What is true success?
Some people say it’s to have huge amount of wealth, some say it’s to gain many friends, some say it is to achieve high status or authority over people. For the sick, health is success, for the poor, wealth is success. For the one that has health and wealth, power and authority over people is success.
But according to the Qur’an and Sunnah; all of that is not success in life at all. The true success has to be in both worlds, in this life and hereafter.
Because the sick when he’ll get health, he will want wealth. When he will get wealth, he will want to influence people and thereupon gain power over them. When he will achieve this, he will want to conquer the whole world. And when he’ll achieve this then he will want to be god and immortal! You have an example of this, in Cesar and Pharaoh.
A man with such belief that materialism is success, will never be satisfied or happy in life. He will always want more and more, nothing will please him enough, until death overcomes him. This is the moment when he will realize that actually he is a big loser, in this life and hereafter. He lost both worlds, due to his own endless whims and desires. He deceived his own self by following illusions which can never be reality. This is when he’ll realize that he was living in an illusion. This is but the nature of man, because he is created weak, and therefore easily giving up to his whims and desires. The only way to defeat these desires is to seek help and guidance from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
The reality is that man can never be bigger than Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Allah is the One and Only God, Allah has power over all things, and Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the Rich and Self Sufficient. All the most beautiful names and attributes belong to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). Success can never be achieved by going against Allah’s will, because His will is always done. His plan is always achieved, whether it is for or against you.
The true success is only with the help of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). The success in this world and Hereafter is to live with correct understanding of the Deen-il Islam. Islam, this religion, this way of life, that Allah prescribed you to live by. This is your path to success indeed.
This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (way of life) [Quran 5:4]
Consequently, true success in both worlds is when one achieves true Taqwah (piety). The one who purifies himself spirituality is the successful one. And Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
They (the pious) are on (true) guidance from their Lord, and they are the successful. (Qur’an 2:5)
The one who purifies his own self succeeds and the one who corrupts his own self fails.” (Qur’an 91: 9-10)
“Successful are those who purify themselves.” (Qur’an 87: 14)
Indeed successful are those who purify their souls. There is none, who will be granted more goodness than one who purifies his own soul with patience, and by commanding what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and with Taqwa. Who is inwardly and outwardly submitting to Allah’s will. Means, one who lives according the Deen of Islam. The way of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). By the means of Qur’an and Sunnah. The one, who truly comprehends this Deen of Islam, will purify his soul and truly worship Allah with the correct Taqwa that is gained upon knowledge along with understanding.
The believer, who has Taqwa, will be the winner in this world and hereafter. Finally, the true success is to gain the pleasure of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and His Mercy. Yes! His (subhanahu wa ta’ala) pleasure, not yours.
The believer who worships Allah with the proper Taqwa, he will always be satisfied and thankful for what Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) gave him. He will always be happy and upon this he is the true winner in this world and the next life. He managed to purify his own soul from whims and desires, submitting to Allah’s will. While the one who doesn’t submit to Allah’s will, will never be satisfied, thankful or happy.
The one, who opposes to submit to Allah’s will, is a loser in both worlds and he has succeeded in nothing. But the one who submits to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) with his heart, mind and body will be a winner in both worlds.