Life is fraught with endless challenges, dangers and opportunities. It signifies a perpetual struggle between many protagonists and forces, at the center of which stands man as an honorable and capable creation.
Man’s involvements in life’s proceedings vary. At times, he is actively involved in their unfolding, influencing them, and at other times, he remains passive and submissive, being influenced by them.
Life is a roller-coaster of emotions and experiences. We never know what is going to happen next. Virtually nothing is predictable. Nothing is controllable either, including the feelings, thoughts and insinuations that resonate in the deepest and dimmest recesses of our selves.
Since man is created weak, of haste, endowed with little knowledge, and with a great many other physical, intellectual and spiritual inadequacies — as revealed by his Creator, Almighty God – he, especially if detached from a divine help and guidance, will typically feel indecisive, doubtful, insecure and vulnerable, while grappling with life’s multi-tiered physical and metaphysical realities, and while trying to cope with life’s challenges and innate anxieties. He will find the world as cold and unforgiving, and as overwhelmingly perilous and unfair.
Man will always feel that life should be more meaningful and purposeful. It should be fairer and friendlier, especially towards him as its microcosm and the epicenter of its vicissitudes.
Man will constantly dream of happy endings to his affairs, working towards their realization, for he knows that such a thing will offset the adversities he had to face along the way. He will dream that as one of life’s main protagonists, he will eventually become capable of overcoming all the perils and successfully complete his existential purpose and mission. Man’s enduring feeling of happiness and satisfaction will thereby be sought, making it man’s raison d’être.
However, it is a spiritual principle that man on his own cannot fulfill his ontological purpose; nor can he achieve that which he incessantly craves for: happiness.
Man is a creation, so, for him there is no way forward towards happiness except under the guardianship and guidance of his Creator and Master.
Man should come to know with certainty “that there is no fleeing from Allah and no refuge but to Himself” (Quran 9:118). That is why God to man is his best Ally, Protector and Sustainer. He alone is Sufficient for man, and He is the best Disposer of affairs for him.
In other words, man will not attain happiness, nor will his life-story have a happy ending, unless certain premises are fulfilled. Some of those premises, or propositions, are as follows.
Man must live his life, not according to his own will, but according to the will of his Creator and the Creator of the whole universe. He needs to love life and give to it abundantly, if he wanted to be loved by life and be given in abundance.
He needs to go all out, making others happy, if he wanted to be made happy. He needs to be patient, grateful, pragmatic and creative. He needs to find his calling and purpose in life. He needs to “find” himself and, as such, forge caring and responsible relationships with others whom he also had to “find”.
That is, a happy process, or a life course, leads to a happy ending. He who truly wants a happy ending, and works for it, will inevitably get it.
How a person lives, that is how he dies (ends). If he lives by the sword, he dies by the sword. The Holy Quran repeatedly reminds us of that code. It tell us, for instance, that such people as adopt falsehood, deception, mischief and oppression as a way of life, will not be in the end successful, neither in this world nor in the Hereafter. The two patterns of existence are incompatible.
The only ones who will be successful are those who adopt a life of heavenly goodness, virtue and devotion. As a rule, a person reaps what he sows.
A sage is said to have advised his apprentice to transform both his life and his personality into a “flower”, which, in turn, will attract only such beautiful creatures as butterflies and bees. “Do not become “filth”, or “junk”, for it attracts only flies, cockroaches and other harmful bugs”, warned the sage.
The ultimate destiny of the two above-mentioned types of lifestyle and their proponents is easily perceptible. As a “flower”, the former will be admitted into and will become part of the Garden of Paradise (Jannah), where he will live happily ever after, while the latter will be admitted into and will become part of the “filth” of Hellfire (Jahannam), whose fuel will be (evil) men and stones (2:24), where he will live unhappily and dejectedly ever after.
That said, a rebellious man who rejects God, as the embodiment and source of all truth, is torn between the corollaries of his actions and his insatiable quest for ultimate happiness that entails happy endings to his life affairs.
Thus, in nearly all of his creative productions in various cultural and civilizational aspects, explicit or implicit happy ending components feature prominently. The absence of such components would denote the hollowness, incongruity and even absurdity of those aspects of culture and civilization. Such men try to compensate in this world for that which they are set to miss in both worlds.
For that reason – for example — do virtually all movies, dramas, novels, storybooks, songs, art themes, educational programs, media exploits, and other general development designs and schemes contain the spirit of the happy ending proclivity. Such is only a sensible, likable and acceptable way for things and occurrences to be. The reverse is unacceptable and unreasonable a proposition.
If there is no true happiness in the real life, no problem, it will be concocted and made up aplenty in a virtual world. If people are not really happy, no problem, they will be asked, and taught, to pretend to feel that way. Happiness is on everyone’s lips, but a very few truly experience and know it.
The life of a modern man, by and large, is about false happiness fueled by chasing false and embroidered dreams. The life in its entirety is paradoxical and makes no sense; but who cares? What matters is that fiction and people’s illusory “lives” make perfect sense.
It is not an issue at all that ignorant, corrupt and outright evil persons rule today’s world. Nobody loses sleep over it. However, if such a type of people start ruling our fictional and fantasy worlds, only then will that become an issue.
Nor is it a problem that good and innocent guys suffer most in the world today. But if they fail and suffer defeat in our illusory and make-believe worlds, only then will that become a problem. Who cares about reality, so long as fiction makes sense, entertains us, and gives us a dose of gratification!