The Pursuit of HappIness...

>> Sunday, April 17, 2011

Salam. how are you . i love ur blog and read it everyday. my question may sound simple but i find it so not easy.

my problem is i cant find any inner peace and happiness anywhere, i find it very temporary .
i talkd to no one about this but it hurts =[

Sincerely

hopless in search of happy



Dearest Hopeless in Search of Happy,

Awww, sis, I'm sorry you feel that way. I think, happiness- besides world peace, is probably the number one thing everyone desperately wants. Yet, even though everyone wants to be happy, the majority of us aren’t. Most of us are still chasing after happiness in, what almost seems to be, a never ending “pursuit of happyness. The question is: why. Why aren’t we happy now? And what can we do about it?

The major reason we aren’t happy now is because we don’t understand what happiness is.

Think about it: the majority of us think happiness lies behind things. How many times have you thought that if you could just get the newest mobile/ purse/ laptop/ car/ etc. you’d be happy and you’d never want something else again? Yet, a few hours, days, or weeks after purchasing whatever it is that you wanted, you’re back to feeling unhappy again and thinking you just need to get something else. But you don’t need something else. Happiness doesn’t come with a price tag. As much as advertising campaigns try to convince you that if you buy something you’ll be happy, it just isn’t true. Just look at superstars- they’ve supposedly got the latest designer clothes and gadgets, houses that cost millions, and things we can only dream of, and still many of them drink or take drugs to escape their lives and many others are depressed and unhappy.

If we don’t think happiness is limited to things, then, we’re usually caught in the trap of thinking happiness is a result of reaching a certain stage in our lives. We think to ourselves, “When I finally get a promotion, I’ll live happy ever after.” And you can substitute getting a promotion for anything: “When I finally (drive/ graduate/ lose weight/ get married/ retire/ etc), I’ll be happy.” But we’ve seen it hundreds of time; university graduates returning to visit the university they were desperate to leave, people who lost tens of kilos still unhappy, married couples speaking about how they miss being single, and even retired men and women complaining about how they miss the jobs they used to moan about. The fact that these people still aren’t happy shows that happiness isn’t actually restricted to reaching a certain point in life.

Instead, happiness is a decision.


It is an attitude we need to consciously choose everyday. It’s not easy but these seven things can help us develop such an attitude:

1- Remember Allah.

Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” [al-Ra’d 13:28]
When you feel close to God and realize how entirely Merciful, ever Forgiving and Loving He is, then there is nothing that can bring you down. That's why it's so important that you get to know His Names and Attributes better.Also, feed your soul by reading the Qur’an or listening to your favorite reciter (every day!). Make dua. Talk to Allah. Get spiritually active =) This also includes 'doing good deeds'. Pray. Seek forgiveness. Listen to good lectures. Give charity. Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala has given us a promise of the good life if we do good deeds. He said :

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life, and We will surely give them their reward [in the Hereafter] according to the best of what they used to do. (16:97).
Also, there's also no shame in asking Allah for a good life and making dua. There are lots of supplications you can recite to ward off sadness and depression.

2- Develop an “attitude of gratitude”:

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed My punishment is severe.'”
Remind yourself of all of the blessings that you are lucky to have from the big things in life (like your family and health) to the little things in life we often take for granted (like the ability to see a sunset). A great exercise would be to write down five things every day you were grateful for. Once you find yourself feeling grateful for a single grain of rice, then you know you’re definitely close to feeling true happiness.

I want you to also watch this video:


3- Don’t just live for yourself:

Abû Hurayrah relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever removes one of the hardships of a believing soul, Allah will remove from him one of the distresses on the Hereafter. Whoever solves someone else's problem, Allah will make things easy for him in this world and the HereafterAllah is ever assisting His servant as long as that servant is helping his brother.” [Sahîh Muslim (4867)]

In fact, Helen Keller once said, “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose". Find a cause you believe in and help make a difference. Get involved in your community- from writing a suggestion for something in your local newspaper to cleaning up a beach with some friends-there’s always something that can be done. Help the little elderly lady carrying her groceries. Babysit for your neighbor. Kick start a halaqah. Donate your old clothes and things you don't need. Visit the local orphanage and ask them what things they need (toys/clothes/etc.).

You’d be surprised how much you get by giving.

4- Make sure your life is well rounded:
"The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both." (Reported by Muslim.)
This doesn’t just mean that you need to find a balance between work and play. It also means you need to make sure you are physically and socially active. So you're a little shy? Well, would you rather be miserable all the time or laughing with some good friends? Just do it! Go up to some girls and say salaams. Bring some dates/ candies/ yummy things to the Friday prayer and pass it out in the end. Sign up on a Muslimah forum. Start a blog! You'll find lots of cool sisters :)

As for being physically active, remember, exercise means happy endorphins. Try circling the block a few times (brisk walk) or joining an aerobics class/ gym. It will make all the difference!

5- Do something different every week: 

One of the biggest reasons we tend to feel unhappy is because we become bored with life. Stuck in the same routine, we begin to feel life is just a boring cycle. But life doesn’t have to be the same thing day after day; all you have to do is try something different. It doesn’t even have to be something extreme like bungee jumping. It could be something as simple as visiting a new place you’ve never been to, meeting new people, trying food from a different culture, etc.

