Light Up Your Life With Islam

Bismillah.

One of the causes that removes restlessness caused by strained nerves and gets rid of occupation of the heart in unfavourable things is: being occupied in action or knowledge that is beneficial. So this occupation will turn the heart away from the things that keep it busy with troubles.

Sometimes, due to this cause (i.e. of being busy), he will forget the causes that incur sorrow and grief upon him. So he would become happy and his activities would increase, and this means is common between the believer and the other person (who doesn’t believe). That is to say, whether the believer or the other person without belief, whoever of them tries to dispel his sorrow by being busy in doing something or gaining some kind of beneficial knowledge, both would succeed in their goal and thus their worries would be removed from them.

BUT the believer is distinguished on the basis of

  • his faith
  • his sincerity
  • his hope for reward

idleness

He gets reward as his being occupied in knowledge that he either learns or teaches, and the good action that he does; if they are from worshipping Allah then it is considered worship (like remembering Him, for instance) and if it is some worldly occupation or habit then he makes his intention righteous and intends to support his obedience of Allah through it (like doing exercise to stay fit so he can worship Allah better with a strong body or eating delicious and healthy food so that he doesn’t get ill and remains focused in worshipping Allah and being good to His creation).

For this reason, (that is due to the distinguishing characteristics of the believer) his impact to dispel grief, melancholy and sorrows is effective.

Many people are afflicted by worries and lasting disturbances due to which different kind of diseases come over them. So the effective cure for this thing is: forgetting the cause that brings worry and sorrow by being busy in more important tasks.

wasting time

How many people do you know who are always involved in worrisome discussions because they have nothing better to do? Remember, do not ever be not busy!

Also, the person should try to be involved in something that he feels comfortable with and longs for, because that will take him to his beneficial purpose more rightfully, and Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: focusing on the here and now

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Good Kind of Good

Bismillah.

We have already discussed that one of the ways to achieve a happy life is through true faith and righteous deeds. Now let’s move on the second one.

Of the causes of happiness that would do away with worry, sorrow and anxiousness is:

good conduct (ihsaan) over the creation through words, action and known ways of doing good. Because all these are types of good conduct.  

Note that the word used here is ‘creation’ and not ‘people’. It means do good not just with humans but with whatever you interact with on this earth. The animals, plants and even the inanimate objects. And then doing good through words, action and whatever are the known ways of doing good which means whatever you know is good, because our conscience is programmed in such a way that we can distinguish good and bad innately. Also, our culture and society gives us the basic moral values. When we talk about doing good with words, it includes your tone, expressions and body language as well.

ihsaan

With these things, Allah removes grief and sorrow from both the righteous and the wicked, according to their good conduct. BUT the true believer gets the full portion from this reward. Why? He is distinguished due to his good conduct stemming from

  • his sincerity
  • his hope for reward

so Allah makes doing good easy for him. Because generally being good to others is difficult for most of us, so when doing good is made easy for you, isn’t that a great reward? It’s like your work on which you get benefits and salary is made easy for you so you keep getting more benefits and promotions etc.

Do you know what is one of the reasons that good becomes easy when you do it for Allah’s sake? It’s because every person in this world is a creation of Allah, no one is exempted, so you have to do good to all of them if you are doing it for His sake. Whereas if you are doing good only of your own accord then there might be some people who you’re prejudiced against and you might not be able to do good to them. Doing good for people is difficult, doing good for Allah is easy.

The true believer hopes from Allah for good (khayr) and so his troubles are removed from him due to his sincerity and his hope for reward.

Allah says in the Quran,

لَّا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّن نَّجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّـهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

Translation: No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward. [An-Nisa 114]

Generally, it’s not considered good to whisper but in this case, when you’re encouraging others to do good, you can whisper. And not only can you whisper but you also get rewarded for it. Another interesting thing is that you’re not doing a good thing yourself, you’re just telling others to do it, even then you get rewarded.

