Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Everyone have equal opportunity to achieve success

We have been bombarded with the wrong definition of success over and over and over again - until it seems like the truth. It's almost abominable to say, high education and wealth is NOT what success is. High education and wealth MAY be a tool to attain success. It could also be an obstacle to attaining success.

Some people hope that the general standard of living among people will rise - that we can 'educate' everyone - and by that they mean that everyone can get a piece of paper that says they have reached a certain level of study. Never mind if the person actually really LEARNED something for the years of school - as long as they get the high scores. However for most of these people, if we ask, what is the objective of your study? Most would say, it's to get the certificate, the degree the PHD - so that you can get a good job.

A good job. People want a 'good' job - meaning a job that pays well. WHY do people want a 'good' job that pays well? So they don't need to work as hard as the others? So that they get easier money?

What do they want to do with the easy money and a good job? To enjoy life? And then what? Do people think that the purpose of life is enjoyment?

This is how far we have been deluded in our effort and determination for 'success' in life.

This definition of 'success' in life has caused so much strain in the lives of people - those who cannot attain this 'success' or even for those who have 'attained' this success because they are still searching for something more.

The truth is - these are all delusions. The truth is hard to swallow. Just because it is being said repeatedly, it does not mean it's right.

There is only one objective of this life on earth - and that is worship Allah SWT who created us and to whom we will all return.

Allah has defined for us, what success is. It is NOT wealth and children. It's the good deeds that we do for the sake of Allah SWT. These can be achieved by anyone, young and old, rich or poor, one with a formal education or one without. Everyone has an equal chance at attaining THIS true success.

Then, should we let there be poor people? It's not about 'letting there be'. It's more about it being a natural state of being. Some people are born to lead, others to follow, some born male, others female. Some born rich, others poor. Some become rich, others become poor. We can't possibly have a uniform state for all man.

"For, He it is who has made you inherit the earth, and has raised some of you by degrees above others, so that He might try you by means of what He has bestowed upon you. [166] Verily, thy Sustainer is swift in retribution: yet, behold, He is indeed much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace."
Al An'am 6:165 (translation by Asad)

Having poor people is a blessing for the rich - it gives them the opportunity to do more good deeds - which is persistently mentioned in the Qur'an - that is to give to charity. If there are no poor people around, to whom can the rich give charity to?

Being poor or being rich is part of the Test that Allah has set for human beings. As mentioned, the best among them is not those who manage to attain more wealth, but those who can show more faith, piety, patience and perseverance in the state that are put in.

"Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: But the things that endure, good deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes."
Al Kahf 18:46 (Yusuf Ali's translation).

So, what's the conclusion? Don't need to study? don't need to work?

Of course not. First we make clear our purpose of life. To seek Allah's blessings and therefore in whatever we do or try to achieve, we do it in order to seek His blessings. We work to seek the sustenance of Allah SWT, with intentions of giving back to the community, with the intention of being able to support our family and give back to charity. Be grateful for what Allah has provided for us. In whatever state that we are in, continue to have faith in Allah and his Rewards in the Hereafter, enjoin patience and perseverance.

The rich must remember their duty, and must not be miserly nor should they be wasteful. The rich have their own set of tests and their current wealth does not ensure their success in this world and Hereafter.

A successful community is not one where everyone is formally educated and wealthy. It's one where there are a mixture of the rich and the poor or needy, where the rich respects and helps the needy and the needy are not a nuisance to the society out of envy for the rich - in that they are knowledgeable in the deen of Allah SWT and practise it's teachings. Of course this applies to the rich too. In this scenario, people live in calmness and in harmony.

True, this situation is almost unimaginable - but the thing is, Allah will judge us individually - so it doesn't matter if this cannot be achieved at a community level. We are still required to do our part as an individual, as we are answerable for our own efforts and deeds.
We must try to find the meaning of life and peace and tranquility in our pursuit for the right kind of success - as defined by our Creator.

May we become a better Ummah. Aamiin.

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