Happiness. Satisfaction. Inner peace. These are some power keywords that drive all of us to do things and achieve more in life. On the other hand, unhappiness, dissatisfaction and lack of sukoon are some common woes everywhere.
If I go back a year and look at what my criteria of happiness was – it was this:
- Go for a vacation
- Become a web developer and programmer
- Have $$$$ in earnings.
If you are a frequent vacation goer, you would argue and say ‘vacations make me happy!’ Well, I am not saying they don’t make you happy. They do. But once you are done with taking pictures and uploading them on Facebook, it pretty much ends there. My father always says ‘being happy is more about telling others how happy you are than being actually happy.’
(if you are lucky, the effects would last a bit longer)
So, given all this emptiness everywhere, you wonder if happiness is just an illusionary emotion, relative to a person’s perceptions. Is it really like a mirage that looks like water but when you get there, it disappears and appears to be farther away?
Well, not really. Happiness, contentment and inner peace are very much real and can be achieved. The problem is: we are just not following the correct route that leads to happiness.
Let me ask you. If you are feeling hungry and you drink water, would you be able to satisfy your hunger? If you are thirsty and you keep eating more and more food, would you be able to quench your thirst? If you have a sore throat and you take the medicine for stomach problems, will it cure your problem?
No, we use our common sense and look for the right solution to every problem. Sadly, we don’t do the same when it comes to discontentment and unhappiness, the common problems of this age.
But fourteen hundred years back, Allah knew that a time would come when people, despite having all blessings and physical comforts, will whine about being unhappy and discontent. That’s why He said it in the Quran:
Ala Bizikrillahi Tatmainnal Quloob
“Truly, only through the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.” [13: 28]
This verse indicates two things: Firstly, happiness, contentment and peace are related to the heart and secondly, the only way you can satisfy your heart is through the remembrance of Allah.
This verse diagnoses the problem of discontentment by saying that the problem lies in the heart. That is precisely where we go wrong. We misdiagnose the problem and start looking for its solution in materialism.
A person owning an Alto thinks he would be happier if he owned a Corolla. A person owning a Corolla thinks he would be happier if he owned a Mercedes. A rich lady thinks she would be happier if she started working while a middle class lady thinks she would be happier if she could just relax and still be rich.
What they don’t realize is that all of these bring physical comforts. You might become more comfortable but you can’t get inner peace with these material things. Happiness and peace are problems of the heart, which cannot be solved with physical comforts.
So then, how do we treat the heart? Again, look at the verse above. In a single verse, you find the diagnosis as well as the treatment. What a beauty!
It clearly says the treatment is only in the remembrance of Allah. Period.
Just stumbled across this great Urdu saying…
The end of every pleasure is vexation except remembrance of Allah.
Just try it. Results guaranteed.