How to Be a Real Winner?

22 July, 2016
Q What is the type of success in this world and the Hereafter that Islam urges for?

Answer

Salam Dear Ahmad,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

The Ultimate Goal

Unlike other faiths that have messages that are limited to what is spiritual in this life, Islam is comprehensive in its teachings. It offers guidance to people of all backgrounds, languages, cultures and skills.

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.

If we are fortunate enough to receive His Mercy and Forgiveness we will dwell in happiness in gardens with rivers flowing beneath them for eternity. If, through our misdeeds, we earn Allah’s wrath, then we are condemned to spend eternity in torment and misery.

Islam aims to make this earthly life as pleasant and trouble-free as possible so that we can focus on developing that close personal relationship with Allah before we are brought to account.

If we achieve this in this earthly life, the return to Allah will be very easy and we look forward to meeting Him in person. If we spend our lives carelessly seeking our own selfish desires and ignore the rights and benefit of others, we will not have developed a relationship at all with Allah and will do our best to avoid, if possible, returning to Him to be held to account.

Leading a Good Life

Allah has created the heavens and the earth for our benefit. So, as Muslims, we must understand that everything in the heavens and the earth is essentially good.

There are some harmful things, though, that should be avoided, and we have been warned by Allah as to what those few things are.

It should be simple enough to lead a good life without worrying about falling into harmful and sinful things. The problem is that the Devil has already been condemned to spend eternity in the torment of Hellfire.

Out of his arrogance and jealousy, the Devil has set a goal for himself that he will not be alone in his eternal misery. He will do his best to make sure he has company from among his own kind, the Jinn, and from among the descendants of his enemy, Adam, peace be upon him.

As Muslims, we seek Allah’s guidance to help us to avoid every kind of harm and evil and to open the doors for us and guide us to whatever types of goodness, benefit and well-being that we have at our disposal in this life.

Allah surely knows better than us what is in His creation that benefits us and what is in it that is harmful to us. So, we ask Him regularly for the best of this life and the best of the next life.How to Be a Real Winner? - About Islam

The best of this life is what Allah has described in the Qur’an as being good and what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has taught us from his life or Sunnah.

The worst of this life is likewise what has been described by Allah and by what Prophet Muhammad has warned us about.

Is It Money and Wealth?

Money and wealth, for example, are good things that Allah has created, but if we are not careful, they can bring us to ruin. Making our ultimate goal to gather more and more wealth for its own sake, even to the extent that we will overstep any boundary to get it, will lead us to suffering in this life and the next.

If we seek wealth to provide for ourselves and others, remembering that it ultimately belongs to Allah, we will not overstep our limits and we will seek wealth in ways that are acceptable to Allah, and those ways are almost unlimited in number.

{O Children of Adam, wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer, eat and drink. But waste not by excess, for Allah loves not the wasters.}  (Al-A`raf 7: 31)

Being wealthy is a good thing so long as we gain our wealth through lawful means and are not extravagant and wasteful. We spend it on those who have rights to it, such as our dependents and the needy. And we show appreciation to Allah in the ways He likes, for having given it to us in the first place.

Wealth may lead us to ruin and misery in this life and the next if we steal it from others, earn it through unacceptable means, which in itself is a form of stealing, and we do not take care of our dependants and the needy.

These types of people do not show appreciation to Allah because they think that they have earned this wealth due only to their own hard work and skills.

Seeking wealth in this life is encouraged in Islam.

{So seek your provision from Allah, and serve Him, and give thanks unto Him, (for) unto Him ye will be brought back.} (Al-`Ankabut 29: 17)

Wealth, contrary to what many believe, is not the indicator of true success in this life. True success in this life is to be at peace with our Creator, with our environment and with ourselves.

It Is When We Are at Peace

When we are at peace with Allah, we are happy with Him as our Lord and we seek His mercy, help, and guidance in every matter. We fear displeasing Him because we realize that we depend on Him for everything, and in His hands is our destiny in this life and the next.

When we are at peace with our environment, our loved ones and our communities are happy with us, and us with them. They will speak good of us and seek our advice. Even the earth and its creatures will pray for us as we treated them with respect and appreciation.

When we are at peace with ourselves we are happy with what Allah has given us and confident that we are on the right path. We see how Allah has protected us from harm by minimizing our failures and how He has opened many doors for our successes.How to Be a Real Winner? - About Islam

Islam means achieving peace through submission to the Will of Allah. We put Allah’s Will before our own because we trust that He will always direct us to what is beneficial and warn us against what is harmful. That is the ultimate in mercy.

Allah is not in need of us or even our existence, yet He created us and provides everything we need, and more. He wants us to be happy and successful in this life and the next so that we may spend eternity with Him.

{That He may make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: He that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest achievement.}  (Al-Ahzab 33: 71)

I ask that Allah, all praise and thanks to Him, guides us all to what pleases Him so that we may all achieve the ultimate success. Please keep in touch.

Salam.

About Waleed Najmeddine
Waleed Ahmed Najmeddine is a Canadian born Muslim and public school administrator. He is an active member of the Muslim community and enjoys educating Muslims and non-Muslims about Islam. He currently holds a Master of Education degree in leadership and school improvement.