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8 Ways to Have a Happier Life According to Islam

In a world that we are faced with many unexpected and horrifyingly inhuman incidents on a daily basis, one might wonder, how is it possible to be Happy? How can we attain inner peace? Are we born to suffer or to enjoy our lives?

Security, justice, and welfare are three basic needs of every human being to have a better and happier life [xii]. However, providing these three factors is partly the responsibility of the government and the authorities of the society. And it partly depends on each individual.

In a previous article, we considered the ways that can help us overcome depression, anxiety, and stress in detail. Here we want to explore Islamic guidelines for a happier life.

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1. A Less Considered Blessing [i]

One of the first factors in feeling happy in life is to be healthy. Many of us don’t even think about this blessing. When we lose it or find our physical strength not to be as before, then we realize how precious it was.

Islam recommends us to take care of our bodily health through having a healthy diet, eating less, observing personal hygiene, having enough sleep [iii], keeping a regular plan for visiting doctors and going for a checkup [iv], etc.

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2. Spice up Your Life with Fun and Entertainment

To have a happier life, you should balance your time between the activities that you do as your responsibility (e.g., your job, your housework, etc.) and the time that you need to rest and have fun [v].

Enjoying from lawful (Halal) fun is highly recommended in Islam. Since it is an opportunity to gather strength and energy to go back to our daily activities [vi]. As a result, we would become more satisfied and happy with our life.   

Some recommended fun activities in Islam are horse-riding, shooting, swimming, knitting, telling jokes, traveling [xiii], etc.

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3. Add Beauty to Your Life

Sometimes even looking at a beautiful scene or breathing a pleasant smell can cheer us up. So, for example, dedicating a time to explore nature can be a good idea to revive ourselves and bring hope and happiness to our life [vii]. According to Imam Kazim (AS): “Three things enlighten the eye: looking at greenery, flowing water, and a beautiful face” [6]. Obviously, here “enlightening the eye” means freshening the soul and revitalizing the mind.  

4. Share Your Life with a Lifelong Companion

One of the places in which one can find his/her inner peace and feel happy and relaxed is the family. One of the main reasons that marriage is so much recommended in Islam [viii] is because of this relaxing effect that it will have on both husband and wife. Talking to the spouse and sharing feelings with each other can relieve the soul from everyday stresses and misfortunes.

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5. Visit Your Friends and Relatives Regularly

Seeing a familiar and friendly face is always heart-warming. So, it is a good idea to visit your relatives or invite them to your house, for example, once a week. When you talk to your friends and family and spend time with them, even for a few hours, you will forget about your everyday issues. Even better, you may find solutions to your problems by sharing them with your relatives and friends.

This was among one of the most common manners of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) [xi] as well as the twelve Imams. Once, Imam Ali (AS) appeared to be depressed. A person enquired the reason, and he answered: “It’s been seven days that I did not have any guests in my house”[10].  

6. Goodness Brings Goodness

Positivity and kindness act like a boomerang. You spread the goodness and in return, receive goodness. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) puts: “When goodness resides in you, your heart finds assurance. But, when sin enters your soul, your heart becomes full of doubt and restlessness”[17]. Usually, when we do a good thing, we feel better about ourselves, and that makes us happier with our life. We feel useful and as a result more hopeful.

Moreover, being good-tempered and having a positive attitude toward other people is another characteristic that in the long run, will help us experience a happier life [xiii]. Sometimes, when we let go of grudges and empty our heart and mind from the anger and hatred we feel, we experience a feeling of blissful peace and relief [xiv].

Also, avoiding some immoral behaviors such as lying, backbiting, unlawful (Haram) relationships, not controlling the glance when seeing a non-Mahram, etc. will bring us a life of positivity and peacefulness [xv].

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7. Hearts Find Peace by the Remembrance of Allah [ii] 

Another way to reach happiness and satisfaction is to talk to the creator of the world, the merciful Allah. Worshiping and praying Allah is always recommended in times of hardships [ix]. Since it will remind us of the One who is present all the time and we can rely on, no matter how big our problem is. So, this feeling of security will relieve our soul from any anxiety, and we will become happier and feel more at peace. 

8. What is it that makes us Unhappy? 

On the contrary, some activities may momentarily make us feel happy. Since they don’t have any benefit for our mind and soul, they will finally make us even sadder and more depressed. These are:

1. Occupying yourself with pointless activities and debauchery 

2. Repeating the same mistake or sin (no matter how fun it may seem) over and over again

3. Engaging in aimless talks and conversations

4. Keeping company with corrupt and indecent people

5. Being irresponsible toward your commitments

6. Losing opportunities and wasting time [7]

7. Being highly concerned about financial issues [x]

Happiness Takes Time and Effort

These and many other guidelines help us in reaching a peaceful life. However, we should note that being happy is not a sudden revelation, but a gradual process. It takes time and effort and requires determination. It is the result of so many factors such as physical health, marriage, keeping company with nature, traveling, having fun, praying, having a good job, etc. Many of these factors have been highly recommended in Islamic sources and narrations (Hadith), as prerequisites for a happier life. Happiness does not come around easily and suddenly; it is on us to bring it around. 

