The Way to Success

Since 2008-07-01

Important pieces of Advice on "the Way to Success"

All Praises and thanks be to Allah, we thank Him, and we seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. We appeal for Allah's refuge from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our deeds. This who is guided by Allah will not be misled by anyone, and this who is misled by Him will not be guided by anyone. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah with no partner and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

My noble brother: Have you ever thought of drawing a safe path for your success in life… in your business… in your study… and in all your affairs?!

Have you tried to understand the reasons of success?
Have you perceived why some people succeed in their affairs while others fail?
We will deal here with the notion of success… and demonstrate its ways and obstacles… What is the meaning of success in the life of a Muslim?

Success in the Life of a Muslim

My noble brother: Know that the notion of success in the Muslim's life is closely connected to his/her belief and approach in life... A Muslim's success in his/her life's affairs is not separated at all from his/her success in his/her afterlife affairs. They are connected by the belief in Allah and the Hereafter.

A Muslim does not aspire to the pleasure of the present worldly life while discarding his/her share in the afterlife. They understand that whatever success they achieve in life at the expense of their afterlife, it is a loss in the end. And it is known that what is well that ends well. Allah Almighty has said: {Say (O Muhammad): "The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!"} [Surat Az-Zumar: 15].

{قُلْ إِنَّ الْخَاسِرِينَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَهْلِيهِمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَلَا ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ} الزمر: 15

Transliteration: qul inna alkhasireena allatheena khasiroo anfusahum waahleehim yawma alqiyamati ala thalika huwa alkhusranu almubeenu

He, Glory be to Him, has said: {and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.} [Surat Ar-Ra'd: 26].

{وَفَرِحُواْ بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ مَتَاعٌ} الرعد: 26

Transliteration: wafarihoo bialhayati alddunyawama alhayatu alddunya fee alakhirati illa mataAAun

Brother: So you have to understand that your success in this life cannot be a real one unless it is in a way which pleases Allah so that it will not be of bad consequences in your end. Such matter cannot be achieved unless you combine two things upon which the success in life and afterlife is based:
The first: high determination that motivates you to seek the means.
The second: the fear of Allah by which you escape from torment.

Determination generates the heat of aspiration to the sublime matters whether in this worldly life or of the Hereafter. Fearing from Allah directs and controls your determination by righteousness and commitment in a way that makes success an evidence for you, not against you before Allah. Following, brother, are the means of success and its way:

Methods of Success:

First: Sincerity: it is the blessing of deeds and their key to success. So, my noble brother, if you want to succeed in your work and in all your life, you should reform your intention in all matters, and that you make it in accordance to what Allah Glorified and Exalted, wants. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, has said: "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended." [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«إنما الأعمال بالنيات، وإنما لكل امرىء ما نوى» رواه البخاري

Whatever your goal in life and your desire from your work are, if your intention is to benefit yourself, then it is your goal in life. However, if your intention is to benefit yourself to strengthen it in obedience or to benefit Muslims, and you intend to thank Allah Glorified and Exalted for that, you are, then, heading towards a means of acceptance. Seeking Allah by deeds entails Allah Almighty' love; and Allah's love is a key of acceptance as was mentioned in the Hadith. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, has said: "If Allah loves a person, He calls Gabriel saying: 'Allah loves so and so; O Gabriel, love him.' Gabriel would love him, and then Gabriel would make an announcement among the residents of the Heaven: 'Allah loves so-and-so, therefore, you should love him also.' So, all the residents of the Heavens would love him and then he is granted the acceptance of the people of the earth." [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«إذا أحب الله العبد نادى جبريل: إن الله يحب فلانا فأحبه، فيحبه جبريل، فينادي جبريل في أهل السماء: إن الله يحب فلانا فأحبوه، فيحبه أهل السماء، ثم يوضع له القبول في أهل الأرض» رواه البخاري

O brother, remedy your intention and see what do you want from your work?
What is the aim of your study?
If you see it rightful, so commit yourself to it as it is the key of acceptance.