So Allah told us that all these things, whoever does them, have good (khayr) in them. Good brings good and drives away evil. Isn’t that great? Doing good has two benefits. It could have only brought good, but no, it also removes evil. Double reward!

Indeed the true believer who hopes for reward, Allah gives him great recompense. From the package of great recompense, only one portion is that worry, grief, unsettling and similar things depart. Imagine what rest of the package holds!

So be good to people, make life easy for them, spread smiles and love. And get the same and much more in return. <3

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: Being occupied in beneficial knowledge and actions 

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Fear, The Killer 

Bismillah.

Fear is one of the things that most people fear the most!
Let’s see how a true believer and the other person react when gripped by fear.

Fear over the True Believer

When the causes of fear and things that make a person anxious take place, you will see that the person with true faith won’t panic, rather he would be tranquil. He is proficient in planning and steering the situation that is worrying him, by his thought, words and action of whatever is in his capacity. He utilizes all possible resources.

What is the reason of his being so deft and active in handling the situation? Because he had already prepared himself for such troubles and sorrows and these conditions give comfort to that person and keep his heart steadfast. He knew that problems will come because life is not a bed of roses. There are bound to be troubles and so he prepares himself beforehand due to which he doesn’t lose his head in stress.

Fear over the Person Who Lacks Faith

But you will find the person who lacks faith, quite the opposite when fearful things take place. His soul becomes restless, his nerves become strained, his thoughts become scattered and fear and horror creep inside him. External fear and internal anxiousness both come together over him such that it is not possible to express the reality of what might be his situation. It’s unimaginable! His condition is hopeless.

When this kind of people do not have the natural resources (to fight the fearful situation), their strength collapses. They just don’t know what to do. They weren’t ready, they weren’t prepared so their senses take leave. Their nerves tauten and all this is due to lack of faith. Faith, which persuades them to be patient, specially in critical spots and distressing and worrisome conditions.

Helper

The Distinguishing Feature

The righteous and the wicked, and the believer and the disbeliever, they both participate in acquiring skills and natural instincts to be brave which would quell the fears and tone them down.

BUT the believer is distinguished due to the strength of:

  • his faith
  • his patience
  • his trust on Allah
  • his reliance on Him
  • his hope to gain reward

These above mentioned things increase his bravery, reduce the pressure of fear and tone down the difficulties on him.

Just like Allah says in the Quran,

إِن تَكُونُوا تَأْلَمُونَ فَإِنَّهُمْ يَأْلَمُونَ كَمَا تَأْلَمُونَ ۖ وَتَرْجُونَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ مَا لَا يَرْجُونَ

Translation: If you should be suffering – so are they suffering as you are suffering, but you expect from Allah that which they expect not. [An-Nisa 104]

They obtain Allah’s aid, His special support and His help that disperses the fears. And Allah says in the Quran,

وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Translation: and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. [Al-Anfal 46]

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Bismillah.

To establish further the difference of attitude between the true believer and the other person on receiving good and bad, here is an example:

When the true believer is afflicted with a disease or poverty or any kind of problems that every person is plagued by, he – due to his faith and his contentment (on however much he has) and his acceptance of the distribution by Allah – finds in that problem coolness of his eye. It means he doesn’t get perturbed like other people. His heart does not wish for the thing that is not destined for him. He looks at those who are below him. He sees their problems and knows that he is in a better position or that others are suffering too, he is not the only one. He does not look at those above him; those who are in a better situation than him because then he will only feel deprived.

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The result of his attitude is that sometimes his pleasure, happiness and comfort supersedes the one’s who has his world’s desires with him. Because the one who already does have what he wants, does not have contentment on what he has and wants more. Whereas this true believer is content on whatever he has. When his problem ends, because problems do not remain forever and they do expire after a time, his happiness is coupled with contentment and he accepts his favours with pleasure.

