By Gulzar Karishma
Many books have been published about it by eminent scholars. Scientists have spent years on researching it. And ordinary people struggle day in and out in pursuit of it.
Perhaps what we fail to realize is that happiness is not a momentary feeling of joy but rather a way of living life. To achieve true happiness we need to be strong in faith and character.
Islam not only teaches us how to be happy but also encourages us to make others happy. The only book that’s divine in nature and describes the true path to happiness is the Quran, where we find a program that can radically transform our lives.
Happiness can be achieved only by implementing the book of Allah (swt) in our daily lives. Books written by humans rely on the “trial-and-error” method, but the book of the Creator has given us the right outcome in advance. The happiness of humanity as a whole lies in this true and peace-loving religion.
We’re living at a time when Muslims are beset with trials from every corner. Practical advice to fight despair is urgently needed in order for us to replace our sad lives with happy and prosperous Islamic ones.
HOW CAN WE BE HAPPY?
1. Realise that sadness is not encouraged in Islam.
Sadness damages the soul and prevents the Muslim from continuing on his path. Muslims should fight sadness and seek refuge in Allah (swt) from anxiety and grief. Both of them weaken the heart, causing inactivity and decrease in willpower.
So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad . . . [Quran, 3:139]
And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot. [Quran, 16:127]
The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: This world is not even worth the wing of a mosquito! Why do we grieve over it?
Be not sad, Allah is with us. [Quran, 9:40]
2. The solution is always there for us.
When disaster and calamity occurs to us, we should call out, Oh Allah! When we cry out for Him our hearts find peace.
O you who believe! Seek help in patience and the Prayer. [Quran, 2: 153]
If you’re suffering with anxiety and you stand up and pray with a wakeful heart, comfort is guaranteed. With Allah (swt) is the only way out.
Allah is All Hearer, the All Seer. [Quran, 19:65]
The Sea would not drown Prophet Moses (May Peace be upon him) because he uttered Nay, Verily with me is my Lord he will guide me. [Quran, 26:62]
3. Show patience during hardship.
Patience helps us to emerge as stronger human beings, and with patience comes victory. History is witness to great men with difficult backgrounds and yet they were successful because of their belief in Allah and His Supreme Power.
And it may be that you dislike a thing that is good for you. [Quran, 2:216]
Allah (swt) has promised numerous rewards and bounties for bearing hardship.
That He might try you, which of you is the best in deeds. [Quran, 11:7]
Verily with hardship there is relief. [Quran, 94:6]
4. Be thankful to Allah.
The favors of Allah surround us from above and below, from every direction.
And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. [Quran, 14:34]
We complain about what we do not have and we are ungrateful for what we are given. A thankful heart and a tongue that is moist with remembrance of Allah are the ingredients of happiness. Contemplate and be thankful.
Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both (Jinns and Men) deny. [Quran, 51:21]
5. Forget the past.
The past is gone forever. Today is all that you have. Life is short and passes quickly; don’t make it shorter by worrying.
So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful. [Quran, 7:144]
6. Let go of the future.
Leave the future alone until it comes. Don’t be preoccupied with the future as it is unseen.
The event (the hour or the punishment of disbelievers or the Islamic laws or commandments ordained by Allah) will come to pass so seek not to hasten it. [Quran, 16:1]
7. Do good to others.
Helping others gives comfort to the heart. A person’s value is based on the good he or she does. An act of charity is like perfume; it benefits the user, the seller and the buyer. If you’re in difficulty show kindness— you’ll be first to find comfort.
[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself and has in his mind no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return. But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High. And he is going to be satisfied. [Quran, 92: 18-21]
The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: “To smile in the company of your brother is charity.” [Bukhari]
Smiling changes our mood, relieves us from stress, and inspires others.
We’re all blessed with true religion, homes, bread to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear— why then be sad? Let’s reflect and smile.
9. Seek knowledge.
Happiness comes through knowledge. Ignorance is boredom and grief.
The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: If Allah wishes good for some one he gives him an understanding of the Religion.
And Say My Lord Increase me in knowledge. [Quran, 20:114]
10. Remember Allah.
But whosoever turns away from my reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Al-Quran nor acts on its orders etc) verily for him is a life of hardship. [Quran, 20:124)
The only means to purify the heart and of removing anxiety and worries is to have complete faith in Allah (swt). In proportion to your faith— strong or weak, firm or wavering— will you be happy and at peace.
There is none worthy of worship except Allah (swt). Therefore we must fear Allah alone, and we must depend upon Him Alone. In Him Alone we should place our hopes.
Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a true believer verily to him we will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision) And we shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (ie Paradise in Hereafter). [Quran, 16:97)
Whoever seeks honor with Allah and does righteous deeds, Allah will honor him and bestow upon him ranking even if he has no wealth, status or noble lineage.
I would like to conclude with the following message:
For a happy Islamic life, wake up in the last third part of the night to beg forgiveness from Allah, stay in the company of the righteous, remember Allah often, give charity, and recite the Quran with understanding and reflection.