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How Does Islam Define Success?

Success. How do you define it? It seems every time someone uses the word ‘success’, someone in the comments section has to ask that question: “Yes, but how do you define success?”

When you look at pop culture and the use of the word success, you get the simple understanding of success as explained in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: Success is.. the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.

Merriam-Webster dictionary: Success is.. the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame.

In pop culture you’ll find ‘success’ quotes like:

  1. The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work

  2. I never dreamed about success; I worked for it

As the focus of this blog is MUSLIM Success, wouldn’t it be essential to review what Allah and His Messenger, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam say when the topic of success comes up? Here’s what I found:

Avoiding Riba (interest, usury)

In the Quran, there is a theme of success (Falaah in Arabic) connected to the avoidance of Riba. Take for example the following verse: [Quran 3:130]

Tyranny, crime, lying and conning others

In the pursuit of wealth, respect, or fame, some may attempt vile shortcuts with oppression, crime, or lying or deceiving others. The Quran is clear that, yes, perhaps in the short term it may seem like they are winning, but those who take this path will never ultimately succeed. [Quran 10:17 and 10:77]