In today’s world, material wealth is the yardstick with which success is measured. The more one has it, the more respectable and victorious he is considered to be. Is it really the true success that we are all pursuing?
Allah (swt) in the very first verse uses the word Aflaha which is in past tense meaning that believers have succeeded. Here Allah (swt) could have said that believers will be successful but he did not do so. Why does He use past tense?
The past tense is used to show that this is the ground reality. Allah (swt) is telling the believers that it will definitely happen! Those who have believed will surely be successful. This is the beauty of the Arabic language; every word used endorses the powerful message from Our Creator.
So what is success?
Generally, success to us is wealth, fame, status, beauty and other such material things but Allah’s (swt) definition of success is quite different. Worldly success is very temporary. Fame comes and goes, beauty fades with time but success according to Allah (swt) is something that is permanent and everlasting. Not only it is permanent but the joys that He has kept for the believers are something which one can never even imagine or has seen or heard in this world. That is the true success! However, like all worldly matters, we have to work hard to earn that paradise so we could be successful and be among the faithful believers.
According to a tradition related by Urwah bin Zubair (rta), Hazrat Umar (rta) said: “This chapter (Surah Muminoon) was revealed in my presence and I observed the state of the Prophet (sa) during its revelation. When the revelation ended, Prophet (sa) remarked: “On this occasion ten such verses have been sent down to me that the one who acts upon them, will surely enter paradise.” Then he recited the initial verses of this chapter of the Quran. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)
Analyzing the context of the revelation, it becomes evident that Allah is addressing the Makkans and telling them what true success really is? Makkan chiefs thought that they were successful as they had money, wealth and fame while the early converts to Islam were poor and majority of them were slaves. Here Allah (swt) makes it very clear that only the believers are and will be successful as they possess the attributes that He loves.
These qualities are as follows:
- who are humble in their prayers;
- who avoid vain talk;
- who are punctual in the payment of Zakah (purification of the self);
- who guard their private parts except with their spouses or those who are legally in their possession for in that case they shall not be blamed;
- who are true to their trust and covenants;
- who are diligent about their prayers (strictly guard their obligatory prayers).