Success is something that has been on my mind lately. One of the first questions that comes to mind is ‘what are the secrets to success?’ As Muslim women growing up in contemporary times, we all face challenges that make it hard to have that break-through to success. There are some important lessons I have learnt through observing many admirable leaders around me, particularly sisters who have excelled in their own roles as mothers, wives, professionals and even as all these plus more!
We live in a society that teaches us a narrative of success which might not always meet the ideals of what a Muslimah had hoped for in life. We are told that being a stay-at-home Mum is equated to being ‘unemployable’, and whilst we do have outstanding mothers juggling work, life, home and community activities, these women are not celebrated enough for their tireless lifetime work in raising the next generation. Success then, has to be more than just what society dictates to us.
For me, as a Muslimah, true success has a very clear roadmap. It is one which is signposted by the following five key ingredients, and without them I have seen very few productive people who are are not only good at what they do, but also happy with what they have. That is the ultimate success, as the Qur’an reminds us:
“Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence; but approval from Allah is greater. It is that which is the great attainment.” [Qur’an: Chapter 9, Verse 72]
The Muslimah’s Roadmap to True Success
Start with sincere intentions
Success begins on the sincerity of our intentions. We should always seek to have a lasting benefit from whatever we have set our minds to achieve, whether it is studying at university, getting into a career, starting up a business or even choosing to start a family.Our very success of what we intend to do will depend on how sincere we are in our efforts to please Allah and not others in society. I personally can bear testimony to the fact that whenever I have had sincere intentions to pursue certain goals in life, Allah has opened doors of success for me due to the purity of that intention.
Invest wisely in time
One of the top traits of successful leaders as research has shown is that they manage their time effectively, and for Muslim women, playing multiple roles in the modern day this is tough nut to crack! Plan your day so that you get the most important tasks done, without compromising on your priorities.That means we have to put family first and at times turn down opportunities, or at other times it means we have to be strict with where we spend our time and instead invest our time in the set goal. Quit wasting time on things that do not bring you benefit and watch how your life becomes full of blessings. For more tips on how to do this, check out our Taskinator.
In an era of information highway, Muslim women have unparalleled access to knowledge, courses, books and so much more. Anyone can develop their knowledge and grow in an area of interest. Some of the most successful Muslim women I have seen invest in their own knowledge, growth and excel at what they do so they become a role model to those around them.By identifying the areas you need to develop yourself in, you can create a learning action plan. Try starting this by creating a monthly personal development plan and set very clear action steps with deadlines to see how you progress.
Get a mentor
One of the best ways to develop yourself and a secret to the success of Productive Muslimah is to surround yourself with mentors. This can be someone even personally in your family whom you admire for their ability to do something really well, or even a professional.Seek out those mentors and meet up with them. Talk to them about your life goals and get practical advice on how to go forward with your goals. I have had some great mentors who have helped me to grow as a Muslimah more than I could have achieved had I not taken their advice.
Make lots of dua!
The final but one of the most powerful ingredients to being a successful Muslimah is to make dua and lots of it! I often like to dream big and then translate these dreams into duas. The power of dua is that it increases your humility and reminds us that all success only comes from Allah , so why not create a dua list asking Allah exactly for the things you so desire to succeed in?
After all, we won’t know if we’ve truly succeeded until we attain Jannah. May Allah make us amongst those who are the successful in this life and the Hereafter. Ameen.