Happiness is Found Here

In no era in history has the means of comfort and welfare ever been so within reach like they are today. Never has the knowledge of the world’s complex mysteries and the ability of subduing nature’s unfriendly elements ever been attained like it has today. Online shopping, laser eye surgery, electricity, central heating, the list continues. Despite these remarkable achievements, and in spite of possessing all the means for a better life, the goal of a pleasant life and happiness has never drifted further away like it has today.

The 21st century has taught us how to fly in the air like birds and how to swim in the oceans like fish, but many of us still do not know how to walk as happy and content individuals. And yet, when such an individual sits down to work out where the problem lies, he cannot pinpoint the problem.

Let us take a look at the life of a Muslim whose way of life has equipped him with a completely unique perspective which keeps him smiling at all times.

When cash is a little low, the believer is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān,

“And there is not a moving creature on earth except that it is upon Allāh to provide for it.”[1]

When somebody tries to degrade him, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “and dignity is for Allāh, His messenger and to the believers.”[2]

When he finds himself alone and without companionship, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Do not be sad, Allāh is with us”,[3] and he reads, “Your Lord has not forsaken you nor does He hate you.”[4]

When he feels under threat and vulnerable, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “Is Allāh not sufficient for His servants?”[5]

When he feels no one understands him and no one is willing to listen to his problems, he is able to remain happy because he reads in the Qur’ān, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allāh”.[6]

When any difficulty arrives at the doorstep of a believer, he is able to remain happy as he reads in the Qur’ān, “with difficulty is ease.”[7]

This is the peace of mind which Islām gives its people, just as the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“How strange is the affair of the believer, as all of his affairs are good! If he is struck with goodness, he shows gratitude and this is good for him, and if he is struck with difficulty, he shows patience and this is good for him” [8]

Thus, if someone asks you to summarise the happy life of a Muslim, respond by saying: “Gratitude during times of ease, patience during times of hardship, and the gardens of paradise in the end.” This is the beautiful life of a Muslim we wish to share with the entire world.

The life of a practicing believer is one of unexplainable bliss because he is pleased with every one of Allāh’s decrees. Happiness cannot be attained in the least without firm belief in Qadar/predestination, it is a cornerstone to happiness. The Prophet Muḥammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) also taught us what to say in various situations.

When the Muslim wakes up in the morning, he has been taught to say:

All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho gave us life after our dying and to Him will be the resurrection.”[9]

When the Muslim goes to bed at night, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho has given us food and drink, and given us enough and refuge, for how many people have neither.”[10]

When a Muslim puts on new clothes, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, You clothed me with this.”[11]

When the Muslims exits the bathroom, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāhwho removed harm from me and gave me wellbeing.”[12]

When the Muslim sees a person with a disability, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh who has spared me from what He has trialled you with and has favoured me over you and over many whom He has created a great favouring.”[13]

When the Muslim achieves a matter he wished to accomplish, what has he been taught to say?

“All praise and thanks are due to Allah, whom, by His favour, all good things are achieved.” [14]

And when a Muslim fails to achieve a matter that he wanted to accomplish, he has been taught to say:

“All praise and thanks are due to Allāh in all circumstances.”[15]


And so the Muslim finds himself shifting from one form of gratitude to another, from one form of contentment to another, regardless of the outcome or situation at hand.


In the absence of this mentality pains become unbearable, calamities become intolerable and life becomes like the one who consumes salty water; theirs is a thirst that can never be satisfied. Such a person finds himself desperately alternating from one avenue of sin to another, from one bed to another, from one drink to another, from one relationship to another, from one online video of obscenity to another, in desperate search for peace and lasting happiness, but his distance from Allāh only causes his heart to further tighten and his life to further darken. He craves to fill the gaps within his heart, but this is not how they are to be filled.

Imām Ibnul Qayyim said,

“In the heart of every human being, there is a sense of scattering which can only be gathered by turning to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of loneliness which can only be filled by being close to Allāh, and in the heart there is a fear and anxiety, which can only be removed by escaping to Allāh, and in the heart there is a sense of regret, which can only be removed by being content with Allāh.”

By looking at these examples, we discover something profound. We realise that true peace of mind and the fullest meaning of happiness is in one’s closeness to Allāh and distance from His prohibitions. It is that simple, as Allāh said,

“Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.”[16]

And Allāh said,

“… then whoever follows My Guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder, then for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”[17]

We can read all the mainstream theories, take every medicine on the shelf and try knocking on every door in search for this gem called happiness, but it will not be found anywhere except where the Creator of happiness has taught us to find it. That is because,

“It is He who grants laughter and tears.”[18]

We are happy; happy that we know Allāh, happy with Him as our Lord. We are happy that the Qur’ān is our guidance in life and that we have not been left at the mercy of the ideas of man. We are happy that we will be the first to be held accountable on day of Judgement and the first of all nations to enter Paradise.

 Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] Al-Qur’an, Surah 11, Ayah 6

[2] Al-Qur’an, Surah 63, Ayah 8

[3] Al-Qur’an, Surah 7, Ayah 40

[4] Al-Qur’an, Surah 93, Ayah 3

[5] Al-Qur’an, Surah 39, Ayah 36

[6] Al-Qur’an, Surah 12, Ayah 86

[7] Al-Qur’an, Surah 94, Ayah 5

[8] Muslim, on the authority of Suhaib

[9] Bukhari, on the authority of Hudhaifa

[10] Muslim, on the authority of Anas

[11] AtTirmidhi, on the authority of Abu Sa’eed

[12] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Abu Dharr (Mawqoof)

[13] Musannaf Ibnu Abi Shayba, on the authority of Ibnu ‘Umar (Mawqoof)

[14] Al-Adkhaar of Imam AnNawawi, on the authority of ‘Aisha

[15] Ibid

[16] Al-Qur’an, Surah 16, Ayah 97

[17] Al-Qur’an, Surah 20, Aayaat 123-124

[18] Al-Qur’an, Surah 52, Ayah 43

Advertisements

Modern Stress And Its Cure From Qur’an

by Shahid Athar , M.D.

