Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Principles of Life | Al-Risala July, 1987

“Success is a matter of cool decisions, without constant wavering and changing of the mind, acute observation, initiative, and unremitting attention to a vast number of petty details.”

The above statement would appear to be a sure-fire recipe for material success in large number of situations. As it happens, it is a formula evolved from the experience of Campbell Rogers, an expert in poultry keeping of international repute. But this unswerv­ing devotion to taxing minutiae is not all that he advocates. He begins his famous book, Profitable Poultry-Keeping in India and the East (D.B. Taraporevala Sons & Co., Bombay 1959) with the notion that success in large-scale poultry-farming is largely depen­dent upon one’s temperament. He feels that one who does not love birds and animals can never build himself up in this profession. So that quite apart from patience, diligence, the ability to do without holidays and a keen eye for profit, one must also remain, kind, humane, and filled with compassion for living creatures.

With this dimension added to the overall picture, it would be reasonable to say that he gives us a valuable formula, not only for material success, but for useful, harmonious social living. Just as the successful poultry-man must give his attention to the habits and requirements of his birds, so also must the social being take into account the inclinations and compulsions of others and show his willingness to make concessions to them in the interests of main­taining the happiness and tranquillity of society. Success in life is not just a matter of keeping one’s nose to the grindstone and taking correct decisions about financial matters, but of understanding one’s fellow-men and treating them with the kindness and respect which one would wish to have oneself.