But the other person, who does not do deeds as required by his faith, when he is afflicted with poverty or loses something from his worldly wants, you will find him in the depths of wretchedness and misery. He has no good hopes from Allah and does not expect anything positive, in fact, he goes even farther away from his deen.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Upcoming post: Attitude of both persons when gripped by fear 

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Misery Upon Misery 

Bismillah.

The last post talked about the attitude of a person, who has true faith + righteous deeds, on receiving good and bad. In this one, we will discuss the attitude of the person who does not have true faith + righteous deeds and how he reacts on receiving favourable and unfavourable things in his life. You can then compare the two personalities and check where do you lie?

When He Receives Good 

The other kind of person (who does not have true faith + righteous deeds), he welcomes favourable things with arrogance, insolence and transgression. He deviates from good moral conduct and he receives those favours like wild beasts do with greed and impatience. And along with that his heart is not at ease, rather his efforts and work is haphazard and dispersed in various directions due to:

  • fear of departure of his beloved things
  • obstacles arising because of this fear
  • his heart being unable to stop at a limit, he wants more and more

So this man is unable to enjoy what he already has because his enjoyment is overpowered by his fear of losing that pleasurable thing and then he can’t concentrate on other matters because his heart is in constant fear, for example, if he’s at work, he’d keep thinking, oh what if it gets stolen or what if this happy moment ends, so he loses focus and it becomes a hindrance in his other daily tasks and then he isn’t content on what favours he has, rather he keeps wishing for more and other favours.

The favours that he wants more and more, he might get them or he might not. But even if he does get them supposedly, he’d still not be content and remain anxious. Why? Because again he’d be plagued by those three things; fear of losing, obstacles due to that fear and wanting more. What an unfortunate man, indeed!

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When He Receives Bad

When that person (who does not have true faith + righteous deeds) receives something unpleasant, he welcomes it with anxiety, despondency, fear and agitation. So do not ask how miserable his life becomes and the illnesses of the mind and nerves that overcome him and the fear that grips him and the horrible vexations that engulf him. Because he has no hope of reward and he does not know how to be patient which would console him and make the worries insignificant.

The poor person was not even happy during favourable times, how can you expect him to endure worries in a mature way? Unlike the true believer, he has no principles that he can apply in good and bad times. Besides, he does not have anything to look forward to, he has no incentive because he does not hope for any reward during troublesome times. He would have hoped for reward if he had been patient. But in the absence of those principles of faith, he does not even know how to be patient.

Look Around You

All of the above, has been seen and is based on experience. When you see people around you and you reflect on their situation and try to fit them in a category, you will find great difference between the true believer who does righteous deeds as required by his faith and between the one does not have the qualities of true belief and righteous deeds.

And know that our religion urges as much as possible to be content on whatever sustenance and things you receive from Allah and on the various favours and kindnesses that He bestows on His slaves.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Next post: Ways to a Happy Life – Afflicted

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – Faith & Righteousness  

Bismillah.

In the last post, we touched the various causes that make one happy. In this one, I’ll be sharing with you the greatest cause of happiness. It is an awesome combo, which is: faith (eman) + righteous deeds

Allah promises that whoever combines faith and righteous deeds will get a good life and reward in this world and the next.

The evidence for this is in the Quran:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. [An-Nahl 97]

The reason for this reward in the dunya and akhirah is pretty clear, it is because true faith has the following effects:

  • it brings the fruit of righteous deeds
  • it reforms the hearts
  • it reforms the moral character (akhlaq)
  • it reforms this world
  • it reforms the hereafter

Moreover, based on that true faith, the believers have some principles which they apply whenever something good or bad befalls them. Following is the application of those principles

When They Receive Good 

True believers welcome favourable and pleasurable things by

  • accepting them
  • being grateful for them
  • using them in beneficial ways

They hope for the favours to remain and be blessed more and they hope to get reward in return for their being grateful for them.