 

Notes:

[i] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Two blessings are unknown among people: safety and health” [1].

[ii] (13:28(

Imam Sajjad (AS) said: “ O’ Allah, hearts don’t find peace except with your remembrance and souls don’t reach peacefulness except with seeing you” [15]

[iii] Imam Reza (AS) said: “[Enough and on-time] sleep, strengthens the body” [2].

Imam Sadeq (AS) said: “Sleep brings peace to the body, speaking brings peace to the soul, and silence brings peace to mind” [14]

[iv] Imam Ali (AS) said: “Whoever conceals his/her illness from a doctor, has betrayed his/her body” [3].

[v] Imam Kazim (AS) said: “ Try to divide your daily routine into four parts: one for supplicating to Allah, one for providing life expenses, one for keeping company with reliable and pure-hearted friends, and one part for enjoying from lawful (Halal) fun” [4].

[vi] Imam Ali (AS): “ The times of joy and cheerfulness are best opportunities for revitalizing body and soul” [5].

[vii] Imam Ali (AS) said: “Looking at nature would bring happiness, joy, and liveliness.”

[viii] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “There is no dearer and more valuable foundation in Islam for Allah, other than marriage [and family]” [8]

[ix] “O you who have faith! Take recourse in patience and prayer…” (2:153)

[x] Imam Sadeq (AS) said: “ I looked for the peace of heart and found it in having less money” [9].

Imam Ali (AS) said: “Whoever contents with what he/she has, will reach comfort and harmony, and have a better life” [13] 

[xi] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Make every day a new day if you can. Meaning that, give presents to each other and make bonds with each other, for the sake of Allah.” 

[xii] Imam Sadeq (AS) said: “ There are three things that every person needs to have; these are security, justice and welfare” [12]

[xiii] Imam Ali (AS) said: “ In order to reach greatness, travel outside your homeland, since there are five advantages of it: ‘ relieving from sadness, gaining money and knowledge, getting familiar with [other] lifestyles and having the chance to accompany with great figures” [16].

[xiii] Imam Ali (AS) said: “ Being optimistic toward others, results in the peace of heart and decency of religion” [18]

[xiv] Imam Ali (AS) said: “ The one who is good-tempered, will have a better and more decent life” [19]

[xv] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Truthfulness brings peace and lying brings stress and anxiety” [20].

Imam Ali (AS): “The one who lowers his/her gaze [in front of a non-Mahram] will find peace in his/her heart” [21].

 

References:

[1] Fattal Neyshaburi,  Rawdat al-wa'izin wa basirat al-mutta'izin, p.472.

[2] Bihar al-Anvar, vol.59, p.141.

[3] Ali ib Abi Talib, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 484.

[4] Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'uqul, p.409.

[5] Ali ib Abi Talib, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 319.

[6] Shaikh al-Hur al-Aamili, Wasā'il al-Shīʿa, vol.20, p.60.

[7] Javadi al-Amoli, Mafatih al-Hayat, pp. 135-137.

[8] Bihar al-Anvar, p.103.

[9] Mustadrak al-Wasail, vol. 12, p.174.

[10] Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Shahrashub, Manaqib Al Abi Talib, vol.2, p.73.   

[11] Qadi Nu'man, Da'a'im al-Islam, vol.2, p.326.

[12] Ibn Shu'ba al-Harrani, Tuhaf al-'uqul, p.320.  

[13] Usul al-Kafi, vol.8, p.19.  

[14] Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Kitab man la yahduruh al-faqih, vol.4, p.402, Hadith no. 5865.  

[15] Bihar al-Anvar, vol. 91, p. 151.  

[16] Mustadrak al-Wasail, vol.8, p.115.

[17] Ibn Abi al-Hadid, An Interpretation of Nahj al-Balaghah, vol.20, p.299, Hadith no. 415.  

[18] Ali ib Abi Talib, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p.253, Hadith no. 5322  

[19] Ali ib Abi Talib, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p.299, Hadith no. 6774.

[20] Abu l-Qasim Payandeh, Nahj al-fasaha, p.548, Hadith no.1864.  

[21] Ali ib Abi Talib, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 260, Hadith no.5555.  

 

 

 

 

 

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