The pursuit of happiness is the lifelong endeavor for all humanity. Read on if you want to know how to be happy in both this life and in the life after!
Happiness and Heaven are two correlated words; when you think of one you think of the other; one is in this life, while the other is in the afterlife. So, would you choose one over the other? Or, would you be greedy and crave both?
One would have so many questions, thinking about happiness and heaven: What is happiness? What would make one happy? When one dies, then what? Are there heaven and hell? What are they like? What would make one worthy of both happiness and Heaven?
I guess we will all find out soon enough; so, READ ON.
1.What is The Definition of Happiness?
Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines happiness as a state of well-being or contentment, a pleasurable or satisfying experience.
Sonja Lyubomirsky; a positive psychology researcher in her 2007 book ‘The How of Happiness’, explains happiness as “The experience of joy, contentment, or a positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”
James Montier, a renowned global equity strategist studied behavioral psychology and concluded in his research ‘The Psychology of Happiness’ that psychologists have found that happiness is comprised of three components:
- About 50% of individual happiness comes from a genetic set point. That is, we’re each predisposed to a certain level of happiness. Some of us are just naturally (genetically) more inclined to be cheery than others.
- About 10% of our happiness is due to our circumstances; demographic factors, age, gender, ethnicity and geographic factors. It also includes personal history and life status.
- The remaining 40% of an individual’s happiness is derived from his own intentional activity, and discrete actions or practices that one chooses to do.
This means that 60% of our happiness, we have no control over and it actually tests our belief in God’s Decree, and only 40% to manipulate during this life to earn happiness and Heaven.
Some people see happiness as a range of positive emotions, including joy, security, fulfillment, contentment, and gratitude. Others would say fame, professional success and money. Another group would say freedom, family and quiet living. Apparently we each have our own cocktail of blessings that makes our happiness a livable reality. On the other hand we all agree that Heaven in the afterlife is an equivalent to “The ultimate satisfaction of all needs and desires.”
So, does happiness mean feeling good all the time? Is it having everything you ever want?
Well, Scandinavian societies are considered the most luxurious of all, yet they have some of the highest rates of suicide in the world.
This means that having everything is not the key to happiness.
So, how can you be happy and know it?
Well, you will find “your OWN answer” to this question by the end of this article.
2.What Would Make ‘YOU’ Happy?
The word happiness only occurs twice in the whole of Quran, both times referring to Paradise in the following passage from Surat Hud,
The Day it comes no soul will speak except by His permission. And among them will be the wretched and the prosperous./As for those who were [destined to be] wretched, they will be in the Fire. For them therein is [violent] exhaling and inhaling./[They will be] abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will. Indeed, your Lord is an effecter of what He intends./And as for those who were [destined to be] prosperous, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will – a bestowal uninterrupted.“ (Quran.com/11/105–108)
Happiness is never used in Quran to describe a human state in this worldly life, and never to describe those who do not have faith in God and love for Him. Quran does not deny that people can be content in this world and it states that, but the fact that this life as a whole will end with all that’s in it is sufficient not to refer to it as happiness as that of Heaven.
Do not despair. Here are some hands-on facts and guidelines:
- No one is happy 24/7 except for crazy people. We all experience ups and downs. That is how it has always been, and how it was meant to be.
- It takes a continuous, lifelong, and strenuous effort to earn or deserve, and maintain happiness.
- Do good deeds, be thankful for what you have, enjoy family and friends, avoid worldly comparisons, eat, love, pray to God, smile and laugh, be kind, have mercy, rest, work and work out. Simply, live life while seeking the pleasure of God.
- Having everything you ever want is indeed nice, but it does not necessarily mean you’ll be happy.
- No one has ever stated that he achieved complete utter happiness. We’ll have that in heaven ‘If God wills it’, because feelings accompanying every goal we achieve tend to fade away as soon as adapting to them kicks in.
- You can control how you feel by adapting strategies, habits, and practices that would eventually lead to a more satisfying, and fulfilling happy life from your own prospective.
- Happiness, if you ask me, is a “cocktail of feelings and emotions that have different ingredients to each one of us.”
For me, it’s a combination of how satisfied I am with my life’s accomplishments, finding meaningful relationships, and how good I feel on a day-to-day basis about myself and family in light of Islam.
This sadly means that there is no magic potion for happiness.
My advice is: ‘Find and brew your own cocktail.’
3.When One Dies, Then What?
In the Islamic Creed, it is a firm belief that there is a sort of existence between this life and the afterlife. It is called “Albarzakh”. It is the time and state between actual physical death “soul extraction from body” and “Resurrection Day”.
Both the body and the soul experience events and changes that are completely separate and different:
- First, The Body:
- Bodies decay in a certain manner that is now clearly known by science over a period of time that varies according to temperature and moisture.
- It takes about 1-3 days for the internal organs to decompose.
- 3-5 days for the bacteria to work, the body to bloat and the blood to leak from orifices.
- 8-10 days for the body to turn from greenish black to red from decomposing blood and fermentation. The abdomen bloats due to accumulating gas.
- In a few weeks nails, teeth and the tongue fall out.
- After one month the body liquefies.
- After a few years bones turn to dust, except for the coccyx bone, which as we know now; carries the genetic print of that person.
