Everyone is struggling for success. We are working hard day and night to achieve success or what everyone thinks success looks like. Primarily we work hard not for ourselves but to show the world that we have achieved specific goals and have everything in life.
But that's not how Islam describes success. Islam has a different version of seeing success; let us discuss what true success is. A Quranic version of success.
Many things can define true success in a person, but in the Quran, Allah has defined a very accurate and short definition of success that matters above everything else, which is to have a good heart as a believer.
The heart is the central organ in the body, and it controls the emotions and feelings of a person in this world and after this world.
Allah has told us the first rule to achieve success: to connect your heart to Allah and not to this temporary world - a person's connection with their God is eternal, ultimately leading to success in and after this life.
Summary of a Quranic Verse
The summary of a Quranic statement is that:
“No doubt that the believers have reached their goals, those who pray their salah and have humbled themselves. And who don't talk in vain. And those who work hard and earn halal to pay zakat, and those who have protected their private parts.”
These verses clearly state that when a believer does all of the mentioned things, he has reached his goal in life and the afterlife. And he has pleased Allah by putting his orders above their needs.
Islamic Meaning of Success
Islam says that there are two kinds of success where one is absolute and the other is relative. Relative success means the success in this world that the person achieves by working hard and reaching their goal in this life.
The absolute goal is the ultimate goal for which people spend all their lives, and then they will find their reward in the hereafter.
Allah SWT has said that if getting wealthy was the ultimate definition of success, then rich people would be happy with their lives. But we see many wealthy people who have everything in life suffering from bad marriages, disobedient children, lousy health, mental health issues, or abusive spouses.
Even if they have everything, they cannot spend their money to fix these issues. It means this worldly wealth is nothing but a distraction from the primary goal of life.
Islam has told us that true success in this world and the afterworld is to gain Allah, His closeness, and His forgiveness. When our goal becomes the pleasure of Allah SWT, then everything automatically comes into place as Allah SWT has promised His servants that whoever submits to His pleasure, Allah SWT will please them.
It is the ultimate stage when a Muslim finds peace. He thinks that everything in this world is for Allah and that whatever happens to him is the doing of Allah.
And like other people, he doesn’t complain about it but shows patience and waits for Allah to open doors for him. That is the ultimate success in this life, to gain Allah’s closure in this world and think that whatever is happening to you is because he has a plan for you.
One of the things that Allah SW can not forgive is hypocrisy. Allah SWT does not like hypocritical people. And he has warned us several times in the Quran to avoid hypocrisy. Allah SWT has always mentioned that you should focus on your heart. You should be the one controlling it, not the other way around.
If you have a good heart and want to be suitable for everyone, Allah SWT will see that, and He will provide goodness in your life by the influence of your heart. You will automatically attract positive people.
What Allah has prohibited us from is to be those who are bad inside and good outside. He doesn’t like those people with corrupted hearts and fake intentions toward people.
Islam has taught us a holistic approach. A holistic approach means that one thing in life complements the other. Let's say success; a person who is successful in work and doesn’t behave well with their family is not successful.
His behavior toward his family will give him stress, ultimately affecting his work quality. And they won't find happiness in anything. So Islam teaches us to be good to everyone, especially our family, because they always come first.
Also, Islam teaches us to have a holistic approach. We must recognize one aspect of life and succeed in another because one thing in life automatically compliments another. So if you want ultimate success, you must have a holistic approach and deal with things accordingly.
Purify Your Heart
Islam has told us to purify our hearts and clean them of hatred, jealousy, or negative feelings or intentions toward anyone. Most importantly, you need to understand the purpose of life and work on it according to the rules of Islam.
Islam is a beautiful religion; the more you explore it, your curiosity increases. There are many cases in which non-believers have turned into Muslims by learning about Islam. It is the ultimate success. When you really understand the true meaning of this life, you start pleasing Allah by following his orders.
Factors Of Success
The sunnah and Quran has mentioned the factor of success, and those are
- Thankfulness/ shukr
If you fulfill these factors, Allah SWT grants you ultimate success.
Islam and Quran have told us easy yet beautiful ways of success in life. It says that if you please, Allah, Allah will fulfill all your needs. A true believer truly believes that and submits his life to please Allah.
Allah SWT also mentioned in the Quran that success is sharing, loving, and balancing life. We should all learn from the Quran and mold our lives according to it.