Saturday, 21 January 2012

Useful Ways of Leading a Happy Life: Chapter 1

In the Name of Allah the Most Compassionate the Most Merciful

Greatest and fundamental means of achieving a good life is the faith and good deeds. In this matter...

Allah says: "Whoever works righteousness, man and woman, and is faithful, verily to him will We give a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions." (Surah an-Nahl verse 94)  

So, Allah the Most High informs and promises whoever are faithful with good and righteous deeds, He will give them a good and pure life in the world. There are rewards in the world and the hereafter. 

The reason behind this is very clear. It is because a faithful servant believes in Allah's promise. So, he strive hard into charity and righteousness, he mends the heart and trying to correct evil behavior to goodness bringing benefit to everyone in this world and for everyone's hereafter. Such a person who possess these basic elements will be guided when they deal with situations of happiness and joy and in situations of anxiety, sorrow and grief.

They gratefully accept situations whether it is happiness and joy by thanking Allah. They use the happiness and grace toward beneficial ways. When they use them in this manner, they would experience additional joy and they desire the blessings of these things hoping that they would remain with them always. These yearns rewards to those who are thankful to Allah. It explains about the joy of a person being thankful on the grace is making a person feels much better than at the time he received the first joy.

On the other hand, in harmful and unpleasant situation... The person would deal with the situations by resisting as much as possible. Trying to lighten what could be lightened. Persevere with a beautiful contentment over what they are weak to resist. By this, they achieve the benefits of earnest struggle and gather experience and inner strength. They are promised by Allah with the reward of patience and perseverance. The rewards are far more great as it shrouding the misfortune that befell them. As a result, they could still feel joyful and optimistic with sincere desire in getting the favors of Allah and His rewards. 

Muhammad s.a.w says: "The affair of the faithful is really wonderful!!! All of his affairs are good. When he is touched by ease and fortune, he is thankful to Allah and that is good for him. When he faced misfortune and suffers, he is patient. That is good for him. And this is only for the faithfuls." (Narrated by Muslim)  

Muhammad s.a.w told us that the grace that he gains and the benefits of his deeds are multiplied several fold in all the things that befall him be they pleasant or unpleasant. That is why we could see two persons facing the same ups and downs in the life but they differ widely in the manner they encounter the problems. It is according to the level of faith and righteous deeds.

The one with faith and righteous deeds encounters both pleasant and unpleasant situations with thankfulness while in pleasant situation while holding on with patience in the opposite situation. It makes sorrow and grief being dissolved by the heart and he could still live a good and happy life in the world though facing misfortune.   

The other one encounters joyful and pleasant situation with insolence, arrogance, and rebellion. It resulted his behavior deviates and he turns to be just like an animal. He encounters grace and joy with greed which would lead him to anxiety. His heart will feel restless and not at peace. There are several reasons which will lead to these:

1. It is due to the fear of losing the good things
2. Feeling anxiety to retain the good things with them that makes them having to struggle.
3. Human nafs (selves) know no limits and boundaries to what it desires or whether he should acquire something or not.

Even if he acquires the fortune or whatever he desires, his heart would still feel restless because the cycle will repeat on him. When he is afflicted with unpleasant things, he is worried, full of despair, fearful and sorrowful. Only Allah knows the degree of the wretchedness of the life he is going through. How he faced mental and psychological troubles and the extend of fear that would ultimately bring him to more horrible and heinous results. It happens because he has no hope of getting the reward so he did not pray to Allah. He has no patience that will console him and lighten his pains because he does not believe in Allah's promises. 

All of these is known from human experience itself. There are many examples of life in which we can reflect upon ourselves. Observe through it with our experience and we will see wide differences between the faithful who is acting according to his faith and the person without faith to Allah. This is because the Way of Life strongly urges contentment with Allah's provision and with whatever He grants to His slaves out of His favor, wisdom and vast generosity.

If the faithful servant is afflicted with illness or poverty, or similar tribulations that no one is free from, he is pleased and contented because of his faith to Allah. It is due to that he believes that it is divinely decreed upon Him. His heart does not asking for what is not destined on him. He looks at people who are less fortunate than him and feeling merciful. He does not look to those who are above him or those who are richer than him. Through this, he perhaps feel even happier, more delighted, and more peaceful than others who have all their worldly needs met but are not gifted with the peace of heart. The opposite is the case of one who does not act in accordance with faith when he is afflicted with poverty or loss of worldly needs. He find himself in utter despair and wretchedness.

Another example is when fear and disturbing events befall a person. We would find a person with a sound faith having a firm heart. He is calm and firmly in control with situation by making the best use of his faculties of thought, speech, and action as though he has already prepared himself for the event. This type of reaction puts him at ease and strengthen his heart.

The reaction of one without faith on the other hand is the direct opposite to this. When he encounters fearful situations, his heart trembles and his nerves becomes tense. His intellect loses its focus. There is nothing inside him except the alarming fear. The outward terror is increased by his inward restlessness. The degree of which is beyond expression. This type of person among mankind, if he does not acquire some of the natural means at the disposal of every human-being for dealing with troubles through life experiences, their energy would becomes completely sapped and suffer nervous breakdown. This is because he lacks of faith which encourages patience, especially in situations of anxiety and difficulty. It hits the nose of Abdullah who types this note... Padan lu punya muka harap Tuhan ampunkan lu punya dosa!!!

It's true that both the good and bad, the faithful and non-faithful ones both share common human quality of acquired courage as well as innate ability to deal with dreadful situations and lighten their oppressive effects on the self. But the faithful due to his strong belief, patience, reliance and trust to Allah with his desire to receive reward from Allah excels in having qualities that make him courageous and soothe more effectively the pangs of terror and the pains of calamity on him.    

Says Allah the Most High: "If you're suffering hardships, they too are suffering similar hardships: but you hope only from Allah for which they hope not." (Surah an-Nisaa' verse 104)

How to eliminate worry, grief, and anxiety???

Kind and merciful toward fellow creatures (includes animals, trees, and invincible ones) through:

1. Speech and prayers
2. Deeds
3. All types of acts of charity 

All of these acts are highly esteemed by Allah and He will remove anxieties and worries. He removes it according to levels of charity toward other fellow creatures. Charity must be based from sincere, love and pure heart only for Allah. We do not get reward from fellow creatures but from Allah only. The reward is that Allah will make charity is easy on him and unpleasant things being removed due to sincerity toward Allah. 

Says Allah: "There is no good in most of their secret conferences except (in) him who exhorts to a deed of charity (in Allah's cause), or goodness, or conciliation between people. Whoever does that seeking pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow on him immense reward." (Surah an-Nisaa' verse 114)  

Allah, the Most High informs us that these things are all acts of charity whosoever does them. And act of charity bring them benefits and remove evil. However the faithful who seeks the reward and pleasure of Allah, for him Allah gives an immense reward. Part of immense reward is the removal of grief, sorrow, and anguish. Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!  

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