Aim for the Supreme Achievement

February 24th, 2014 @   -  No Comments

What does success mean to you? Is it getting a great job, buying your dream house, giving your kids an excellent education and vacationing in exotic locations around the world? Is it amassing a lot of wealth? Is it having power and influence?

There is nothing wrong with any of the above as long as you acquire and use them in a correct way. However, these are all finite things which, although they may give us some temporary pleasure in this life, will never satisfy our craving for self fulfilment in this life or success in the hereafter.

Our life on this earth, no matter how long, is very short indeed. If we compare 100 years on this earth with the eternity of the hereafter, which for the sake of visualization let’s assume is 100 billion years, it is like someone living on this earth for only 3 seconds! Of course, eternity is infinite and any length of time compared to that is zero.

On the Day of Judgment, Allah will ask people, “What number of years did you stay on earth?” They will say, “We stayed a day or part of a day: but ask those who keep account.”  He in turn will respond, “You stayed not but a little, – if you had only known! (Quran 23:112-114).

If we truly believe that this life is like living a day or part of a day, would we invest so much of our time and energy building temporary success in it which we will leave behind for others to enjoy while we will be held fully accountable for the way we got it?

I suggest we take a few minutes to contemplate the true meaning of success.

There are many passages in the Quran where Allah talks about the Supreme Achievement, great salvation or supreme felicity.  All these passages are connected with the hereafter. Allah says “…those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement” (Quran 4:13).

As a leader you are not only responsible for your own destiny but you are also serving as a role model for those around you.

What do we need to do to attain the supreme achievement for ourselves and help those around us to do the same? We find the responses in the holy Quran.

The key to eternal salvation is very simple. It is to obey Allah and His messenger as clearly stated in the verse we mentioned earlier (Quran 4:13). Allah and His messenger have identified a number of dos and don’ts. They are summarized in the verse: “Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity” (Quran 3:103).

This opens the field wide to all humans, young and old, learned and unlearned, male and female, weak and strong, healthy and disabled, rich and poor to do any type of good they are capable of and enjoining others to do the same and refraining from doing any type of harm and forbidding other people from doing the same.

As a leader, you can encourage each and every person around you to do whatever good they can with the means they have. If they can’t do any good, they should refrain from doing any bad and harming others through their actions or their tongue.  They can carry out simple acts like keeping their neighborhoods clean by disposing of their garbage correctly, not making noise which annoys others, not driving carelessly on the road, not backbiting others or making fun of them, respecting the young and the elderly, helping to feed the poor and shelter the homeless, passing on whatever knowledge they have, and so on. The best of acts are those which are consistent even if they are small. Like mountains which are made of small grains of sand, many small acts accumulate and leave an impact.

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah is the most regular and constant even though it were little.” (Al-Bukhari)

The supreme achievement is close to everyone who makes small but consistent good deeds and avoids bad ones.

 

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