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The causes of happiness

The happiness in the life that we live in Islam has many sources and a variety of reasons, including:

The happiness of monotheism and having belief in Allah

There is no happiness, peace or tranquility similar to that caused by monotheism. Allah says: {It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshipping others besides Allâh), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.}(Al-An’âm:82)

Thus, the more one’s monotheism is completed and perfected, the more he feels secure, tranquil and happy in this world and the Hereafter, because Allah widens his chest and fills it with pleasure and relief. On the other hand, polytheism - Allah forbid –brings misery and distress into one’s chest, as if he was ascending into the sky. Allah says: {And whomsoever Allâh wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islâm, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allâh puts the wrath on those who believe not.}(Al-An’âm:125)

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Nazmi Luka

Egyptian Philosopher and Thinker
The simple belief
“The doctrine of Islam is one simple doctrine by which belief makes all confusion and fear cease. It raises tranquility in the soul and its door is open to all people. No one is rejected because of his race or color. Thus, everyone finds a place for himself under the shade of this divine doctrine on the basis of equality that does not differentiate between people except according to piety - being pious towards Allah, the Lord of the worlds. “

The chest of one is widened by Islam and guided by the light of the Lord, while the other stands in the darkness of polytheism, far from Allah’s remembrance, and his heart is hardened and in utter misguidance. These two can never be equal. Allah says: {Is he whose breast Allâh has opened to Islâm, so that he is in light from His Lord (as he who is non-Muslim)? So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allâh! They are in plain error!}(Az-Zumar:22)

The person whose heart is cold and in the darkness of polytheism but then becomes guided by Allah’s Beneficence and Mercy, can never be similar to the other who stands in the complete obscurity of polytheism, unable to find his way out. Allah says: {Is he who was dead (without Faith by ignorance and disbelief) and We gave him life (by knowledge and Faith) and set for him a light (of Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men, like him who is in the darkness (of disbelief, polytheism and hypocrisy) from which he can never come out? Thus it is made fair¬seeming to the disbelievers that which they used to do.}(Al-An’âm:122)

Remembering Allah Almighty, calling on Him as well as being one of those close to Him

Whatever one might possess of the adornments of the life of this world and no matter what he owns or might win of that which usually causes happiness. He will never be able to attain true happiness as long as he is not on the road of Allah Almighty. Tranquility can only be attained when one is near to Allah Almighty, and in the shadow and fragrances of His remembrance. Allah says: {Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allâh, Verily, in the remembrance of Allâh do hearts find rest.}(Ar-Ra’d:28)

This is because the heart is in a mess that can only be cleaned up by being one of those near to Allah. There is also a deep sense of loneliness residing there, which can only be removed by seeking Allah’s companionship. Moreover, this sadness in the heart can only be lifted by the pleasure of Allah’s Knowledge and one being sincere when worshipping Him. What is more, that feeling of anxiousness which has taken up residence in the heart can only be reassured by meeting with Allah and running back to Him. Furthermore, the flames of the fire of sorrow can only be extinguished by accepting the commands of Allah, His prohibitions and destiny, and patiently following these rules until it is time to meet Him. There is also a strong need in the heart that does not stop until Allah is the only One we seek. Furthermore, this destitution can only be fulfilled by Allah’s Love, by turning to Him, through His remembrance and by offering sincere devotion to Him. Since even if one is given the entire world, such destitution will never be removed.

Virtuous deeds

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Lauren Booth

A British rights activist
True Security
“I felt what Muslims feel when they are in true prayer: a bolt of sweet harmony, a shudder of joy in which I was grateful for everything I have (my children) and secure in the certainty that I need nothing more (along with prayer) to be utterly content.”

