4 Rabi al-Thani 1440

REAL HAPPINESS IN ISLAM

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Dec 8th, 2018
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No one on this earth is sitting idle without looking for, without searching for and without pursuing the ultimate goal, which is happiness. Everyone of us looks for happiness, searches for the peace of mind, even if we have to pay every single dime we have in order to achieve that.

Happiness is Allah’s paradise on earth, which both the disbelievers and the believers look for. The educated and the illiterate, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick; everyone strives to find happiness. However, not everyone achieves it. It is a gift from Allah. Although we believe that none of us intentionally looks for misery and hardship, yet the hard truth is that not everyone can achieve this happiness. And whoever misses the road that guides to happiness, would eventually and inevitably be among those who are miserable and depressed.

On the Day of Judgement, Allah ‘azza wa jall will divide the people into two types; there is no third type. Allah ‘azza wa jall says:

{يَومَ يَأتِ لا تَكَلَّمُ نَفسٌ إِلّا بِإِذنِهِ ۚ فَمِنهُم شَقِيٌّ وَسَعيدٌ}

“On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His (Allah’s) Leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed.”

[Surat Hud: 105]

So there are two types of people on the Day of Judgement: either you will be among the wretched, in the Hellfire, or you will be among those who prosper and are happy in Jannah.

In Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim, the angel who is ordered to breathe the soul into the womb (into the fetus) asks Allah ‘azza wa jall in the fourth month (when the fetus is 120 days old): Will it be male or female? Rich or poor? How long will his lifespan be? And will this individual be wretched or will he be happy and prosperous? I pray to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’aala that He makes me and you among those who are happy, prosperous and winners in this life and the Hereafter.

Now, if we analyze our lives: we work from 9 to 5, we struggle, we waste our daily lives over trivial and unimportant things. But the real question is: how can we win happiness in this life, let alone winning it in the Hereafter? In sha Allah, being here in the Masjid shows that we are winners. As long as we pray five times a day, fast in Ramadan, give Zakat, and try our level best to stay away from sins, we shall be winners in the Hereafter, in sha Allah.

Now, let us look at how we can attain happiness in this life. Happiness in this life, in this world, is relative. For example, to those who do not have mansions, fancy homes, cars, wealth, etc. (that is the poor), the people who do have all these things seem to be the happiest of them all. An introvert, who is unable to communicate with people, believes that a playboy, who has sinful relationships, is the happiest man on earth. A person who is bed-ridden because he has been afflicted with illnesses and diseases, when he looks at a healthy person or a strong individual, who is capable of doing things, playing sports and walking about without any problems, he thinks that this is happiness. For those like you and me, who spend hours after hours in government offices, pursuing someone just to get a signature for something, to us a happy person might be a man with influence and power. Someone who is influential, knows influential people, and who can facilitate things with just a phone call.

And the reality is: yes, it is true that each of the categories that I have mentioned does have some level of happiness. This is undeniable. But this type of happiness is limited. It is not full power. Why? Because this limited amount of happiness, both the believers and the disbelievers, the rich and the poor, the righteous and the sinners can get it. This type of limited happiness has its price, its burdens, and its consequences. Among these limited types of happiness, are the types mentioned in the Hadith by the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. He said that four things are from happiness:

  1. A righteous woman
  2. A spacious house
  3. A good neighbor
  4. A comfortable ride

If you get these four things, you are a happy man. But this happiness is limited. It doesn’t last forever. This limited happiness is like what we feel when we fall into sins; we enjoy it regardless of the sin. We enjoy the sin while it lasts, but the minute the sin ends, we become sad, depressed and suicidal. What is the solution? What is the remedy? Shaitan and our desires make us believe that the solution is to do more sins. This goes on until we drown in a swamp of sins. This is known as ‘Al-Ma’eeshah Ad-Danka’: the depressed life. As Allah says in the Qur’an:

{وَمَن أَعرَضَ عَن ذِكري فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحشُرُهُ يَومَ القِيامَةِ أَعمىٰ}

“But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its orders, etc.) verily, for him is a depressed life, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.”

