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 السعادة في الإسلام (الجزء الثاني) / Happiness in Islam - part 2

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PostSubject: السعادة في الإسلام (الجزء الثاني) / Happiness in Islam - part 2   Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:43 pm

السعادة في الإسلام (الجزء الثاني)

Happiness in Islam - part 2


Happiness in Islam Means of Attaining Happiness 1. Faith and good works: Faith brings about happiness in many ways: A. A person who believes in Allah alone without associating with Him any partner, with a belief that is pure and free from any defects, will enjoy a tranquil heart, a peaceful soul, and will not be full of worry and anxiety over life. He will be pleased with whatever Allah has ordained for him; thankful for all the good things in his life and patient with misfortune. The submission of a believer to Allah gives him the peace of mind that a person needs in order to be industrious and hard working. This is because he senses that his life has meaning and a definite purpose that he must strive to achieve. Allah says: Those who believe and do not mix their belief with iniquity, for them there is security and they are the rightly guided. B. Faith gives a person an ideal to strive for. His life is invested with a higher meaning that inspires him to work and expend his efforts in order to realize it. This keeps him away from living a narrow, selfish life. He instead lives his life for the good of others in the society in which he lives. A person who lives only for himself finds his days shortened and his goals constrained. When he, instead, lives for the ideal that inspires him, his life appears long and beautiful, beginning with the dawn of humanity and continuing long after he leaves the Earth. This enhances his perception of the moments, hours, and days of his life. C. Faith is not only a means to attain happiness; it is also a means to ward off the things that prevent happiness. This is because the believer knows that he is going to be tried and tested throughout his life and that these trials are opportunities for him to put his faith into practice. They help the believer to develop inner strength through the noble qualities of patience and determination, and through trusting in Allah, seeking His assistance, and fearing Him alone. These qualities are some of the most effective ways of realizing the objectives of life, and of bearing life’s trials. Allah says: If you are suffering, then they too are suffering as you are, but you hope from Allah what they do not hope for. 2. High moral standards that inspire one to do good for others: Man is a social being who needs to interact with beings of his own kind. It is not possible for him to exist independently of others in every aspect of his life. Interacting with others is unavoidable, and people differ greatly in their physical and mental peculiarities. Thus, it is unavoidable that displeasing things will happen between people that can cause them sorrow and distress. If a person cannot deal with these things in an honorable manner, then his interaction with others – which in and of itself is unavoidable – will be a great source of distress and misery for his life. For this reason, Islam emphasizes morality and the development of moral character. Allah says, describing the Messenger (peace be upon him): - And verily you (O Muhammad) are of an exalted standard of character. - And by the mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from around you; so overlook their faults and ask Allah’s for their forgiveness; and consult them in affairs. Allah says: - Help one another in virtue and piety, and do not help one another in sin and transgression. - The good deed and the evil deed are not equal. Repel evil with that which is better, then verily the one between whom and you there was enmity will become as if he was a close friend. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “I was only sent to perfect moral character.” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The similitude of the believer in his affection and mercy towards other believers is like that of one body; if any part of it feels pain, the whole body becomes feverish and restless.” 3. Remembering Allah often and constantly being aware of His presence: A person’s satisfaction with another depends on the esteem that he has for him. Allah is the greatest source of peace for the heart, and the one whose remembrance can bring joy to the soul. Remembrance of Allah is the pleasure and comfort of the believer while attaining what benefits him and avoiding what harms him. For this reason, Islamic Law prescribes a number of specific remembrances to relate the Muslim back to his Lord whatever the circumstance, in every place, and at all times, when hoping for something desired, or fearing something disliked. These remembrances connect the believer’s conscience with his Creator, so he sees beyond the cause and effect relationships in the world around him. Consequently, he does not exaggerate their importance so much that they can disturb his spirit. He does no exalt the worldly causes of things beyond their limits, because he realizes that these causes in and of themselves have no effect, but their effects come only by the decree of Allah. Allah says: Verily, in the remembrance of Allah hearts find rest. The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded the Muslim man to say when getting married to a woman: “O Allah, I ask of you the goodness within her and the goodness that you have made her inclined towards, and I seek refuge with you from the evil within her and the evil that you have made her inclined towards.” The Muslim should say when the wind begins to blow fiercely: “O Allah I ask you for the good of it, the good that it contains, and the good that it was sent with; and I seek refuge with you from its evil, the evil within it, and the evil that it was sent with.” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) spoke of the necessity of taking proper action to accomplish what one wants to accomplish, seeking the help of Allah, and not grieving if the results are not the ones that were hoped for. He said: “Strive for what benefits you and seek the help of Allah and do not behave as if you are incapable. And do not say, ‘If only I had done this or that, it would have been this way or that.’ Instead say, ‘Allah decreed what he decreed and what he wishes to do he does.’ Otherwise, you open the way for Satan’s handiwork.” 