Brothers and sisters, it is of no doubt that happiness is a gift from our Lord and it’s a sign of being grateful to our Lord, and appreciating the bounties we have been gifted.
So, whatever a person does, they believe that as a result of that action they will achieve happiness. They say “I will be happy. It will bring me pleasure, joy and peace.”
Different people take different paths to find happiness in life. One group of people believe it is found in possessions such as a house, a car, savings and investments. So they think of achieving the best education, the best career, the best university and the best job.
Others believe in finding the path through fame or recognition. They say “What can make me famous. What can make people recognize me?”
Another group pursue their happiness through satisfaction of their sensual instincts. They tread the path of pursuing women, wine and other intoxicants.
And a lot of us sadly believe that happiness is found through a combination of the above. A little bit of wealth, with a little bit of fame, and a little bit of sensual desires.
But if you look in society at the people at the top of each of these groups: the rich, the famous and the ones most evil in their pursuit of sensual desires, you will see they all share the same thought:
Some of them have even been honest enough to say it. And that is the answer to the question. “Have you found happiness now?” The honest amongst them say “Not yet…”
Dear brothers and sisters, true happiness does not come from this world. It is because this world is not our ultimate goal. True happiness, ultimate happiness comes from Allah SWT.
The imam reminded us of Sura Younis ayat 58 in which Allah SWT says:
Say, “In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.”
Dear brothers and sisters, once we establish a connection with Allah SWT then this world becomes secondary. Happiness is acquired from worshipping our Lord and following His commandments. We have evidence in this as there are countless examples of people in the spotlight who suffer from depression or worse because they are looking in the wrong place for happiness.
As Muslims seeking true happiness, the world does not become our ultimate goal. And when the world ceases to be our ultimate goal then we are content with what we have. Our attitude becomes one of gratitude for what we have and optimism for what we will get from Allah SWT in the eternal existence of the afterlife.
Don’t pursue the role models mentioned previously as they haven’t found happiness despite being at the top. Be amongst the guided so that you can find true happiness.
The imam reminded us of this point through the 26th ayat of Sura Al-Ra’d which is translated to say:
Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. And they rejoice in the worldly life, while the worldly life is not, compared to the Hereafter, except [brief] enjoyment.
And as our Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
“The world, with all that it contains, is accursed except for the remembrance of Allah that which pleases Allah; and the religious scholars and seekers of knowledge.”
Alongside this, the reminder also mentions that with all other things, we have limits to how we demonstrate our happiness. This is about self-control and the Prophet SAWS guided us in this through his mannerisms and character.
For example, he exercised a control level of laughter and did not joke at others expense or mock others for the sake of humour. Even at times of celebration, this was always done with the remembrance of Allah SWT.
We ought to be mindful of this point during celebrations of Eid for example and ask ourselves if we exceed our boundaries during this time in what is permitted of us in celebration.
Dear brothers and sisters, we know that the secret to happiness lies in our soul being happy. However, it is easy to say that we have achieved this but is it possible that we are able to check to see if our happiness is sincere and from the heart?
The reminder mentioned four examples of happiness that we should feel and it’s a great way to assess if our happiness comes from the heart and whether it’s befitting of a Muslim.
The first example is fundamental as it’s the happiness of faith. Stopping and pondering over the blessing that each and every one of us has been blessed with being Muslim when so many around us have not been blessed with this ultimate gift.
Alongside that is the happiness one feels when he hears of someone becoming a Muslim. Our hearts ought to fill to the brim with happiness when we hear of someone converting to Islam or even a Muslim mending their ways and returning to the path of Allah SWT.
The third example given was the pleasure one feels when he eats after fasting for the sake of Allah SWT. We are only a couple of months away from Ramadhan insh’Allah and we were reminded of the hadith today in which the prophet SAWS said:
“The fasting person has two moments of joy: When he breaks his fast he rejoices at breaking his fast and when he meets his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime, he will rejoice at having fasted.” ‘
And last example of happiness was given today when one thinks of the return to Allah SWT. Of course, nobody should be wishing to die but the idea that when we do, we will be reunited with Allah SWT and we will reside in paradise should make us feel uplifted and motivated to strive to improve further on being obedient slaves of Allah SWT. Compare that to those who love this life and for them the thought of this life ending fills them with dread and sadness.
Dear brothers and sisters, everyone is chasing happiness. We need to understand that as Muslims, we are blessed with the ability to obtain true happiness, contentment and peace. And this can only be achieved through the remembrance of Allah SWT and through actions that please our Lord, the giver of happiness and contentment in this life and the next.