By May 6, 2015 Read More →

How To Be Happy? – Part 1

Sahih al-Bukhari 6064: Book 78, Hadith 94 | Muhsin Khan Translation: vol. 8, Book 73, hadith 90

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another and do not hate one another; and O God’s worshippers! Be brothers.”

(Continuation to the hadith from 04/29/15)

Does “cutting your relationship” only extend to family? Not at all. It means that we should not limit our existence by associating ourselves with certain types of group or individuals only. In reality, we are all created, interconnected and coming from the same Source. Furthermore, we should not hate anything created. Human behavior such as false ideas or false demonstrations (by definition) has no reality. They represent nothing in creation and do not have any real external existence.

  • Anything that does not have reality (is not true) does not exist.

If we chose the wrong attitude towards creation, we have chosen to go against what really exist. Example: if a person tells a lie, the creation of this telling event exists but the content of what is told does not exist, it has no reality whatsoever. Let us take another example: There is a book and the meaning from the book is true. This truth is represented by the existence of Angels. If the meaning is wrong, its content does not exist. In both examples, man’s choice is wrong.

  • THINK: Are there any false ideas coming from inanimate beings such as plants and animals?

If we experience an earthquake, labeling it as a ‘horrible event’ is wrong. The content to this negative connotation of the earthquake does not exist and hence it is a false idea. However, ascribing the earthquake as a demonstration of the Creator’s will is true and its content (purpose/wisdom) exists.

  • Content to an event is true and exists when we see its creation as the love of the manifestation of the Creator.

Creation is given existence at the command of the Creator. If someone says that an event happened naturally by itself, this idea has no real existence. We are blessed to live in a constantly changing universe where we experience interruptions in the routine of the creation that we are used to. As a result, that enables us to realize our reality. If the universe was static, we ourselves would be static and we would not realize our existence; and thus would not be able to question the Source of its existence.

  • Nothing can sustain its own existence (lailaha).
  • Everything is in need to be given existence (illallah).
  • Through this reality, we understand that we are not the one who decides about our lives. Just as each member of our body cannot stop its being for one moment.

Can the Creator really create that which is not true? The Quran mentions that everything is created with “Truth”, which is one of the names of God (bilhaq). According to Christian and Islamic theology, the creation of the universe is nothing but Love and Mercy. Thus, we have no right to hate anything which exits.

  • We need work on making the distinction between what exists in reality (truth) and what is fabricated by us (false).

Who are our brothers? Anything coming from the same Source is our brother i.e. human race, inanimate beings and anything created. We have to be brothers to everything. Only falsehood and “denial of reality” cannot be our brothers because they do not have real existence, they are not created.

Any sort of limitation towards brotherhood really comes from nationalist concepts, thinking that we are superior over other beings. As a result, we start building our own idols and stick to our ideologies. The first enemy of Islam is “tribalism”. The Quran says that we have created you to get to know each other despite your being different and unique from each other. If we widen our understanding of brotherhood, we can solve many issues at the socio-economical level. The problem is that most of us are scared of losing our identity which we construct according to our own ethnic world view. Hence, we define/identify ourselves with our culture and reject others. Because we cannot try to find happiness within creation, we try to find happiness by building a self-imagined community cultural life.

  • We have to establish within ourselves how to relate with everything (i.e. brotherhood) without any boundaries.

Everything is created for a reason in order to present us some news about its Creator. Nothing is created in vain (lailaha). Creation of death serves its purpose as well. There is a saying from some scholar that goes as: “When alive, people are sleeping, when they die they wake up”. This does not insinuate that this world is a dream. In a dream, one is not aware of the beginning of their lives. There is no beginning and end in a dream. Similarly, we do not remember what we were before we were born or after we die. In some of our dreams, we experience conscious vision; in other type of dreams we may experience confused meaningless things; these are not visions.

  • We are created with the ability to take lessons from the dream which is an opportunity to reflect more on our existence. This life on earth is like a vision and we do not remember the beginning and end of our existence, like we experience in the dreams.

There is a distinction between life and existence. This Absolute One is my Creator. We need to have a positive attitude towards the Creator and we should never reduce our existence to the life span that we are experiencing in this universe. Tomorrow does not exist now and we do not know where yesterday is. Can we deny that there was no yesterday? No, we experienced it and so it seems that existence does not consist only of what we are experiencing now i.e. this type of life.

  • Right now, we should trust in the One who gives us existence: I belong to Him always.

How to be happy?

Are we sure that our expectations are not mostly made up by ourselves instead of the reality out there?

