By Dr. Farhat Hashmi
Attainment of success is a major goal that every person strives to achieve in life. Some might even adopt extreme measures to attain it. Are material worldly gains the right yardstick for measuring true accomplishment?
Success is a relative term. We all perceive it differently according to our own dreams and aspirations. Many people believe that if they achieve their dreams, they have acquired true success. However, every dream is just a rung of the ladder that leads to the final destination. When one step is reached, we aspire to climb further by wishing for something else, something more difficult and higher in standard. When a person sees some ability in another person, he aspires to inculcate it in himself too. Wealth and education are considered to be the criteria for success; however, these are all worldly targets that we chase incessantly. Are all these keys to eternal happiness? Do they define sheer success? Or is it that we feel happy for a while and then it diminishes with time and then we start running after something else! Is it just a vicious cycle?
Yes! The fact of the matter is that success of this world is just temporary. It fades away with time. It is a delusion that has no significance in the hereafter.
Success of this world is like a mirage, in which an unreal thing appears to be real. We look at a lot of things in this world and think of them as our destination. We strive to achieve happiness through worldly pleasures, but once attained and tasted, their importance diminishes. The same stands true for women as well.
In the present era, successful women are those, who are independent and strong, are able to earn decent subsistence and take care of themselves in difficult times. If a woman wears trendy, fashionable clothes, knows how to decorate her house or how to serve her guests with a variety of dishes or grooms her children, people think that she is an ideal woman, a very successful one. Similarly, if she achieves a high professional qualification, people are impressed by her and idealize her as a very successful woman.
All these standards have been set for modern women to keep them happy and content. However ironically, thousands of women, who are so-called successful, are still not truly happy and content. Why is it so? How can it be true success, if it is not making us truly happy and content and the satisfaction achieved from it is only time bound?
Though we are so tied up in this world that we think we can achieve happiness through material gains, the fact remains that if a person strives to enter paradise and makes the attainment of this final abode as the criteria for success, everlasting happiness can be achieved. Whoever enters Jannah, beholds its beauty and above all, gets to see his Creator in reality, is a successful person. This is what we should work hard for in this world.
Temporary worldly success is just like a station or a bus stop, where we sit and relax before moving on ahead towards our next destination. What is the next destination? What is the final destination? When we do reach there, have we actually earned anything to keep us strong and really happy forever? What formula does Allah (swt) give to today’s modern women for success in Quran and Sunnah?
Definition of genuine success is as follows: wherever we are and whatever we do, our efforts should be counted as good deeds in the eyes of our lord, Allah (swt). We can easily perform these, if we fulfil the rights of Allah (swt) and those around us.
The rights of Allah (swt) are concerned with our personal lives and the faith that we have in our hearts. In order to fulfil these rights, a Muslim woman must ask herself, if her worship is for Allah (swt) alone. Is she completely submissive to Allah’s (swt) will, and how much does she remember Him? Does she fulfil the basic duties prescribed by Islam, such as performing Salah, fasting, giving Zakah and performing Hajj? How much does she love Allah (swt) and tries to do what He has ordained? What is the degree of her obedience to Allah (swt), her Islam and her submissiveness and humility to Allah (swt); the degree of caution in staying within the limits set by her Creator, and her level of Taqwa and willingness to follow Allah’s (swt) commands. She should also analyse, how much she remembers Allah (swt), and whether she is aware of her duties as the follower of Prophet Muhammad (sa). If she is unaware of all these roles and their obligations or is aware but not fulfilling them to the best of her ability, then success is not possible!
If she positively responds to this queries and considers herself a part of the Muslim Ummah, she should further also analyse, whether she is upholds and respects the rights of others around her. In order to delve into this subject, it is first imperative to study the role of a woman in the society.
(to be continued tomorrow)