From a lecture series by Umm Eesa:
Then We made our slaves inherit the Book.
But some of them wrong themselves;
some are ambivalent;
and some outdo each other in good by Allah’s permission.
That is the great favour. Fatir 35/32
The ayah describes three types of people:
Those who oppress themselves – sinful Muslims
Those that are ambivalent – perform only the obligatory deeds
Those who are racing forward in righteousness
Which group are you in?
Aisha radiyAllahu anha commented on this verse and said: “The oppressive ones – this is like you and me”, out of her humility for surely she was amongst the sabiqoon – foremost in the race.
The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “In each generation of my ummah are sabiqoon.” So if our goal is to be like the sabiqoon, then it is possible to attain in our times.