Pursuit of happiness in Islam

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This presentation explains meaning of happiness and how Islam guides us to achieve true happiness in our lives

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Pursuit of happiness in Islam

  1. 1. • The phrase “Life, liberty and the pursuit ofhappiness,” used by Thomas Jefferson in theDeclaration of Independence,• It was a twist on John Locke’s “life, liberty andproperty.”• In traditional Islamic thought the Huqûq al insan arefive: life, religion, intellect, lineage, and property.• The first and last correspond to the first and last ofLocke’s trinity, but Locke has replaced religion,intellect and lineage with “liberty.”
  2. 2. • The influence of Locke on Jefferson is well-established• The influence of Islamic thought on Locke is debatable• It is a fact that when in exile from England he wassheltered by Quakers who had both the Qur’an and Sufiwritings in their libraries• , G.A. Russell in his book The “Arabick” Interest of theNatural Philosophers in Seventeenth Century Englandhas provided strong circumstantial evidence that Lockeabandoned his early pragmatic philosophical views fora philosophy of natural rights endowed by God due tohis exposure to the ideas of Ibn Tufail, the mentor ofIbn Rushd
  3. 3. • Locke professed that he changed his mind in 1671after attending a party given by a professor whomRussell identifies as Ewin Poecocke who in thatsame year published the PhilosophicusAutodidactus, a translation of Ibn Tufail’s work• Subsequently Locke makes his arguments in favorof God-given laws that govern man in the state ofnature,• It is, then, unsurprising that Locke would adopt thenotions of life and property as human rights.Without the right to life, no other rights areconceivable
  4. 4. • These ideas were spelled out in great detail over twocenturies before Locke by the Muslim historian IbnKhaldun in his famous introduction to history, theMuqaddamah.• We now understand why Jefferson dropped property,which is not inalienable, but why did he add “thepursuit of happiness?”• The pursuit of happiness is a goal obviouslycompatible with liberty, while a guarantee ofhappiness is not.• This is because liberty is about the right to makechoices while attaining happiness is about making thecorrect choices.
  5. 5. • Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized bypositive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment tointense joy.• Happiness, according to the Oxford dictionary is feeling,causing, or giving pleasure and it is being satisfied.• Psychologists define happiness as a continuous feeling ofenjoyment, satisfaction, generosity and delight, arising fromcontentment of one’s self, life and belief that they will have ablissful destiny.• Each and every human being instinctively is in pursuit ofhappiness. Whether he/she is a child or an adult, a Muslim ora non-Muslim, and this is the fact
  6. 6. Cycle ofmiserySubstanceAbuseIllusion ofhappinessDrugdissipatesWithdrawal
  7. 7. • Happiness upon achieving material goals ,i.e.,o Educationo Moneyo Powero Influence• Great efforts are exerted in attaining a goal andwhen finally achieved one wonders, what’s next?• This happiness is a short-lived experience, which atbest makes one happy for a short period of time.
  8. 8. • View life as a means to satisfy their desires.• If it was the key to happiness, affluent individuals,such as Christina Onassis, wouldn’t havecommitted suicide.• When asked while she was in France, ‚Are you therichest woman in the world?‛ She said, ‚Yes, I ambut I am also the unhappiest.‛• Soul must be sufficed as should the body.• If this is not completed, one will carry greatworries, feelings of discontentment andunhappiness
  9. 9. • Soul is sufficed with the true belief in the Onenessof God, and the belief that He will resurrect us andhold us accountable for what we do.• One must also excel in doing the good and avoidthe evil.• This form of happiness will remain with anindividual under all circumstances; delight anguishpoverty prosperity, sickness health• Whether one would attain wish of this world or not
  10. 10. Whoever does right, whether male or female, and is a believer, We willmake him live a good life, and We will award them their reward for thebest of what they used to do. (Nahal, 16:97)• Happiness is in the good life mentioned in this verse, that even therich disbelievers cannot find, despite the money they have• We need to know what is the purpose of our life• How to reach success in the hereafter• To fulfill the requirements of reaching this success• Having IMAN or belief in God• Following the commands of God and His Messenger(SAW)
  11. 11. And whoever turns away from My remembrance –indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life,and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day ofResurrection blind. (20:124)• And whoever is blinded from remembrance of theMost Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and heis to him a companion.(43:36)
  12. 12. •• Amazing indeed is the affair of the believer• All his affairs are ultimately good for him and this isonly for a believer.• When he is graced with a blessing, he would bethankful and grateful to God and it would be good forhim• When he is afflicted with a calamity, he would bepatient and it would be good for him.‛ (Muslim)
  13. 13. ••• Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet (SAW) said,“None of you will find the sweetness of faith until heloves a person only for the sake of Allah; and untilbeing in the fire is dearer to him than returning tounbelief after Allah brought him out of it; and untilAllah and His messenger are more beloved to him thananything else.” *Sahih Bukhari, Book 73, Number 67]
  14. 14. • After being tortured, banished and imprisoned said:‘What can my enemies do to me?• My paradise and orchard are in my heart and theynever part with me.• If my captors imprison me it is most certainly areligious retreat,• If they kill me it is martyrdom• If they banish me from my land it is like tourism.’