2. Second, The Soul:
In Islam, it is a firm belief that once a person dies two angels are sent to question him. Those two angels ask these questions as conveyed by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in the following Hadith (all that is related from and about Muhammad), and “we all will answer honestly, I promise.“ Muhammad the last Messenger of God says:
Two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: Who is your Lord?
He will reply: My Lord is Allah. They will ask him: What is your religion? He will reply: My religion is Islam. They will ask him: What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you? He will reply: He is the Messenger of Allah. They will ask: Who made you aware of this? He will reply: I read Allah’s Book, believed in it, and considered it true; which is verified by Allah’s words:
“Allah establishes those who believe with the word that stands firm in this world and the next.” (Quran.com/14/27) (Sahih Al-Albani)
After this inquiry, the soul is returned to the grave with a view of its place in Heaven or Hell waiting for the Judgment Day. Allah says,
The Fire, they are exposed to it morning and evening [in their graves]. And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], “Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment.” (Quran.com/40/46)
It is indicated in Hadiths of Muhammad the last Messenger of Allah; that souls are aware of each other and somehow can feel and hear their visitors at graves, by God’s will, but not aware of time or place. Also, souls are shown their place in the Hereafter, either Heaven or Hell and can feel bliss or torment till the day of Judgment.
4.Are there Heaven and Hell?
Well, let’s be fair; there is “Zero physical evidence” of the existence of both Heaven and Hell. It is a matter of faith; to believe in the unseen.
In Islam, believing in the Hereafter is a part of Faith, and all faith matters actually are unseen. This is the core of the Islamic creed. You’ll find in the Quran:
This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah – Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them, And who believe in what has been revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you, and of the Hereafter they are certain [in faith].” (Quran.com/2/2-4)
… He then enquired: “Tell me about Iman [faith]” He (ﷺ) said: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in preordainment (destiny), its bad and good consequences.” He said, “You have spoken the truth” …” (Sahih Muslim)
People of Faith believe in Heaven and Hell as a part of Faith because God; in His revealed Books; told all people that they exist via His Messengers and Prophets.
But, truly, logically they must exist. How else would there be justice? When a person or a group of people are subjected to injustice, when people do bad deeds, ruin, distort and destroy, there must be a day when all rights are given back and all debts are paid. It makes no sense at all to live through all this sad-unjust world and there be no Day for Judgment; when every soul gets what’s coming and pays its dues.
5.What are Heaven and Hell like?
That’s a BIG subject in both the Quran and Hadith. Here are two little tasting bites of Heaven as it is our subject, and two links for the whole description.
- In Quran Allah mentions;
- “And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments]./[They will be] reclining therein on adorned couches. They will not see therein any [burning] sun or [freezing] cold./And near above them are its shades, and its [fruit] to be picked will be lowered in compliance./And there will be circulated among them vessels of silver and cups having been [created] clear [as glass],/Clear glasses [made] from silver of which they have determined the measure./And they will be given to drink a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of ginger/[From] a fountain within Paradise named Salsabeel./There will circulate among them young boys made eternal. When you see them, you would think them [as beautiful as] scattered pearls./And when you look there [in Paradise], you will see pleasure and great dominion./Upon the inhabitants will be green garments of fine silk and brocade. And they will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a purifying drink.” [76:12–21]
- Muhammad (PBUH) said in his description of Jannah and concluded with these words, “There will be bounties which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human heart has ever perceived.” He (ﷺ) then recited this Verse: “Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend (in charity in Allah’s Cause) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy…” (quran.com/32/16–17) [Al-Bukhari]
6.What Would Make One Worthy of Both Happiness and Heaven?
Islam gives people the master key to happiness and Heaven; it is “knowing, obeying and worshipping God, being pleased with Him, and Him being pleased with one.”
We find in the Quran a prayer of true believers reported by God saying:
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (quran.com/2/201)
Muslim scholars view; internal peace, contentment, and happiness in the life of a practicing, abiding Muslim believer as the “actual pleasure of the worldly Heaven.”
Ibn Taymiyyah, a prominent Muslim scholar and Jurist says, “In this world a Heaven; he who does not enter it, does not enter the Heaven of the Hereafter.”
These are not mere opinions, but deductions resulting from their deep understanding of Islam, its teachings and actual personal experiences. Each and every obligation, prohibition, act of worship and ethic has some sort of positive impact on people’s lives; collective, individual or both, in this life and the one after.
Allah says in the Quran,
“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.” (quran.com/16/97)
Muhammad, the last Messenger of God said,
“Indeed amazing are the affairs of a believer! They are all for his benefit. If he is granted ease then he is thankful, and this is good for him. And if he is afflicted with a hardship, he perseveres, and this is good for him.” (Sahih Muslim)
To wrap things up we conclude that,
There is an actual connection between mundane happiness and eternal Heavens. Clean righteous living, believing in God without associating another to Him, obeying His Messenger, and acting according to that belief; this will make you worthy, and get you into both worldly and eternal Heavens. In fact, all the Islamic teachings aim for human welfare and happiness in both lives.
Extra reading materials:
To sum up,, It’s an actual practical application of the ideas of the article
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Posted by Explore Islam on Dienstag, 28. November 2017