Every human being must be longing for a happy, prosperous life. Unfortunately, many of them take a wrong way in pursuing the life they desire. Some of them think that happiness lies in having luxurious cars, sophisticated cell phone, extravagant houses, being able to travel abroad, etc. But is their perspective true?
The meaning of happiness for Believers
Brother, one who has faith in his heart and performs righteous deeds, is the one who will truly be able to taste and enjoy the sweetness and joys of life, due to his content heart. This condition differs from people who neglect Allah and His orders, who will always in worries and restlessness. Although the life of the faithful people seems to be very modest, even poor. But if one sees further, he will find out that they are the happiest people on earth. Take a look at the decree of Allah the Exalted below:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَى وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً
“Whosoever acts righteously – whether a man or a woman – and embraces belief, We will surely grant him a good life.” (An Nahl/The Bee: 97)
The verse reveals the reward for believers in this world, that is to be granted a good life.
َ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“…and will surely grant such persons their reward according to the best of their deeds.” (An Nahl/The Bee:97)
And this is their reward in the Hereafter.
Allah the Exalted also decreed in another verse:
وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا فِي اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُوا لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَلَأَجْرُ الْآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ
“As for those who have forsaken their homes for the sake of Allah after enduring persecution, We shall certainly grant them a good abode in this world; and surely the reward of the Hereafter is much greater. If they could but know (what an excellent end awaits).” (An Nahl/The Bee: 41)
وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ
“that you may seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance whereupon He will grant you a fair enjoyment of life until an appointed term, and will bestow favour on everyone who merits favour. But hould you turn away (from the Truth), I fear for you the chastisement of an Awesome Day.” (Huud/Hud: 3)
Both verses explained about the fine rewards of faithful believers who perform righteous acts in the Hereafter.
Also His decree:
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَأَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةٌ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
“Tell them (O Prophet): “O you servants of Mine who believe, have fear of your Lord. A good end awaits those who did good in this world. Allah’s earth is spacious. Verily those who persevere shall be granted their reward beyond all reckoning.” (Az-Zumar/The Troops: 10)
These are the four verses in Qur’an that elaborate the rewards for pious men and women who perform righteous deeds. They will get two kind of rewards; reward granted in this world, and reward in the Hereafter. Those are their rewards. And this fact indicates that they are the happiest person on earth, and later in the Hereafter.
One of it’s Proof
We often hear of the name “Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taimiya”. His name is very famous among the muslims due to his influences and his plenty of works for this nation. The real name of him is Ahmad bin Abdul Halim bin Abdus Salam bin Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Al Khodr bin Muhammad bin Al Khodr bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Taimiyyah Al Haroni Ad Dimasqi. His kunyah (nick name, dearest calling) is Abul ‘Abbas.
The following is the story from his excellent student, Ibn Al Qayyim, about his heavily troubled and miserable condition in prison. But beyond that, he was one of the happiest person in his time.
Ibn Al Qayyim -may Allah be pleased with him-said:
“Allah the Exalted must have known that I’ve never seen anyone whose life is happier than him, Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taimiya. Whereas his condition was afflicted with troubles, far from luxury, and worldly pleasures, even very alarming. Moreover, he underwent tortures and sufferings in the Cause of Allah, the tortures inside the prison, threats, and oppression from his enemies. But along with all of that, I found him as one of the happiest person in life, the most content of a heart, the toughest in heart, and the calmest in soul. His face shined with the light of joy that he feels. We (the students of Ibn Taimiya), if we got afflicted by despondency, or if we started to have bad prejudices or when we encountered the narrowness of life, we immediately came to him to seek for advices, and just by seeing his face and listening to his advices, the despondencies we felt were gone right away, changed into feelings of contentment, toughness, faithful, and calm. ”
Sheikh al Islam also said repeatedly to Ibn Al Qayyim,
“What can my enemies do to me? Indeed, the beauty of the Heaven and it’s gardens are in my heart.”
Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taimiya also stated, while he was in prison, that was filled with troubles, that: “If only this fort is filled with gold, nothing can compare to my joy inside it.”
He also said, ” In fact, the true prisoner is the one whose heart is sealed from knowing Allah The Great and The Glorified. And a captive is the one who’s still follow his lust (in going astray.)”
Even when he was in prison, Sheikh al Islam still multiplied his prayer to be able to thank Allah as much as possible, that is the prayer of:
“Allahumma a’inni ‘ala dzikrika wa syukrika wa husni ‘ibadatik” (O Allah, I seek for your aid to be able to remember, be grateful, and worship You.)
He was still reciting the prayer during his prostration, while in chains. But that was the joy that he felt.
When he entered the prison, until he got inside the walls, he said:
فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِسُورٍ لَهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِنْ قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ
“On that Day the hypocrites, both men and women, shall say to the believers: “Look at us that we may extract some light from your light.” They will be told: “Go back and seek light for yourselves elsewhere.” Then a wall shall be erected between them with a door in it. On the inside of it there will be mercy, and on the outside of it there will be chastisement.” (Al Hadiid/The Iron: 13)
Those are the joy of the faithful believers, faithful muslims, who have a strong faith within them. Such exclusive joy will never be perceived by the kings and the princes. The predecessor said,
لَوْ يَعْلَمُ المُلُوْكُ وَأَبْنَاءُ المُلُوْكِ مَا نَحْنُ فِيْهِ لَجَلِدُوْنَا عَلَيْهِ بِالسُّيُوْفِ
“Suppose that those kings and princes knew what kind of joy resides in our heart, they surely would torture us with swords.”
Having the Paradise of the World
Sheikh al Islam said that, “The world has a paradise. Whoever does not enter it, he wont be able to get the Paradise in the Hereafter.”
Ibn Al Qayyim explained that the meaning of Paradise of the world for a muslim is to love Allah, to recognize Him, always remember Him, the feeling of contentment and satisfied whenever one pray to Him, aimed his true love for Him, fear of him together with longing for Him, self reliance to Him and leaving all of his matters to Him only.
This is the paradise of the world, which is missed by the lovers of the Hereafter’s paradise.
And that is, brother, the paradise that you should reach, by trying to get the love and please of Allah, always rely yourself onto Him, fearing Him, but also resting all your affairs to Him.
The essence of this all is that the happiness does not lie in having a grandiose castle, luxurious cars, and abundant of wealth. But the happiness lies in our heart.
The Prophet -may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- said:
لَيْسَ الْغِنَى عَنْ كَثْرَةِ الْعَرَضِ ، وَلَكِنَّ الْغِنَى غِنَى النَّفْسِ
“The meaning of “rich” is not by the abundance of wealth (or worldly pleasures). But the meaning of rich is a heart that always feels content.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
May Allah grant us guidance and bestow upon us the paradise of the world, that is to have a heart that always rest onto Him.
All praises be to Allah, Who makes all goodness become perfect by His bounty. Prayers and peace may be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
“Shahih Al Wabilush Shoyyib”, page 91-96, published by Dar Ibnul Jauziy
Author: Muhammad Abduh Tuasikal
Article of www.whatisquran.com