If you’re sitting in a room full of people, and you ask them to define happiness for you, they would all come up with different interpretations of it. To some, happiness may mean wealth. To others, it may represent fame. Some may consider popularity to be the most excellent source of happiness. Point being that humansmeasure happiness on the scale of limited understand and restricted experiences. So, how do dictionaries explain the term ‘happiness’?
The majority of dictionaries define happiness as a state of well-being or contentment. Rather, a pleasurable or satisfying experience. What if someone were to ask you: “Why am I never happy?’As a Muslim, what kind of advice would you offer the questioner? An article in the “Yes! Magazine” listed scientifically proven strategiesthat contribute to happiness. Quite uncannily, they are in perfect harmony with Islamic guidelineson the acquisition of happiness. This is an attempt to demonstrate how the following five simple suggestions for a happy life proposed by Islam, have the potential to be life-changing.
Stop comparing yourself to others
“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. The provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.” (Quran 20:131)
As the cliché goes: ‘the grass is greener on the other side.’ This is typically how an average man thinks. No matter how blessed most of us are, we tend to compare ‘who we are and what we have’ with ‘who other people are and what they haveQuran for kids.’ This inferiority complex can take a toll on its victim, leaving one feeling both insufficient and dissatisfied. Islam provides the cure for this mindset.
Abu Hurairah (R.A) reported:Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Look at those who are inferior to you and do not look at those who are superior to you, for this will keep you from belittling Allah’s favor to you.”(Sahih Muslim)
The narration in Bukhari is: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “When one of you looks at someone who is superior to him in property and appearance, he should look at someone who is inferior to him.”
Express gratitude and be an optimist
“Therefore, remember Me (God) and I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” (Quran 2:152)
A Muslim shouldthank Allah for the countless known and unknown blessings that he receives, often undeservedly, day after day. If he has a roof over his head, a body that is healthy, and a family to make a home with, he is better off than many homeless, ill, and orphaned or abandoned men. Appreciating what he has brings forth a feeling of contentment in his heart. He knows that who he is, and what he owns, are according to Allah’s beautiful plans for him. Such a Muslim becomes a man of unwavering faith and an optimist. The key to happiness no longer remains a mystery to him. As for an ingrate, he is never satisfied.