I recently read a news item on the Russian Reporter introducing the new model of a cell phone by the Danish company Aesir which produces mobiles for VIPs. This new model was named “Successful Life”. It has nearly no functions of a traditional mobile phone:

you cannot use email, go online, take photos, record videos, play games, or even use a navigator. This phone has only one but very expensive feature, which differentiates it from regular mobiles: the entire set is made of gold and, thus, costs USD 57,400. Only a few of these mobile phones have been produced, only for the VVIPs, or those who have a ‘successful life’.

I have never been among those who drool over the riches of others, keep an eye on how much money they have, and discuss the lifestyles of VIPs. The financial situation of others has concerned me only at a time when my children had nothing to eat. But even then I didn’t think: “I wish I also had that.” Instead, my thoughts were: “Well, I don’t even have enough to feed my kids”, as I was busy calculating the number of months I could continue to buy food instead of thinking about acquiring that latest USD 2,000 designer watch.

At the moment, my kids do have enough to eat, so the hefty price of this mobile set does not hurt me as much. However, the name of the model, “Successful Life”, does push some buttons.

It turns out that if you believe the marketing, you will learn that if you can afford to buy this expensive ‘toy’, your life is successful. What is the meaning of a successful life today? What do you visualize when you hear the words ‘a successful man’? What does this successful man look like? Just think about it: a mobile phone without any useful, handy, and needed functions except that it is made of gold is called “Successful life”! The same applies to the people who would buy such a phone: they have no important functions and are not useful for anything, but they are swimming in gold: the definition of a successful life. Maybe the purchasers of this phone will include those who work hard: they have ‘golden brains’ and ‘golden hands’. However, the majority will be those who serve no useful purpose in society.

This phone set worth tens of thousands of dollars can only allow phone conversations and nothing else: a primitive item in an expensive shell. According to this Danish company, the one whose life is successful does not differ much from this phone set, as he carries out only the most primitive functions in life. He wants to live and be rich. How many people would think of a successful person in such terms? And how many individuals are out there who dream of such success?

It is no secret that the higher a person climbs on the ladder of shallow pursuits and achievements the more difficult it is for him to maintain piety and purity of soul. We see examples of this all around us. Money opens up a life of ease and also the opportunity to help others. However, think about it! The person viewed as successful today is the one who attained that position by striving for the comforts of this life. But can anyone of them really say that they have gained absolutely all they wished for?

A Hadeeth says: “Two insatiables will never find satiety: the one who yearns for knowledge, and the one who yearns for worldly (goods).” (Al-Bazzar)

These are the two needs of people which will never be satisfied to the fullest. We will never have enough money. And we will never have enough knowledge. Those travelling on the road to riches know that they always want more. Think about yourself: yesterday you were earning 10,000, and it was not enough for you; today you are earning 30,000, and it is not enough for you. Believe me those who earn 100,000 also feel they do not have enough money.

Those travelling on the road to knowledge say that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Knowledge is like a bottomless well. The Quran says: “And it is not your wealth nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.” (Saba 34:37)

The knowledge which we gain by studying our Deen strengthens our faith. To the believers, successful is the life of those whose success does not end with death. Knowledge leads us to the best of results. The elderly will gladly share with you the knowledge of how short life is.

“Say: ‘Short is the enjoyment of this world. The Hereafter is (far) better for him who fears Allah…’” (An-Nisa 4:77)

Which bird of happiness are you trying to capture? The blue one with golden designs and a mobile phone in its beak? Or the one which will show you the way to Paradise? Whether our life is successful or not is something we will find out only when it will end. Let’s meet in Paradise and be among those who will cheer out loud: “A Successful Life!” Insha’Allah.

Translated for hiba by Laila Brence. Source: http://assalam.ru