Happiness Through Helping Others
Define happiness. It seems like an easy feeling to feel but we become lost on our journey to find it. Is it because we don’t know what happiness is? Or is it because we define happiness in someone else’s words? Don’t ask yourself ‘what do I need to do to find happiness?’ ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do to make Allah happy?’
Happiness for some of us may be a new car, a promotion at work or a new job. It could be graduating from university or getting married. Indeed, these are things that will put a smile to our faces and end the struggle that we have been through to gain these items. But what will you do after you have acquired all these materialistic or ‘dunya items’ (as I like to call it)? Will you set off on another journey to find something else? How much time will you spend to obtain another item? Sometimes our lives become so material focused that we slowly bury our own peace of mind. We start to tell ourselves that without these things, we won’t feel happy or we won’t feel at peace.
Let’s take the most common item that many of us desire – a mobile phone. We ask our parents to buy us a new phone or we save up money ourselves. You now have the phone and you feel ‘happy’. You can now tick this desire of the list because it is no longer a means of happiness. It is no longer something you desire. Now we will find another item that we desire and make this our goal. The cycle continues and we become addicted to finding happiness through things that can be easily destroyed. Throughout this process we forget the most important ingredient to happiness – our heart. If our heart is not happy, can you truly feel happiness? That content, peaceful and nourishing sensation that lightens every corner of our body – have you ever experienced it?
Chasing ‘worldly items’ will only make us go in circles and it won’t lead us anywhere, we will still be in that same position in life where we chase one thing after another. We need to truly understand where our happiness lies. As Muslims we believe that everything we are given in life is from Allah, whether it is good or bad it is from Allah and everything that happens, happens because He wants it to happen. However, Allah has also created a good path and a bad path and he has given us the freedom to distinguish between right and wrong. Our happiness should be pleasing Allah and focusing our life, our goals and our actions to please Him. Why is this? Why should our every goal, motive and intention be to please Allah? It is because you are not going round in circles. You are not making the same journey again and again, instead you are moving forward to achieve things that will benefit you in this world and in the next. Making Allah happy is our way to success and Jannah. He has given us so much to be grateful for yet we focus on things that we will leave behind in this world.
Most of our sources of happiness derive from things that benefit us only and do not include the benefit of others. I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘if you want happiness for a lifetime, then help someone else’s Allah asked us to be good to our parents, orphans, the needy and He has ordered us to give zakah (Quran – 2:83). These are ways to help and support other people than ourselves only. Not only do these people benefit from your acts of goodness but also help you achieve happiness. Why? Because on the Day of Judgement when you stand in front of Allah you can be proud and account for helping these people. You can account for being a source of happiness for someone else.
This will add to your good deeds and insha’Allah He has made a place for you in Jannah. It is so difficult to kill our own desires and put others first. With all the advancements in technology and the generation, we value ‘dunya items’ more than the things that will help us please Allah and make Him happy. Simple things like helping your parents around the house, giving spare change to zakah or even helping someone achieve their desires. These are things that will help us learn and experience. It is a means of happiness because your intentions are making Allah happy. You are doing things that he has ordered us to do as Muslims.
You are not continuously looking for something new to do and leaving the old things behind, you are in fact applying your behaviour and actions to everyday life and you are moving forward, doing new things and experiencing new feelings. Most importantly, you are experiencing happiness. Why? Because you are not a lost Muslim who is finding something new to obtain, you are a Muslim who is living life according to Allah and He is The One who is with you at all times, helping you feel pure happiness. He is rewarding you for your good deeds. You begin to value those things in life that are beneficial in The Hereafter. You no longer value the things that will be left behind in this world. Of course it is easy for me to say that happiness does not derive from things like mobile phones or cars but when you are left alone with these things and have used these items to their full potential, are you really satisfied? These things have an expiration date which is why they do not last for long. However, the memory, the feeling and experience of helping yourself and someone else has no expiration date. Why? Because these are the things that please Allah and His love and His mercy have no expiration date. The feeling of happiness will never end.
So, in order to find happiness we need to ask ourselves what makes Allah happy? What is it that He wants from me as a Muslim? We need to direct our intentions to please Him and only Him. If you truly, sincerely from the core of your heart, mind and soul intend to make Him happy then insha’Allah He will guide you to happiness. After all, He is the best of all planners. I hope that we all begin to value the life that Allah has given us and strive towards finding happiness through Him, through His words – the Quran. I pray that Allah blesses everyone with all the happiness they deserve and make life easier for us to be happy and spread happiness.
May Allah guide us all on to the correct path and forgive us all for any mistakes we make. Insha’Allah I pray that He gives you the things that you deserve and not desire because, after all, He knows what is best for us.
By Afza Tabassum