Who is success for?

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Soulveda

A chapter of the Quran entitled Al-Muzammil (The Wrapped One) commences with these verses:

“O you who are wrapped up in your mantle, stand up to pray for much of the night. It may be half the night or a little less than that or a little more, but recite the Quran slowly and distinctly. For We are about to send down to you a message of considerable gravity. Surely, getting up at night [for worship] is the most potent means of subduing the self and most suitable for the word [of prayer]. You have by day prolonged occupations. Remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him wholeheartedly.” (73:1-8)

From these verses it is clear that God requires people to be so devoted to divine service that they rise at night in order to perform their duties to the Lord. To forsake one’s sleep and spend the night hours in pursuit of a cause indicates the highest level of dedication; it shows that one has associated oneself utterly with the object of one’s dedication.

This applies to worldly pursuits also. Almost all the individuals who have reached great heights in any field have been those who were willing to stay awake at nights in order to gain proficiency in it.

The case of Severiano Ballesteros, the Spanish golfer, provides apt illustration of this point. Ballesteros won millions of dollars in numer­ous victories in tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic. There was a time, however, when he was just a poor caddy at Pedereda in Spain. He once told Frank Keating of the Guardian newspaper how he used to get up at night to hit a 100 or so balls “at the moon.” He could not see them—“but I can tell how good and straight I hit them by the feel in hands and the sand.”