The purpose of life is to be happy

Key to Happiness in Islam

We seek happiness in many things. Ask yourself what needs to come into your life to make you happy? Some of us would answer a nice big house or a mansion. Some of us will say a huge plantation. Some of us will even say something small, but every one of us is looking at possessions for happiness, and we are constantly seeking after these things, striving after them all our lives. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ

“O you who have faith, stand firm for Allah as witnesses in equity (list), and let not the hatred of people cause you to not be just. Be just (‘idle), for that is nearer to righteousness.” (Surah al-Ma’idah 5:8)

Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Every human being instinctively is in pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness aligns with what the Quran and Sunnah teach about being happy and having a meaningful life. Islam teaches us that Happiness comes first and there is no contradiction between your natural urge to make yourself happy and the way Allah created us. Allah does not want His believing servants to unhappy. Allah says:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

“Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:205)

Happiness is a habit. True happiness will never be achieved without enduring trials and tribulations. This is what Islam teaches us, through the Quran and the authentic teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Every single one of God’s commandments aims to bring happiness to the individual. This applies in all aspects of life, worship, economics, and society.

Here are some key principles of life to live in a happy life according to Islam:

  1. Happiness is instrumental to get rid of the hardships
  2. Happiness in  living between patience and gratitude
  3. Happiness is helping people make their life easier
  4. Happiness endure all odds that hinder man’s way
  5. Happiness has more to do with the human mind 
  6. Happiness is to personal history and life status
  7. Happiness is a leading factor to direct the life
  8. Happiness is practices that we choose to do
  9. Happier people tend to have good families
  10. Happiness is the key to satisfy your soul 
  11. Happiness is due to our circumstances
  12. Happiness is from discrete actions
  13. Happiness seek the pleasure of Allah
  14. Happiness avoid to worldly comparisons
  15. Happiness comes from a genetic set point
  16. Happiness is derived from intentional activity
  17. Happiness is due to our demographic factors
  18. Happiness makes friends and treasured family
  19. Happiness adequate rest and organize your life
  20. Happiness has more to do with the human heart
  21. Happiness is to rejoice every single day of our life
  22. Happiness make progress toward achieving personal goals

Ways to Have a Happier Life:

  • Seek the Pleasure of Allah – Nothing can make us happier than seeking the pleasure of Allāhsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Allāhsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) tells us in Qurʾān about what is the greatest happiness, calling it a ‘supreme success’  and about the people who deserve this supreme success.
  • Be Thankful – The more Thankful we are to Allāhsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), the more He will shower His bounties upon us.
  • Satisfy Your Soul – Work on activities that result in internal happiness that satisfy and bring a smile to the heart, not merely a smile on the face by doing meaningful work
  • Avoid Worldly Comparisons – Do not look at the celebrities, rich or affluent people above you in worldly matters. The lives of such individuals are not ‘ideal’ in the eyes of Allāhsubḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).
  • Expect Only From Allah  Any sustenance, provision, and reward we expect are from Allāh alone.
  • Serve Others and Maintain Relations –The Messengerṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) strongly advised to maintain family ties, keep strong relations and taught us the etiquettes of social relations.
  • Get Adequate Rest and Organize Your Life –A very important step to ensure better productivity.
  • Build a Support Group – Feeling a part of a larger group gives one a sense of security and a safety net to fall into on occasions of happiness and hardships. The concept of brotherhood and sisterhood is one of the central themes of Islam.
  • Focus on the positive- To find long-term happiness, you need to retrain your brain from a negative mindset to a positive mindset.
  • Celebrate little victories- Life is full of ups and downs, but in between, we have a lot of little victories that go unnoticed. Take a moment to celebrate these small wins.
  • Find your work-life balance- Work takes up a lot of our day, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we do. It’s important to pursue activities and interests beyond our job.
  • Practice mindfulness- Mindfulness meditation works by bringing your awareness and attention to the present moment. It’s about being nonjudgmental and accepting how you are feeling.
  • Be creative- You may think of artists as being moody and depressed, but studies show that engaging in creative activities regularly actually makes you happier.
  • Build meaningful relationships- Happiness, love, friendship, and community goes hand in hand. As humans, we have a fundamental need to interact and connect with others.
  • Nothing compares to you- Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. Most importantly, stop comparing your things to all the things everyone else has.
  • Reminisce over happy memories- Our past shapes us and defines our identity. When we remember good times and happy memories, we can increase our self-confidence and feel closer to those around us.

“Look at those below you (less fortunate than you), and don’t look at those above you, for this is better.” (Saheeh Muslim)

We look for happiness everywhere, and we miss the very blessings we have in life right now. If you don’t recognize the blessing you have already you can never be happy. But if you recognize it, you can become happy right now.

Here are some steps money never makes our lives happier:

  • Money can buy companions, but not friends
  • Money can buy finery, but not real beauty
  • Money can buy a house, but not a home
  • Money can buy luxuries, but not culture
  • Money can buy books, but not wisdom
  • Money can buy a bed, but not sleep
  • Money can buy food, but not appetite
  • Money can buy marriage, but not love
  • Money can buy medicine, but not health
  • Money can buy anything, but not heaven
  • Money can buy tombstones, but not death
  • Money can buy clothes, but not personality
  • Money can buy paintings, but not the artistry

The injunctions and regulations of Islam reinforce the happiness that comes from knowing God and they help to guarantee humankind’s happiness during life in this world. However, Islam also emphasizes that the life of this world is nothing more than a means of attaining the Hereafter. If you desire peace, tranquillity, and comfort, you can find it all in the remembrance of God. Allah says:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ 

“Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a believer, We will most certainly make him live a happy life.” (An-Nahl 16:97)

Happiness is not only intense joy, but it also involves contentment. To find long-term happiness, you need to retrain your brain from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. Life is full of ups and downs, but in between, we have a lot of little victories that go unnoticed. Take a moment to celebrate these small wins.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  •  “Be not sad, Allah is with us.”(Quran, 9:40)
  • “Verily with hardship, there is a relief.” (Quran, 94:6)
  • “(Other) faces that Day will be joyful.” (Surah Al-Ghashiyya, 8)
  • “Certainly We have created man to be in toil.” (Surah Al-Balad: 90)
  • “So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.” (Quran, 7:144)
  • “Is it not with the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest?” (Quran, 13:28)

Happiness is the soft joy that causes our lips, faces, and hearts to smile. It is determined by faith in God and obedience to Him. Thus happiness embodies peace security and submission that is Islam. Our righteous predecessors understood the inherent happiness and joy to be found in striving to be close to God. Allah says:

فَلَوْلَا إِذْ جَاءَهُم بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُوا

“When Our punishment reached them, why did they not humble themselves?” (Surah Al-Anam 6:43)

Islam has the answer to all the problems that afflict humankind and knowing this leads to happiness because it allows us to look beyond the need for self-gratification. We must recite Quran regularly and try to understand the messages it has by either learning Arabic or by reading translations; we will be bestowed with the best of this life and the hereafter, In Shaa Allah.