[Surat Ta-Ha: 124]

He will be resurrected blind on the Day of Judgement. But we are talking about this life: this depressed life is what every sinner is living at the moment. But we cannot see it; we see the sinners in the media happy, joyful and enjoying life. Yes, but who is committing suicide? Who is committing infidelity? Who is caught red-handed in every filthy sin on earth? They are, because they are actually depressed. They are the ones who are always in and out of counseling sessions, psychiatric sessions and rehabilitation programs! This is the depressed life, and they believe that you cannot survive it unless you indulge in more and more sins.

Brothers and sisters, let us be realistic. Let us read the biography of the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. His house, if we can even call it a house, was a very small room, that would not even suffice for the bed of ‘Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and himself to pray at the same time. Imagine how small; maybe less than 3 by 2. Whenever he wanted to prostrate, he used to pinch ‘Aishah so that she would move her legs, as she was lying down, so that he can prostrate, because there was not enough room. The room was so low that no one could stand up straight in it. He and his wives would sometimes spend two months without cooking and lighting fire in their homes, because they had nothing to cook, surviving only on water and dates. But was he not the king and the master of all those who are happy? He was the happiest man to walk on this earth, salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

Look at the Prophets Lut and Nuh, peace be upon them. They each had a disbelieving wife, but they were the happiest people. Ayyub, peace be upon him, a Prophet and an example for us all: he was afflicted by an illness not for 18 days or 18 months, but for 18 years! To the extent that his people took him and threw him near a dumpster, because of the illnesses that he was carrying. Yet, he was happy. If they were happy, despite not having money or power or good health, then the question arises: what is happiness? Happiness is not in having sinful relationships, or watching movies, or listening to music, or riding glamorous cars. Happiness is not in living the ‘Westerner’s Dream’. Happiness is not in a glass of wine, or in a dose of drugs. These are simply measures and means that lead you to misery and depression. Real happiness cannot be seen by the naked eye; it cannot be quantified or measured. Real happiness cannot be contained in vaults or safes; you cannot buy it. Otherwise, we would have spent everything we have in order to attain real, true and endless happiness.

Real happiness is a feeling that one has in his chest. It is the comfort and tranquility in our heart that makes us strong, and keeps us firm and steadfast when everything is falling around us. It is the clear conscience that we have when we go to bed at night. Real happiness lies in our conviction in Islam. It lies in our belief that what Allah ‘azza wa jall has revealed is the ultimate truth, and this belief is accompanied by action in accordance to the Sunnah of the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam (not according to our own desires and whims). Real happiness is this conviction and the good deeds that we do. All this accompanied by content; that whatever Allah has decreed is from Him and it is the best for us. The Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam used to say: “He who says: ‘I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, Islam as my religion and Muhammad salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as my Prophet’ will taste the sweetness of Imaan.” Why don’t we taste the sweetness of our prayers? Why don’t we taste this sweetness when we read the Qur’an? Why don’t we taste the beauty of fasting in Ramadan? When we are kind to our spouses, and obedient to our parents, why can’t we find this sweetness? Because our hearts are not filled with true happiness.

‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, wrote once to one of his rulers, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, may Allah be pleased with him, and said that the goodness lies in being satisfied and content. So, if you want goodness on this earth, be satisfied and content. And if you are unable to be satisfied and content, then you have no other choice but to be patient and tolerant.

One of the main reasons of depression, misery and lack of happiness is being far away from Allah. Contentment is very important, and its place is in our heart. If you see someone who has something better than what you have, and you feel rebellious and discontent, thinking: ‘why them, and not me?’, you will never be happy.  But if you are content with whatever Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala gave you, you will be the happiest person on earth. There are some people whom Allah has willed not to give them money, yet they are still content. I know people who are stone broke, but when I ask them how they are doing, all I hear is praise and gratitude for Allah. They are filled with content. And then there are millionaires who can only complain, whine and nag. They are never content with what they have! People who are deprived of having offspring; some of them are content and happy with Allah’s Decree, while others are depressed and discontent. Listen to what Allah ‘azza wa jall says:

{فَلا تُعجِبكَ أَموالُهُم وَلا أَولادُهُم ۚ إِنَّما يُريدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُم بِها فِي الحَياةِ الدُّنيا وَتَزهَقَ أَنفُسُهُم وَهُم كافِرونَ}

“So let not their wealth or their children amaze you (O Muhammad salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam); in reality Allah’s Plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers.”

