Wednesday 19 July 2023

Traits of Believers who attain true success

We have been sharing traits of a Muslim and a believer, as mentioned in Qur'an and Hadiths, in our number of posts published earlier. Today, we commence another series of posts exclusive to Traits of a Believer, who attain true success. These traits are mentioned in Surah 23. Al-Muminun الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ (The Believers). The Surah commences with the opener "قَدۡ اَفۡلَحَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ‏ (23:1) The believers have indeed attained true success." Then in succeeding verses, it is explained who are those who have attained success.

The noble characteristics of the Believers pointed out in verses 2-9 are the arguments to prove the assertion made in verse 1 as mentioned above. In other words, it has been stated that people with such and such traits and qualities are the only ones who can attain true success in this world and in the Hereafter.

Let us first explain the first verse that mentions who are the Believers who have attained success:
"Believers", who have attained true success, are those who have accepted the Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him), and have acknowledged him as their guide and followed the way of life taught by him.

This assertion cannot be fully appreciated unless one keeps in view the background in which it was made. On the one hand, there were the well-to-do and prosperous chiefs of Makkah, the opponents of Islam, whose business was thriving and who were enjoying every good thing of life, and on the other hand, there were the followers of Islam majority of whom were either poor from the beginning, or had been reduced to poverty by ruthless antagonism to Islam. Therefore, the assertion, "Most certainly the Believers have attained true success", with which the discourse begins, was meant to tell the disbelievers that the criterion of success and failure that they had in mind was not correct. It was based on misconceptions besides being transitory and limited in nature: it led to failure and not true success. On the contrary, the followers of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him), whom they regarded as failures, were truly successful, because by accepting the invitation to the Right Guidance given by the Messenger of Allah, they had struck a bargain which would lead them to true success and everlasting bliss in this world as well as in the Hereafter, whereas by rejecting the Message the opponents had incurred loss and would meet with the evil consequences both in this world and in the next.

This is the main theme of the Surah Al-Muminun and the whole discourse, from the beginning to the end, is meant to impress the same. 

Yusuf Ali in his translation notes that Aflaha (اَفۡلَحَ) means win through, prosper, succeed, achieve their aims or obtain salvation from sorrow and all evil. This verse connects with verses 10 and 11. Success or victory may come in this world, but it is certain and lasting in the world to come.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki: It is a true promise; nay, it is a firm decision ensuring success for the believers. If we take it as a promise, we know God never fails to honour His promises; and if we say that it is His decision, then no one can ever foil a decision by God. What is promised is success in the life of this world and in the life to come; success for the individual believer and for the community of believers. A believer will feel this success in his heart and will see it coming true in his day-to-day life. The success God promises includes all that human beings associate with success and what God keeps in store for His faithful servants.

In other words, "Success is for one who is a true believer, one who devotes himself fully to God and not to anybody other than God and who leads a God-oriented life.  Realization of God is not a simple matter.  It brings about a revolution in the life of a person.  He becomes a worshipper of God and bows down before Him in submission."

So, who are those faithful servants, the believers who receive this document written by God, containing this promise and a clear declaration of success? Who are the believers promised all goodness, victory, happiness, success and goodly provisions in this life on earth; and further promised to be successful in the hereafter, when they receive God’s reward and enjoy His pleasure? They will also have much more that is known only to God, and this will be given in their two lives. Who are these believers who will inherit paradise where they will abide?

Verses 2-9 give us a detailed list of their characteristics. These are given herein under. Please click on the highlighted text for elaboration/explanation (as and when added in time to our blog):
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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