Allah says:{Those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism), and work righteousness, Tûbâ (it means all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return.}(Ar-Ra’d:29)

Those who believe with their hearts in Allah and His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and support that belief with virtuous deeds – deeds of the heart: such as loving and fearing Allah and putting their trust in Him; and acts of the limbs: such as prayer and the like, have a good condition of perfect comfort and complete peace of mind, because of what they achieve concerning the pleasure of Allah, and dignity in the world and in the Hereafter. Therefore, one has to perform good deeds to strengthen that belief in the heart. Almighty Allah says: {Surely, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh, in His Messenger Muhammad SAW and all that was revealed to him from Allâh), those who are the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians, - whosoever believed in Allâh and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.}(Al-Mâ’idah:69)The Prophet (pbuh) found comfort and delight in prayer and obedience. He used to say: ”O Bilal, call for prayer, give us comfort by it.” [Abu Dawud]

Generosity is the secret of happiness

This is something that has been tested and witnessed. We find that he who is generous towards others is of the happiest of people and of the most widely loved on earth. Allah says: {By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc., it means here Allâh’s Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allâh’s Cause) of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allâh knows it well.}(Âl-’Imrân:92)

Generosity has many shapes and forms. Allah has made the giving of money part of the pillars of Islam. He (Glorified be He) imposed and enjoined Zakat on the rich for the poor, and He stated that this zakat should be given with a contented heart while sincerely hoping to please Allah, as best as a person can, and without constantly remaindering the poor how he was generous to them. Allah says: {O you who believe! Do not render in vain your Sadaqah (charity) by reminders of your generosity or by injury}(Al-Baqarah:264)

Allah even widened the concept of generosity to encompass more than just money. Generosity can be shown either through money, food, effort, or deeds. Allah says: {8. And they give food, inspite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to Miskin (poor), the orphan, and the captive, 9. (Saying): “We feed you seeking Allâh’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.}(Al-Insân or Ad-Dahr:8-9)

Even if it was just a smile. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Your smiling at the face of your brother is charity.” [Tirmidhi] He also said: “If anyone cares for his brother’s needs, Allah will care for his needs; if anyone removes a Muslim’s anxiety, Allah will remove from him, on account of it, one of the anxieties of the Day of Resurrection; and if anyone conceals a Muslim’s fault, Allah will conceal his fault on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Dawud] There is no doubt that this generosity is what makes one attain happiness in this world. Giving, however, that is done accompanied with constant reminders of the giver’s generosity and also injury does not bring even a tiny amount of happiness, even though it may appear otherwise at first glance.

Trusting in Allah is the key to happiness

There are times when one might find oneself feeling helpless or unable to accomplish something desired. It is at this stage that one resorts to another person who is stronger and more able in order to ask him for help and put his trust in him to achieve what he set out to do. Who then is he that is stronger than Almighty Allah?! The key to happiness lies in putting one’s trust in Allah, the All-Powerful, whose hand holds the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, Who, if He wishes a thing, just says: “Be!” and it is. Allah says: {Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is!} (Yâ¬-Sîn:82)

Thus, the Almighty commanded us to depend on and trust in Him Alone. Allah says: {and put your trust in Allâh if you are believers indeed.”}(Al-Mâ’idah:23)

Where else can a person find such sufficiency? Allah Almighty Alone is sufficient. Allah says: {and put your trust in Allâh. And Allâh is Ever All¬Sufficient as a Disposer of affairs.}(An-Nisâ’:81)

There is no doubt that this grants a person tranquility, comfort, happiness, sufficiency and makes him able to accomplish what he wants, states which cannot truly be understood (and appreciated) except by those who have experienced them. Allah says: {2... And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). 3. And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allâh, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allâh will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allâh has set a measure for all things.}(At-Talâq:2-3)

This is as well as the protection of the Almighty for those who put their trust in Him from Satan, Allah says: {Verily! He has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord (Allâh).}(An-Nahl:99)

Allah also offers protection from enemies. Allah says: {173. Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” 174. So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allâh. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allâh. And Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty. 175. It is only Shaitân (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliyâ’ [supporters and friends (polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh and in His Messenger, Muhammad SAW)], so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.}(Âl-’Imrân:173-175)

“Scientific studies confirm that helping others treats stress. Experts in the field of psychology confirm that helping others relieves nervousness, since it stimulates the secretion of the hormone endorphins; hormones that help to stimulate the feeling of being psychologically relaxed and give the feeling of ecstasy. The former director of the International Institute for Health Promotion in the U.S., Alan Leeks, said that helping others reduces the severity of nervous stress, since the individual’s help to others reduces one from thinking of his personal concerns and problems; so then he feels psychologically comfortable.”

