What is true success?

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The meaning of success in Islam is different to what we are taught by the norms of society and the popular worldly opinions of success. Our religion teaches us that true success is with Islam and being content with what Allah has given us. We read in a hadith:

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He has succeeded who embraces Islam, whose provision is sufficient, and whom Allah has made content with what he has given him.” (Sahih Muslim)

In another hadith we learn that the Prophet (SAW) said that the first action we will be accountable for on the Day of Resurrection is our Salah. If our Salah is in order, we will be successful. We read:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The first action for which a servant of Allah will be held accountable on the Day of Resurrection will be his prayers. If they are in order, he will have prospered and succeeded. If they are lacking, he will have failed and lost. If there is something defective in his obligatory prayers, then the Almighty Lord will say: See if my servant has any voluntary prayers that can complete what is insufficient in his obligatory prayers. The rest of his deeds will be judged the same way.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

We also learn that striving to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) will help us to be successful. Abdullah ibn Amr reported:

“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Verily, every deed has an enthusiasm and every enthusiasm has a limit. Whoever is enthusiastic for my Sunnah will have succeeded, but whoever is enthusiastic for something else has been ruined.’” (Musnad Ahmad)

The Prophet (SAW) said that we should seek forgiveness and wellness from Allah both in this world and in the Aakhirah. In the hadith, we learn that success is found in attaining this forgiveness and wellness. Anas ibn Malik reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Ask your Lord for forgiveness and wellness in the world and the Hereafter. If you are given forgiveness and wellness in the world and the Hereafter, you have succeeded.’” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

We read in a hadith that victory is something that will come with patience. This shows us the significance of patience and how beneficial it is for us on our journey to seeking true success. We read:

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Know that there is much good in being patient with what you detest, victory will come with patience, affliction will come with relief, and ‘with hardship will come with ease.’” [94:4-5] (Musnad Ahmad)

We learn in another hadith that even a small part of Jannah is better than the whole world and all that it contains. When we reflect on this, it makes us realise that true success is indeed in Jannah, which is in the eternal life of the Aakhirah. This Dunya is temporary and nothing of it compares with Jannah. We read:

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The small space of a whip in Paradise is better than the entire world and everything in it. Recite the verse if you wish: Whoever is delivered from Hellfire and admitted into Paradise has won. What is the life of this world but the enjoyment of delusion?” [3:185] (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

May Allah grant us all true success in this Dunya and in the Aakhirah. Aameen.