Happiness is a powerful and elusive emotion. Everyone strive to attain happiness, yet different people have different perceptions of what it is. Happiness is typically an emotional state marked by emotions of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfilment. Although there are many distinct definitions of happiness, it is frequently said to involve joyful feelings and a sense of fulfilment in one's life.
The majority of individuals often refer to their current mood or a broader sense of how they feel about life in general when they discuss what happiness really is. The most prominent definition of happiness is the ongoing experience of delight, contentment, enjoyment, satisfaction, and generosity that results from one's self-satisfaction, acceptance of their challenges in life, and conviction that they will have a blissful destiny.
The quest of happiness is universal. According to research, happiness is ranked higher by people from all walks of life than other desirable personal outcomes like income and material possessions. True happiness is not dependent on external sources rather it comes from within. One need to avoid thoughts that they do not deserve happiness, as happiness and joy are within your reach. Happiness is here and now, not at some future time.
According to the Islamic viewpoint, happiness is not just a momentary condition of joy and delight. It is a lifetime process aimed primarily at providing eternal happiness, peace of mind, calm of heart, contentment in this world and everlasting bliss in the Hereafter. Why does happiness matter so much? It has been demonstrated that happiness can predict favourable results in a variety of life domains, including mental health, physical health, benefit cardiovascular health, the immune system, inflammation levels, blood pressure, and overall total lifespan.
There are many ways to be happy; including religious, natural, and practical ones, but the only way to truly be happy is to combine them all. It is a widely held belief in our society that acquiring wealth and material possessions will lead to happiness. Some people in society think that having power will bring them happiness and peace; others think that fame and recognition will bring them happiness; yet others define happiness as being able to indulge all of their sensual cravings. Materialists frequently ignore spiritual considerations and see life as nothing more than a means of gratifying one's whims and needs.
Younger generation nowadays read different kinds of books in order to combat with their ongoing stress and try to achieve happiness. Even many people make an effort to follow complicated pathways to find happiness. They fail to recognise that our religion Islam is the simplest route. Sincere worship, competing to carry out morally upright behaviours, performing works of compassion or charity, and putting a smile on a child's face can all lead to happiness. These things have the capacity to actually bring us happiness. True happiness can only be attained by being content and able to enjoy serenity of body, mind, and soul.
Let us have an idea of how to gain happiness as per Islamic perspective;
Faith is Essential
The future of the heavens and the earth belong to only and only Allah (SWT), and He is in charge of everything. You must adore Him and put your faith in Him. Nothing you do is hidden from your Allah (SWT). (Quran, 11:123). Here, the Quran serves as a reminder that we must work tirelessly to believe in and worship Allah (SWT) alone, and that if we do, we will be content and consequently joyful with everything else in life because we understand that it is a gift from Allah (SWT).
Teachings of Islam Provide Happiness
There is a concept among some youths that the teachings of Islam create a kind of fear among them about the grave, Day of Judgment, or the life hereafter but an adherent to these teachings will find them to be very influential. His manners and ethics are moulded in accordance with Allah's instructions, and as a result, he experiences mental clarity and perfect satisfaction. True happiness can only be found by placing a greater reliance on one's creator and working for Him.
A believer may transition from a state of discontentment to one of contentment by following the teachings of Islam. A believer becomes aware that Islam does not command its adherents to become hermits or to refrain from worldly pleasures; rather, it requires a believer to legitimately exploit whatever material goods they possess in order to achieve ultimate happiness.
Gratitude Will Bring You Happiness
"If you show thankfulness, I will undoubtedly give you more; if not, I will punish you severely," Allah said (Quran, 14:7). Being thankful is frequently the secret to much of our accomplishment and welfare on earth, and it is just as crucial in maintaining our happiness. Through expressing our gratitude to Allah (SWT), we can come to realise that everything we receive on this planet is a blessing and that Allah (SWT) is the One who is responsible for all that we go through in life.
Cleansing the heart
Always remembering Allah (SWT) is the key to unlocking the heart's potential for joy, contentment, peace, and pleasure. A heart that is open and at peace as a result of remembering Allah (SWT) is freed from stress and sorrow. If proper care is not taken to satisfy the soul, it will eventually result in significant anxieties, discontentment, and sadness. True faith in the unity of God must suffice for the soul. God, Almighty, says,” Those who have believed and whose hearts are content by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are contented.” (13:28)
Understanding the Qur'an while reading it
The Qur'an continues to be the most vital source of nourishment to the heart. It has served as the constant leader, guide, light, and companion for humankind. The knowledge and inspiration are in the Quran. Those who invest the time to read and comprehend it receive the motivation and direction needed to lead a happy and serene life. The Quran says, “Believers are those who, when the name of Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their heart, and whenever His Messages are conveyed to them their faith is strengthened.” [8: 2.]
The main cause of sadness and discontent in today's age is the perception of insufficiency and inability. Individuals typically look up to those who are higher than them and aspire to be like them. Nonetheless, Islam counsels us to consider those who are beneath us and to be grateful for what Allah has given us. Forgetting about those with higher standards of living is the best strategy for coping with such painful suffering. Allah (SWT)says in the Quran, “Do not strain your eyes in longing for the things that we have given to some groups of them to enjoy, the splendour of the life of this world through which we test them. The provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.” (Quran 20:131)
Work on physical fitness
There is no denying the fact that an unhealthy body is susceptible to a variety of illnesses and health problems, which add to stress and prevent a person from experiencing happiness. Hence, a believer should make an effort to maintain physical fitness and good health so that they might experience happiness in general and be able to better withstand stress. As Prophet (PBUH) said in one of His Hadiths; ‘The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both’.
Understanding the purpose of life
Having a clear grasp of life's purpose is a necessary condition for happiness. A believer is more responsible because he is aware of his role as a trustee on earth, where he is led by divine light. The Quran says: “But, as for those who desire the life to come, and strive for it as it ought to be striven for, and are true Believers- they are the ones whose strivings find acceptance and reward.[17: 19.]
Acquiring wealth, fame, reputation, status, and gratifying one's wishes are not necessary for experiencing true happiness. Instead, it is attained via the accumulation of physical, emotional, and spiritual pleasures. Islam is the only religion that emphasises the necessity of concurrently enhancing material and spiritual qualities. Every command of the Almighty in every sphere of life—including worship, economics, and society—is intended to make the individual happy.
(The Author is a Columnist and a practising Mental Health Psychologist at Lisners, India’s best Mental Health and Wellbeing App and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)