by Saiyyidah Zaidi
We all know that the Quran is the complete guidance and that Allah has given us His word and the hadith and sunnah to show us how to live our life in this world and to give us a hint of what the hereafter will be like. I know many people who read self help books day in day out but often forget to pick up the Quran. Alhamdolillah, if you are reading this then you are not one of them and that is something that we should all be grateful for. Allah has chosen you to know that the Quran is not just the guidance for our life but it is also the best self help book in the world.
Concept of Happiness in Islam
The concept of happiness in Islam is expressed in the Qur’ân and Sunnah in a number of different ways. First, we find the Qur’ân discussing the “good life”. Allah says: “Whosoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, we shall make them live a good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.” [Sûrah al-Nahl: 97]. This “good life” is happiness itself. It is expressed through faith and good deeds and actions. This does not mean that we will not face difficulties in our ‘good life’. Our worldly lives even when they are boosted by faith and good works are never free from distress and anxiety, but then as Muslims its something that perhaps we should expect as Allah tells us “Certainly We have created man to be in toil.” [Sûrah al-Balad: 90]. On the other hand Allah has given us a huge opportunity to reflect on our lives and see how we can bring happiness into our daily lives.
The Openness of the Heart
The Qur’ân uses the concept of “the openness of the heart” to express happiness. Allah says: “Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying, He makes their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus does Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.” [Sûrah al-An`âm: 125]. Allah also talks of contentment of the heart when He says: “Those who believe, and whose hearts find contentment in the remembrance of Allah: for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” [Sûrah al-Ra`d: 28]
Happiness in Certainty of Faith
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “How amazing are the believer’s affairs; all his affairs are good for him. If good befalls him, he is grateful and that is good for him, and if he is afflicted by calamity he is patient and that is also good for him. This is only for the believer.” [Sahîh Muslim]. Ibn Mas`ûd said: “Allah has placed ease and happiness in certainty of faith and contentment. He has placed worry and misery in discontent and doubt.”
Now wouldnt it be amazing to know that you can increase contentment and reduce worry and doubt by undertaking a few interventions? Positive Psychology is the science of wellbeing and through a lot of research and reflection interventions have been developed that will help increase the wellbeing and happiness of people. I was really pleased when I read academic research that showed practising Islam increases well-being by up to 15% when compared to the normal population.
I will be teaching interventions and methods for how you can improve your wellbeing, increase contentment and know more about positive psychology in a course ‘Introduction to Positive Psychology’ starting 10 November 2013, 8.30pm, London, UK time.
Saiyyidah Zaidi is the worlds first Muslim Positive Psychologist and Business Coach. She is currently a PhD student in Practical Theology and is studying alimiya studies with Sh Akram Nadwi in Oxford and online with teachers from Egypt.
The Key to Happiness with Quran
The Quran is the main source of how we can improve our wellbeing so by looking at authentic methods we will improve our wellbeing and happiness levels inshaAllah. Join me so I can show you how.