Stress is the most common aliment of modern age. It has been implicated in the causation of peptic ulcer disease, coronary heart disease, depression, auto immune disease, hypertension, diabetes and even cancer. In milder form it manifests in form of unrest, violence, at work, school and home. Common medical problems like tension headache, insomnia, and obesity are also attributed to unusual stress. None of us are free from stress but some deal with it better than others.

Stress results from the following factors:

a. Fear of the unknown and trying to see through and control the destiny.
b. Losses in our life of people and things dear to us and our inability to recover those losses.
c. Inner conflict between our heart and mind between what is known to be the truth and our failure to accept it as truth. Acceptance of truth may require changing our habits and way of life which we may adhere to for some reason like pleasure, joys, taste, pride in race or heritage etc.

Let us examine how Quran deals with such situations.

Our losses are a trial for us:

“Be sure we will test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, but give glad tidings to those who are steadfast, who say when afflicted with calamity: To God we belong and to him is our return. They are those on who (DESCEND) blessings from God and mercy and they are the once that receive guidance. 2:155

Thus in Islam, we do not have concept of the ownership of goods and life. Everything belongs to God and returns to him. So if we don’t own that thing why mourn our loss? 

a. Our destiny is predetermined. We do not have control on that part. What we have control over is a limited free will, that is our actions, our choice to do good or bad, to believe in God or not to believe in Him, but we have no control over tomorrow’s event not related to our actions i.e. whether my wife will have a son or daughter, whether his/her eyes will be brown or black, or whether I will have an accident or not tomorrow. worrying over such things is of no use.

b. Rejection of faith in Quran is called a disease. This denial of truth is due to arrogance.

“In their heart there is a disease and God has increased their disease and grievous is their penalty because they lie to themselves.” (Qur’an 2:10)

Therefore after lying to ourselves, we set up an inner conflict – between heart and mind. In order to contain that conflict the mind sends signals to glands for secretion of hormones like adrenaline which leads to rapid heart rate, perspiration, tremor, the basis of lie detector test.

This lying conflict could be due to “SMALL” crimes like theft or adultery, or big crimes like rejection of God.

3 stages of spiritual development of soul age

a. Nafsul Ammara: -The Passionate soul “I do not absolve myself Lo the (human) soul is prone to evil, save that whenever my Lord has mercy. Lo, Lord is forgiving; merciful.”  (Surah Yusuf 12:53)

This soul inclines toward sensual Pleasure, passion and self gratification , anger, envy, greed, and conceit. Its concerns are pleasure of body, gratification of physical appetite, and ego.

Hadith “your most-ardent-enemy is your evil self which resides within your body” (Bukhari).

If this evil soul is not checked it will lead to unusual stress and its resultant effects. 

– b. Nafsul Lawanunah (The Reproaching Soul). “Nay, I swear by the reproaching soul” (Qur’an 75:10)

This soul is conscious or aware of Evil, resists it, asks for God’s grace, and pardon, repents and tries to amend and hopes to achieve salvation.

“And (There are) others who have acknowledged their faults. They mix a righteous action with another that was bad. It may be that Allah will relent toward them. Lo! Allah is relenting, merciful.” (Qur’an 9:102)

Hadith “These are two impulses within us. One spirit which calls towards good and confirms the truth. He who feels this impulse should know that it comes from Allah. Another impulse comes from our enemy (Devil) which leads to doubt and holds untruth and encourages evil. He who feels this should seek refuge in Allah from the accursed devil.”

This soul warns people of their vain desire, guides and opens the door to virtute and righteousness. It is a positive step in spiritual growth.

c. The satisfied soul (Nafsul Mutmainnah). “O (you) soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction. Come back to your Lord, will pleased (yourself) and will pleasing unto him. Enter you then among my devotees, enter you in my heaven.” (Qur’an 89:27-30)

This is the highest state of spiritual development. satisfied soul is the state of bliss, content and peace. The soul is at peace because it knows that inspite of its failures in this world, It will return to God. Purified of tension, it emerges from the struggle with obstacles blocking the peace of mind and heart.

What should we do in panic and despair? In panic non-believers behave differently than believers. They have no one to return to, to ask for mercy and forgiveness, their life is this life, which they cannot control, thus get more depressed and increase in their state of wrong doing. Then we will see that if they are used to casual drinking will start drinking more and become alcoholic, or a barbital criminal.

On the other hand a believer should do the following:

a. Increase dhikr (Remembrance of God)
“who have believed and whose heart have Rest in the remembrance of God. Verify in the remembrance of God, do hearts find rest.” (Qur’an 13:28)

b. Increase their prayer.
“O you who believe, seek help with steadfastness and prayer. For God is with those who are steadfast.” (Qur’an 2:1530)

c. Ask forgiveness
“And I have said: seek forgiveness from your Lord. Lo He was ever forgiving.” (Qur’an 71:100)

In addition to above we are also asked to continue to struggle to up-grade ourselves.
” surely God does not change the condition in which a people are in until they change that which is in themselves.” (Qur’an 13:11)

In summary, I conclude that stress results from lack of inner peace due to conflicts within us and leads to external disturbances in our behaviour and health. Inner peace can only be achieved by believing in God, the All Mighty, and remembering him frequently and asking for his help and forgiveness in times of difficulties.