By Sikandar Azam

In every situation, whether peace or war, what prevails is the will of God. We do not succeed in life or triumph in any given situation like a war or competition unless we make tireless strivings and prevail in emotional, moral and organisational struggles. But these strivings and struggles alone cannot yield success. Believers can succeed in their life only if they start their journey with seeking God’s forgiveness and support and by cleansing their hearts of all wrongdoing.

Other keys to success are to abandon usury and adopt an equitable financial system, for an equitable society is more likely to succeed than an exploitative one. Suppression of one’s anger and forgiving others are also essential for success, because self-control, solidarity and kindness are vital forces in a tolerant society.

Another significant point that matters in achieving success is recognition of God’s will and the attribution of all eventualities to His wish and command. God bases the effect of our behaviour on the intent and nature of our strivings and struggles, whether right or wrong, compliant or rebellious. However, it is clear that we are no more than an instrument of God’s will and command which He puts to whatever purpose He chooses. Success is not a matter for us to decide. It is up to God’s will which is translated through our strivings and struggles. It is brought about for the sake of higher objectives decided by God Almighty. It depends on whether our performance is acceptable to Him and whether we have discharged our duties and obligations or not.

As for defeat it also comes about to achieve certain purposes, predetermined by God Almighty. It aims to test us and purify our ranks, establish facts, values and standards, and to reveal God’s laws for all to see.

The Qur’ān directs God’s Messenger ﷺ to proclaim: “Lord, Sovereign of all dominion, You grant dominion to whom You will and take dominion away from whom You will. You exalt whom You will and abase whom You will. In Your hand is all that is good. You are able to do all things.” (3:26)

In Islamic scheme of things, mere political or economic predominance has no value unless it is based on the Divine way of life. God requires the exercise of proper control of personal desires and greed and the upholding of the way of life chosen by God for human beings. Success must be totally for God and His way, and every human struggle must be made for the sake of God and His cause. Here lies ultimate success.

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