In reality, the content of all ideas that are wrong has no real existence and whatever has existence out there should suffice us. The universe is enough for us, we are the guests of the Creator of the universe, Who is our Creator. Unfortunately, we have imaginary expectations which are not real. When these expectations are not met, we get disappointed. When we get disappointed, we feel unhappy. When we feel unhappy, we undergo stress which affects our physical being. In other words, we may have false expectations which are met by false attitudes and thus we harm ourselves and life is ruined.

  • We can be happy with reality only.

If something makes us unhappy, we have to realize that this thing does not have any real existence. Our imaginations and false expectations are not real. We have to learn to be happy by attributing everything to its reality and seeing the connection between what exists out there i.e. the Source of existence.

  • In reality, there is nothing that should make us unhappy.

We need to learn to accept the reality as it is. The Prophet’s companion and student, Ali’s wisdom is beautiful as he says: “accept creation as it is”. This means to accept creation as it exists or as it is created. This implies that the Creator of this universe is wise. Look at the universe; is there any sign of cracks in the creation?

  • Whatever exists is with wisdom.

We can overcome unhappiness by questioning the reality of our existence. For example: Should I get angry that I am getting old? No, I am created as I am; my given existence is perfect as it is. We need to focus on the “moment” and stop making comparisons. Keeping ourselves busy with past events to the point that it engulfs us is wrong. If we brew on it, we will feel tension and our nervous system will collapse. By creating this collapse the Creator teaches us that what we did was wrong. Make istighfar (ask for forgiveness) and experience your existence now. At the moment you are not experiencing that event, this memory is given to you to acknowledge the Creator.

  • Be thankful that you are able to realize that your past experience was wrong, this is so beautiful.

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“As for him who gives freely and is conscious of God | And affirms the best | We will facilitate the easy way for him.” Layl (92):5-7

  • Anyone of us needs to realize that he has received everything freely, it means that we cannot create anything and so there is no use in shouting “I worked for it”. We just asked something to be created and it is given to us freely. Example: Did you pay anything for your hair, arms, eyes…? No, it is all given freely. We think that the farmers are growing crops, in reality, they just ask for it by watering the plants, everything else is given to them. By realizing that everything is given to you freely, you give freely as well without expecting any type of acknowledgment in

return. If you do not realize that everything is given to you, you give and expect respect, acknowledgment in return i.e. “I am the one who is giving.”

  • When you give freely, it means that you are conscious of God, it means taqwa.
  • “And affirms the best.” What is best?


“The most beautiful names belong to God. So call upon Him by them…” (7):180

The manifestations of the qualities of the Creator are, and its confirmation is, beautiful. That in itself is the best confirmation on our end. Beauty is manifested in creation. Is there anything that exists apart from the manifestations of the qualities of the Creator? No. So, just confirm it! If you do not confirm it, it means that it does not exist and it was your imagination.

  • Whatever exists is beautiful; as long as you confirm beauty, you are happy.
  • Happiness is being consistent with creation.

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“But as for him who is niggardly | And denies the best | We will facilitate the difficult way for him.” Layl (92): 8-10

The above verses are the total opposite to the earlier verses. He makes it clear for us that if we do not give something freely or if we resist, it means that we are claiming it to be our property. In reality, it is not our property: “whatever exists is not mine. I myself am not the property of myself; I cannot sustain myself for a second”. We need to understand that.

If we are self-conceited, thinking that we are self-sufficient, attributing everything to ourselves (beauty, youth, skills…), then we are ignoring the Creator. Istaghnaa means feeling self-sufficient i.e. ignoring the Creator.

  • ASK: What did I create?

We cannot create one atom, let alone our feelings. If they are given, we are aware of it, if they are not given to us, we would not know about their existence. If you sow a seed, it grows. The Creator of the seed has endowed it with the potentiality to grow. The seed itself does not have the ability to grow on its own. It does not have the necessary qualities, such as will, knowledge, power, wisdom etc. to be able to give existence to anything, but it needs to be given existence and obeys the way it was created. When we water the seed, we just ask the Creator to grow it. Similarly, when we learn something, we are just asking Him to create it for us. Can we guarantee that we can learn, we can remember? No. We cannot say that anything belongs to us.

  • REMEMBER: I am asking and He is giving to me.

A niggard person thinks that He is the Creator of his world. This person rejects beauty or the qualities of its Maker. This person is not accepting that the universe is the act of the Creator. If we reject beauty, the Creator facilitates the difficult way for us and life becomes horrible. This horrible experience is news that we are on the wrong way, and the creation of feeling horrible in itself is beautiful.

In conclusion, love the creation of everything. Only through the creation of the results of our choices, happy or miserable, we understand that what we are doing is right or wrong. There is only one way to be happy i.e. to accept creation as it is because it is the manifestation of the beautiful names of God. Just submit yourself to Him, be aware of Him; that is the solution to all problems.

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