We are what we choose to become. We should believe that we are able to reach our highest level of inner peace and make ourselves happy Muslims. And so live happy life.
The key to reach our highest level of inner peace and live a happier life is to obey Allah, do what He ordered us to do and stay away from the prohibited things. Allah created us and surely He knows what is best for us. Everything Allah ordered us to do will cause our happiness and inner peace. And staying away from the prohibited things will cause our happiness and inner peace. “Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtile, the Aware.” [Al Mulk 14]
Another problem is that we are always waiting and expecting too much from others although Allah is the only One who returns exponentially. So before reading this article we should give up on this habit. Start strengthening our relationship with Allah and please, appreciate and love ourselves.
So let’s understand how our relationship with Allah should be like? How it affects our inner peace through this simple example:
Think about fasting, we as Muslims fast the whole month of Ramadan and we feel the pains of deprivation. It equips us to have a hope and be optimistic. This is because when we fast we are hoping to please Allah and seeking His Grace. Because we fast only for His sake.
Also we are responsible for our own attitude towards the difficulties we are facing. Also We are responsible for our own ways of embracing ourselves.
Let’s have a look at this simple practice which I always do with my little kid to control and limit my stress and anger levels. In this example I always try to calm down and simplify the problem as much as I can in order not to reduce my inner peace level.
So when my kid is angry because he wants to do something that is not suitable and makes me feel frustrated. I try to take a moment to calm down, take a deep breath. I try to count to 10. Then I give him a paper and a pencil asking him to draw how anger he is. And brainstorm some solutions through drawing them. Yes, as simple as that.
Now let’s move to these great tips that will help us control our own level of happiness:
Make our every-minute jobs just for the sake of Allah
In my opinion, the main barrier to happiness is that we do things to please others. So when they are not pleased, it brings sadness to us. Allah is the One who returns exponentially and everything we do seeking His pleasure does not go unrewarded.
“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. Allah has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence; but approval from Allah is greater. It is that which is the great attainment.” [At Taubah 71-72]
We can always remember to love and accept ourselves just as we are and accept others just as they are. A friend of mine once told me that the most important tip to stay happy is to work on ourselves and it will shine through and never compare our attitudes with others`. Just accept what we have not what we want.
Loving ourselves also means that we should want good for ourselves as well as for others, we should make choices that never harm us, accept the changes in our lives and we should show forgiveness for our mistakes as well as stop blaming others, instead find excuses for them.
Our prophet Muhammad -peace and blessings be upon him- said: “It is not lawful for a Muslim to desert his brother beyond three nights, the one turning one way and the other turning to the other way when they meet, the better of the two is one who is the first to greet the other.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
So also our Islam teaches us that our way to reach our inner peace is to forgive peacefully. And love for others what we love for ourselves.
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” – Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him [Bukhari]
Get up early, do our morning exercises and stick to a healthy breakfast
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.” [Muslim]
It is very important for oneself to feel healthy and strong. Being weak or unhealthy makes us feel a bit gross during our day.
How about we start the day early with a daily exercise routine (try the 7-minute exercise application)to feel energetic and fresh? We also shouldn’t forget to drink as much water as we can during our day.
Pursue excellence at work and try to be good Muslim models
The Prophet said: “Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does something he does it perfectly.” [Al Bukhari]
We should do our best to find our dream job and if we could not find it, we should try to keep giving ourselves new goals, improving and developing our skills and taking new risks.
Remembering that our work no matter how small it is, is great as long as we are doing it for the sake of Allah would draw a smile on our faces during the most pressured work moments. Also, we should try hard to make it beneficial for ourselves and for our Ummah and do our best to be good muslim working models. See also How to be a preacher with your action? and What is Ihsan?
For example, our work as mothers of raising our children is a great job so we should make it our most important task, we are raising great productive leaders which is the hardest task ever so appreciate this task, help other mothers attend courses seeking professionalism and have big goals as long as we are doing it for the sake of Allah.
Learn a new language or a new skill
We need to make time and pursue the things that we want to do. We should get all the available materials, we can use any online resources. Or we can even try to get the online certificate if possible as a reward for ourselves.
We should read a new book and keep ourselves always busy as long as we are breathing.
Do a voluntary work
A great Duaa that makes us feel happy and comfortable is praying to Allah to use us and never replace us.
Generally voluntary work and sharing in the community activities gives us a positive energy to feel happy and of course it is doubled when we do it for the sake of Allah.
We should search for a voluntary group that works on a cause that we as muslims are passionate about.
Or we can simply go and search for people in the streets, smile at them and put a smile on their faces.
We can also play with our kids or go and search for little kids at the garden and make them feel happy and appreciated.
We may also visit our parents and have lunch with them and tell them our silly jokes. This will make them feel happy and appreciated and will definitely make us reach our highest level of happiness.
Our prophet-peace and blessings be upon him- used to spread happiness and joy among people around him
Aisha fondly recalls memories of enjoying races with the Prophet Muhammad and even winning the race when she was young and fit (Ibn Al Jawzi, 68).
We have to spread love and happiness among the people around us and live each moment to the fullest.
For example it might be helpful to ask our spouse to bake a chocolate cake with us. We can make sure to spice it up, laugh at its taste and enjoy the new flavour(try to make it healthy).
We should also, try to extract the joke from our embarrassed situations, laugh at them and keep smiling.
Enrich our soul
“True enrichment does not come through possessing a lot of wealth, but true enrichment is the enrichment of the soul.” [Bukhari]
Allah has created us with two distinct parts our body which is created from the earth and our soul which is created from Allah.
So our bodies being made from the earth need to be fed by the elements of the earth like food. Also our souls being created by Allah need to be fed and satisfied through something from Allah- the Quraan and Dhikr.
“Truly in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Al-Ra’d 28
It’s a great idea to keep reciting Quran on a daily basis. We can also try to slow down when we are doing our prayers till we reach the level of Sakeena.
When we are alone, we can exploit this moment to pray to Allah for all the things we want with Khushoo’ and let our tears out.
Nawafil are a great way to keep close to Allah.
We should always make duaa and ask Allah for whatever we want.
“And your Lord said, “Call on Me, I will respond to you.” [Ghafir 60]
“When it is the last third of the night, our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, descends every night to the heaven of the world and says, ‘Is there anyone who invokes Me (demand anything from Me), that I may respond to his invocation; Is there anyone who asks Me for something that I may give (it to) him; Is there anyone who asks My forgiveness that I may forgive him?’” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
What mostly keeps away happiness from us is that we are not grateful for what we have and we are always jealous of what other people have.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].”[Ibrahim Verse 7]
We can solve that by listing the things that we are grateful to Allah for on a daily basis,. We should be grateful for our health, a special moment, having children,… etc.
“wealth can also be that attitude of gratitude with which we remind ourselves everyday to count our blessings”- Pursuit of happyness.
We should accept the changes in our lives and be sure that we don’t have to be perfect all the time. We have to just be grateful for what we are and what we have and definitely stop comparing ourselves with others.
The most suitable ending for this article, in my opinion, would be this great verse from surah An-Nahl that is very close to my heart:
“Whoever works righteousness — whether male or female — while he (or she) is a true believer (of Islamic Monotheism) verily, to him We will give a good life (in this world with respect, contentment and lawful provision), and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter)”” [An-Nahl, 97]
I would love to read your experiences and practices on how one can control his happiness levels.