When a person strives and exerts an effort towards God Almighty, He does not allow for it to go in vain. A landowner may lose his crop, an employee may cause harm to someone who dismisses them and a person who is tested may fail, but a person who strives towards God is never met with failure. The promise of Allah the Almighty is true:
وَالَّذِیۡنَ جَاہَدُوۡا فِیۡنَا لَنَہۡدِیَنَّہُمۡ سُبُلَنَا
“As for those who strive in Our path – We will surely guide them in Our ways.”
A seeker of the avenues that lead to God Almighty ultimately reaches his final destination. If we feel sympathy upon witnessing the effort and conditions of students who spend day and night preparing for worldly examinations, how can Allah the Exalted, Who is boundless and infinite in His mercy and compassion, waste the effort of a person who strives towards Him? Of course not. Never would He do so. Allah the Exalted does not allow anyone’s effort to go in vain. God Almighty states:
فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ
“Surely, Allah suffers not the reward of those who do good to be lost.”
Allah the Exalted also states:
مَنۡ یَّعۡمَلۡ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّۃٍ خَیۡرًا یَّرَہٗ
“Then whoso does an atom’s weight of good will see it.”
We observe that every year, thousands of students weep and commit suicide when they see their efforts and labours of many years washed away due to some reason or other. However, the grace of Allah the Exalted does not disregard even the most insignificant of actions. What a pity then that man becomes so engrossed in labouring for the sake of uncertain and insecure objectives to the extent that he deprives himself as it were of every kind of comfort; he bears a thousand pains and hardships merely on the tenuous hope that perhaps he will succeed.
A businessman will invest hundreds and thousands of rupees in the hopes of profit, but even he is unaware for certain if this will bring guaranteed returns. However, I do not observe the same toil and effort by those who seek God Almighty (Whose promises are definite and categorical and towards Whom an advance through even the slightest effort is never wasted). Why do these people not understand? Why do they not fear that they will have to die one day? Even after witnessing these other failures, are they not moved to consider this bargain, in which there is no prospect of loss or failure and in which profit is guaranteed?
How great an effort does a farmer invest in the cultivation of his crop, but who can say for certain that the result will prove fruitful? How Merciful is Allah the Almighty! He is a treasure from whom one can collect a cowrie [1 damri (i.e. 1/256 rupee) roughly equates to 10 cowries], a rupee or even a gold coin.
Here, there is no fear of thieves and robbers, nor a chance of bankruptcy. It is narrated in a hadith that if a person removes a thorn from the path, they shall receive a spiritual reward for this as well. If, when fetching water, a person pours a bucket into his brother’s vessel, God Almighty does not allow it to go unrewarded.
Remember that the path on which man can never fail is the path of God. The path of this world is full of obstacles that cause a person to stumble at every step and hurdles threatening failure obstruct the way. Those who abandoned their rule of entire kingdoms were, surely, not out of their minds. People like Ibrahim ibn Adham, Shah Shuja and King Abdul-Aziz, who is also known as a reformer (mujaddid), gave up their worldly rule, sovereignty and majesty.
The reason is that there are obstacles at every step, which cause one to stumble. God is a pearl and when a person gains insight into His Being, he begins to view materialistic things with such contempt and scorn that he must force and compel himself to even cast a glance upon such matters. Hence, seek true insight of God Almighty and take your every step in His direction. For it is in this that all success lies.
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 140-142)