Once there were two young friends, Asif and Ali. Though they were good neighbours and friends, there was one big difference between them. Asif hasd great self-confidence and he would never leave any sort of work incomplete while Ali had never been serious about his study, educational activities and assignments. They grew up together and started down the path to college. Asif studied in his field with full concentration but Ali usually kept engaged himself in other useless and irrelevant activities, wasting the peak period of hard work. When exams approached, Ali resorted to cheating as a shortcut for avoiding failure but he was caught red handed during board exam. After a couple of years, Asif was a well-known doctor while Ali was still suffering with his career finding shortcuts to pass his exams and facing humiliating failures every time.
Dear Islamic brothers! The above-mentioned story closely reflects our society where every second person is concentrating on shortcuts instead of hard work. Happiness and success are the ultimate goals and the rights of all human beings. To translate their dreams into reality and to pursue their goals in life, they sometimes end up ignoring the difference between right and wrong and tend to follow the mindset of hunting easy ways. It happens when people try shortcuts assuming them risk-free keys to success but soon their short-term benefit turn into long term sufferings. Remember! There is no alternative to hard work even Paradise cannot be achieved without carrying out good deeds. It is stated in the glorious Quran:
وَ اَنْ لَّیْسَ لِلْاِنْسَانِ اِلَّا مَا سَعٰىۙ(۳۹) وَ اَنَّ سَعْیَهٗ سَوْفَ یُرٰى۪(۴۰)
And this, that man shall attain nothing but what he strove for (i.e. of good or bad). And this, that his effort will soon be examined.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 27, Surah An-Najm, Ayah 39, 40)
In fact the practice of finding shortcuts goes against the law of nature duly endorsed by the blessed Hadees: ‘The Paradise is surrounded by hardships and the Hell-Fire is surrounded by temptations.’ (Muslim 6778)
The blessed Hadees gives clear message that the genuine and eternal goal i.e., ‘Paradise’ requires untiring efforts so everybody must ponder over the law of nature for achieving all worldly milestones and Hereafter goals. Accomplishing aims and fulfilling desires by different ‘tricks and shortcuts’ do not just end up in people’s failures but rather such acts lead to serious criminal activities e.g., taking bribe, involving in corruption, deceiving others, violating ‘rules and laws’ etc. Such people with lazy and negligent attitude are unaware of the fact that they are actually overpowered by Satan. It is stated in glorious Quran:
قَالَ فَبِمَاۤ اَغْوَیْتَنِیْ لَاَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِیْمَۙ(۱۶) ثُمَّ لَاٰتِیَنَّهُمْ مِّنْۢ بَیْنِ اَیْدِیْهِمْ وَ مِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَ عَنْ اَیْمَانِهِمْ وَ عَنْ شَمَآىٕلِهِمْؕ-وَ لَا تَجِدُ اَكْثَرَهُمْ شٰكِرِیْنَ(۱۷)
He (Shaytan) said, ‘Hence I swear by the fact that You led me astray, I will certainly lurk in ambush for them (i.e. children of Adam) on Your Straight Path.’ ‘Then I will certainly come to them; in front of them and from the back and from the right and from left; and you will find most of them ungrateful.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)](Part. 8, Surah Al-A’raaf, Ayah 16-17)
Satan also lures people to indulge them in some dishonest ways for fulfilling their desires, introducing cheap tricks as the shortcuts of life. The poor wrongdoers consider them to be a blessing so they even feel no need for repentance as they do not regard their misdeeds as sinful acts. Many other evils may involve therein as the instant desire for success is usually inflamed by jealousy, temptation, inferiority complex, egoism, showing-off etc., whereas other side of the picture is quite refreshing and clear, leading straight with the true sense of accomplishment. When we properly follow a prescribed mechanism, it means, we follow a genuine process having no room for any doubt. This process not only leads us to success, it also teaches us discipline, importance of hard work, value of time, experience and above all, it gives us the feeling of complete satisfaction and contentment. The experience that we acquire by travelling a long journey is incredibly precious as it makes us accustomed to working hard and welcoming challenges.
Allah Almighty says:
وَ اَمَّا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ فَیُوَفِّیْهِمْ اُجُوْرَهُمْؕ-وَ اللّٰهُ لَا یُحِبُّ الظّٰلِمِیْنَ(۵۷)
‘And those who believed and did good deeds, Allah will give them their full reward. And Allah does not like the unjust.’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)](Part. 3, Surah Aal-e-Imran, Ayah 57)
The dream of overnight success by a short-cut is always like drifting at sea hoping for a favourable wind whereas the dream of long-lasting success by putting best of efforts is moving ahead against the tide victoriously. The golden experience gained by a successful journey also widens one’s horizon of knowledge, shape his thoughts and promote his creativity skill.