The definition of success is relative. For some success means achieving wealth beyond measures, for other it means helping and saving humanity with whatever means are available at disposal. People set their goals of success and then put all their efforts in pursuing those goals and try to go to every extent possible in achieving those goals.
For a Muslim the definition of success revolves around doing anything that results in pleasing Allah Almighty. A Muslim has to stick to the path of righteousness in order to develop a strong relationship with Allah. Once the relation is developed, the ultimate result is a Muslim achieving success both in this world and in the world Hereafter.
The lines below discuss 7 habits that a Muslim should adopt in order to be a successful Muslim.
Being true is one of the core habits that every civilized society appreciates in its members. When people adopt truthfulness, it actually means that they have laid the most important foundation stone upon which they are going to construct a building of great character.
In Islam truthfulness is one of the best virtues that a Muslim can have. It is the key component in one’s character that shows the righteousness of the person. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said about being truthfulness in the following way:
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fujur (wickedness, evil doing), and al-fujur leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Bukhari)
This hadith speaks of the benefits and rewards of being truthful and the vices of being a liar. Those who consider paradise as their objective of success can get great information about achieving their goal from this hadith. In order to successfully achieve their goal, all they have to be is truthful while following Islamic way of life. When they are truthful, they set the course of events in such a way that ultimately leads to paradise. Therefore, a Muslim must incorporate the habit of being truthful in his or her life in order to grow closer to Allah successfully.
Being trustworthy is also an integral component that is to be appreciated in the personality of a person. Not everyone in this world is trustworthy and people do not trust other with anything, this lack of trust on someone shows that one lacks the characteristic attributes of goodness because of which people do not show trust on anyone. When there is someone on whom people trust, it shows that people believe in his or her character and it is the goodness in the character of that person that has made them trust him or her with either their secret or possession. In Quran, Allah Almighty mentions one of the proclamations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), where He said:
“I convey to you the messages of my Lord, and I am to you a trustworthy adviser.” (7:68)
From the ayah it is clear that being trustworthy is one of the Sunnahs of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and every Muslim knows that following His Sunnah always leads to success in both the lives. Therefore, for a Muslim it is imperative to adopt and grow qualities that make him or her trustworthy in life.
We as humans are bound to commit error, however, this fatal flaw in our nature does not mean that we don’t need to control ourselves, rather we need to practice self constraint as much as possible. It is this practicing of self-restraint that keeps us on the right track and prevents us from going stray on a path that leads to total darkness. Those who learn Quran and try to understand it, are aware of the fact that all the instructions in Quran are to help a Muslim in practicing self-constraint. In Quran, Allah says:
“But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].” (41:35)
From this ayah it can be deduced that the practicing patience and self-restraint results in a person receiving goodness and great fortune as a reward. Therefore, the success in the form of goodness comes to all those who are patient and practice self-restraint. Therefore, a Muslim must also learn from Quran the things that need to be avoided and whenever the temptation rises, he or she must resist it by practicing self-restraint.
The reason why we as humans are not able to stick with the right path or do anything good in our life is that we do not pursue it with thoroughness. The term ‘thoroughness’ here means aiming for perfection. When one sets perfection as an ideal, then the least he or she could achieve would be better than setting something ordinary as an ideal. It was one of the Sunnah of Prophet (PBUH) that He was perfect in character. Therefore, every Muslim must try pursuing perfection, as the pursuit of it leads to a person becoming good in character and achieving small milestones in the way successfully.
No matter whether it is a worldly objective or something that is in Islamic preaching, the achievement of it all depends upon focus. When a Muslim is focus, he or she sees thing clearly and when the destination is clear in the eyes, the ultimate result is a person arriving at the destination successfully. A simple example of it can be seen with respect to prayers, about which Quran says:
“The Believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers.” (23:1-2)
From the ayah it is clear that those who humble themselves in prayer will eventually win. If this ayah is seen from the perspective of focus, then humbleness in prayer is something which one only achieves when one is focused. The more focused one is during prayer, the more he or she realizes what prayer is and the more he or she grows humble. Therefore, if a Muslim is to win, then he or she must undertake every task in life with complete clarity and focus. You can read this article discussing about improving concentration while offering prayers.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked:
“Which deed is the dearest to Allah?”
“To offer the prayers at their early stated fixed times.” (Bukhari)
In addition to pointing the importance of prayers, this hadith also highlights the importance of offering Namaz on the given time, in other words it highlights punctuality. In order to be successful in worldly as well as religious life, a Muslim has to be punctual in every aspect of life and value time. Therefore, a Muslim must be conscious of the commitments with regards to time and adhere to them strictly.
Consistency is another key attribute that results in a person achieving success. When one is consistent, then he or she sticks with things and takes them to completion. This consistency gives birth to steadfastness which then finds its roots in trust in Allah Almighty. Therefore, in every undertaking a Muslim must be as consistent as possible. Hazrat Ayesha (RA) narrates:
“The most beloved action to Allah’s Apostle was that which is done continuously and regularly.” (Bukhari)
In a nutshell, every Muslim must try making the aforementioned attributes as habits. Once a Muslim makes these attributes as habits, the ultimate result is he or she achieving success with balance in this life and in the life hereafter as well.