Successful Life in Islam

Successful Life

The Quran’s attitude towards suffering and adversity is not passive and resigned, but positive and dynamic. The believers are told that they will surely suffer and to be patient and persevering in times of hardship, but they are also to look forward and seek opportunities to improve their situation and rectify existing wrongs. They are told that while the risks and struggle may be great, the ultimate benefit and reward will be much greater.

Life was never meant to be easy. The Quran refers to a suffessful life as an “uphill climb,” a climb that most will avoid.

We certainly have created man to face distress. Does he think that no one has power over him? He will say: I have wasted much wealth. Does he think that no one sees him? Have We not given him two eyes, and a tongue and two lips and pointed out to him the two conspicuous ways? But he attempts not the uphill climb; and what will make you comprehend the uphill climb? [It is] to free a slave, or to feed in a day of hunger an orphan nearly related, or the poor one lying in the dust. Then he is of those who believe and exhort one another to patience and exhort one another to mercy. (Quran 90: 4-17)

Man, however, does not grow only through patient suffering, but also by striving and struggling against hardship and adversity. This expalins why jihad is such a key concept in the Quran. Often translated as “holy war,” the word jihad literally means “a struggle,” “a striving,” “an exertion,” or “a great effort.” It may include fighting for a just cause, but it has a more general connotation as the associated verbal noun of jahada, “to toil,” “to weary,” “to struggle,” “to strive after,” “to exert oneself.” The following verses, revealed in Makkah before Muslims were involved in combat, bring out this more general sense: 29:69; 29:6; 22:78; 25:52.

From Even Angels Ask: a Journey to Islam in America
by Jeffrey Lang (Amana Publication, 2007, pp 33)