Islam and success

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Living with purpose is the difference between being busy and being effective.

Begin with what you can achieve

You are brave enough to be determined and persistent on the development of your interpersonal skills, and if you are willing to take advantage of your abilities and talents.

Aishah (May allah be pleased with her) She said: "Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice." (Al-Bukhari) To choose the easiest option means to begin from the possible and one who begins from the possible will surely reach his goal. To work from the point of least resistance enables one to work 'smart' without wasting resources.

Success in today’s world is usually defined by the superficial rewards glorified in the media. Wealth, power, fame, luxury, prestige and recognition.

If a young man has a positive sense of direction that encompasses his whole life, not just his professional career or bankbook, and if he understands what he wants why he wants, his accomplishments may give him genuine satisfaction, making him a success in his own eyes. If however, he does not have this clarity of purpose, and especially if he has been struggling to live up to someone else’s definition of success, he is likely reach the top of his professional ladder but wonder why he feels so dissatisfied and burnt out.

Success has very little to do with what you accumulate, possess or achieve. It has even less to do with other people’s opinions and their assessment of you and your accomplishments. Success can only be defined by purpose and measured by obedience. To be successful is to finish the original intended assignment according to the plan and specification of the creator. Allah SWT said in Holly Quran “Everyone shall taste death.  And only on the Day of resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full.  And whoever is removed away from the fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful.  The life of this world is only a deceiving thing.” (Quran 3:185)

Purpose is thus the key and the foundation of success; it is the only measurement of life. Therefore success cannot be defined by the opinion of others about your actions but by the satisfaction of the one who gave you the assignment.

You are not successful if everyone says you are, you are not successful if you have done what everyone expects you to do, you are not successful if you receive commendation and recognition from your peers or the accolades of the masses, you are truly successful only if you have done what you were supposed to do. Allah SWT said in the quran “And my success cannot come from any source besides God.  I have put my trust in Him.” (Quran 11:88)

Your only responsibility is to respond to God’s purpose for your life. “He will indeed be successful who purifies his ownself, and he will indeed fail who corrupts his ownself.” (Quran 91:9-10).

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