“Believers! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord and do good that you may prosper.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 22:77)
This is the way, the only way through which one may expect to achieve true success. However, even those who follow this way should be wary of arrogance, complacency and belief that because of their religious devotion and righteous conduct they are bound to attain true success. Instead, they should seek God’s bounty and focus all their hopes on His Grace and Mercy. No person can achieve true success unless God bestows it upon him, for no one has the power to achieve success by dint of his own power.
The expression used in the verse ‘la’allakum tuflihoon’ literally means ‘perhaps you will prosper’. The statement made here though does not mean that the attainment of prosperity and success is subject to any doubt. This expression can be better appreciated if we regard it as being part of a royal, majestic discourse. Suppose a king were to say to any of his servants: ‘Do this and you might be given a good position.’ This seemingly non-committal statement suffices to fill that person with utmost joy and makes him celebrate the event. This because the statement hints at a favour, even if that favour is not couched in categorical terms. For it cannot even be conceived that a benevolent and gracious master would raise certain expectations in his servants and then disappoint them.
It is obligatory to prostrate both for him who recites this verse as for him who listens to it.