What Does Striving for Success Mean to You?

by Nurhuda Abu Bakar

Success is simply defined as “the achieving of the results wanted or hoped for” in the Cambridge Dictionary, and that opens up a myriad of ways and spheres of life which success can be applied to. From the macro (like having success in relationships and careers) to the micro (like achieving success in finishing a book or getting through the day). And yet for some of us, the idea of success that’s been sold to us can be rather singular in nature, and often linked to measurable things like wealth, status, or the number of followers we have on social media.

But as the definition stands, we must set the areas and things we want to be successful in. We are in control of prioritising what truly matters to us. Is it health? Family? Impact and legacy? For Muslims, we are cognisant that life doesn’t end when we leave this world, and so we must cast our net wide. We often ask from Allah to grant us success in this world and in the hereafter.

وِمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

And of them, whoever says: “Our Lord! Give us what is good (and beautiful) in the world and what is good (and beautiful) in the Hereafter and protect us from the torment of the Fire”.

[Al-Baqarah 2:201]

Hence, this February and March, Muslim Pro will delve into what it means to strive for success. How do we define success and has our personalised definition of it align with what we want to achieve in the hereafter? From learning from past successes of prophets to exploring the different ways success manifests itself in the world around us, we will be able to reflect on how we wish to define it for ourselves. Because ultimately, everyone’s version will look different and that’s okay.

Also, as we inch closer to Ramadan, we will look into good practices in Rajab and slowly gear ourselves up for the month of all months. Ibn Abbas reported:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِرَجُلٍ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ اغْتَنِمْ خَمْسًا قَبْلَ خَمْسٍ شَبَابَكَ قَبْلَ هَرَمِكَ وَصِحَّتَكَ قَبْلَ سَقَمِكَ وَغِنَاكَ قَبْلَ فَقْرِكَ وَفَرَاغَكَ قَبْلَ شُغُلِكَ وَحَيَاتَكَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِكَ

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”

[Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 1077]

This is a beautiful reminder that success is often already in our hands and simply overlooked because we are so focused on the goals we are running towards. We may forget to be grateful and before we know it, we will start losing our health, our youth, our time, our wealth and ultimately our life. So let’s not wait til it’s too late; let us take stock of where we were, celebrate where we are now, prepare for where we wish to go, and seek that Allah’s blessings in granting us success in all the ways that He deems us worthy of having.