Are you happy? Put it differently, in what context can you define your concept and perception of happiness?
This is the very question you need to ask yourself…
You may have plenty of money, successful social relationships, wonderful loving family, and a lot of travels around the world…
You may have a position and high social status…
You may even be a funny laughable person and everybody wants to get closer to you…
…and still be unhappy.
Could all this assure happiness? No, could it?
The fact is that all the above mentioned things are superficial; they cannot achieve human happiness or give us a sense of purpose.
So, happiness isn’t in these things, but why? What is real happiness, and how could you achieve it?
1- An inner feeling…
2- An inner power…
3- A grace of God…
4- Heartfelt peace and purity…
What, therefore, can guarantee such ingredients?
Islam can; Islam is about happiness in life and the Hereafter. How?
Belief in God alone and therefore experiencing this unique relationship with Him is what gives a meaning and a purpose for life. Only then, the fulfilled feeling of inner peace (in the heart and mind) and happiness is attainable:
Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: He will lead them from the depths of darkness into light. Of those who reject faith their patrons are the evil ones: they will lead them from light into the depths of darkness. (Al-Baqarah 2:257)
Firstly, here are the unquestionable ingredients on which happiness is based:
Belief (the worship of God alone) has always been the whys and the wherefores of the creation of man. That’s what all God’s prophets came with and called for:
And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (with the Command): Serve Allah and eschew Evil. (An-Nahl 16:36)
Happiness then lies in the answer to the enquiry: Why are we created and what mission are we supposed to fulfill?
Intellect and Reason:
Intellect or mind is a basic innate distinguishable nature God granted man, and therefore commanded them to preserve. In several passages of the Qur’an the appeal is made for us, humans, to utilize our minds, and use it in the right way. That’s why God forbids alcohol and everything that clouds the mind and affects its sanity:
O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan's handwork; eschew such (abomination), that you may prosper. (Al-Ma’idah 5:90)
Killing a person is a major sin in Islam. The prohibition of killing and the sanctity of human life are made clear in the Qur’an:
…and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loves those who do good. (Al-Baqarah 2:195)
God set down measures and punishments to secure man and protect him against people, whatever their beliefs, aggression and assault:
O you who believe! The law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder… (Al-Baqarah 2:178)
Family & Lineage:
Islam has stressed the issue of preserving an-nas (family and lineage) in a way that assures the recognition of the lineage of people and their offspring within a safe and stable social system based on morality and conduct.
- In Islam marriage is a sacred bond.
- Islam encourages marriage and stresses on making it accessible and easy so as to prevent hardship and harm.
- Islam prohibits illicit relationships and sexual perversions.
- Safeguarding one’s honor is one of the five basic objectives of Islamic law.
-Islam prohibits the accusation of adultery or vilification of lineage.
- God has honored humanity and prohibited the touching of an individual’s person, skin, or honor. And those who are killed in defense of self or family are martyrs in Islam.
Money & Property:
Earning and making money is a legitimate quest in Islam. But Islam condemns and prohibits riba (usury/interest) and gambling as they are the recipe for hatred and enmity and, accordingly, fraud, corruption and greed.
-Purification in Islam means purity, hygiene and cleansing, which also includes cleanliness of the body, clothing and environment, removing the dirt or grime in various parts of the body.
It also includes purification from impurity (urine, excrement, stool, dogs, pigs, dead bodies, except for fish and insects), istigmar (washing one’s private parts with water or to wipe with something solid and dry, like a stone or toilet paper, after using the bathroom), wudu’ (ablution), ghusl (ritual cleansing of the body), tayammum (dry ablution).
-Amanah (Trustworthiness) is one of the most important ethics of Islam by which man fulfills his responsibilities being God’s trustee on earth. It relates to job responsibilities, social relationships, contractual arrangements, etc.
Verily! Allah does command you to render back trusts to those to whom they are due… (An-Nisa’ 4:58)
-Truthfulness, clearness and telling the truth are from the most important virtues in Islam that as-sidq (the Arabic word used for truthfulness) and its derivations are found in more than a hundred places in the Qur’an.
Also, truthfulness manifested itself in the character, life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad whom people called (even before he became a prophet) As-sadiq Al-Ameen meaning the truthful and trustworthy.
He (peace be upon him) said:
“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al-fajur (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and wickedness leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Kindness and dutifulness are important virtues of a believer.
The Prophet said: “God has ordained kindness (and excellence) in everything. If the killing (of animals) is to be done, do it in the best manner, and when you slaughter, do it in the best manner, sharpen the knife and put the animal at ease.” (Muslim)
- In Islam Dress is put in such a moral code that it should (for both male and female) be clean, tidy, modest, away from showoff and vanity, covering one’s `awrah (the part of the body that should be covered in the presence of people from the other sex with the exception of certain categories).
O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (conceal your private parts, etc.) and as an adornment. (Al-A`raf 7:26)
- Islam puts kindness to parents immediately after worship of God alone. We Muslims should be gentle and kind to our parents, take care of them, always treat them with respect and obey them in any reasonable request that does not go against the teachings of Islam:
Your Lord has decreed, that you worship none save Him, and (that you show) kindness to parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age with you, say not "Fie" unto them nor repulse them, but speak unto them a gracious word. (Al-Israa’ 17:23)
- Islam decrees that parents are responsible for the sustenance of their children and safeguarding their properties. Also, parents are mandated to treat all their children with fairness and justice, not favoring one over another in spending, giving them gifts, etc.