  15. 15. • He who knows himself is truly happy.”• Self-knowledge consists in realizing that wehave a heart or spirit which is absolutelyperfect,• It has been covered with dust by theaccumulation of passions derived from thebody and its animal nature.• Our eyes have been so distracted by physicalpleasures• The essence of oneself is likened to a perfectmirror• The aim of moral discipline is to purify theheart from the rust of passion till, like a clearmirror, it reflects the light of God
  16. 16. • Highest function of the soul is the perception of truth;hence it is the greatest happiness one can obtain• Unhappiness is created by enslavement to desire andthe belief that one should satisfy only one’s owndesires (as governed by base instincts and appetites)• There are examples in history of truly happy people,and they were “prophets”—people who have attaineda perfect closeness with the truth• We are happy to the degree to which we can emulatethese prophets• We are all born with a “knowing pain in the soul,”which causes us to seek happiness, but most of us seeksubstitute pleasures deriving from the body whichcannot resolve a pain that is essentially spiritual
  17. 17. • Happiness is comprised of three components:1. About 50% of individual happiness comes from agenetic set point2. About 10% of our happiness is due to ourcircumstances; demographic factors, age, gender,ethnicity and geographic factors. It also includespersonal history and life status.3- The remaining 40% of an individuals happiness isderived from intentional activity, from discreteactions or practices that we choose to do.
  18. 18. • As humans we have no control over our genetic set-point, and hardly any control over our circumstances.• This 50% of happiness in Islam is called ridha bi al-qadha (being content with our lot in life).• This means that as believers if we truly love Allāh andtrust Him, we are satisfied with what He Has decreedfor us.• The Messenger would supplicate with words thatwould highlight the importance of satisfaction withour fate; therefore we too should make the effort torecite these supplications
  19. 19. • “I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam asmy religion, and with Muhammad as my Prophet(peace and blessings be upon him).” *Abu Dawud]• “O Allāh, make me content with what you haveprovided me, send blessings for me therein, andplace for me every absent thing with somethingbetter.” *Bukhāri]• “O Allāh, I seek refuge with You from knowledgewhich does not bring benefit and from a heartwhich is not fearful and from a self which is notcontent and from a supplication which is notanswered.” *Muslim+
  20. 20. 1-SeekPleasure ofAllah2- BeThankful3- Serviceto sufferinghumanity4. Avoidgreed &WorldlyComparisons5. Ask andExpect OnlyFrom Allāh6. Build andMaintain FamilyRelations7. Live a simplelife andOrganize YourLife8. Build aSupportGroup9. Earn &consumeHalal10. KeepFit11-BePatientHAPPINESS
  21. 21. Surely Allāh is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Allāh has promised the believers -men and women, –Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardensof Adn (Eden Paradise). But the greatest bliss (happiness) is the Good Pleasure of Allāh. Thatis the supreme success. [9:71, 72 Al-Tawbah]The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ (helpers, supporters, friends) of one another; theyenjoin (on people) Al-Marûf (good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (evil); they performAs-Salât (prayer), and give the Zakât (charity), and obey Allāh and His Messenger. Allāh willhave His Mercy on them
  22. 22. Those who have believed and whose hearts arecontent by the remembrance of Allah. Indeed by theremembrance of Allah hearts are contented. (13:28)And whoever turns away from My remembrance –indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life,and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day ofResurrection blind. (20:124)And whoever is blinded from remembrance of theMost Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and heis to him a companion.(43:36)
  23. 23. The Prophet (SAW) said: One will experience the‘sweetness’ of faith when they acquire three traits:1. That Allah and His Prophet are more beloved tohim than all of the creation2. That one loves for the sake of Allah3. That one hates to return to disbelief as one wouldhate to be tossed into the blazing Fire.‛
  24. 24. • The more Thankful we are to Allāh, the more He willshower His bounties upon us.• Appreciation of what Allāh has blessed you with isvital for this step to be achieved. This is indeed anact of worship.And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you givethanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you arethankless, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” *14:7Ibrāhīm]
  25. 25. • Work on activities that result in internal happinessthat satisfy and bring a smile to the heart, notmerely a smile on the face by doing meaningfulwork;• Strive to partake in activities like feeding the poor,assisting the distressed and helping others ratherthan killing your resources like time and money.• “True enrichment does not come throughpossessing a lot of wealth, but true enrichment isthe enrichment of the soul.” *Bukhāri]
