What Is Success?
There is absolutely no one in this world who doesn’t want success. Although success is something everyone is looking for, most are confused as to what and where success actually is.
This is why you see most people spend years of their lives tiring themselves to achieve something that means success to them, and suddenly, after achieving all that, they feel empty and lost.
The true meaning of success can only be defined by the Creator. Allah says:
“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).” [Surah Nahl, verse 97]
Women, The World And The Only Solution
Many women today, including some Muslim women, are a victim of irrational ideologies in the name of women empowerment, feminism, and gender equality. These ideas delude women into taking steps that may seem successful at the outset but are destructive in reality. Such movements either help fashion industries make more profit or support the devils in destroying society.
Recent studies state that women today, particularly the single and independent ones, struggle with loneliness, depression and similar challenges.
We humans are weak and not qualified to understand and take responsibility for everything that happens in our lives, let alone in the world.
If everyone follows what they think is right, the world will become a chaotic place.
That is why we must follow the commandments of the One who created us, Allah, the supreme Almighty God. In His obedience is eternal success and in His disobedience is failure in this life and the next. So it’s only sensible to look into what Allah wants us to do.
Most importantly, we must take orders as they are; we are not being obedient if we try to act smart and manipulate the commands according to our whims.
He Sent A Guide
Allah sent Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as an example of an ideal character we need to follow in order to achieve the true everlasting success we all want.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ drew four lines on the ground, then he said, “Do you know what this is?” The Companions said, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The best of the women of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad, Asiya bint Muzahim the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam bint ‘Imraan” – may Allah be pleased with them all. 
What Made Them Successful?
What is meant here (in the hadith) is that these women achieved the highest degree of virtue, righteousness and taqwa.
Their belief in the unseen was strong, their reliance upon Allah was complete, their attachment to the temporary world was none, their love for Allah was sincere, and happiness for them was to be in good status with Allah.
She was like a mother to Prophet Musa and the wife of the superpower of the day, tyrant of all tyrants and a man who called himself God – Fir’awn.
When the truth that the Lord is none but One was presented to Asiya, she accepted it without any fear or worry of losing her royal status. She smiled in the face of death when Fir’awn tortured her. She turned to the All-Hearing, Allah, so He took her soul away before their torture could put her to death.
Allah praised her in the Qur'an as an example for both men and women:
“And Allah has set forth an example for those who believe: the wife of Fir’awn (Pharaoh), when she said: ‘My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise, and save me from Fir'aun (Pharaoh) and his work, and save me from the people who are Zalimun (polytheists, wrongdoers and disbelievers in Allah).’” [Surah at Tahrim, verse 11]
She was the mother of Eesa (Jesus) alayhi salaatu wa salaam. Allah says in the Qur'an:
“And (remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam! Verily, Allah has chosen you, purified you, and chosen you above the women of the universe.'' [Surah Aal-Imran, verse 42]
Allah states that the angels spoke to Maryam by His command and told her that He chose her because of her service to Him, because of her modesty, honor, innocence, and conviction. Allah also chose her because of her virtue over the women of the world. 
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The best woman (in her time) was Maryam, daughter of `Imran, and the best woman (of the Prophet's time) is Khadijah (his wife), daughter of Khuwaylid.” [At-Tirmidhi]
She was the first beloved wife of the Prophet ﷺ. Many today use Khadijah's noble status to prove that it is alright for a Muslim woman to take lightly her obligations at home and pursue careers.
They say she was an independent businesswoman who rejected men who didn’t meet her standards. This is due to the faulty knowledge about the seerah of the Prophet ﷺ.
Before Islam, Khadijah owned a business but she did not engage in business directly or travel with her trade caravans; rather, she employed men to trade on her behalf for a commission. We know that she appointed the Prophet ﷺ to do the same. This was before Islam came.
After Islam, she gave up everything for her religion and supported her husband with all that she had. She gave up all comforts and luxuries to an extent which none of us can today. She took the role of a wife with a sacrificing heart and strong faith, not seeking careers or fame but the pleasure of Allah alone.
Islam does allow women to work under certain conditions, but that is not a goal; the goal is higher than that. Jibreel (Gabriel) came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, "O Messenger of Allah! This is Khadijah coming to you with a dish having meat soup (or some food or drink). When she reaches you, greet her on behalf of her Lord (i.e. Allah) and on my behalf, and give her the glad tidings of having a Qasab palace in Paradise wherein there will be neither any noise nor any fatigue (trouble)."[Sahih Al-Bukhari 3820]
Her death was one of most saddening events for the Prophet ﷺ.
Khawlah bint Hakeem asked the Prophet ﷺ, "Messenger of Allah! It seems you have been afflicted by want since the death of Khadijah." The Prophet replied, "Yes, she was the mother of the household and the caretaker for the family."
She was the beloved daughter of the Prophet ﷺ. Aisha said about her: “I never saw anyone who resembled the Messenger of Allah more in dignity, calmness and pleasant disposition than Fatimah. When she entered upon him, he would stand up for her, take her by the hand, kiss her and make her sit where he was sitting, and when he entered upon her, she would stand up for him, take him by the hand, kiss him and make him sit where she was sitting.” [Dawood 5217]
Here, ‘dignity’ refers to good conduct in matters of religion, and also has to do with having a balanced attitude. As to “calmness”, Abu ‘Ubayd said: “Calmness and pleasant disposition are similar in meaning; this may be said with regard to tranquillity and dignity, or with regard to appearance and attributes.”
“Pleasant disposition” refers to elegance in walking, speaking and so on. 
Fatimah was a devout wife and homemaker. One day she asked her father for a servant, but the Prophet ﷺ knew what was better for her.
It is reported on the authority of Ali that Fatimah had corns in her hand because of working at the hand-mill. There had fallen to the lot of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ some prisoners of war. She came to the Prophet ﷺ but she did not find him (in the house). She met A'ishah and informed her (about her hardship). When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came, she (A'ishah) informed him about the visit of Fatimah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ came to them (Fatimah and her family). They had gone to their beds.
'Ali further (reported): ‘We tried to stand up (as a mark of respect) but Allah's Messenger ﷺ said ‘Keep to your beds,' and he sat amongst us and I felt the coldness of his feet upon my chest. He then said: ‘May I not direct you to something better than what you have asked for? When you go to your bed, you should recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar) thirty-four times and Tasbih (Subhan Allah) thirty-three times and Tahmid (Alhamdulillah) thirty-three times, and that is better than the servant for you.’” [Sahih Muslim 2727]
Life Is A Test, Remember?
We need not go out to be successful; we should just simply excel at the roles Allah gave us.
Maryam and Asiya both raised two great prophets, Eesa and Musa; Fatimah and Khadijah were excellent wives.
Some roles are better than others, that’s just how it is. No one climbs the ladder of success without facing difficult roads. We agree with this in every matter of life and we must do so in matters of religion as well.
Difficulties are undeniable while playing our roles as women and we should remember that Allah always has a way out for every difficulty.
So we must turn to Him and do what He wants us to do instead of turning frustratingly towards the dunya. Remember that life is bridge to the hereafter and no one builds a home on a bridge.
May Allah make all your affairs easy.
1. Reported in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad 2663 and it is Saheeh
2.Sharh Muslim, 15/198-199, islamqa
3.Tafseer al-Qur'an al-'Adheem: 4/504-505
4.Tafsir Ibn Kathir
6.Women around the Messenger, pg.47
7.Fath Al-Bari 10/510, islamqa.com
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