Our flawed unstanding of success

Success

Only a few years ago, I had a flawed perception as to what the purpose of life was. It was merely something which came about with a unconscious connection to “success”. Now, success back then, to me; success was simply a word which I tied with being wealthy. I thought that success was to wake up to a beautiful view, in a beautiful home, with a beautiful career, with a beautiful bank account. How wrong was I? I was a teenager raised in a society where the concept of “success” was fed to us. We were taught, it was to go to school, get a education, get a good career, and then you work until you die.

After converting to Islam, a lot of my questions were answered, with one of the most important questions being: “What is my purpose?”. A pair of some well known verse in the Qur’an reads: “Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving (67:1-2). I soonly realized that we are all slaves in terms of what we inclined to chase in this life. Not to say there is anything bad about being blessed with wealth and living according to your means, but the flawed perception that success is limited to living good in this world. How about the needy old man in the middle of the village in India who is living with self-content because he is pleased with the decree of his Creator? How about all those who are free from chasing materialism with a primary focus of pleasing their Lord? Is this not the success which we should be more focused on? If we live a wealthy and ‘comfortable’ life and die while our Lord is displeased with us, then what kind of success in this? Can we buy our Lord’s pleasure? Can we buy the Paradise He has prepared for us?

Allah says in the Qur’an: “Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). That is the great success. (85:11). As our Creator says, “that is the great success”. The greatest success is to die upon a condition where your Creator is pleased with you. How many of us have actions in accordance to this. Knowing that life is short and we could depart any second, any day, any week, what have we prepared for the real success?
Allah also says in the Qur’an: “Nay, you prefer the life of this world; Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting. Verily! This is in the former Scriptures, The Scriptures of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Musa (Moses). (87:16-19)

Life is more than just working until you die, and success isn’t merely living well in this world, rather it is to enter the gates of Paradise.

May Allah make us of those who He is pleased with and allow us to enter his Paradise!

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