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 How to be successful in life

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PostSubject: How to be successful in life    Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:12 am

Question:


How to
obtain success and prosperity in this world and hereafter.What kind of
success or prosperity that islam want the ummah islam gain in this
world.



Answer:

Praise be to Allaah.


Peace
of mind, contentment, happiness and freedom from worries and anxiety…
these are what everyone wants, and these are the ways in which people
can have a good life and find complete happiness and joy. There are
religious means of achieving that, and natural and practical means, but
no one can combine all of them except the believers; although other
people may achieve some of them, they will miss out on others.


There
follows a summary of the means of achieving this aim for which everyone
is striving. In some cases, those who achieve many of them will live a
joyful life and a good life; in other cases, those who fail to achieve
all of them will live a life of misery and hardship. And there are
others which are in between, according to what the means he is able to
attain. These means include the following:


1 – Faith and righteous deeds:

This is the greatest and most fundamental of means. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Whoever
works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a
true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good
life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision),
and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of
what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)”


[al-Nahl 16:97]

Allaah
tells us and promises us that whoever combines faith with righteous
deeds will have a good life and a good reward in this world and in the
Hereafter.


The
reason for that is clear: those who believe in Allaah – with sincere
faith that motivates them to do righteous deeds that change hearts and
attitudes and guides them to the straight path in this world and the
Hereafter – follow principles and guidelines by means of which they deal
with everything that happens to them, be it the causes of happiness and
excitement or the causes of anxiety, worry and grief.


They
deal with the things that they like by accepting them and giving thanks
for them, and using them in good ways. When they deal with them in this
manner, that creates in them a sense of excitement and the hope that it
will continue and that they will be rewarded for their gratitude, which
is more important than the good things that happen to them. And they
deal with bad things, worries and distress by resisting those that they
can resist, alleviating those that they can alleviate, and bearing with
goodly patience those that they cannot avoid. Thus as a result of the
bad things they gain a lot of benefits, experience, strength, patience
and hope of reward, which are more important and which diminish the
hardships they have undergone and replace them with happiness and hope
for the bounty and reward of Allaah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) expressed this in a saheeh hadeeth in which he
said: “How wonderful is the situation of the believer, for all his
affairs are good. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks for
it and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him, he bears
it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not apply to
anyone but the believer.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 2999).


The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us that the believer is
always gaining and the reward for his deeds is always multiplying, no
matter what happens to him, good or bad.


2 – Being kind to people in word and deed, and all kinds of doing good.
This is one of the means of removing worry, distress and anxiety. By
this means Allaah wards off worries and distress from righteous and
immoral like, but the believer has the greater share of that, and is
distinguished by the fact that his kindness to others stems from
sincerity and the hope of reward, so Allaah makes it easy for him to be
kind to others because of the hope that this will bring good things and
ward off bad things, by means of his sincerity and hope of reward.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“There
is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders
Sadaqah (charity in Allaah’s Cause), or Ma‘roof (Islamic Monotheism and
all the good and righteous deeds which Allaah has ordained), or
conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good
Pleasure of Allaah, We shall give him a great reward”



[al-Nisa’ 4:114]


Part of that great reward is relief from worry, distress, troubles, etc.

3
– Another of the means of warding off anxiety that stems from nervous
tension and being preoccupied with disturbing thoughts is to occupy
oneself with good deeds or seeking beneficial knowledge
,
for that will distract one from dwelling on the matters that are
causing anxiety. In this way a person may forget about the things that
are making him worried and distressed, and he may become happy and more
energetic. This is another means that believers and others have in
common, but the believer is distinguished by his faith, sincerity and
hope of reward when he occupies himself with that knowledge which he is
learning or teaching, or with the good deeds that he is doing.


The
work with which he occupies himself should be something that he likes
and enjoys, for that is more likely to produce the desired results. And
Allaah knows best.


4
– Another thing that may ward off worry and anxiety is focusing all
one’s thoughts of the present day, and not worrying about the future or
grieving about the past.
Hence the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) sought refuge with Allaah
from worry and regret, from regret for things in the past which one
cannot put right or change, and worry which may come because of fear for
the future. So one should focus only on the present day, and focus
one's efforts on getting things right today. For if a person is focused
on that, this means that he will do things properly and forget about
worry and regret. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) said a du’aa’ or taught a du’aa’ to his ummah, as well as
urging them to seek the help of Allaah and hope for His bounty, he was
also urging them to strive to attain the thing they were praying for
through their own efforts and to forget about the thing which they were
praying would be warded off from them. Because du’aa’ (supplication)
must be accompanied by action. So a person must strive to attain that
which will benefit him in worldly and spiritual terms, and ask his Lord
to make his efforts successful, and he should seek His help in that, as
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Strive
for that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allaah, and do not
be helpless. If anything (bad) happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I
had done such-and-such, then such-and-such would have happened.’ Rather
you should say, ‘Qaddara Allaah wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allaah decrees, and what He wills He does),’ for (the words) ‘If only’ open the door to the Shaytaan.”
(Narrated by Muslim). The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) connected the matter of
striving to achieve good things with the matter of seeking the help of
Allaah and not giving in to feelings of helplessness which are a harmful
kind of laziness, and with the matter of accepting things in the past
which are over and done with, and acknowledging that the will and decree
of Allaah will inevitably come to pass. He described matters as being
of two types:


1
– Matters which a person may strive to achieve or to achieve whatever
he can of them, or to ward them off or alleviate them. In such cases a
person must strive and make the effort, and also seek the help of
Allaah.


2 – Matters where such is not possible, so he must have peace of mind, accept them and submit to Allaah’s will.

Undoubtedly paying attention to this principle will bring happiness and relieve worry and distress.

5
– One of the greatest means of feeling content and relaxed and of
acquiring peace of mind is to remember Allaah a great deal (dhikr).
That has a great effect in bringing contentment and peace of mind, and relieving worry and distress. Allaah says:

“verily, in the remembrance of Allaah do hearts find rest”

[al-Ra’d 13:28]

Remembering
Allaah (dhikr) has a great effect in achieving this aim because it has a
special influence and because of the hope that it brings of reward.


6
– Another of the means of bringing happiness and relieving worry and
distress is striving to eliminate the things that cause worry and to
achieve the things that bring happiness.

That may be done by forgetting about bad things in the past which
cannot be changed, and realizing that dwelling on them is a waste of
time. So a person must strive to stop himself from thinking of that, and
also strive to stop himself from feeling anxious about the future and
the things that he may imagine of poverty, fear and other bad things
that he thinks may happen to him in the future. He should realize that
the future is something unknown, he cannot know what good or bad things
are going to happen to him. That is in the hand of the Almighty, the
Most Wise, and all that His slaves can do is to strive to attain the
good things and to ward off the bad things. A person should realize that
if he diverts his thoughts from worrying about his future and puts his
trust in his Lord to take care of his situation, and puts his mind at
rest concerning that, if he does that, then his heart will be at peace
and his situation will improve and he will be relieved of worry and
anxiety.


One of the most effective ways of dealing with worries about the future is to recite this du’aa’ which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to recite:

Allaahumma
aslih li deeni alladhi huwa ‘ismatu amri, wa aslih li dunyaaya allati
fiha ma’aashi, wa aslih li aakhirati allati ilayha ma’aadi, waj’al
al-hayaata ziyaadatan li fi kulli khayr, wa’l-mawta raahatan li min
kulli sharr
(O Allaah, correct my religious commitment which is the
foundation of my life, and correct my worldly affairs in which is my
livelihood, and grant me good in the Hereafter to which is my return.
Make my life a means of accumulating good, and make death a respite for
me from all evil).”
(Narrated by Muslim, 2720).


And he said, Allaahumma rahmataka arju fa la takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin wa aslih li sha’ni kullahu, laa ilaaha illa anta
(O Allaah, for Your mercy I hope, so do not abandon me to myself even
for a moment. And correct all my affairs. There is no god but You).”
(Narrated by Abu Dawood with a saheeh isnaad, no. 5090; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Kalim al-Tayyib, p. 49).


If
a person utters these du’aa’s, which ask that his spiritual and worldly
affairs may be set right or corrected, with proper presence of mind and
sincerity of intention, whilst striving to achieve that, Allaah will
grant him what he has prayed for, hoped for and striven for, and He will
turn his worry into joy and happiness.


7
– If a person experiences anxiety and distress because of a disaster,
then one of the most effective means of relieving himself of that is to
think of the worst scenario to which that may lead, and try to accept
that.

When he has done that, then he should try to alleviate it as much as
possible. By means of this acceptance and these efforts, he will relieve
himself of his worries and distress, and instead of worrying he will
strive to bring about good things and to deal with whatever he can of
the bad things. If he is faced with things that cause fear or the
possibility of sickness or poverty, then he should deal with that by
striving to make himself accept that, or something even worse, with
contentment, because by making himself accept the worst-case scenario,
he lessens the impact of the thing and makes it seem less terrible,
especially if he occupies himself with efforts to ward it off as much as
he can. Thus as well as striving to achieve something good which will
distract him from his worries about calamity, he will also renew his
strength to resist bad things, and put his trust and reliance in Allaah.
Undoubtedly these matters are of great benefit in attaining happiness
and peace of mind, as well as bringing the hope of reward in this world
and in the Hereafter. This is something which is well known from the
experience of many who have tried it.


