Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a time of deep religious worship and spiritual contemplation, where Muslims the world over cleanse their souls and reflect on God. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor recently wrote a Foreword to research conducted by Sheikh Fares Al Mustafa, Imam and Preacher at the Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque and Centre, urging people to follow God’s Constitution to enable them to lead a more disciplined, productive and successful life. Joanna Andrews reports.
It is no secret that the Al Habtoor Group Chairman, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor had a humble start to life. But with fierce determination and unwavering discipline he rose to become one of the most respected businessmen in the region, sitting at the helm of a truly diversified conglomerate.
“I have been asked many times what makes a person successful,” he says. “It is simple: to follow God’s Constitution. This makes a person disciplined, committed, and highly productive, and I urge others to follow the simple set of rules that are set out in the Holy Book. If you do this, you will succeed.”
Al Habtoor says that he looked to the West to see what made it so powerful, “I determined that the West was following the Constitution of God; waking up early, working hard, with discipline and integrity. I realised that by following the rules of God, the West was much more productive than the Arab World.
He provides six examples under the following topics, based on research from the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith from the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH):
Build and nurture in the Earth
Protect the body and keep it clean
Be a strong, not a weak believer
Rest the body and wake up early
Eat well and in moderation
Work and produce, spend wisely and do not skimp
He says, “If we follow God’s Constitution, then we will be far more productive, and we will be able to better compete on the world stage. If we follow the rules set out in the Holy Book then we will win.”
Al Habtoor believes that time is the most important thing in life, “You must split your time up between work, sport and relaxation. Unfortunately in some parts of the Arab World there isn’t a balance and nothing is implemented in accordance to be healthy and productive.
“More often than not people happily bank their salaries, yet they are not producing what they are capable of. They are operating at 10-15 per cent of what they should, while others in the West are producing 100 per cent or more.
“The secret to success is discipline,” he says. “Follow a clear plan that is available to everyone. They are not my rules, they are simple rules laid down by God. He gave us the day to work and the night to relax and spend time with the family. Start the day early, have breakfast early, and work hard with integrity. Allow time every day to exercise, to stay fit and healthy. You cannot produce if you are not healthy in body and mind. After work, spend time with your family and friends, eat early and go to bed early. These are the rules I follow without fail. If you do this, you will see the difference in your productivity and energy levels. You will not only produce 100 per cent, but more.
“God teaches us to be disciplined. He gave us five daily prayers. We must perform these each day in a timely manner. This is our obligation. There is no compromise, apart from for the sick and travelling. It also shows the importance of time keeping.
He concludes, “We must pass on these values on to our children, and lead by example. We must raise the bar and inspire others to follow our lead.”
For full details, see The Principles in Life to Follow for a Healthy, Productive and Disciplined Life. www.khalafalhabtoor.net/research