Life is such that we are constantly experiencing times of difficulty and upset. We find ourselves in situations that pull us into moments of deep darkness. We sometimes wonder how we ended up in such places.
Islam teaches us to have hope; through this teaching we are able to find understanding for the feelings and emotions we go through. Islam has the power to remove us from sadness and into a light full of happiness, even if the external environment is one that does not appear to be perfect.
The world is not perfect. Dunya was made to be a test for the believer. If dunya was perfect, why would be we striving for Jannah? We would want to stay here forever but we know that there is something much better than this:
Narrated Abu Huraira, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
The dunya is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever. (Sahih Muslim, vol.4, 7058)
Our life in this dunya is a journey to Jannah, where we will be ultimately happy. However, this does not mean we cannot find peace and happiness while we live our lives here.
Happiness is a feeling of contentment in any given situation, even the bad. There is a blessing and reason for all situations because, as we know, all that happens is written and is known to Allah. This idea alone helps us accept our difficulties, and seek out the blessings.
Some may ask “why do we struggle to find this happiness?” It is all about our mindset. If we deem happiness to be in the form of material goods or within only particular situations, we will always be waiting to find it.
We will never feel we have enough. There is always another cell phone that is better than yours. There is always someone who earns more money than you. And there is always someone whose life appears more perfect than you. Changing the way we think and looking for the hidden blessings in our world is the start to finding and feeling happiness.
Here are some tips for you to ponder over:
Know Your Lord
Everything comes from Allah. By increasing your knowledge of Allah and His attributes, a personal can begin to have a better relationship with Him. This ultimately helps a person accept the situations they are in. By remembering Him often, through dhikr, difficulties and problems can become distant, allowing you to see your situation in a different light.
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. (Quran 13:28)
If we want something in this life, making dua is the best tool we have for ensuring it enters our life. When you want to feel happy, be relieved of difficulties and experience contentment in your life then turn to Allah.
Be it for something small or big, Allah is the one that can make it happen. Make sincere dua, especially during the times of dua acceptance such as the last third of the night and between Asr and Maghrib on a Friday.
Spend your time doing good deeds. Why? Because actions that are liked by Allah will lead you to have stronger Imaan, a better relationship with your lord and this will help to relieve you of the difficulties you may be facing in your life.
There are so many things that fall into this category. Direct acts of worship such as fasting, praying increased nafl and sunnahs and reading Quran are some ways of increasing your deeds. You can also spend time with family, volunteer to help others, give in charity as other ways to increase the deeds you are doing. Always remember to keep your intentions pure and Insha’Allah, you will be rewarded accordingly.
Narrated ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:
The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for. (Sahih al-Bukhari)
Sometimes, our sadness comes from dwelling over mistakes in the past. We all do things that we are not proud of and sometimes these can haunt us.
Firstly, we should try not to recall such events, especially if it something that we are not happy to remember. Rather, we should spend our time making dua and seeking forgiveness from Allah that we did those things. Forgiveness from Allah is the way to rectify past sins and mistakes, not torturing ourselves that they happened in the first place.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:
We counted that the Messenger of Allah would say a hundred times during a meeting:
My Lord, forgive me and pardon me; Thou art the Pardoning and forgiving One. (Sunan Abi Dawud 1516)
Always Remember it Could Be Worse
Whatever situation you are in, remember that it can always be worse. There are so many stories on the news and internet that demonstrate people in difficulties. While our hardships may affect us deeply, by looking at others and appreciating that we are not in those situations, we can find some peace in the life that we have.
Allah has placed us on this earth for a set period of time; it will come to an end, as will the sadness and difficulty. By accepting our life could be worse, we should be happy with what we have and grateful for that which we do have, not what we do not have.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)