If you find in your intention the trace of love to celebrity or fame, hypocrisy, pride, arrogance and vanity, so reform your intention as deeds become fruitless by bad intentions. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, has said: "This who learns knowledge that is learned for the sake of Allah Glorified and Exalted, he does not learn it but only to gain the perishable goods of the worldly life will not find the fragrance of Paradise in the Hereafter."

O brother, be sincere in your intention to be gifted with acceptance. Make, by your good intention, the one success as two successes: one in this worldly life and one in the Hereafter.

Second: do not make your success in life as all your determination. Live, however, as a strange and make success in it as a way to the success of the Hereafter {And indeed the Hereafter is better for you than the present (life of this world).} [Surat Ad-Duha: 4].

{وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَى} الضحى: 4

Transliteration: Walalakhiratu khayrun laka mina aloola

Suppose that you own all the earth
And people yield to you so what then
Are not your place tomorrow is the bottom of your grave
And dust will fill this and that

Do not make this worldly life and its enjoyment as your utmost concern so you exert all your efforts for that and forget your share in the Hereafter. This will close the means of success. You will then work more and harder and will be deprived from yielding the fruits. In the Hadith, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "verily, whoever takes the Hereafter as is his concern, Allah makes his richness in his heart and reunites him and this worldly life will come to him forced. And whoever has this worldly life as is his concern, Allah makes his poverty between his eyes and disperses him and he will not gain from this worldly life but only what is destined for him." [Al-Albani, authentic due to other narrations].

«من كانت الآخرة همه، جعل الله غناه في قلبه، وجمع له شمله وأتته الدنيا وهي راغمة ومن كانت الدنيا همه جعل الله فقره بين عينيه وفرق عليه شمله ولم يأته من الدنيا إلا ما قدر له» الألباني، صحيح لغيره

O you who endeavors himself
Demands this world in illness and in pain
This world is not for you and you are not for it
So make the two concerns as only one

Ibn Al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "If the slave is concerned, in day and night, only with Allah alone, Allah Almighty will fulfill all his needs, bear all his concerns and will empty his heart for His love, his tongue for His remembrance and his organs for His obedience. If he is concerned, in day and night, with this worldly life, Allah will make him bear its concerns, distresses and annoyances and will make him engaged with himself. His heart is busy from His love with the love of people, his tongue from His remembrance with their remembrance and his organs from His obedience with their services and businesses. He drudges like beasts in serving others. So whoever turns away from the worshipping, obedience and love of Allah is afflicted by the worshipping, love and servicing of the creatures".

In addition, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, has said in the Hadith: "whoever makes all concerns as only one; which is the concern of the Hereafter, Allah will suffice him from all other concerns; and this whose concerns of the conditions of the worldly life are ramified, Allah will not care in which valley he perishes" [Declared good by Al-Albani].

«من جعل الهموم هما واحدا، هم المعاد، كفاه الله سائر همومه، و من تشعبت به الهموم من أحوال الدنيا لم يبال الله في أي أوديتها هلك» حسنه الألباني

O brother, do not make all your concern in succeeding in this worldly life. Money will be consumed, position will end and glory will vanish. Only good deeds remain, so make them your greatest concern. If so, Allah has promised you with two things:

The first: to, more quickly, bring you each and every good
The second: to suffice you from all concerns.

These are all mentioned in the words of Allah Almighty: {Whoever works righteousness - whether male or female - while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islâmic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)} [Surat An-Nahl: 97].

{مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحاً مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ} النحل: 97

Transliteration: Man AAamila salihan min thakarin aw ontha wahuwa muminun falanuhyiyannahu hayatan tayyibatan walanajziyannahum ajrahum biahsani ma kanoo yaAAmaloona

The good life is the title of success. The aim from things is its benefit. The aim of success is but happiness and the good life.

For how long you will be in travelling
Long seeking going and coming
Home emigrant does not benefit you as being estranged
From lovers who do not know conditions
Once in the East, once in the West
Death, due to greediness, is not recalled
If you are satisfied livelihood will come peacefully
Satisfaction is richness; it is not a lot of money

Third: Fearing Allah: this is the key for all good and the prevention from all evil. Allah Almighty has said: {And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). (2) And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.} [Surat At-Talâq: 2-3].

{وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا ﴿٢﴾ وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ}الطلاق: 2-3

Transliteration: waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu makhrajan (2)Wayarzuqhu min haythu la yahtasibu

It is a way out from distresses and the key for livelihoods. Allah Almighty has said: {and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.} [Surat At-Talâq: 4].

{وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّـهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا} الطلاق: 4

Transliteration: waman yattaqi Allaha yajAAal lahu min amrihi yusran

Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "it means that He facilitates his affairs, makes it easy for him and grants him a speedy relief and a quick way out."

My noble brother: make fearing Allah the key of your success in all matters. Ponder on and work upon His ordains, so He facilitates your affairs. Avoid committing His forbiddance, so He prevents you from afflictions and dooms. Be benevolent to His slaves, so He will be supporter for you. Approach Him by good deeds, so He will be faster with all good for you. Put your trust in Him in your matters, so He will be sufficient for you in all your affairs. Allah Almighty has said: {And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him} [Surat At-Talâq: 3].

{وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ} الطلاق: 3

Transliteration: waman yatawakkal AAala Allahi fahuwahasbuhu

Brother: remember that you are in need of Allah. He alone disposes the affairs… feeds people… and clothes people… {Who is he that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision? Nay, but they continue to be in pride, and (they) flee (from the truth).} [Surat Al-Mulk: 21].

{أَمَّنْ هَـٰذَا الَّذِي يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُ ۚ بَل لَّجُّوا فِي عُتُوٍّ وَنُفُورٍ} الملك: 21

Transliteration: Amman hatha allathee yarzuqukum in amsaka rizqahu bal lajjoo fee AAutuwwin wanufoorin

He protects and guards them at day and by night. He saves their lives and existence. All creatures are in need of Him. So, do not forget that you are in need for His help, in need for His success. Whatever your efforts are, without Allah's blessing, they are fruitless. A poet said:

Unless Allah supports the boy
The first thing to destroy him is his diligence

Fourth: let your determination be high: brother, if you intend to follow the road of success in your life, putting your trust on Allah, seeking His help, fearing Him, ignoring your intention for money, so you have to know that Allah Glorified and Exalted has fixed cosmic laws concerning life. Some of the laws of Allah in life are toiling and diligence. Any living being has to struggle and toil to survive and live. Each living being has, willy-nilly, to struggle the hardships of life, to struggle its living, hunger, heat, cold and hardships according to what he has of the determination, power, resolution and success.

Allah Almighty has said: {Verily, We have created man in toil.} [Surat Al-Balad: 4].

{لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ} البلد: 4

Transliteration: Laqad khalaqna alinsana fee kabadin

This means that man toils the diversities of this worldly life and the matters of the Hereafter. Acquiring the Hereafter requires from you; patience, diligence and toil.

Livelihood needs you to toil. Acquiring knowledge, as well, needs you to toil. Whoever has a goal in this life has to exert efforts to achieve it. A workless cannot gain desires!

And here appears the value of high determination. This who has it is concerned with his/her goal. He/she is never satisfied with inferiority. The core of his/her goal is to live in nobility, die in nobility and be resurrected in the Hereafter with nobility.

Brother, beware of increasing your determination and decreasing your religion. You aspire for prestige, money, position and power while you wreck your religion. This is not high determination. This is, however, the obeyed miserliness of which the Prophet peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, has said: "Two hungry fierce wolves left with sheep; eating and spoiling, will not be as messier for the religion of a Muslim who asks for wealth and glory." [Al-Albani said: good authentic].

