After graduation about 2 years ago, my mind was made up to strive only for the best in my career- that was the only constant, my education. I had my journey planned out- experience different types of companies from small to big, different types of design specializations, and then finally become a famous designer.
Didn't know whether I'd get there though, but I found a strange solace in learning new things, so much so that even if I didn't reach my goals in the end, I'd still be happy with the experience and knowledge I'd gained through the process.
Then I found Islam.
I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.
-- Quran 51:56
Of course if I were still a kid, I'd question, "Then why do I have to study? I just have to pray everyday, and that would make Allah happy." Because looking at my life superficially, I'd see my formal education as an entity that is completely different from what I know as to how to worship God. How can design, or math, or engineering, or psychology and so on... worship God?
We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it (the Quran) is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?
-- Quran 41:53
Scientists have referred to the Quran for scientific guidance. Likewise, legal jurists, philosophers, educators, historians, theologians and so many others have referred to the Quran for guidance in their respective fields. The very essence of our living is impossible to be separated from Islam, because the more we learn and discover new facts, we find ourselves repeating what has already been stated in the Quran and the ahadith.
Well, as for me, my very limited knowledge has yet to allow me to reach such a level. But as I know, my eyes have been given to me to perceive colour, beautiful visuals and designs. My fingers have been given to me to draw, to build and create. My brain has been given to me to appreciate how people think and function in order to develop designs which are not only beautiful, but also an aid for living better lives. All this has been given to me by The Most Compassionate One.
And the most amazing thing is the fact that the more I strive to become a better designer, the more I am striving to express my gratefulness to Allah for having given me the gifts of my talents and abilities.
Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?
-- Quran, Surah Ar-Rahman
It is not so much important that I become a world famous designer anymore (of course, that would still be a plus). After all, this material world's definition of success is not alike the standard of success as seen by Allah. It's just more important that I must not forget to be grateful and thankful during every step of the way, that is most important. And to strive to be the best I can be, which for the moment, is to continue seeking, learning, and growing, insyaAllah.
May Allah accept each and every one of our different expressions of gratitude. Amin.