Ahmadiyyat Back Issues

Worldly Achievements and Joys Are Not Everlasting


Any occasion of success fills a person with joy. There are three kinds of joy mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: lahw, la’b and tafakhur. The word lahw includes the delight gained through food; la’b refers to the joys of marriage and the like; and tafakhur refers to pleasure gained through wealth, etc. These are the three categories of pleasure; aside from these, there is no other delight. Always remember, however, that these achievements and joys do not last forever. In fact, if you attach your hearts to these pleasures you will be in a state of loss. Eventually, a time comes when this pleasure begins to turn bitter.

Worldly achievements are never free from trials. The Holy Qur’an states:


َخَلَقاْلَمْو َتَواْل َحٰيوَةلَِيْبُلَوُكْم

This means, God has created death and life so that He may try you. Success and failure too is a matter of life and death. Success is a kind of life. When a person learns that they have succeeded in something they are rejuvenated and a new life is breathed into them, as it were. If a person comes to know that they have failed, they die a living death, and often, many weak-hearted people even die.

It should also be borne in mind that ordinary life and death are easy, but a hellish life and death are intensely painful. A fortunate person ultimately succeeds after their failure, and thus becomes even more fortunate and their faith in God Almighty increases. Such an individual derives pleasure when they reflect over the wonders of God. Worldly success becomes a means of increasing them in their understanding of God. For such people, worldly success becomes a means of leading them to true success (which is known as falah in Islamic terminology). I say in earnest that true happiness and true comfort does not at all lie in the world and its possessions. The truth is that even after exhausting all the aspects of the world, a person cannot attain true and everlasting happiness. You observe that the rich and wealthy are always in a state of cheerfulness, but their state may be likened to a person who suffers from eczema. When a person scratches their skin they experience a soothing sensation, yet the final outcome of their scratching is that they begin to bleed. Therefore, do not become so jubilant over these worldly and temporary achievements that you lose sight of true success. Instead, consider your worldly achievements to be an avenue that leads to the recognition of God. Do not take pride in your resolve and effort and do not surmise that any achievement is due to any capability in you or effort on your part. On the contrary, you ought to believe that the merciful God, who does not let anyone’s sincere effort go in vain, has given you the fruits of your labour. Do you not observe that every day hundreds of students fail in their examinations? Do all of these students not make an effort and are they foolish and mindless? Not at all. Some of them are so intelligent and bright that they are sharper than many of the students who have passed. Therefore, it is necessary and incumbent on a believer to perform prostrations of gratitude before God Almighty whenever they are blessed with an achievement that God did not let their effort go in vain. The result of this gratitude will be that a person will increase in their love of God Almighty and grow in faith. In fact, this is not all; such people will be graced with even further successes because God Almighty states that if one shows gratitude for His bounties, He shall increase His bounties upon such a one; but if one is ungrateful for His blessings, then remember that such a one shall be seized by a grievous punishment.[2]

[1] The Holy Qur’an, 67:3.

[2] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as), Malfuzat – Volume 1 (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications, 2018), 151-153.