  26. 26. • Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah andthen do not follow up what they have spent withreminders [of it] or [other] injury will have their rewardwith their Lord, and there will be no fear concerningthem, nor will they grieve. (2:262)• The hand that gives out in charity is better than thatwhich takes it. Give charity to those whom you supportand the best form of charity is to give while you arewealthy. Whoever abstains from taking charity, Allahwill bless him.‛ (Bukhari)
  27. 27. • And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allahhas given them of His bounty ever think that it is betterfor them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks willbe encircled by what they withheld on the Day ofResurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of theheavens and the earth. And Allah, with what you do, is[fully] Acquainted. (3:180)• “A generous person is beloved by Allah and beloved bypeople and would be protected from the Hell-Fire. Themiser is not beloved by Allah and is far from theJannah, and disliked by people and close to the Hell-Fire. An ignorant, generous person is more beloved toAllah than a faithful miser.” (Tirmidhi
  28. 28. Do not look at the celebrities, rich or affluent people above you inworldly matters. The lives of such individuals is not ideal in the eyes ofAllah.And do not extend your eyes toward that by whichWe have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, thesplendor of worldly life by which We test them. And theprovision of your Lord is better and more lasting. (20:131)
  29. 29. • The Prophet (SAW) said: He who submits to Allahwill be successful and his provisions will suffice him,and Allah will make him content with it.‚ (Muslim)• ‚Whoever wakes up safely in his home and ishealthy in his body and has provisions for his day,would have acquired all the worldly possessions heis in need of.‚ (Tirmidthi)
  30. 30. • If the son of Adam had two valleys of wealth, hewould wish for a third equal to it. Nothing sufficesthe son of Adam except soil and Allah will forgivethose who seek forgiveness.‚ (Bukhari)• Two hungry wolves, if let loose amongst a flock ofsheep, cause less harm than a mans eagerness toincrease his money and his prestige." Reported byal-Tirmidhi (# 2373), Ahmad• I dont fear poverty for you, but rather I fear thatyou will compete with one another (to see who hasmore possessions)." Reported by al-Hakim (2/543)and others
  31. 31. • Beautified for people is the love of that which theydesire – of women and sons, heaped-up sums of goldand silver, fine branded horses, and cattle and tilledland. That is the enjoyment of worldly life, butAllah has with Him the best return [i.e., Paradise] 3:14• ‚Be in this life like a stranger or a wayfarer.‚(Bukhari)• My example in this world is surely that of a personriding on a sunny day and then taking shade undera tree for a period of time, then leaving andcontinuing on his journey.‛ (Ahmed)
  32. 32. • Look how We have favored [in provision] some ofyou over others. But the Hereafter is greater indegrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.(17:21)• And do not wish for that by which Allah has madesome of you exceed others. For men is a share ofwhat they have earned and for women is a share ofwhat they have earned and ask Allah of His bounty.Indeed Allah is ever, of all things, Knowing. (4:32)
  33. 33. • Any sustenance, provision and reward we expect is fromAllāh alone.• And so many a moving (living) creature there is, that carriesnot its own provision! Allāh provides for it and for you. AndHe is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. [24;60 Al Ankabūt]• “O Allāh, give me enough of what You have made lawful tosuffice me from what You have made unlawful, and enrich meby Your bounty giving me independence from all other thanYou.” *al-Tirmidhi]
  34. 34. The Prophet () said:‚No individual will depart from this world until he• Completes the term (of life) assigned for him byAllah and• Until he takes all his provisions that are assigned tohim; therefore, ask Allah.• When the response to your supplication is delayed,do not seek what you want from unlawful sources,• One will only get the blessings of Allah when theyobey Him.‚
  35. 35. • Would you then, if you were given the authority, domischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship?Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that Hehas made them deaf and blinded their sight.}*"(Muhammad 47:22-23)• “All created beings are the dependents of Allāh, andthe most beloved of creation to Allah is the onewho is good to His dependents” *Bayhaqi]• "He who severs ties of kinship, will not enterParadise." (Muslim)
  36. 36. • And those who break the covenant of Allah, after itsratification, and sever that which Allah hascommanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bondof kinship and are not good to their relatives) andwork mischief in the land, on them is the curse, andfor them is the unhappy home (i.e. Hell) (Ar-Ra`d13:25• "There is no sin more deserving of havingpunishment meted out by Allah to its perpetrator inadvance in this world along with what He stores upfor him in the next world than oppression andsevering ties of family." (At-Tirmidhi)