[Surat At-Taubah: 55]

So do not be deceived, my brothers and sisters, when you see the disbelievers having what you do not have. When you see the people who sin openly having what you wish you could have. There are many such heedless ones among us, who are blinded by their fake lights and by their false civilizations. They think that happiness lies in imitating the disbelievers in their lifestyles, in the way that they look, and in the way that they speak. And many of our youth fall into this category: they think that being sophisticated and being intellectual means that you have to wear, act and behave like the disbelievers. Thus, many Muslims become like the people of Qarun. Allah ‘azza wa jall says:

{قالَ الَّذينَ يُريدونَ الحَياةَ الدُّنيا يا لَيتَ لَنا مِثلَ ما أوتِيَ قارونُ إِنَّهُ لَذو حَظٍّ عَظيمٍ}

“Those who were desirous of the life of the world, said: ‘Ah, would that we had the like of what Qarun (Korah) has been given! Verily, he is the owner of a great fortune.’”

[Surat Al-Qasas: 79]

Now, this is a problem. When you cannot value your beliefs and cannot appreciate Allah’s gift to you, and you look at those whom He is angry with, wishing you could be like them, you have a problem. Where is Qarun now?  Where is the happiness that he was apparently enjoying? Where is Fir’aun’s might, army and power? Where are they now? Where is the strength of ‘Aad (the people of Hud, peace be upon him) and Thamud (the people of Saleh, peace be upon him)? Where are the billions of dollars that were consumed through bribes, Riba and embezzlement? Where are the long hours that a playboy spent in his Haram relationships and in nightclubs? Where are the long hours that many of us spent at work or at pleasure while neglecting their prayers, neglecting their kinship, and neglecting the rest of their obligations? These are all means that take one to Hell, where the losers end up.

Let it be known, O servants of Allah, that sins are the greatest blockers of happiness. Happiness is a gift from Allah ‘azza wa jall, but if you seek happiness through what Allah has made Haram, then you are a loser. A servant will not find the true taste of happiness until he worships Allah as He has commanded him. We must come out of this box that we intentionally, deliberately and willingly imprison ourselves in: that makes us think that we cannot be happy if we practice Islam and abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah. We will never find happiness if we think this way, because the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, who was the happiest person ever, used to say that his satisfaction was put in prayer. He used to find contentment and calmness of the heart in prayer. So whoever neglects his prayer, delays it, or does not perform it well, will never find the taste of happiness. If we look at our households, many of the couples are unhappy and dissatisfied. The divorce rate has sky rocketed. Why is that? Because they have tension, stress, anxiety and depression. All of this is accompanied by their children not being dutiful, their spouse cheating on them, and parents fleeing and running away from their children. This is a result of them pursuing happiness in places other than those that Allah has directed us to look for it in.

Therefore, We must fear Allah ‘azza wa jall to the best of our abilities. We must look for happiness where Allah ‘azza wa jall has told us to look for it. This life is a stage where we are tested and where we are supposed to work. But it is not going to be easy. We have to work hard in order to make it a bridge to Jannah, with Allah’s Grace and Favor. A long time ago, Imam Ahmed Bin Hambal, may Allah have mercy on his soul, one of the great imams of Islam, was asked: O Imam, when can we find the taste of comfort and happiness? He, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said: You cannot find it until you place your first foot in Paradise. Hence, we must not be delusional; true happiness can only be attained in Jannah. We may live for 80 years or 100 years, but then what? Then it is your grave. And then what? It is Resurrection. And then what? It is either Jannah or Hell. Make Jannah your objective and your target and, in sha Allah, Allah with his Mercy, Favor, Grace and Blessing upon us, will make us among those who set foot in Paradise.

 

O Allah, make us among those who are happy in this world. Make us happy on this earth. And make us happy when death comes to us and make us happy when we are underneath this earth. O Allah, make us among those who are resurrected while happy. Make us among those who are blessed, content, rich and healthy. O Allah, cure the illnesses of our sick people. Have mercy on the deceased, who have departed from us. And let us not be among the miserable, depressed, or the wretched. It is You who is Most Forgiving.

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