In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
And know ye that your possessions and your progeny are but a trial; and that it is Allah with Whom lies your highest reward. 8:28
So being successful on these parts should not be a reason to be proud for a muslim, nor should we admire or be jealous of those who are, success is merely a test. On the other hand there are other tests that are the opposite of success: pain and suffering.
Even the prophet was remembered of his tragic battle of Uhud and that it was merely a test from Allah:
And what you suffered (of the disaster) on the day (of the battle of Uhud when) the two armies met, was by the leave of Allah, in order that He might test the believers.
And when We delivered you from Firon's people who subjected you to severe torment, killing your sons and sparing your women, and in this there was a great trial from your Lord.
In this surah Allah torments his chosen people (the Israelites) by way of the Pharaoh. This was but a trial from Allah. So the events, either outwardly very successful or outwardly very unsuccessful and even tormented are both trials and have nothing to do with success. Then why is Allah doing all these tests ? And what is success in Allah’s eyes ? The following verse gives an answer to this.
Verily, Allah knows those who believe, and verily, He knows the hypocrites [i.e. Allah will test the people with good and hard days to discriminate the good from the wicked (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test)].
So the true meaning of success is to be a good person. A successful person in Islam is a good person. Not one who only pretends to be good in ‘good’ times, or in ‘’ times, but at all times, no matter what the challenge may be. Actually the whole meaning of life is centered around this:
Lo! We create man from a drop of thickened fluid to test him; so We make him hearing, knowing.
Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned.
The tests (both the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ experiences) are even considered to be purifiers to the believers:
And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers
There is a hadith that summarizes all the before mentioned in a simple example given by the prophet.
Mus’ab ibn Sa’eed reported: His father asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which people are tested most severely?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “They are the prophets, then the next best, then the next best. A man is tried according to his religion. If he is firm in his religion, then his trials will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, then he is tried according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.”
So humanity is tested so that we elevate to a life without sin. And the tests are both ‘good’ experiences of success and ‘bad’ ones in which we suffer. They are all created by Allah and for the same goal: making us better people. So next time you suffer and cry to Allah ‘why me’ think about this. It is only a test and it should be welcomed as a chance to become a better person. The same goes with success. Next time you are ‘lucky’ and successful in something, don’t feel any pride in it, it is just a trial. It is just Allah testing you what you will do with all that money. The only true success in Allah’s eyes is to be a good person who is of service to humanity and the world.
Wishing you success and health,
The Healthy Muslimah