The secret is to trust in Allah and its reality is in the dependence of the heart on Allah Alone. He is successful when he uses all his means and does what he has to do for a certain matter with his heart free from depending and relying on these means and what he did. However, he gains no benefit when he merely says that he puts his trust in Allah but his dependence is on others, putting his reliance and confidence in them and not in Allah. Having trust in Allah only with the tongue is one thing, and having trust in Allah in the heart is another.

Happiness from being certain about and having confidence in Allah

Belief achieves full certainty and confidence in Allah, which in turn earns him confidence in himself. He, therefore, does not fear anything in this life because he knows that all matters lie in the hands of Almighty Allah. Allah says: {And if Allâh touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is Able to do all things.}(Al-An’âm:17)

He is also certain that his sustenance is in Allah's hands, Alone. Allah says: {“You worship besides Allâh only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allâh have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allâh (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back.”}(Al-’Ankabût:17)

There is no creature on earth but Allah ensures its sustenance. Allah says: {And no (moving) living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allâh. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterous, grave, etc.). all is in a Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz - the Book of Decrees with Allâh). }(Hûd:6)

This is the case even if this creature cannot generate its own sustenance. Allah says: {And so many a moving (living) creature there is, that carries not its own provision! Allâh provides for it and for you. And He is the All-Hearer, the All¬-Knower}(Al-’Ankabût:60)

He is certain that his sustenance will inevitably reach him - that is the doubtless truth. Allah says: {22. And in the heaven is your provision, and that which you are promised. 23. Then, by the Lord of the heaven and the earth, it is the truth (i.e. what has been promised to you), just as it is the truth that you can speak.}(Az-Zâriyât:22-23)

He is also certain that the Almighty has divided the sustenance amongst the people and measured them perfectly. Allah says: {Say (O Muhammad SAW): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.”}(Saba’:36)

But he must firmly believe that Allah always tests him in terms of good and evil. Allah says: {Everyone is going to taste death, and We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.}(Al-Anbiyâ’:35)

Were it not for Allah’s Kindness, people would have completely perished.

He also knows that he is but a guest in this world, as no matter how long or short he lives, he undoubtedly will move to the other world. He thus moves about in this world on this basis, not afraid of the misfortunes of time, and does not fear anyone except Allah, even if his enemy is a stone’s throw away from him. Allah says the following regarding Moses (pbuh) when the Pharaoh’s soldiers grew nearer: {61. And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Mûsa (Moses) said: “We are sure to be overtaken.” 62. [Mûsa (Moses)] said: “Nay, verily! With me is my Lord, He will guide me.” 63. Then We inspired Mûsa (Moses) (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) became like the huge, firm mass of a mountain. 64. Then We brought near the others [Fir’aun’s (Pharaoh) party] to that place. 65. And We saved Mûsa (Moses) and all those with him. 66. Then We drowned the others. 67. Verily! In this is indeed a sign (or a proof), yet most of them are not believers.}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:61-67)

Here is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the person who had the strongest confidence in his Lord. If his enemy had just looked under their feet they would have seen him, yet he was so confident in his Lord when the disbelievers chased him to kill him that he said the following in the cave to his companion Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him): {“Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allâh is with us.” Then Allâh sent down His Sakînah (calmness, tranquillity, peace, etc.) upon him, and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while it was the Word of Allâh that became the uppermost, and Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.}(At-Taubah:40)

Furthermore, a believer must have full certitude that Allah Almighty is the One Who destines death, and consequently he must have no fear of death. Allah says: {It is Allâh Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.}(Az-Zumar:42)

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Ernest Renan

French Historian
Belief and life
“Belief is one of the forces that must be available to help one to live, and losing it is a harbinger of helplessness against the sufferings of life.”

