Everyone wants success, who doesn’t? We all strive in life to create success in our lives based on what everyone wants and sees as success. However, Allah informs us in today’s Quran verse what true success really is.

So, what is true success in Islam and according to the Quran? There are many things that can be attributed to the success of a person, yet Allah narrows it down to one thing that matters above all else, and that is to have a sound believing heart. The heart is the centre of your emotions and feelings, and it controls your happiness, both in this world and in the hereafter. If your heart is connected to Allah you will be lead to success both in this life and the hereafter.

In today’s Quranic Verse, Allah teaches us the connection between the Heart and Success in Surah Al Baqarah,17, where he says:

“Their example is that of the one who kindles a fire, but when it illuminates what is around them, Allah took away their light and left them in a state of darkness where they cannot see.”

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسْتَوْقَدَ نَارًا فَلَمَّا أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّـهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتٍ لَّا يُبْصِرُونَ

Today’s 5 Minute Quranic Reminder, Page 4, Verse 17 we learn the Route to Success.

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Lessons Allah teaches us in this Verse :

This verse was revealed about the hypocrites at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). However, it applies to us all and teaches us the greatest lesson for Success and happiness in both this world and the hereafter.

You see the hypocrites, they showed outwardly that they were believers, yet their hearts were full of disbelief, malice and hatred towards the believers.

The hypocrites looked like the believers, and they spoke like them and acted like them in front of other people. So they benefited from the garments of belief. The enjoyed the many perks of being in that Islamic environment.

However, their hearts were full of hatred and enmity towards other people and especially towards Allah. Ingratitude, arrogance, selfishness, jealousy, envy and being motivated by all that was wrong.

In this verse, we learn that the heart is what Allah will judge you on, regardless of your outward appearance. Looking like a Muslim or calling yourself one isn’t enough. Islam has to enter your heart and guide it.

So often we are led by our desires for all the wrong things.  If your heart becomes corrupted for love of your desires or hatred, jealousy and envy towards others, then you will not benefit from the light of guidance.

Having these feelings or traits doesn’t make you a hypocrite, but Allah is warning us about the hypocrites and their characteristics so that we can route them out and get rid of them in ourselves.

What Leads to the Corrupted Heart

The state of the hypocrite is one that Allah is warning us away from. But more importantly He, the Most Merciful is informing us that the heart is the most important thing to focus on.

If you can control your heart, then you can control everything around you. If your heart is full of goodness, then the world around you will see that goodness in your behaviour and your actions. Goodness will manifest in your life because your heart will be guided by Allah and The Messenger (Quran and Sunnah).

We must avoid being like those hypocrites who look good on the outside but their hearts are corrupted and dark on the inside.

Major Sign of the Corrupted Heart

Instant gratification is one of the major causes that lead to the corruption of the heart. The hypocrites that Allah refers to in this verse, were people who also looked for instant gratification of their desires.

That’s a dangerous situation to be in, because your heart is led by your base desires for pleasure, power, lust etc. When the heart is controlled by these base desires we lose control of ourselves.

People who become addicted to these instant gratifications, become addicts, and we all know how addiction has ruined millions of lives. And it’s no different being addicted to things that corrupt the heart like Sin.

When you become addicted to any Sin, your number one goal is to serve your desire and you will forget about serving Allah.

You see the crime of the hypocrites was that they wanted instant benefits and pleasures. And they did not really want to submit to Allah’s guidance in the Quran or Sunnah, because it would stop them from pursuing those negative desires.

How to Take Control of you Heart and Mind

The solution for us is quite simple. Make choices that will serve you and your interest today, as well as on the day of judgement when you meet Allah. Your choices will shape your life because you will act upon those choices.

Your choices must bring benefits in both Dunya and Akhira, if they don’t then you will be making your own life difficult.

Choices are those decisions that we often don’t pay attention to, or we underestimate the significance. Those choices maybe small, but they have a compounding affect and ultimately, they will shape your life.

For all those who like to watch, this is a quick video where I explain the meaning of this verse and the amazing lessons you can take from it:

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True success in Islam is working away to purify the Heart

Get rid of any hatred, malice or jealousy and any negative feelings towards other people. But most importantly stop the negative feelings towards Allah and his religion.

Many people don’t even realise they have negative feelings towards Allah.

Sometimes they blame Allah for what goes wrong, other times they don’t have confidence that Allah can and will help them. They may say on their tongue “insha’Allah it will get better”, yet they doubt Allah will help them at all.

Your heart has to submit to Allah, has to expect the good from Allah and be grateful. Having good thoughts about Allah will change your perspectives on life. Even when things go wrong, those good thoughts about Allah will help you.

To conclude it is evident from today’s verse that true success is controlling your hearts desires, so that they are in line with what Allah is pleased with. Staying away from those things that Allah has forbidden gives you control over your life.

If you lose control of your heart to base desires you cannot attain true success in life or death. Every one of us will enter into the eternal realm of the hereafter. Don’t let your heart lose it’s way.

You have the power of choice and intention. Your intentions are found in your heart and they must be congruent with the actions that you take. In other words, you need to walk your talk.

I have no doubt that Allah is showing us the characteristics of the hypocrites because He does not want you and I to become one of them. Allah wants you to enter paradise.

It’s possible that we may all have some of those characteristics within us, so the most important thing is to work at purifying your heart by doing things that please Allah. Make the choices that are going to be pleasing to Allah, and stop yourself from those bad choices.

It’s a long road to success, but no doubt you will get there insha’Allah.

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  • Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • Become the Best version of yourself this Month
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