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The Meaning of Success and Failure
from the perspective of Islam, Iman and Ihsan (i.e. living in the Divine Presence)

by

Muhammad Harun Riedinger
(ghafara_llahu lah)

Added on: October 1, 2008

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The Arabic word for success, which also recurs in the Generous Qur’an, is ‘falāh’, a word we are all familiar with as we hear it five times a day “…hayya ‘ala_l falāh!” in every adhan. Interestingly enough, the same root fa-lam-ha is also used in the Arabic word for farmer – fallāh, the literal meaning of which is something like ‘a person, who is successful by habit or by profession’. Here lies one key to the real meaning of success: The farmer of all professions is perhaps the one, who is least in control over the outcome of his efforts and labor; he tills the soil and throws the seed grains, and then he trusts in God. He leaves it to HIM to send lightening and rain and provide sunlight in the required measure to make the seeds germinate and grow, and he depends on HIS qudrah and rahmah to withhold hailstorms, droughts and pests while the plants are tender and vulnerable, and then again to provide dry weather to bring in the harvest – at least that is how it used to be.

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Muhammad Harun Riedinger can be contacted at: muhharrie@gmail.com

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