Saturday, 31 January 2015

Beneficial means to a happy life

Living in this world that is full of tests, it is always a struggle; struggle to be someone better day in day out, and struggle to not be drowned in this worldly life.

“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving” – Al Mulk : 2

It is not easy, and it will never be. Having that in mind, does that means us as a Muslim, should just forget this worldy life, and focus on the hereafter alone? Well hmm maybe, but Allah has said in Quran, that He has created us as a balanced nation;

"Thus have We made of you a nation justly balanced…" - Al-Baqarah : 143

Which then means we need to have both; the world in our hand, and the hereafter in our heart. How then, do we find happiness living in this challenging world, yet to not get attached to it, and to not be indulged by it?

So, from the talk i attended given by Shaykh Tariq Appleby which was derived from the book entitled 'beneficial means to a happy life' written by Shaykh Abdur Rahman bin Nasr As Sa'di(rahimullah), there are actually 3 means to attain the happiness that we all have been searching for.

1.       Being religious.

It is a well-known fact that indeed, by being religious and close to Him, we will feel the calmness and tranquillity that can only be felt, and can never be explained in words.

"Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest." - Ar Ra'd : 28

Well then, how do we define religious? What does a believer means? Being a believer, it means to have eemaan and to do righteous deeds. Eemaan is an Arabic term which means to be convinced and affirmed of something, without any hesitation or any doubt. A believer’s eemaan is:

a)      Conviced at heart that Allah is the creator and sustainer.
b)      Affirmed with tongue.
c)       Shows by actions of limbs and actions of the heart à have patience and tawakkul.
d)      Believe that eemaan increases with good deeds, and decreases with bad deeds.

‘Eemaan is not something mechanical, but is inside us and who we are, and it shows in our action.

2.       Through natural.

“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.” - Al Imran : 190

New Zealand, somewhere along the road

 I love this part! Well, I’ve always enjoyed going out early after fajr to breathe and feel the morning breeze, as it sorts of give me an unexplainable good energy and calmness, yet I have never known why. Little did I know that it really is one of the ways to attain happiness. Looking at the greeneries, running waters of the river, looking at all His creations will actually causes realm of Allah to enter our hearts, and will then causes us to be submissive to Him.

"Indeed, within the heavens and earth are signs for the believers.
And in the creation of yourselves and what He disperses of moving creatures are signs for people who are certain [in faith].
And [in] the alternation of night and day and [in] what Allah sends down from the sky of provision and gives life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and [in His] directing of the winds are signs for a people who reason." [41 : 3-5]

3.       Through physical means – exercise and diet.

Well, have you ever feel energized when you go out and exercise? It is ironic, isn’t it; how by making our body to work, contributes to our happiness instead of tiredness? Well when we exercise, our body releases a hormone called endorphins which has the same euphoric effect as morphine. It triggers the positive feelings in our mind, and reduces the pain perception in us. In the end, it prevents us from depression and stress.

Apart from exercise, there is also another important component in this physical means; our diet. To feel better, we first have to make sure what we eat is halal. Being halal does not only mean that it is free from the impermissible things, it also means that the source of money we are buying the food with is halal. Also, to watch our diet and eat less as the worst vessels anyone can fill with is actually our stomach.

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah () say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

English reference: Vol. 4, Book 29, Hadith 3349
Arabic reference: Book 29, Hadith 3474

‘Knowing what we have is from Allah and not worrying about what we don’t have’

To have a good life:
1.       Resist the unneeded things, for the things that we can resist.
-          Do not purposely put ourselves into trouble.

2.       Lighten what can be lightened, to make our life easier and to lighten the load of our life.
-          We should know what our priorities are.
-          Blessing of life is by skilful scheduling.

3.       In the things we can’t resist, we let go.
-          Have patience in the things we have no power to resist.
-          Sabr is an attitude of never giving up. Muslims never give up!
-          Patience is shown when calamity strikes.

P/s: we need to have hope and patience to attain happiness :)

Understanding the facts about hardships:

1.       It is a test from Allah.
2.       Decreed by Allah SWT. It is never going to miss you, and you will never be able to escape it.
-          So, a muslim should never regret and say ‘If only I do this….’ Because whatever the things that has happened to us, He knows. He knows it very well.

life is  a journey where you stumble and fall...

‘O Allah, we seek refuge from the souls that never satisfies’

May Allah make this journey easy for us. Ameen.

photo credit: encik GooGoo, & NZ trip photos by Abg Norman.

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