Success is a natural desire of all human beings. Everyone wants to be successful in this life. Although, success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim and purpose”, it is quite impossible in the point of worldly life as it varies based on the context, situation, position, age and so on. To me there is no exact indicator for confirming the parameter of ultimate success in this world. If anyone looks at any other individual who is in the peak of his profession either in a competition or in social and economic position or power, he can find that his many other desires are not fulfilled thus can’t consider himself as successful one. Because success can’t be achieved by a single or multiple ways, but a complete package of life which is only possible in a life that is full of desire and pleasure as well. As a result, we can have the experience of observing many others like Steve Jobs, Robin Williams, Cleopetra, Vencent van Gogh, Earnest Hemingway, and others.
The Qur’an as a complete guidebook has portrayed the real concept of success. Basically, two main terms have been used in the Qur’an to discuss the concept of success. Such as: (i) al-Fawju (plural: al-Fa’ijun) and (ii) al-Falah (plural: al-Muflihun). These terms and their associated words appeared in the Qur’an 36 times (20 +16). A critical study of these ayat, the success is conceptualized in the following ways:
2. Obeying Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH) is one of the greatest ways of success. The Qur’an states: “He will rectify your conduct for you and forgive you your sins. Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle will certainly achieve a great success.” (Suarah al-Ahjab, 33: 71)
3. Allah’s pleasure: The person who has achieved the pleaser of his Lord is a successful one among us. The Qur’an says: “Allah will say, ‘This day truthfulness shall benefit the truthful. For them there will be gardens with streams running in them, to remain in them forever. Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. That is the great success” (Surah al-Ma’idah, 5: 119)
4. Those who are on the right way to lead their lives. They are believers and roughouts people as well: Allah says: “Those who have believed and migrated, and waged jihad in the way of Allah with their possessions and persons have a greater rank near Allah, and it is they who are the triumphant.” (Surah al-Tawbah, 9:20; see also: Surah al-Jathiyyah, 45:30)
5. Spending life and wealth for Allah (SWT) is another success. The Qur’an says: “Indeed Allah has bought from the faithful their souls and their possessions for paradise to be theirs: they fight in the way of Allah, kill, and are killed. A promise binding upon Him in the Torah and the Evangel and the Quran. And who is truer to his promise than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him, and that is the great success.” (Surah al-Tawbah, 9:111)
6. Patience also brings success. The Qur’an says: “Indeed I have rewarded them today for their patience. They are indeed the triumphant.” (Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:111)
8. Remembering Allah’s bounties and the thankfulness to it is another way of success. Allah says: “… So remember Allah’s bounties so that you may be felicitous.” (Surah al-A’raf, 7:69)
9. Repentance is another way of success in a believer’s life. The Qur’an says: “…And turn to Allah all of you, O believers! So that you may be successful.” (Surah an-Nur, 24:31)
10. Purification of soul (tazkiyyatun nafs) is another way of success. The Qur’an says: “Felicitous is he who purifies himself.” (Surah al-A’la, 87:14)
11. Ultimate success can be attained in the life hereafter. The Qur’an says very clearly, “Every soul shall taste death, and you will indeed be paid your full rewards on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted to paradise has certainly succeeded. The life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion.” (Surah Aali ‘Imran, 3: 185)
In contrast to the conventional approach to the concept to success, the Qur’an shows us the true one. If we can lead our worldly life on the right path in accordance with the guidelines of the Qur’an, we can only be successful in the final life. That is the final destination of all of us. May Allah (SWT) help us to be success in both worlds!
The writer is a researcher on Islamic views on contemporary issues