In the days of old, when there were no schools and colleges, the parents would send their children to the wise men of great renown to learn under them, and gain wisdom and useful skills.
There was a man who studied under a Sheikh for 30 years. His parents had left him under Sheikh's care in a hermitage. One day the student asked the Sheikh to allow him to go so that he could travel to various parts of the country and teach the people.
The Sheikh looked at him and said he would put a simple question to see if he was ready for the task. He said: "On your way to different cities and towns, it is possible that you may come across a place where there are many shepherds tending their flock of sheep."
His student was impatient. He said: "It is possible that I may come across such places. But what is your question."
The Sheikh noticed the lines of impatience on his face. Nonetheless, he asked him calmly: "As you walk by this place where there is a shepherd with his sheep, and if five of his sheepdogs attacked you at once, what would you do?"
The student said: "Well, I would pick up a stone and throw it at them."
And, the Sheikh continued: "You might hit one dog, but the other four will definitely get you and tear you to pieces."
The student stubbornly argued: "Well, I would pick up a stick and scare them away."
The Sheikh continued: "This way you may at best scare away a couple of them, but others may still get you. Your answers still do not carry the maturity ought to be seen in a teacher."
The student was clearly disturbed by this thought, and in all humility asked the Sheikh: "Please tell me the answer."
At this, the Sheikh told him that the best way to get the dogs away was to call out the shepherd, who would call each dog by its name, and the dogs would definitely obey the master."
Then the Sheikh said: "My parting advice to you would be: In this world there are people who will attack you like dogs, especially when you enjoin on them what is right and forbid them from doing what is wrong, and if you try to fight them off, they will most certainly win, for you will be in a minority of one. But, if you call on their Owner, the One who created them and you, then he will call them by name. They will have no other alternative except to heed His Command, and this way you will be protected by the Almighty Allah! Therefore, it will do you a lot of good, if you remember that Dua (supplications beseeching the help of the Almighty God) is the most potent weapon in the hands of a believer. Remember to use it in times of peace as well as crises. It is by Dua that you will be able to win the hearts and minds of people who will then heed your call.”