Reflection No. 2:16 on Q 23:1-2 – Successful indeed are the believers
أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ قَدْ
Successful indeed are the believers, who are humble in their prayers
Sura al-Muminun, verse 1-2
Everyone wants to be successful. But what is true success? The criteria for success may differ from person to person, hence we need the criteria from the Creator, who truly knows what success really is. Success has been described as achieving one’s desires and attaining happiness. Whatever brings success in this world is short-lived and fleeting. It is susceptible to change. Success in the Hereafter is not tinged with such transience. Those who attain happiness there will be able to retain the happiness forever. Thus true success is that which is achieved in the world to come.
Almighty Allah in this passage describes the qualities of truly successful believers. Their first quality is that they are humble when talking to God. Humbleness is an inner state of meekness when in front of a great and powerful being. This inner state is manifested in the actions and movements of the body.
Humility in prayer is the sign of a healthy heart, one that is untarnished by the disease of pride and vanity. What exactly is humility? It is a keen awareness of one’s own lowliness, and the Magnificence of the Almighty. It means being conscious of the sins that have been committed. It includes being overcome at times with the thought of the servant who possesses nothing, standing at the door of the One who is the Master of everything, and being allowed in to have a personal conversation with Him.
Humility is the key to saying Salaat as it ought to be said. A person with humility prays in a calm and slow manner. He is tranquil in Salaat, feeling ashamed, yet full of hope in, and love for, Allah. Recite this verse often to remind yourself of the humbleness required in Salaat. To work your way towards success, that is the first quality you must attain.