  37. 37. • Prophet(SAW) chose a simple life over a glamorousone, and he was always content.• Umar(RA) saw the simple life of the Prophet andsaid:O Messenger of God! While kings sleep in soft,feather beds, you are lying on a rough mat. You arethe Messenger of God and thereby deserve morethan any other people to live an easy life. The Prophetwas reported to have replied: Do you not agree thatthe luxuries of the world should be theirs but those ofthe Hereafter ours? (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
  38. 38. • A person who plans their day is much moreproductive than a person who does not.• The Prophet used to carefully apportion his timeaccording to the demands on him for: WorshipingAllah, Public affairs and Personal matters.• On the authority of Ali, Tirmizi has recorded thatthe Prophet had carefully apportioned his timeaccording to the demands on him for offeringworship to Allah in and his personal matters..[Sahih Muslim, Tirmizi]
  39. 39. • Feeling a part of a larger group gives one a sense ofsecurity and a safety net to fall into on occasions ofhappiness and hardships.• The concept of brotherhood and sisterhood is oneof the central themes of Islam.• “The (example of) believers (in their mutual love,care and concern) is like a single person: if his eyecomplains of pain his whole body complains of pain,and if his head complains of pain his whole bodycomplains of pain.” *Muslim+
  40. 40. • The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:‚The example of a good companion and an evil one islike that of a perfume salesman and a blacksmith.1. A perfume salesman will either give you someperfume, sell it to you or at the very least you willsmell a pleasant scent;2. A blacksmith will burn your clothes and in the veryleast you will smell a very unpleasant odor fromhim.‛ (Bukhari)
  41. 41. • Consuming halal is an order of Allah and an essential part of theIslamic faith.• Abu Huraira related,” Allahs Messenger PBUH said: Verily Allah ispure and He accepts only what is pure and indeed Allah has giventhose orders to the believers, which he has given to theMessengers. He has said, “O Messenger, eat from the pure foodsand work righteous”.• He -also- has said: “O you who have believed, eat from the purethings which we have provided you.” (Al-Baqarah 2:172• Then he made mention of a man who undergoes a lengthy journeyin a state that he is disheveled and dusty. He spreads his handstowards the sky (calling), “O my lord, O my lord”, however his foodis haram, his drink is haram, his clothes are haram and he has beennourished with haram! So how will his call be answered?” *Muslim+
  42. 42. • The growing indifference with regards to halal foods isindeed disturbing and shocking• Muhammad (SAW) said, "There will come a time uponmy Ummah when people will not be concerned overwhat they take. It will not matter for them whether it isHaram or Halal". (Bukhari)• "When this time comes, then none of their Duas willbe accepted" (Razeen)• "That flesh which has grown out of Haram food will notenter Jannah. Hell has more right to it"(Ahmad,Tirmithi).• Abstention from doubtful things is the best of Deen"(Tabraani)
  43. 43. • Scientists claim that one of the benefits of exercise isthat it makes us feel happy.• Exercise is described by many doctors as an anti-depressant.• The presence of certain chemicals like endorphins andphenyl acetic acid increases drastically after a goodwork out and it is this that contributes to that feelgood feeling afterwards• “The strong believer is better and more beloved toAllāh than the weak believer, while there is good inboth.” *Muslim+
  44. 44. • And we will surely test you with something of fearand hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits,but give good tidings to the patient. (2:155)• O you who have believed, persevere and endure andremain stationed and fear Allah that you may besuccessful.(3:200)• For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease [i.e., relief].Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. (94:5-6)• The Prophet (SAW) said: Know that victory is theoutcome of patience and that relief is the outcome ofanguish and agony and know that with hardship thereis ease.‛ (Hakim)
  45. 45. • First type: Patience when doing acts of worship. Allah says:Peace [i.e., security] be upon you for what you patientlyendured. And excellent is the final home. (13:24)• Second type: Patience in relation to avoiding sinful acts. Allahsays:And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upontheir Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking Hiscountenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiringadornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whoseheart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and whofollows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.(18:28)• Third type: Patience in relation to calamities Allah decreesupon man. Allah says: No disaster strikes except by permissionof Allah. And whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart.And Allah is Knowing of all things. (64:11)

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