4. Maintaining one’s health: This covers all aspects of health: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Physical health: Man is naturally concerned with preserving his physical health, this being part of his instinct to survive. It is also a means of realizing his worldly aims of attaining food, drink, clothing, and transportation. Islam is concerned with man’s survival and physical health. It forbids murder and prohibits consuming things that are hazardous to one’s health. Allah says: Do not kill a person – whose life Allah has made sacred – except in the dispensation of justice. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) says: “There shall be no harm nor causing of harm.” Emotional Health: Many people are heedless of the importance of emotional health and are equally heedless of the way to take care of it, in spite of the fact that it a basic pillar of happiness. For this reason, Islam strives to develop a person’s inner state in the best manner, purifying it with noble qualities. One of the most important matters here is the development of a balanced, harmonious, and composed emotional makeup. The basis for an upright emotional character is, first and foremost, faith. Thereafter come the other important elements of an upright emotional character, like possessing a high standard of morality and avoiding ignoble traits like anger, pride, conceit, stinginess, worldly ardor, envy, and malice, traits that can only lead to emotional instability and anxiety. Allah says: - Do not strain your eyes in longing for the things that we have given to some groups of them to enjoy, the splendor of the life of this world, through which we test them. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting. - O you who believe, let not one group scoff at another; it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let some women scoff at other women; it may be that the latter are better than the former. Do not defame one another and do not call each other by nicknames. How evil is the name of iniquity after faith. And whoever does not repent, these are indeed transgressors. O you who believe, avoid much suspicion. Indeed some suspicion is sinful. And do not spy on or backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “If there are three of you, do not two of you talk secretly to one another to the exclusion of the third until you mix with other people, because you may hurt his feelings.” Mental Health: The rational mind is the basis for accountability in Islamic Law. Therefore, the Wise Lawgiver commands that it should be preserved and protected and prohibits everything that can diminish it or cause it harm. Alcoholic beverages and drugs are among the worst things that can cause the loss of mental faculties. For this reason, Allah has forbidden them, saying: O you who believe, intoxicants, gambling, idols, and divination are abominations of Satan’s handiwork. So avoid all of it so that perhaps you might be successful. Satan wants only to excite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not then abstain? Spiritual Health: Islamic Law has taken great care to set down ways to ensure and preserve spiritual health. It encourages the believer to remember Allah at all times. Likewise it makes a minimum amount of worship obligatory upon him to ensure that he gets his spiritual nourishment. This includes the prescribed prayers, fasting, Zakâh tax, and the Hajj pilgrimage. It then opens for him a wide door for voluntary worship of every kind. These forms of worship return the worshipper to his Lord and reaffirm the bond that exist between him and Allah whenever the deluge of worldly concerns starts to sweep him away. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) would say: “The coolness of my eyes is prayer.” He also used to say to Bilâl, the one who would give the call to prayer: “O Bilâl, let us find relaxation in prayer.” Islamic Law prohibits everything that can cause spiritual sickness and weakness. It prohibits us from following our vain desires, clinging to baseless beliefs, and devotion to pleasure, because these things blind the heart and make it heedless of Allah’s remembrance. For this reason, Allah says, describing the unbelievers in the following way: Those who disbelieve will enjoy this world and eat as cattle eat, and the Hellfire will be their abode. One Should Pursue the Material Provisions It has already been affirmed in what preceded that Islam does not deny the importance of material causes for realizing happiness, except that these material things are not a necessary condition for it; they are merely one of many means that can work together to bring it about. Many of the sacred ****s attest to this fact. Allah says: Who has forbidden the adornment given by Allah that He has brought forth for his servants, and the good things of sustenance? Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “How good pure wealth is for a pious servant.” He also said: “Among the things that can bring happiness to the son of Adam are a pious wife, a good home, and a good means of transport.” Managing Time Time is a person’s capital, being the duration of his stay on this world. Islam, therefore, is very concerned with time. It makes the believer responsible for the time at his disposal. On the Day of Judgment, he will be asked about it. Islamic Law requires that he manages his time wisely and utilizes it well. This is achieved by balancing his worldly needs with his worship and caring for his spiritual needs. Islam encourages the believer to get maximum benefit out of his time, filling it with beneficial activities and good deeds. Allah says: O you who believe, do not let your wealth and children prevent you from the remembrance of Allah. Whosoever does this; they are surely among the losers. And spend from what We have provided you before one of you approaches death and says, ‘My Lord, if you would only give me a little more time, I would give in charity and I would be one of the righteous. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The feet of a servant will not turn away on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about four things: his lifetime, how he lived it; his youth, how he spent it; his wealth, from where he earned it and on what he spent it; and his work, what work did he used to do.” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) also said: “There are two blessings that many people wish they had: health and free time.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) counseled us to balance our time, saying: “Give your hearts rest every hour, because if the heart is forced, it becomes blind


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السعادة في الإسلام (الجزء الثاني) / Happiness in Islam - part 2

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