The pursuit of happiness – we all hear of it. But what does this really mean for a Muslim?
The pursuit of happiness indicates that happiness is somewhat a destination – a goal that is yet to be achieved, and often times, it sounds like one of monetary in nature.
More contemporary ideas suggest to do away with this pursuit, and be happy with the journey as we travel by it, living by the day, finding contentment in the route paved with good intentions. But why can’t it be both?
Muslims are told that in this world, though a place of obstacles and challenges, should also eat, drink, and enjoy – without transgressing limits.
Prophet Muhammad was a content being, although he knew more of the problems of humanity as compared to anyone else. And of course, he – of all people – had his sights on the eternal happiness of Paradise.
So what does a Muslim today make of the concept of happiness? And how can this constant state of contentment and tranquility be achieved?
Here are a few ideas.
Practice the Law of Attraction
What could this possibly mean?
Contemporary thought denotes that if a person is constantly imbued in positive thoughts, he or she will attract positivity in his or her life through the cyclical nature of the Universe – what goes around, comes around; positive thoughts beget positive results.
Obviously, for Muslims, the Universe does not “cater” for us, but this does not mean the Law of Attraction cannot apply. Rather, Allah tells us in a Hadith Qudsi to have good hopes in Him.
Positive hope in Allah is a reflection of our relationship with Him. If we constantly have meek and dull hopes and expectations of Allah, it is a telling sign that we have forgotten that He calls Himself Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful.
Even more so, Allah even asks us to ask of Him – through du’a, through remembrance, through prayer. So having a positive mindset and attitude towards Allah will bring about returns in leap and bounds.
This doesn’t mean that everything we ask for will fall into our lap. Not at all. In fact, the etiquette of the ‘Muslim’ Law of Attraction involves a few things (amongst others):
With Du’a Comes Plenty of Effort
It is not enough to make du’a and expect ‘wishes’ to come true. A du’a is not the same as a wish. A du’a is a sincere call to Allah’s Greatness, for His help and His help alone. As Allah has told us that He will burden his slave with more than he or she can bear, it also serves as a reminder that Allah has given us the tools to get through these hardships.
Whether it is looking for a new job, asking a friend for a consult through a personal problem, or looking for assistance with a challenging child; the tools are all around us, and we too have innate wisdom to deal with them. A quiet du’a will put matters into perspective and help endorse the goals that we set out to achieve.
Having plenty of gratitude:
Allah tells us in the Quran that He will increase those who are in the constant state of gratitude. Those who are grateful recognize even the most seemingly minute blessings, such eggs on toasts for breakfast. They also recognize the blessings that are often forgotten, like efficient lungs, and the ten fingers and toes.
They even recognize blessings that come in the form of trials, like missing out on a job promotion or catching the flu. This type of gratitude is all in the form of well-knowing that Allah has a plan greater beyond one’s understanding and imagination.
- The acknowledgement of trials and sadness:
As an elaboration to the point before, those who practice the Law of Attraction, do not belittle the trials in this world, but acknowledge them as part of their journey towards Jannah. Without trials, desperation, hardship, blood, and tears, it would make it difficult for someone to put positivity in perspective.
Imagine pretending that difficulties do not exist, we would be skipping around in this world without a plan to better ourselves as our own desires and temptations would get the better of us, consume us, and lead us to believe that there is nothing better than living an immortal life in this world.
- Understanding that everything in the dunya is temporary:
Only those who are constantly reminded (on their accord) of the temporariness of the dunya, will truly be able to appreciate the benefits of the “Law of Attraction.”
When du’as are not answered immediately, or are sometimes answered in a different manner, it is easy to become disheartened and start harboring the feelings of abandonment, especially when some hardships become extremely taxing.
However, the grand reminder that Justice prevails on the Day of Judgment: and all accounts will be balanced out to the point that those who have been transgressed or oppressed will be compensated to the point that they will wish to return to the dunya for further oppression, and Jannah will be rewarded to those who withstood trials and difficulty with patience and good hopes, will keep a believer’s heart content, even throughout hardship.
Practice the Law of Abundance
Truly happy people are those who love to give. In fact, if you look at those who are stingy and swim around in miserliness, you will see the complete opposite – they ace loneliness, constant despair, worry, and often remain in a warped mindset of negativity. In fact, they will also constantly view others with a negative lens.
The Law of Abundance denotes to keep giving without fear of “losing out.” This goes perfectly with our deen as we are constantly reminded to help remove the hardship of another person, to wish for our brothers or sisters the same as we would like for ourselves, to give in charity with the right hand, so much so, that our left hand is left unaware!
The list goes on. But the more we give, the more we receive, as long as we give for the sake of pleasing Allah. This is also an important reflection of the gratitude that we have, because giving indicates that we are confident that Allah will increase us in our own wealth.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)