Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, someone once said; It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. That’s right; being content is a choice you can make— one of the best choices you will ever make.
In this week’s Jumuah Special you’ll find five reasons to be happy even if things aren’t perfect now!
In this week’s central ayah Allah ‘azza wajal speaks truly life-changing and stress-reducing words to you: And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring. [Quran, 20:131]
The Greatest Door to Allah (swt)
Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him, said: Contentment is the greatest door that one enters to Allah, it is the source of tranquility for the worshiper and paradise on earth. Whoever does not enter it will not enter the Paradise in the Hereafter. Being content with the decree of Allah— ridaa in Arabic— is one of the greatest productivity boosters!
Your life isn’t meant to be perfect
Let’s face it, for many of us being happy with what we have is easier said than done. Your life probably doesn’t always look exactly like you want it to, and guess what? It won’t. Ever. That’s why you have this world and you have Paradise. Allah ‘azza wajal says: Verily We have created man in toil [i.e. in tiredness, hardships, afflictions and difficulties][Quran, 90:4] If you realize from deep within that this world, its people, its possessions, its situations, its emotions are not meant to be perfect, an enormous freedom will come to your soul. And don’t be tricked, being content co-exists with being ambitious as a believer, the key is to never let your desire for more spoil the present!
5 inspiring reasons to be content
1. Be happy with what you have; it’s healthy!
Christopher Peterson, Ph.D of the University of Michigan studied optimism’s link to health for over 20 years and showed that optimistic people have a stronger immune system than their negative counterparts.
2. Appreciate details for consistent, long-term happiness.
Instead of feeling super sad each time something goes wrong, you can be disappointed but at the same time determined to make the best of it. Learn to appreciate the little things. Think about the small things you enjoy, for example looking out of the window to the trees or taking a walk with a beloved friend, and focus on these things right now. That way, no matter what happens, after dua to Allah, you have a variety of simple joys to help you through.
3. Stop yourself and think: this might be gone tomorrow!
When you feel exhausted because of your children, hurt because of an argument with your spouse, frustrated because your job is not how you want it to be, stop and think for a moment; what if it were all gone tomorrow? Those moments you could be playing with your children and watching them grow, sitting with your spouse and talking or being healthy enough to be able to work? Realizing nothing is guaranteed helps a lot toward being content and even enjoying what you have today.
4. Look around— what’s in front of you that you can enjoy?
Being able to appreciate what’s in front of you has nothing to do what you actually have. Being content is not about counting your blessings; it is a state of being and a skill to cultivate in yourself by knowing who you are and more importantly who your Lord is. Enjoying the present moment is a habit that takes practice. Practice wanting what you have by thinking: it is Allah who decided to give me this. Trust in Him and His choice for you.
5. The effect of your contentment on others.
Being content is a choice you make moment-to-moment. For many of us it’s a hard choice to make and it requires self-control, practice, and letting go. But the results are amazing. Being content is the sweetness of your life, and there’s another beautiful thing about you being content: other people will notice if you make that choice. And insha’Allah you will motivate them to do the same and gain the same benefits you gained!
Memorize, feel, and apply this beautiful supplication the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to make:
There is no Muslim servant who says in the morning and the evening three times:
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I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion and with Muhammad as my Prophet, except that it will be a right upon Allah to please him on the Day of Judgment. [Ahmad]
May Allah ‘azza wajal bless our souls with contentment with His actions, ameen!
Praying you will benefit,
Khawlah bint Yahya~ United Kingdom
THE AYAH JOURNAL is dedicated to inspiring you to open the Qur’an every day, pick one ayah, and apply it to your own life by making acting on that ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Qur’an to our daily lives! Check www.ayahjournal.com.