«ما ذئبان ضاريان في حظيرة يأكلان ويفسدان؛ بأضر فيها من حب الشرف وحب المال في دين المرء المسلم» قال الألباني: حسن صحيح

This who spends days in collecting money
Fearing poverty, this he does is poverty
Do not think that poverty is that out of richness
Poverty of religion is one of the worst poverties

High determination is praised as long as it is an aspiration that pleases Allah and that it is not harmful to one's religion. This is the praised determination that becomes a very powerful reason for success. Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "This who reflects clearly will be guided to the requirement of the noblest standings and will be prohibited from being satisfied with the inferiority at any case. A poet said:

I have not seen in people's faults a fault
As the deficit of the capable for perfection

So the sane should aspire for the utmost possible goal. If it were supposed for a man to ascend to the sky, it would be a very ugly defect to be satisfied to stay on earth. If prophecy could be acquired by diligence, a neglectful of this would be at the rock bottom. As matters are not alike, then one has to acquire the utmost learning. Imitation is a very ugly deficiency. If one has a strong determination, it will elevate him then to choose to himself a doctrine and not to imitate the doctrine of anyone else (do not stay in laziness. What has been missed is being missed due to laziness. Any gaining is reached by diligence and resolution. Determination boils in the hearts like the boiling of what is inside pots." [Said Al-Khatir, (the Hunting of the Thought) p.286]

If souls are grand
From their aspirations bodies will tire

Fifth: good pondering into matters: by continuous planning, preserving arrangement, wise use of time and leisure and avoidance of confusion and disorder. Anyone who can divide efforts on time accurately by giving important goals more effort and time than the less important businesses, he/she must succeed. This can only be achieved by a sane person who can put matters into their proper place.

{He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.} [Surat Al-Baqarah: 269].

{يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا} البقرة: 269

Transliteration: Yutee alhikmata man yashao waman yuta alhikmata faqad ootiya khayran katheeran

(Hikmah literally means wisdom, but it means here the knowledge, and the understanding of the Qur'ân, and the Sunnah and one's ability to speak and act in the correct and right way) and think my brother, about the words of the Messenger of Allah, Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in the Hadith: "There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good" [Reported by Al-Bukhari].

«نعمتان مغبون فيهما كثير من الناس: الصحة والفراغ» رواه البخاري

It is evidence that time and high determination have a strong role in achievement and success.

Inactivity and wasting time with what has no benefit for a Muslim is a disadvantage in two ways:

First: it is a disadvantage in the Hereafter, because the remorse of the people of the Hereafter will be for each moment at which one did not remember Allah, so what about a moment at which one disobeyed Allah!

Second: it is a disadvantage in this worldly life, as a man who wastes time uselessly must lose a lot of benefits.

As the degree of the people of resolution, resolutions are achieved
And as the degree of the people of honor, honors are achieved
Inferiorities are great in the eyes of the inferior
And great things are inferior in the eyes of the great

Yahya Ibn Mu'az said: "the aggrieved is the one who inactivates his/her days with the fruitless, empowers his/her organs for the things that would destroy them, and dies before being sobered up from the hidden violations."

One of the ancestors said: "night and day work on you so you should work on them."

Abu al-Abbas al-Dynury said: "there is nothing greater or nicer than time and heart and you are wasting both time and heart."

Brother: be wise in disposing your affairs, hold yourself responsible for your time and define your duties towards your Lord, your soul, your family and your worldly life obligations. If you manage your matters well by organizing, planning and accountability, you will succeed in most of your affairs.

Do not procrastinate today's businesses to tomorrow. Do not sleep in the times of duties. Do not be desperate in critical times. Know that persistence is the way of victory and that patience is the key for relief. Be as a poet said:

A heart that looks at its thoughts and a hand
That passes affairs and a soul that its fun is fatigue.

And as another poet said:

I have not got possession by wishes
But with days that made the forepart grey
I wore for it the turbidity of dust as
If you saw unclear to see the weather clear

Do not accompany the people of slackening and laziness. If you accompany them so let it be in fear and apprehension of them. Do not look at the pleasures of the people of idleness; they are but in a way of failure that you do not see its signs. Look at the people of seriousness. Read in their stories in history. Ask about their affairs. You will find that they have busied themselves with the most useful and righteous deeds.

Peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

Written by: Abu Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad Al-Faqeeh

Translated by Wathakker website

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