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The Pursuit of Happiness

Books I'm reading: You can be the Happiest Woman in the World

The pursuit of happiness is something that drives us all, no matter where we live or what our circumstance in life is. In his book, Dr al-Qarni explores the path to finding happiness, or at least tasting it. Life will never be perfect (that will only happen in Paradise), but it’s within out ability, with the help of Allah, to make the most of what we have in thie world and to attain a level of contentment no matter what our life’s bingo is.

Chapter One: Welcomings
Welcome Oh devout Muslim, you who pray, fast (as much as you can or remember), you who are dignified and observe hijab, are intelligent, patient with others, loyal, trustworthy. Welcome oh Muslim who follows the footsteps of ‘Asiyah, Maryam and Khadija, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar ibn Khattab and Muhammad.
*in Willy Wonka voice* Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Right first up, before you begin to feel overwhelmed with holy Muslimness, note that I am human and will make mistakes as a Muslim, therefore in owning to this I expect a little reciprocation from the reader – you are not perfect and will have hidden baggage also. In reading this, please don’t see it as me typing down to you in arrogance, or up to you in subservience.

When to say Yes and No

  • Yes to – smiling, be sincere, smile toe veryone, avoid blushing winking smiles to the opposite sex, but do smile, it’s a Sunnah. If you’re not happy right now, and can’t smile, fake it. Smiles are like perfumes, they fade away from you but others are blessed by its effect.
  • Yes to – kind words. If you’ve nothing good to say, really, keep quiet.
  • Yes to – sitting with the Qur’an, befriending it, reciting it, understanding what’s written for you, acting upon the commands. This is called taqwah – God conciousness and implementing the commands set by Allah living, and actively avoiding those that are prohibited.
  • Yes to – modesty; people, this covers your dress, behaviour, speech and interaction with others. It is self protection.
  • Yes to – friendhip with good people, who love and fear Allah, love living Islam and repect high values. The saying that your friends are your religion isn’t exaggeration; hang around with chavs and you turn into one, hang around with politicians and you end up in office scandals. Pick your companions carefully.
  • Yes to – honouring your parents. Even if they are annoying, repressing, rude, non-Muslim or just crazy people, they are your parents because Allah made them for you. So long as they don’t ask you to deny Allah, respect them. Grit your teeth.
  • Yes to – remembering Allah often, daily. Persist in du`a, offer sincere repentance (even if you think you are right) and read on who Allah is.
  • No to – wasting your time in revenge and trivial pursuits or popularity. It ain’t worth it.
  • No to – prioritisting your wealth over your health, happiness and peace of mind. It ain’t worth it.
  • No to – wasting time with shallow people, seeking out others’ faults and backbiting. Think of your own!
  • No to – indulding in every physical pleasure possible. The key is moderation, and halal pleasure only.
  • No to – haram incomes, food, disorganization, unhygienic living and general sloth. Yackety yack. The last action of Muhammad ﷺ was to use the miswak. Now think of all those cavities you racked up despite being blessed with ‘the world’s whitest fluoride plaque fighting anti-cavity toothpaste’.
  • No to – thinking of past calamities. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. What’s happened, happened, make sincere taubah, move on. Have few regrets.
  • No to – forgetting the next life, your death and neglecting to strive for it. Avoid thinking that tomorrow will come, what if tomorrow never comes? You will die. It’s certain. You will see Allah. That is certain too. And you will see Hell and Heaven. Think about where you hope to go, and how you plan on getting there.
  • No to – extravagant living, wasting your moolah and ignoring Allah. He doesn’t need your attention, you really need His.
Okay? Mull over that insha-Allah.

1 comment:

  1. Ma'sha'allah, this was a great review of Chapter 1 of what sounds like a great book to read. Looking forward to the next part! Jazak'Allahu Khairan for sharin' dear Sr. Zaufishan :-)


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