6- Related to the previous idea is the idea of challenging yourself. Keep challenging yourself: Challenge yourself mentally by reading new books, learning a new language, taking a course outside of university, etc. Test yourself physically by learning a new sport, raising the number of crunches you can do, etc.

7- Be honest and true to yourself with others: 

You can’t feel happy when you don’t even feel like you are yourself. It’s frustrating and depressing when you do things that you don’t want to, when you pretend to like something that you don’t, and when you say what you don't mean (and don't say what you mean). If you want to be happy, you have to be yourself first.

This also means that you should accept your past (and if it is standing in the way of your future) and embrace the future.

The Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wa-sallam) said, “Seek that which benefits you, and rely on Allāh and do not surrender to weakness. If you are afflicted by a hardship then do not say, ‘Had I done this, such-and-such would have happened.’ Instead, say, ‘Allāh has decided and He does what He wills,’ for ‘if’ opens the door for Satan’s work.’” [Muslim]

Remember, happiness is something that we all deserve and there’s no reason to keep waiting. Make the decision today to change your life. Be happy :)



Readers what do you do to be happy? Share =)



15 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Marium Jamil,  April 17, 2011 at 5:22 AM  

A lot of times we tend to be unhappy also because we may be neglecting what we are supposed to do, may be out of simple laziness. E.g., if we miss prayers, or when we don't study what we are supposed to, etc etc. I think, making just the EFFORT to do something, anything, may be just as little as sitting with your mommy and chatting with her and asking about her day can bring happiness.
I loved your post, lil auntie. And as you say, its also consciously reminding yourself that you gotta be happy just cuz we got sooooo much to be happy about, Alhumdulillah.. And remembering Allah.. nothing like it. Probably the most satisfying feeling on Earth!
P.s. the video was very, very inspiring!

Fida Islaih April 17, 2011 at 6:15 AM  

Think happy thoughts, think Allah!

I love this post. Thank you :)
Fida

The Creative Muslimah April 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM  

MashAllah, jazakAllah khair for this beautiful beautiful beautiful and heart warming post!!! It's just so important for us to stop thinking in materialistic lanes and start being happy with who we are and what we do. May Allah swt reward you all very much!!

The Creative Muslimah April 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM  

p.s. what a thought provoking and heart warming video you shared !! JazakAllah khair!

Munira Mohamed April 18, 2011 at 12:24 AM  

subhannallah. what a nice reply. i like the way u take things seriously. i like ur spirit , ur motivation to give the best answer for such a short question. thanks. this really benefits me.

Yasmin April 18, 2011 at 3:43 AM  

Salam . btw i asked this question , first of all thanx a HUGE for ur reply it really helped :D . and i wil inshALLAh follow it . video was very inspiring and i learned Aloot :D

May ALLAH bless u aloootttttt <3 luv u ladies HUGS **

-
Yasmin =)

Uri Fatimah,  April 18, 2011 at 6:04 AM  

moving.. I was about to cry ;-;)
I think i can be happier after reading this post. At the same time, making others happy too. In sha Allah

rialive April 18, 2011 at 7:02 AM  

Salam alaikum, Aunties!!
MashaAllah you begin the explanation with a very profound message, happiness is a decision..
I always agree with that.

And btw, I recommend your blog for the sisters that left me questions on my blog. :D
I know you are busy but I hope you don't mind.
I really hope they consider my recommendation because wallahy your advice is very good and all applicable mashaallah. May Allah reward you good.

hugs and love!!

Little Auntie April 19, 2011 at 5:05 AM  

I think, making just the EFFORT to do something, anything, may be just as little as sitting with your mommy and chatting with her and asking about her day can bring happiness.
That is so true!!

Jazak Allah girls! (This was mostly Miss Aunty's reply, hehe :D)

yasmin, we're very happy it helped!

Ria, that's soooo sweet of you to recommend us :) Of course, we'll try to help <3 <3

Anonymous,  April 19, 2011 at 5:16 AM  

mām Ibn al-Qayyim said:-



‘There is no true bliss,

nor any delight,

joy, or completeness for him,

except in knowing Allāh, loving Him,

being tranquil in the remembrance of Him, feeling delighted in drawing closer to Him and in yearning to meet Him;

This being the paradise of the worldly life.

ummkhaleelmujahidah April 19, 2011 at 6:36 AM  

Masha Allah I really love this post! Well said sisters!

Lady of the Ozarks April 23, 2011 at 5:40 PM  

Great post Aunties!

I wanted to remind everyone that depression is a real disorder caused by an imbalance in the brain. Stigma of Mental Illness: The Role of the Faith Community http://goo.gl/X2Syo. Depression http://goo.gl/VW6f5.

Leela August 7, 2011 at 9:56 PM  

Salaams

Subhan'Allah, Thank you for the inspiration. You blog has true touch my heart.

Leela August 7, 2011 at 10:05 PM  

Salaam

i enjoyed you blogs, May allah reward you for great efforts. When ever we feel sad, we should pray, and make dua. and definetly we should hand out with family and friends. and your right maybe we should volunteer and meet new people. JK

Anonymous,  June 20, 2012 at 5:22 AM  

Mash'Allah, awesome post! Thanks a lot!


short_sister

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