- Keeping ties with one's family is mandatory in Islam that it is even tied to one’s belief in Allah.
The prophet said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should maintain good relation with his kindred.” (Al-Bukhari)
- Islam justly determines women's rights to share in inheritance. The extent of the share is detailed by God Himself in His wisdom and is dependent on the heir's relationship to the deceased.
- Islam gives women's rights equal to that of men; they are entitled to equal rates of pay with men doing similar work.
- In Islam a woman has the right to choose her husband and keep her name after marriage. The role of motherhood and raising children is the most significant role, and that’s because of its importance to society.
The Prophet said: “Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges; a woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them…” (Al-Bukhari)
- Allah created men and women with complimentary natures, and so are their duties in their relationship and responsibilities in building up society.
- Islam commands us to be kind and merciful with all people regardless of race, color or faith. Therefore, Muslims are required to strive to model this behavior in all dealings.
- Islam prohibited and warned against negative behaviors such as lying, fraud, envy, betrayal, fornication, treating others with disrespect and rudeness, and other social diseases.
- Islam teachings include kindness and mercy to animals, birds, plans and environment. Humankind should, as the Prophet taught us, treat all living creatures (animals, birds, sea creatures, and insects) with dignity and due care. Consequently, protecting God’s creatures from pain and undue suffering is paramount.
“The Prophet was asked: ‘Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?’ He said: ‘There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human’. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
- Safeguarding environment is a religious duty. Islam and the Qur’an teach that we are guardians and supporters of the earth.
Islam is very strict that we should handle everything on the face of this earth with mercy, gentleness, respect and great care, and without israf (excessiveness). We are asked to build civilization, keep environment clean and conserve nature resources.
This is how Islam warns against over-consumption:
“The Prophet passed one day by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqas while he was performing wudu' (ritual cleaning of body parts in preparation for prayer). The prophet asked Sa`d: ‘Why is this wastage?" Sa`d replied: ‘Is there wastage in wudu’ also?’ The Prophet said: ‘Yes, even if you are at a flowing river’.” (Ahmad)
- Islam forbids all that is evil; all forms of injustice, oppression, treachery, genocide, torture, violence, and killing innocents and all shameful deeds.
- Mercy is at the heart of Islamic message; it commands justice, humility, gentleness, generosity, mercy to all and particularly to children, women or the aged.
Prophets in Islam
Muslim is obliged to believe in all prophets (peace be upon them all). This belief is part and parcel of the statement of Islamic creed. Thus, to believe in Muhammad one must, accordingly, believe in all the previous prophets leading up to him.
The prophet’s mission is to show the way to God, to tell and explain how salvation can be achieved in this life and the hereafter, how to conduct our lives, what pleases and displeases God, what our role on earth and what our position in the universe at large is, where we are going, how we are accountable before God, what our relationships with one another should be like. These are the things that man needs guidance in.
For We assuredly sent amongst every People an apostle, (with the Command): ‘Serve Allah, and eschew Evil’. (An-Nahl 16:36)
This is the message that all prophets essentially carried:
Are the messengers charged with aught save plain conveyance (of the message)? (An-Nahl 16:35)
Prophet Muhammad is the last of all the prophets and messengers of God through whom the entire mission of prophet-hood was brought to its final most comprehensive and complete format.
Jesus in Islam
Just like the case for many previous prophets in the past, that God sends a prophet when there is a fundamental need for change and a fundamental deviation from the previous message, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was sent.
In the Qur’an, Jesus is regarded as one of the descendents of Prophet Abraham. His mother, the Virgin Mary, was the daughter of `Imran and was a righteous, pious, and devout woman who fulfilled her covenant with God. It was by the will of God that she had a miraculous birth and pregnancy of Jesus without a father:
‘Behold!’ the angels said: ‘O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah. (Aal `Imran 3:45)
- There is no other prophet between Prophet Jesus and Muhammad.
- Like other prophets, Jesus was also given miracles to support his mission. Some of his miracles, in which we- Muslims- believe, include healing, bringing people back from the dead, and knowing what people store in their home. But for each of these the Qur’an quotes Jesus as saying ‘by Allah’s leave’ because God gave him such knowledge and ability.
- He neither was killed nor was crucified. But rather, ‘God raised him unto Himself’. According to the Qur’an, Jesus was not the one put on the cross, no matter how commonly believed it may be.
How to Be a Muslim?
In order for a person to be a Muslim, they would have to confess with conviction of the heart and mind that there is no deity but one God and that Allah is the one and only God of all and that Muhammad is His Messenger. Then they wash, and repent their old sins to God, with the sincere intention of never going back to them.
Then one does the five pillars of Islam:
1-Testifying that there is no true god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
2- Performing prayer
3- Paying the zakah (obligatory alms)
4- Fasting the month of Ramadan
5- Making the pilgrimage to the Sacred House if one is physically and financially able.
Hopefully we can help you learn more about Islam.
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