He must be certain that it is an inescapable reality. Allah says: }Say (to them): “Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allâh), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.”}(Al-Jumu’ah:8)

Death always comes at the time destined by Allah. Allah says: {And if Allâh were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it (the earth) a single moving (living) creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).}(An-Nahl:61)

Contentment is the gateway to the path of happiness

Happiness is to live with a satisfied soul; for discontent and misery disturbs one’s life, soul and feelings. Satisfaction, on the other hand, is the gateway to happiness, tranquility, joy, and contentment. Contentment encompasses calmness and tranquility in the heart towards the choices Allah makes for man. This tranquility and peace of mind makes everything that happens in life better for man, and also gives him happiness and contentment. His soul, therefore, does not aspire except to its Lord, and does not mourn over the loss of anything in the life of this world. This motivates the slave to work diligently and pray to his Lord, and then he is pleased with what Allah destines for him in order to live a happy life.

Contentment is of various types. including:

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Roger Du Pasquier

A Swiss Journalist and Thinker
Down with materialistic civilizations
“I have found that Islam, with its principles, spreads tranquility in the soul. The materialistic civilization, on the other hand, leads its followers to despair, because they do not believe in anything. I also found that Europeans do not realize the true nature of Islam, because they judge it using their physical standards.”

1-Contentment with Allah as his Lord and Islam as his religion and Muhammad (pbuh) as his prophet and a messenger. Whoever is not content with that will live in constant worry and with ongoing questions of concern. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “He has found the taste of faith who is content with Allah as his Lord, with Islam as his religion and with Muhammad (pbuh) as his Prophet.” (Bukhari)He who does not taste faith does not taste even a drop of happiness. Instead, he will continue suffering from anxiety and misery. Contentment with Allah means to believe in His existence while sensing Allah’s Greatness, Wisdom and Ability, His Knowledge and His Beautiful Names and Attributes. It also means to believe in Him and feel fulfilled with Him while performing all acts of worship, otherwise it is doubt, confusion, disease and depression that one would experience, Allah forbid.

2-Contentment with Allah’s law and his legislation. Allah says: {But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.}(An-Nisâ’:65)

Humanity has experienced many paths of wretchedness and much misery of this world by accepting incomplete unjust laws and systems, for they are man-made and not a legislation made by the Creator of man Who best knows what is suitable for them. Allah says: {Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).}(Al-Mulk:14)

3-To be content with Allah’s decree. A believer is content with Allah’s decree, because he is certain that nothing can befall him except that what Allah wills, and that Allah Almighty will guide his heart. Allah says: {No calamity befalls, but with the Leave [i.e. decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allâh, and whosoever believes in Allâh, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allâh from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)], and Allâh is the All-Knower of everything.}(At-Taghâbun:11)

He is content with Allah’s decree for he knows for sure that no one is able to lift any harm except Almighty Allah. The Almighty says: {And if Allâh touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour which He causes it to reach whomsoever of His slaves He will. And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}(Yûnus:107)

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Rex Ingram

World Famous Film Director
The Spirit of Islam
“I believe that Islam is a religion that brings peace and tranquility to the soul, and inspires humans with solace, peace of mind and comfort in this life. The spirit of Islam has slipped into my soul and I appreciate the grace of having faith in the divine decree, and also have become indifferent to the physical effects of pleasure and pain.”

One of the wonders of belief is that it affords the believer contentment with what Allah has decreed for him, patience against hardships and adversity, and gratitude to Allah for His blessings and gifts, which gives him internal satisfaction that only true believers can feel. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” [Muslim] Moreover the Prophet (pbuh) taught us how to be content, even when we see those who are higher than us where the pleasures of this world are concerned. He said: “Look at those who are lower than you (materially), but do not look at those who are higher than you, lest you belittle the favors Allah has conferred upon you.” [Agreed Upon]