Due to this attitude of theirs on receiving something good, what do they get in return?

Since they use those favours upon them in beneficial ways, so Allah puts pleasure in them and the goodness (khayr) and blessing (barakah) that comes as a fruit of them outweighs the original favours.

When They Receive Bad

When nuisances, disadvantages or sorrow befalls the true believers, they react in either of the following ways:

  • they resist or fight it off, if they can
  • they lighten or reduce it, if they can
  • if they’re totally helpless, they do patience beautifully

Due to the above, they learn the skill of beneficial resistance i.e. their stamina is built, they gain experience and strength and by being patient they hope for reward. So their problems fade or become light and are replaced by happiness and good hopes and longing for reward and Allah’s favour.

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Summary in a Single Narration

The above two situations that a believer goes through are summarized perfectly in a narration of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassalam:

“Strange is the case of a believer, there is good for him in everything, and this is only for the believer. If a blessing reaches him, he is grateful to Allah which is good for him, and if an adversity reaches him, he is patient which is good for him.” [Muslim, Kitab-uz-Zuhd 7500]

Therefore, the believer’s blessings and fruits are increased manifold whenever something good or bad comes his way.

So you’ll see two kinds of people who, when they receive something (good or bad), react very differently. And that difference is according to their level of faith and righteous deeds.

This man who has both true faith and righteous deeds, he is grateful and patient and so happiness and pleasure is sent to him and his sorrow declines, constriction of his heart is lessened, his miserable life changes and he gets a good life in this world.

Wassalam,
Hajrah. :)

Next post: Ways to a Happy Life – Misery Upon Misery

Previous post: Ways to a Happy Life – the Ultimate Recipe 

Bismillah. 

There is a thing that every single person in this world strives for. No one wants to not have it. We all crave for it, no matter what religion, ethnicity, race, country, class, age or gender we belong to. It even doesn’t matter what profession or field you’re in, you’d want it anyway. You could be a doctor, a student, a retired officer, a clerk, a politician, a housewife, it just doesn’t signify, you want it badly. A phenomenon that cannot be seen or heard but it can be felt, deeply! 

Can you guess what that highly desired thing is? Yes, it is “happiness”! We all want to be happy! There are millions of books and articles written on the subject yet we can’t have enough of it. Yet again we open an article titled “25 simple ways to achieve happiness”, thinking this might be the one meant for me. 

But here in this series of posts, I’m going to share with you the real REAL way to be happy! The reason I say this is because the material that I will be sharing comes from not just any psychologist or therapist, rather it comes from a scholar who understood the Words of the Creator and applied it to the worldly knowledge of happiness. It creates a perfect blend of heartfelt peace fondue coming from the Words of Lord of the Worlds together with whipped happiness of the everyday world we live in.

Happiness

The text that I will be following and extracting gems from is originally in Arabic, called 

الوسائل المفيدة للحيأة السعيدة

which means,

Ways to a Happy Life

It is a booklet written by Abd Ar-Rahmaan ibn Nasir as-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy upon him). 

In the preface of the book, he writes that every person’s goal is comfort, tranquillity and pleasure of the heart and demise of trouble and sorrow. With this, a person wants to achieve a good life. The aforementioned goal is achieved through religious, natural and/or practical causes. But all these causes are gathered together only for the believers. Rest of the people, non-believers, get only one of the causes and are unable to get benefits of other causes (which basically means they are unable to achieve the ultimate happiness).

The author further says that there are three kinds of people; those who get a lot and thus spend happy lives, those who are deprived and thus spend unfortunate lives and those who are in the middle. But remember that Allah is the One who can give good and do away with bad.   

The above is a gist of what’s in the preface. Follow the posts and see for yourself what the rest of the booklet holds. Stay tuned for the next post for the perfect recipe of happiness inshaAllah!

Wassalam, 
Hajrah. :)

Next post: Ways to a Happy Life – Faith & Righteousness 

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