Re-Defining Success For the American Muslim Community

Ultimately the definition of success in the Muslim community has to move beyond the bifurcation of worldly success and Here-After success. We are indeed fooling ourselves if we think one does not contribute to the other, either in a positive way, helping us achieve the Here-After, or in a detrimental way, denying us the Here-After. The illusion that they can be mutually exclusive endeavors shows us just how far we have departed from the spirit of Islam, hence our modern spirituality of no inconveniences. And if we think we have issues with this, image how completely taken and enraptured our children are with this. After all, they aren’t working the 80 hours a week to achieve the house, the spouse, the car, etc. They do not see or experience the means that justify our ends. They only see ends; it’s as natural for them as rain water and thus, nurtured in this environment, they will have few incentives to buck this trend or system.

وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ۚ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

“Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success.” Qur’an, 3: 104.