What is success? What is happiness?
Take a second. Or a minute. Think about what your ideal day looks like. Is it an accumulation of small routine tasks or one big achievement? What would your first step be? And your second?
First off, let’s contemplate for a bit on why it would be beneficial to plan out a set of goals, daily or for a period of time and to describe what would make said period of time successful and productive. God tells us in the Qur’an, “Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that is between.” [21:16] This verse relays the importance of time and its proper use in the life of the Believer. There is a purpose for all of God’s Creations. The purpose of mankind is to worship as revealed in the Quran, “I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me.” [51:56] However, worship comes in many forms and throughout our daily lives, whether it is habitual activity or an accomplishment after weeks and months of tiresome commitment, it is important to remember that everything that is done is for the sake of God alone, and none other than Him.
Now, bring your thoughts back to what forms of worship your ideal day consists of. Picturing and visualizing what you as an individual define as “a good day” helps to hone in on what your goals are in your public and personal life, while remembering your purpose. It is important to realize that everyone has a different idea about what he or she would want to accomplish. God has given us free-will and choices that create the life we want, that is what makes your life, yours. Everything that you do does not have to be an all-or-nothing situation; it can be a process as most of life is.
Consider success in life not as a destination or an end, but as a means; it is a process of culminating deeds that eventually determine your Reward from God. As you live your daily life, it can be helpful to realize that there is no worldly perfection that exists at the end of the path you wish to pave for yourself. The idea that you must be acknowledged for every good deed and the pursuit of fame as a means of success is an unstable lifestyle of continued dissatisfaction. The fulfilment of goals in this life is not dependant on being the best or the most or the highest. Seeking any form of reward other than that of God’s [reward] itself would be a hindrance. The intention and action for the sake of God alone is enough to say I am happy with what I have done. I am happy with what God has enabled me to do. I am grateful. Alhamdulillah.
Now, happiness – just defining the word is a heavy task in and of itself. Happiness is a state of being, a being that is variable amongst all peoples. It cannot be the heading of a list of synonyms or extravagant possibilities that may or may not come true. It is the assurance of knowing that what you have is enough, the clarity of Truth that guides your life through childhood, adolescence, your acquisition of knowledge, work and parenthood. However, happiness is a mere portion of what it means to be truly whole – a sense of satisfaction with whatever God has willed, whether they are moments of joy or sorrow. Being human implies the need to experience all emotions, opening possibilities and changes about learning how to deal, how to accept, how to act and react. Through the journey of knowing yourself, you learn and recognize that from Him you came and to Him is your inevitable return. The lack of material wealth or renowned fame is not an indicator of success or happiness, but rather serves as a reminder of all that is left behind in this world.
In your own daily life, make changes to keep your goals in mind at all times. Prioritize your needs to continuously remember your purpose. Purify your intentions to establish a relationship with God. Make time for yourself, make time for your family, your community and do it for the sake of God. To worship Him is our purpose and Paradise is our final goal, insha’Allah.
With immeasurable Mercy, Guidance and Compassion, God tells us in the Qur’an,
“Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!” [13:28]
Marzia holds the Treasurer position at KIH