Author: Pure Matrimony
I was honoured and privileged to listen to a lecture by Sheikh Waleed Basyouni – an amazing instructor who I very much enjoy learning from alhamdulilah. Below is my summary of the lecture he delivered called ‘10 Tips For Happiness’ which I am sharing with his permission:
When we talk about happiness, it’s important to understand that people vary in what makes them ‘happy’. From an Islamic perspective, let’s not forget that the Prophet SAW was sent as a Mercy to Mankind so we could benefit in every aspect of our lives – including in how we feel. One of the main goals of Islam is to help impart peace and happiness by removing the very things from our lives that sap us from feeling happy. This is important to understand because many people equate being practising to being ‘dull, boring’ and no fun. And this is simply not true.
The Prophet SAW was known for smiling more than anyone, and would often do things to help everyone around him be happy. He would laugh, joke and play with his family and his friends – and they loved him all the more for it. One of his SAW’s primary aims was to impart happiness in everyone around him, and subhan’Allah, 1400 years later, the Prophet SAW’s legacy of inner peace and happiness remains.
Most tips for happiness are almost always focused on what you should do, rather than what you should eliminate from your life. So these 10 tips are a little different to what you might expect, but when you see the wisdom behind them, you’ll understand why they are so powerful in helping you to gain that inner happiness all of us desire.
1.Keeping Away From Sin – This is the number one enemy of happiness and actively robs you of any good. Sins eventually become regret and regret can make you very miserable and ruin your life. Repentance from your sin is key and you need to remember that your sinfulness can never be greater than Allah’s Forgiveness.
2. Hassad (Envy) – Envy is worse than jealousy because not only do you wish you have what someone else does, you also wish that they don’t have it. A person who does hassad doesn’t look at what he or she has, rather they continually focus on what they don’t have. Hassad was the first sin in the heavens because Iblees was envious of Adam – and look where that got him! The true ending of hassad is in the fact that it only destroys and hurts the one who actually does it more than it hurts anyone else. Therefore, a person who does hassad, can never truly be happy.
3. Greed – Greed, like hassad, is the focus on what you haven’t got. A greedy person is never satisfied with what they have, and in the end, they are the ones who lose out on every goodness and happiness in life. It’s not possible to go through life having greed in your heart for everything and be happy because a greedy person always thinks in a state of what’s lacking.
4. Lack of Routine – A routine is helpful to provide structure and balance to your time and to your life. Those who don’t have routine get bored quickly and expect new things all the time. And inevitably, when they don’t or can’t get something new, they feel empty and unhappy.
5. Same old, same old – Being stuck in a rut and having nothing new to look forward to can really eat away at your happiness as boredom and a lack of motivation and desire to want better for yourself sets in. Some people mistaken ‘same old’ for a routine – but that’s not true! Routine provides structure to WHAT it is you do. And if you don’t have something new to challenge you and help you create a new routine, it can really sap your internal energy.
6. Fear & The Victim Mentality – Living in fear keeps you frozen and stuck and prevents you moving on with your life. But this is not the way of a Muslim! Allah SWT wants you to be confident! Fear breeds worry and worry eats up your days and your nights, preventing you from growing and expanding and reaching your true potential.
Allah SWT created us to look forward and not to look back. Of course, we take lessons from our past – but that’s all we take. Lessons are to help us make smarter decisions in life – not to hold us back. A beautiful analogy for fear is like that of an object with a shadow. The shadow of an object is always bigger than the object itself – and so it is with fear.
Fear is also what breeds a ‘victim mentality’, whereby a person always feels hard done by. But this is not what Allah SWT wants us to feel! A person who has a victim mentality has a hard time trusting people – and if you don’t trust, you fear, and fear is what keeps you stuck!
The victim mentality means you rely on sympathy to get things done, rather than putting the effort in yourself… but what you should do instead is focus on earning respect and doing things for yourself. This will give you greater confidence in yourself and will insha’Allah help you to be much happier.
7. Pessimism and Negativity – These two traits kill happiness, because you never focus on the good in a situation, you only focus on the bad. A person who is negative about everything drains energy from everyone else around them. No one likes being around negative people, which means that you feel lonely and this can fuel your unhappiness. If this is you, stop focusing on the downside of everything, and instead look for the good in everything. Try and be optimistic and have hope in the goodness from Allah.
8. Lack of Accomplishments – Not having any accomplishments in life can really leave you feeling empty and lacking in drive and happiness. Setting goals for oneself, no matter how small and actively working towards those goals not only gives you confidence, but also gives you a sense of inner peace and contentment when you accomplish them. The secret is to establish 3-5 goals for yourself and clearly define them… and then follow up with lots of action. Remain focused and be consistent and insha’Allah you will reap the rewards.
9. Arrogance – Arrogance is a horrible trait for anyone to have, and few things sap your happiness faster than being arrogant about something, which if you really think about it, is always as a result of Allah’s blessing for you. We alone can do nothing without Allah’s permission, therefore it makes no sense to be arrogant about the things we think we have achieved. Because we wouldn’t have those things if Allah didn’t will us to. True happiness comes from being grateful to Allah for everything you have. This gives you inner peace and contentment – since you acknowledge everything is from Allah.
Allah says in the Quran:
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.’ ” (Quran 14:7)
Arrogance can lead to you to earn the anger of Allah, and this can really rob you of your happiness. Therefore, remain humble and grateful, and always remind yourself that Allah is in control.
10. Be Proactive About Your Happiness – When you choose to be around people who are positive, caring, content and generally happy, then this will have a positive effect in your life and the lives of others. Something else to think about is your overall attitude towards life.
The fact is, physiology impacts psychology – so SMILE and you’ll feel better instantly. Also remember that no one can truly defeat you except yourself. Plus, after Allah SWT, there really is no one that can make you truly happy EXCEPT you. By keeping your focus on Allah SWT, obeying Him, hastening to His commands and remaining positive in all situations, it’s actually easier to be happy. This is especially true when you realize that as a believer, tests are to purify you and elevate you as long as you are patient, while all good that happens is a blessing from Allah for which you should be thankful. In both scenarios, you win as long as you keep the focus on the positive.
Finally, remember that there are three kinds of people in life:
- Those who make things happen
- Those who ask what happened
- Those who watch things happen
A believer is the one who MAKES things happen and is responsible for their own happiness, because they understand that in life, things will always happen which are outside of your control. You can’t control everything or anyone, but you CAN control yourself and how you choose to be.
Written by Umm Jamal
Pure Matrimony – The World’s Largest Matrimonial Service For Practising Muslims
Sheikh Waleed Basyouni is from Houston, Texas in the USA and is Vice President as well as Head of Department and Instructor at The Al-Magrib Institute.
Find out more about Sheikh Waleed Basyouni through his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ShaykhWaleedBasyouni/