Try to recall the last time you achieved something big, commendable, note-worthy. Straight A’s? A promotion? Election into a high position? Admission into a competitive university?
Most of us have experienced the sweetness of success. Some of us view it as a blessing. Fewer of us recognize the Source of it and remember to thank Him.
But it’s so easy to be blinded by the brightness of our achievements, to convince ourselves that it was our own hands that earned our accomplishments. We pat ourselves on the back and then we look around to make sure others also recognize our work.
I have been fortunate enough to know a few people that serve as great role models in the case of humility. I have never received any news of their accomplishments from their own mouths and it’s not until I read about it in the news or hear it announced at an event that I come to know of some of the truly remarkable things they have done.
When I give my congratulations, I notice them tolerate it but never welcome it warmly into their hearts (or heads). That’s when I truly realized how important our intentions are.
For when we do something to seek other people’s appreciation, we are not satisfied until they take notice of it. But when we do it for God alone, for His pleasure, the only Being we desire recognition from already knows.
Then, He rewards us both for our intentions and our actions. “… But what is with your Lord is better and more lasting” (20:31). And that is enough for us.
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Badr. The day when Muslims, greatly outnumbered by their opponents, came out victorious with the assistance of God. One timeless lesson from that day that God even reminds us of in the Qur’an is that success comes only from God.
“And already had Allah given you victory at Badr while you were few in number. Then fear Allah; perhaps you will be grateful.” (3:123)Photo Credit: flickr user Pewari.