Pure Success

قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ

“Successful are those who purify themselves” (87:14)

Imagine a society where success was defined by morality, where a person’s wealth, colour and lineage were irrelevant compared to their piety.

Imagine if, when transacting with you’re fellow human beings, you each sought to out-do one another in kindness, love and virtue, rather than money, beauty and status.

Imagine the impact we would have on this earth if each of us purified the impact we had on it, careful not to damage the delicate ecosystem we live in ahead of any cost or profit considerations

Imagine a society where people were told to be the best version of themselves, aspiring to rid themselves of their vices, rather than pacifying or accepting them – or even “succeeding” through them.

Even if you were to limit success to this material world, the respect people have for you is not in your money, power or beauty, but the purity they find within them.

You see, the value of what we do is not intrinsic to it. Not every pound was created equal. Money is no good when stolen. Relationships do not blossom when toxic. Power does not transform when oppressive. Value in what we do lies in the manner in which we do it, even if the results are not what we expect.

Allah ﷻ emphatically states success lies in our purification. It precedes dhikr and prayer in the following verse as it is a prerequisite for them. It implies you will get dirty, whether it be natural, accidental, or intended – and the best of us are those who scrub up – physically and spiritually.

Indeed, successful are *only* those who purify themselves – so let us shift our focus as a community from what we do, to how we do it.


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