What is the real secret of happiness in Islam?
What’s interesting from an Islamic perspective is the word happiness in old English comes from a root word “hap” which is luck or fate.
And that’s why a hapless person is somebody without any luck.
The idea of happiness is that your fate is something that you’re actually pleased with. It’s being pleased with what Allah or God has decreed for you.
That is true happiness, and people are wretched in this world because they reject their circumstances.
It does not mean they can’t change their circumstances, but they are sad about the past.
You can’t change the past.
So to lose your happiness over what happened in the past is actually not using the intellect correctly.
The pursuit of happiness, according to Muslims as well, is the pursuit of a moral and virtuous life, that is something that is pleasing.
And the word “pleasure”, which people associate with happiness, comes from the same root of “please”.
And “pleasure” the original meaning was to please another.
So real pleasure is in the service of others, and that’s why the happiest of all people, in our belief, is the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and no one served people more than the Prophet.
His life from the beginning to the end was a life of service.
Even before Islam he was serving.
That’s why Khadijah said: “God will never forsake you. You feed the hungry. You take care of the orphans. You help the widow. You take care of those in distress…”
The proof that she had was his serving other people.
That is the real secret of happiness, and in Philosophy it’s called the hedonistic principle. The real pleasure is the pleasure derived from serving others…
Don’t miss this inspiring three minutes talk by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf.