Courage is an enviable trait. It is also
elusive because mustering courage requires courage. Instances
which call for courage abound:
Courage is needed not only to speak the
truth but also to support the weak who speak the truth.
Courage is also required to point out the
faults of loved ones whose anger we fear.
Courage is also needed to admit one’s
faults; without courage we cannot say no to questions we have
no answer to and without courage we cannot ask questions we
are afraid to ask and which may open up new knowledge
frontiers for us.
Facing the trials of life requires courage.
Forgiving others also needs courage.
To never give up in the face of adversity
also requires a captain courageous.
Saying no to commitments we very well know
we will not be able to honour also needs courage.
Refraining from venting anger on the weak
asks for loads of courage.
Finally, most feats of physical courage
spring from the moral courage within.
If courage is elusive and the instances to
exercise it also are plentiful, how can we then acquire this
enviable trait? Some measures may be helpful in this regard.
1. The opposite of courage is fear and if
we want to be courageous we need to conquer our fears. Perhaps
the best way of conquering our fears is to fear God alone and
make other fears subservient to His fear. If love for God and
love for the cause of God take root in us, if the love of the
truth is more than the love of any other thing and if we
ourselves try to be honest and morally upright, this will
hopefully instil courage in us.
2. We should also look for people in our
society who are courageous. If possible we should befriend
such individuals and seek their company. It is a common
experience that a person gets inspired by remaining near such
people. Every now and then, even in our own society and
surroundings, we do get to know of such people. It is only a
question of remaining on the lookout for such individuals.
3. We should also try to gather anecdotes
of people of the past which reflect courage. One receives
motivation from such tales. We know that there were people in
the past who stood up to and never gave up even when faced
with repeated adversity. They wrote tales of courage from the
way they led their lives. People like Malik ibn Anas and Ibn
Taymiyah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Shah Wali Ullah, Socrates and
Galileo were nothing but courage personified. They adhered
diligently to the views they held correct and no amount of
persecution could waver them from their stance.