8 – Steadfastness of heart and not being disturbed about the imaginary things that bad thoughts may bring to mind.
For when a person gives in to his imagination and lets his mind be
disturbed by these thoughts, such as fear of disease and the like, or
anger and confusion stirred up by some grievous matter, or the
expectation of bad things and the loss of good things, that will fill
him with worries, distress, mental and physical illness and nervous
breakdowns, which will have a bad effect on him and which causes a great
deal of harm, as many people have seen. But when a person depends on
Allaah and puts his trust in Him, and does not give in to his
imagination or let bad thoughts overwhelm him, and he relies on Allaah
and has hope of His bounty, that wards off his worries and distress, and
relieves him of a great deal of mental and physical sickness. It gives
indescribable strength, comfort and happiness to the heart. How many
hospitals are filled with the mentally sick victims of illusions and
harmful imagination; how often have these things had an effect upon the
hearts of many strong people, let alone the weak ones; how often have
they led to foolishness and insanity.


It
should be noted that your life will follow your train of thought. If
your thoughts are of things that will bring you benefit in your
spiritual or worldly affairs, then your life will be good and happy.
Otherwise it will be the opposite.


The
person who is safe from all of that is the one who is protected by
Allaah and helped by Him to strive to achieve that which will benefit
and strengthen the heart and ward off anxiety. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):


“And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him”

[al-Talaaq 65:3]

i.e.,
He will be sufficient for all that is worrying him in his spiritual and
worldly affairs. The one who puts his trust in Allaah will have
strength in his heart and will not be affected by anything he imagines
or be disturbed by events, because he knows that these are the result of
vulnerable human nature and of weakness and fear that have no basis. He
also knows that Allaah has guaranteed complete sufficiency to those who
put their trust in Him. So he trusts in Allaah and finds peace of mind
in His promise, and thus his worry and anxiety are dispelled; hardship
is turned to ease, sadness is turned to joy, fear is turned to peace. We
ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound, and to bless us with strength and
steadfastness of heart, and complete trust, for Allaah has guaranteed
all good things to those who put their trust in Him, and has guaranteed
to ward off all bad and harmful things from them.


If
bad things happen or there is the fear of such, then you should count
the many blessings that you are still enjoying, both spiritual and
worldly, and compare them with the bad things that have happened, for
when you compare them you will see the many blessings that you are
enjoying, and this will make the bad things appear less serious.


See al-Wasaa’il al-Mufeedah li’l-Hayaat al-Sa’eedah by Shatkh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Sa’di

Ibn al-Qayyim summed fifteen ways through which Allaah may dispel worries and regret. These are as follows:

1- Tawheed al-Ruboobiyyah (belief in the Oneness of Divine Lordship)

2- Tawheed al-Uloohiyyah (belief in the Oneness of the Divine nature)

3- Tawheed of knowledge and belief (i.e., Tawheed al-Asma’ wa’l_Sifaat, belief in the Oneness of the Divine names and attributes)

4- Thinking
of Allaah as being above doing any injustice to His slaves, and above
punishing anyone for no cause on the part of the slave that would
require such punishment.


5- The person’s acknowledging that he is the one who has done wrong.

6- Beseeching
Allaah by means of the things that are most beloved to Him, which are
His names and attributes. Two of His names that encompass the meanings
of all other names and attributes are al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and
al-Qayyoom (the Eternal).


7- Seeking the help of Allaah Alone.

8- Affirming one's hope in Him.

9- Truly
putting one’s trust in Him and leaving matters to Him, acknowledging
that one's forelock is in His hand and that He does as He wills, that
His will is forever executed and that He is just in all that He decrees.


10-Letting
one's heart wander in the garden of the Qur’aan, seeking consolation in
it from every calamity, seeking healing in it from all diseases of the
heart, so that it will bring comfort to his grief and healing for his
worries and distress.


11-Seeking forgiveness.

12-Repentance.

13-Jihad.

14-Salaah (prayer).

15-Declaring that he has no power and no strength, and leaving matters to the One in Whose hand they are.

We
ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound from worries and to relieve us of
distress and anxiety, for He is the All-Hearing, Ever-Responsive, and He
is the Ever-Living, Eternal.


See Alhomoom – Dealing with Worries and Stress, in the Books section of this site.

And Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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