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Important Tips On How To Be Happy In Life, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

Monday, Muharram 11, 1439 AH (October 2nd, 2017)

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

All praise is for Allah, and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger (Peace be upon him), his household and Companions.

Brothers and Sisters! Happiness is the only goal on earth that all people without exception are seeking to attain. Believers and unbelievers alike seek to be happy, but each party is using different methods.

However, according to Islam, only true and sincere believers can achieve genuine happiness. All forms of happiness attained without a firm and strong belief in Allah, the Almighty, are mere illusions.

The following are tips for the attainment of happiness:

1. Know that if you do not live within the scope of today, your thoughts will be scattered, your affairs will become confused, and your anxiety will increase. These realities are explained in the following Hadith:

“When you are in the evening, do not expect to see the morning, and when you are in the morning, do not expect to see the evening.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

2. Forget the past and all that it contained, focus on the present.

3. Do not completely preoccupy yourself with the future and then discard the present. Be balanced in life, prepare yourself adequately for all situations.

4. Do not be shaken by criticism; instead, be firm. Be sure that in proportion to your worth, the level of people’s criticism rises. Also, make good use of criticism in discovering your shortcomings and faults, and let it drive you toward self-improvement.

5. Have complete faith in Allah and perform good deeds; these are the ingredients that makeup a good and happy life.

6. If you desire peace, tranquility, and comfort, you can find it all in the remembrance of Allah (Zikr).

7. You should know with certainty that everything that happens, occurs in accordance with the divine decree.

8. Do not expect gratitude from anyone.

9. Train yourself to be prepared for the worst possibility.

10. Perhaps what has happened is in your best interest, even though you may not comprehend how that can be so.

11. Everything that is decreed for the believer is the best for him.

12. Enumerate the blessings of Allah and be thankful for them.

13. Remember that you are better off than many others.

14. Relief comes from one hour to the next. Indeed, with each difficulty there is relief.

15. In both times of hardship and ease, one should turn to supplication and prayer, either patiently contented or thankful.

16. Calamities should strengthen your heart and reshape your outlook in a positive way.

17. Do not let trivialities be the cause of your destruction.

18. Always remember that your Allah is Oft-Forgiving.

19. Assume an easygoing attitude and avoid anger.

20. Life is bread, water, and shade; so do not be perturbed by a lack of any other material thing.

“And in the heaven is your providence and that which you are promised.” [Quran, 51:22]

21. A daunting evil that seemingly will happen usually never occurs.

22. Look at those who have more afflictions and be grateful that you have less.

23. Bear in mind the fact that Allah loves those who endure trials with steadfastness, so seek to be one of them.

24. Constantly repeat those supplications that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, taught us to say during times of hardship.

25. Work hard at something that is productive, and cast off idleness.

26. Do not spread rumours and do not listen to them. If you hear a rumour inadvertently, do not believe it.

27. Know that your malice and your striving to seek revenge are much more harmful to your health than they are to your antagonist.

28. The hardships that befall you atone for your sins, if you endure  patience.

29. Take a minute or two and think about all the flaws in yourself and focus on correcting them instead.

30. Give the other person the benefit of doubt that they might be facing personal struggles of their own and your judgment will only make matters worse for them. Everyone is going through a struggle of their own. You don’t know the real reason behind their actions.

31. Your judgment might make that person more inclined towards committing the very act you are judging them against. Reverse psychology works in amazing ways.

32. Imagine yourself in the place of that person. How would you feel if the same judgment was being passed at you?

33. Don’t be quick to judge the other person. That person might be on the learning path. The thing you’re judging them on might be the next step in that learning curve and your judging might discourage them from pursuing the straight way, leading them to go astray.

34. There is a clear difference between judging someone and bringing them to the right path. The idea behind judging others has no positive intent behind it. If you were to honestly bring someone closer to the Book of Allah you would do it without any judgment.

35. Focus on inspiring others rather than forcing them. If you look at the life of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), people converted to Islam by seeing his impeccable character. He did not judge or force anyone. Since we also aspire to be like him, we should also not judge anyone.

36. Every time you judge someone, find a flaw in yourself and make a resolution to work on eliminating it.

37. If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything bad about them either, unless in case of explaining the truth.

38. The best way to refrain from judging someone is to mind your own business. Simply keep to yourself.

Brothers and Sisters! Every Muslim should work on attaining these values. This will not only benefit the society but on a personal level you will feel better and happier as you do not have any hate built inside of you.

My good people! Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Each and every human being instinctively is in pursuit of happiness. Whether he/she is a child or an adult, a Muslim or a non-Muslim, and this is the fact. In order to achieve this true and eternal happiness, one must comprehend what this emotion really is.

Happiness, according to the Oxford dictionary is ‘feeling, causing, or giving pleasure’ and it is being ‘satisfied.’ It is essential to understand the psychology of happiness to know how much control we have over it.

James Montier, a renowned global equity strategist studied behavioural psychology and concluded in his research “The Psychology of Happiness” that psychologists have found that happiness is comprised of three components:

1. About 50% of individual happiness comes from a genetic set point. That is, we’re each predisposed to a certain level of happiness. Some of us are just naturally more inclined to be cheery than others.

2. About 10% of our happiness is due to our circumstances; demographic factors, age, gender, ethnicity and geographic factors. It also includes personal history and life status.

3. The remaining 40% of an individual’s happiness is derived from intentional activity, from discrete actions or practices that we choose to do.

As humans we have no control over our genetic setpoint, and hardly any control over our circumstances. This 50% of happiness in Islam is called ‘Rida bil Qada’ (being content with our lot in life). This means that as believers if we truly love Allah and trust Him, we are satisfied with what He Has decreed for us.

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would supplicate with words that would highlight the importance of satisfaction with our fate; therefore we too should make the effort to recite these supplications:

“I am pleased with Allah as my Lord, with Islam as my religion, and with Muhammad as my Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).” [Abu Dawud]

“O Allah, make me content with what you have provided me, send blessings for me therein, and place for me every absent thing with something better.” [Bukhari]

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge which does not bring benefit and from a heart which is not fearful and from a self which is not content and from a supplication which is not answered.” [Muslim]

Thereafter, the main conclusion to be drawn from Montier’s research is that we can only work on the last 40% to make ourselves happier. It must be noted that this 40% cannot be achieved in pursuit of money, fame or anything else materialistic. These are all transitory, and anything transitory will never result in true happiness. True happiness is contentment, and this is only attained through activities which are not fleeting.

Brothers and Sisters! Always seek the guidance of Allah and never ignore your spiritual needs. Attend Islamic talks, surround yourself by positive people and religious friends.

Having religious friends doesn’t always mean talking about Islam but just hanging out and having fun with people that remind you of Allah, encourage you to pray on time, do Zikr or memorize the Quran, it will help you purify your heart and strengthen your relation with Allah.

Finally, know that there is no quick guide to happiness or a magical method, mainly because happiness is like any emotion – a temporary state that won’t last forever. Therefore, we should strive to be content and at peace with the world.

I recently read a line in Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert that summarizes quite adequately one’s mission in this world:

“You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight.”

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Compiled by your brother,

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.

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