission whatsoever can be achieved except with this family in place. He forgot that gradual and fatherly approach with his kids is 100 times more efficient than his aggressive approach even if it is slower. He forgot that success is to succeed with your family and not alone.

Alhamdu Lellah none of us do that for our families (maybe some do). However, many of us get obsessed with the so called their life mission or life project that takes them completely away from principles without which any mission is impossible and without which life itself has no meaning. Not only brotherhood, love, community building, team building, trust building, lawful life, and healthy relationship is healthy for any mission in life, but also outweigh any mission in life and any mission that does not take care of them is a worthless mission and it comes with its own curse!

I have a mission. I am dedicated for my mission. I will even give my life for it. However, I will not give any of the basic values under the illusion of pushing my mission forward

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