Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I’m finding success a struggle. What do I do?
Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
Yes, apparent worldly or religious “success” can be a trial (fitna) in life. Like everything in life, it is a test. The test in it is: Will you respond right to it?
What are key ingredients of right-response in success?
(One) Seeing all good as being from Allah–not from oneself. “Whoever finds good, let them praise Allah for it,” reminded the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk)
(Two) Being thankful for the blessing of this good–by directing the blessing towards the pleasure of Allah, in the ways pleasing to Allah.
(Three Not allowing this good and its attainment veil you from other good that you must pursue in life–such as the fulfillment of the rights of Allah; your right to seek Allah in life; the rights of spouse, parents, and family; the rights of your body and worldly needs/desires, in permissible and praiseworthy ways.
This is what the sunna teaches: finding the “beautiful balance” in life. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Give everyone and everything in life its due right.”
Key to these keys is:
(1) Consistently keeping good company–which is company that uplifts you and reminds you of Allah.
(2) Having spiritual routines that are realistic and consistent–particularly every morning and night, even if just 5 minutes–and sticking to them unwaveringly.
(3) Keeping one’s tongue moist with remembrance of Allah.
Strive to follow this Prophetic sunna to, “Keep your tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah.” [Tirmidhi] In your walking, work, and rest. Engage your tongue, heart, and mind with the remembrance of Allah.
One way is to repeat the the “lasting good deeds” the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) recommended: Subhana’l Llah; Alhamdu li’l Llah; la ilaha illa’l Llah; and Allahu Akbar. These can be recited in order or individually. Stay constant on them, and you’ll find peace of heart and increasing presence with Allah.
And Allah alone gives success.
wassalam, Faraz Rabbani
Executive Director, SeekersGuidance & SeekersHub Toronto