The right to be happy

Allah (SWT) created everything in the heavens and on earth for the use and comfort of man.   Allah has no need for anything on earth; animate as well as the inanimate. He (SWT) is the Lord of the worlds. Let us remember that plants, domestic and wild animals, birds, insects, reptiles, rain, climate, weather, wind,  fire, stone, water, air, light, sound, metal, etc, were all created for man’s use and for him to further manipulate them to suit his physical as well as environmental needs. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 31:20 “Do ye not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth; and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, both seen and unseen? Indeed, one could see and appreciate Allah’s grace and mercy in things we can comprehend with the senses.

To perfect His divine goal, Allah (SWT) in His infinite mercy gave man the ability to subdue the forces of nature using his God-endowed powers of reason and insight. Using his intellect, man was able to manipulate his physical environment, propound theories and then produced cars, aeroplanes, ships, electricity, mobile telephones, computers, and other inventions of modern science and technology, which has made life on earth much easier and pleasurable. It is thus discernable that Allah (SWT) did not intend evil for creating man and for bringing him to this planet. Rather, the Omniscient planned and meant well for man; putting in place every good thing he required to make himself comfortable and happy on earth. For this purpose therefore, man has every good reason and right to be happy. In order for man to attain happiness and achieve a life worth living, the principles of a meaningful life demands that he remains optimistic in all circumstances.

Choosing to be optimistic or pessimistic about anything in life is a prerogative of the human mind. Man’s life is a mixture of pain and comfort. Each of these two states absorbs a portion of the life we live in this world. Our faith in Allah (SWT) should guide us to cast away the ugly entities that seek to tarnish the fact of life. People who cajole themselves into thinking that their destiny is bound to sprout from evil are likely to dwell in anxiety, discomfort and sometimes  depression. The shadow of pessimism never allows the beauty of creation to manifest in the eyes of a pessimist. Most often, pessimists miss the opportunity of benefiting from the present. Even if no danger threatens them in their present circumstance, they awfully envisage that one calamity or the other may sooner or later befall them. Pessimists are overwhelmed by fear that may be as strong as they would feel in the face of real danger. Mental anxiety deprives one of self-confidence.

Allah (SWT) describes pessimists in Qur’an 30:36 as those who when afflicted by some evil because of what their (own) hands have sent forth live in despair. Islam teaches that no matter the circumstance in which a believer might find himself, he must not allow the pressure of such circumstances to defeat his will power. One must use the positive powers of his mind in situations of trial to suppress pessimistic tendencies and then re-enforce, re-engineer and re-energize his trust and faith in Allah (SWT). The infinite mercy of Allah is always open to those who sincerely trust in Allah and remain virtuous. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 65:2 and 3 “And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out; And He (Allah) provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him, for Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: Verily for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion”. Believers must therefore preserve, protect and enjoy their right to be happy; hoping that the future holds nothing but happiness for them.

The secret of success and happiness in life is concealed in man’s ability to express optimism and hope. Let us always find justifications to be happy. A Swedish proverb says, “Those who wish to sing always find a song”. Our cheerfulness is also a reason for others to be cheerful and happy. People who are optimistic never abandon the frontiers of patience, modesty and restraint. Optimists are happier and livelier. They don’t get upset over something that has happened or may never happen. Man, according to Qur’an 90:4 was created into toil. Nonetheless, man must not give up to despair and hopelessness. An individual should always remain hopeful and optimistic when confronted with a cloudy future. We must struggle at all times to keep hope alive. There is no cause for one to be pessimistic about anything. Even a sinner should be optimistic about Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 39:53 “Say; O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the mercy of Allah for Allah forgives all sins; for He is oft-forgiving, most merciful”.

This explains why a sick person should be hopeful that one day, he would be cured. It was constant optimism that protected Prophet Ayub (AS) from experiencing hypochondria during his long years of protracted illness. With God, all things are possible. An optimist never considers any task as too difficult to overcome. Only pessimists think about failure. Prophet Muhammad (SAW), for instance, did not allow the hostilities posed by Makkan unbelievers (at the dawn of Islam) to make him loose hope in his great task of accomplishing the divine message of Islam. With patience, prayers and optimism, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) accomplished his mission that lasted for twenty-three years. Similarly, men and women who suffer from infertility should never create a space for hopelessness in their mind.

There can be no meaningful optimism without trust in Allah. Trusting in Allah (SWT) crushes the pressure created by misfortunes of life. Nothing makes life more beautiful like optimism and trust in Allah (SWT). Cynicism should never be allowed to direct the path of our thoughts. Let us strive to subject our minds to optimistic thinking in order rescue ourselves from the clutches of despair. Persons who realize the power of positive thinking inherent in them and thus utilize it appropriately are nearer to genuine happiness. Optimists do not loose in competitions or contests. Optimists do not fail in exams or in business. They win, pass and succeed. While optimists conduct their life with contentment and patience, pessimists on the other hand are always unhappy and dissatisfied. While it is a right to be happy, optimism is the only prerogative of man that brings about that happiness. Life is all about optimism, patience and prayers. May Allah (SWT) guide us not only to understand our right to be happy but also to attain happiness here and the hereafter, amin.

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