What is Success?
The ultimate goal, or true success in Islam is to bring humans to a close personal relationship in this life with their creator. Allah has created each and every one of us to live our lives on this earth for a time, but after that, it has been ordained by Allah that we return to Him. And Allah (swt) says (interpretation of the meaning is): –
“….Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, will have indeed have been successful]” (Aale-Imran 3:185)
The Ultimate Result is The Criterion
Not alike are the inmates of the fire and the dwellers of the garden (jannah): the dwellers of the garden (jannah) are they that are the achievers. (Surah Al Hadeed 59:20)
So, success and failure is based on the ‘ultimate’ result. If we are a millionaire or a king in this finite world but end up in hell-fire in the infinite life, then we are a looser. Also, the finite success here as compared to the infinite failure in the next world is negligible. This is similar to division by infinity in mathematics.
So who are the Successful?
Allah says in Quran (interpretation of the meaning is…)
“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajiroon (the Emigrants from Makkah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madeenah who helped the Muhajiroon) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [9:100]
SubhaanAllah if we notice Allah says He will be pleased with “those who followed them…” and also says it is “Supreme Success”.
And then bring the number down further, there are some companions who the Prophet S.A.W. gave Glad tidings of Jannah to while they were alive. SubhaanAllah…! So are these not the MOST SUCCESSFUL?
lmam Al–Hasan Al-Basn- Describes Their Situation
He, Allah have mercy on him, said: “By Allah, I have met some people and I accompanied a group of them. They never rejoiced at any worldly thing they attained and were never saddened by anything of the world that they missed. To them, all of the things of the world are far less valuable than this dust. One of them would live for fifty years and never had sufficient cloth (to wear). They would not set up any pot on fire for cooking ru1d there used not to be anything between them and the ground (when they slept). They never ordered for food to be cooked in their homes. When it was night, they would stand on their limbs and prostrate on their faces, tears streaming down their cheeks calling their Lord to ransom their necks (from punishment).
“When they did any good deed, they would persist in thanking Allah for it and ask Him to accept it from them. When they committed any wrong, it would grieve them and they would beg Allah to forgive them and they never ceased to do that. By Allah they were not free of sin and they did not succeed except through seeking forgiveness.
“As for you people, you are waking up to find yow· lifespan depreciating, yow· deeds recorded and death, by Allah, is hanging on your neck. The Fire (of Hell) is in front of you. So, expect the decree of Allah, every day and night.”
These were the Companions of the Prophet (S.A.W.). Who can ever come close to their faith and who can ever match their sincerity?
They were people: “Who paid attention to the reality of this world when others paid attention to its superficiality. They paid attention to the Hereafter while others paid attention to this world.
They stymied (of the world) what would sully them. They abandoned (from the world) what they knew will eventually leave them. What they sought from it was indeed very little and their mentioning of it (the world) was only in passing. The (love of the) world faded in their hearts and they never renewed it. It died in their hearts and they never revived it after its death. Rather, they demolished it and built with it their Hereafter. They sold it and bought with it what will remain for them (in the Hereafter). They rejected it and they rejoiced at that. They love Allah and they love His remembrance. They sought illumination by the light of Allah and they illuminated with it. They had wonderful stories (about them) and their experiences were amazing.
“By them the Book (of Allah) was established and by it they stood. By them the Book of Allah spoke and by it they also spoke. By them the Book was known and by it they worked. They never saw anything (of the world) greater than what they achieved. (To them) there was no security in anything greater than what they hoped for and they had no fear in anything greater than what they were afraid of (in the Hereafter).”
They were the proofs of Allah against His creations. He clothed them in the glowing light of His love. He raised for them the banner of guidance to draw near (to Him). He showered on them patience (to avoid) going against the guidance (of Allah). He purified their bodies by their constant watch (of the rights of Allah). He enrobed them with His love, then He deposited in their hearts, treasures of the unseen which are tied to drawing near to Him. Their understanding propels them toward Him. Their attention, in their solitude, is focused on Him. He placed them upon the door of observation close to Him. He placed them on the seats of those who recognize Him.
Source: “Learn Islam” Course