Happiness is a matter that is pursued by everyone—whether they are male or female, young or old. All of the people of mankind seek happiness. However, it is a matter which there are only few who actually attain it. Why is this? Only a few actually attain it because most have not followed the legislated ways by which happiness can be attained—except for those whom Allah سبحانه و تعالى has bestowed his mercy upon. Below we shall discuss some of the ways people try to attain happiness.
[This article is derived from notes from Shaykh AbdurRahman Al Omaisan’s Duroos in New York City on June 2014]
From amongst the people there are those who think that happiness can be attained through the amassment of money, and so they spend and exhaust their lifetime and every moment in time in the pursuit of money, and they make it their highest goal and look at it as their greatest accomplishment. And when there is a conflict between attaining money and the matter of worshipping Allah سبحانه و تعالى —they will make the collection of money a higher priority.
What is the result of this on the Day of Judgment? Allah سبحانه و تعالى says they will say:
مَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنِّى مَالِيَهْ
“My wealth has not availed me” (Al-Haqqah 69:28)
“What has my money sufficed? (meaning today). The shaykh comments and says this is actually a negation meaning their money has sufficed them nothing [on the day of judgment].
Then there are those who think happiness can be attained by their status and rank amongst the people, and the fact that the people are pleased with them and big in their eyes. So they seek this status and rank and in the pursuit of this they end up falling short from the legislated duties. They end up causing the wrath of Allah سبحانه و تعالى to descend upon them by focusing on pleasing the people and not fearing the lord of the people.
The result of this of this on the Day of Judgment? Allah سبحانه و تعالى says:
هَلَكَ عَنِّى سُلْطَٰنِيَهْ
“Surely whatever status and power I had my sultan (power) it is no longer with me.” (Al-Haqqah 69:29)
Then there are those who thought that happiness is to be amongst their family and to please their family making sure that their needs are met so that their happiness is fulfilled—whether this is attained through falsehood or truth—or attained through pleasing Allah سبحانه و تعالى or attaining Hiswrath and anger. And so they spend their efforts in pleasing their wives, fathers and mothers even if they have to sin and disobey Allah سبحانه و تعالى to attain this pleasure.
What is the result of this on the Day of Judgment? Allah سبحانه و تعالى says:
يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ ٱلْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ وَأُمِّهِۦ وَأَبِيهِ وَصَٰحِبَتِهِۦ وَبَنِيهِ
“On a Day a man will flee from his brother, and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children.”(Abasa 80:34-36)
The Skaykh comments that there is a wisdom behind Allah سبحانه و تعالى beginning with the mention of the brother before the mother and the father. And this is because a man usually in this life seeks to strengthen himself and bolster himself by his brethren, by his siblings; such that if a man had an older brother and got into a dispute or problem with someone he would sometimes say “I’m going to bring my older brother to deal with you”. And so the first one who would stand and protect you and have your back in this life is the first one to flee from you on the Day of Judgment.
And so these are the ones you will amass and collect money for their sake, and disobey Allah سبحانه و تعالى for their sake [i.e your family]. They shall free themselves and disassociate themselves from you on the Day of Judgment. It is even mentioned that a mother will free herself from her children on that day saying “myself myself first!”. Even if all you have left is a single good deed—no one can come to your aid on that day. And this is because on the Day of Judgment is a day that Allah سبحانه و تعالى has made it in which none shall be able to help another except by the permission of Allah; Allah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Quraan:
مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُۥٓ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِۦ
“Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission?” (Al Baqarah 2:255 [Ayatul Kursi])
Meaning that none can.
Then there are those who say happiness is to be attained in their killing of time. “Let’s kill some time”. In reality, these individuals who end up staying up at night and spending time with congenial company and the like—are just wasting their lives. In the hadith of the Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم, he said:
“Surely from the worst of mankind is an individual who’s lifespan was long, but his deeds were vile” (at-Tirmidhi)
And Allah سبحانه و تعالى says in the Quraan:
وَٱلْعَصْرِ إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسَٰنَ لَفِى خُسْرٍ
“By time, Indeed mankind is in loss” (Al-Asr 103:1-2)
Allah سبحانه و تعالى swears by the time that indeed mankind is in loss, is in ruin. The time that is being sworn here, the Shaykh explains, is time that is to be spent doing good deeds.
The Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم clarified this concept saying:
“There are two gifts of Allah that many of the people are shortchanged regarding: having health and free time (for doing good)” (Sahih al-Bukhari)
The Shaykh explains that the word “shortchanged” in this regard is to lose when profit is actually expected. Imagine if a merchant is told that he can make the best of profits if he sold his merchandise today at the highest prices—that he will make thousands in return; however, he ends up selling it for the cheapest and lowest of prices. The people will tell him that he has been shortchanged for his merchandise. So truly, this time is really your breath and these breaths are limited.
Allah says in the hadith Qudsi:
“Let him who finds good, praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that, blame no one but himself.” (Sahih Muslim)
Insha’Allah we will continue in detail with some of the ways the Shaykh states happiness can be attained including:
- Believing in Allah
- Being generous and kind to the people and expect only from Allah
- Busying yourself with that which is beneficial
- Concerning yourself with the deeds of today
- Looking at those who have less than you
- Having patience
- Being Optimistic
- Being easy-going
[This article was compiled from notes taken from Shaykh Abdurrahman Al-Omaisan’s duroos in New York City on June 2014—The Shaykh utilized an English translator]
Shaykh Abdur-Rahman Al-’Omaisan recently completed his doctorate in ‘aqeedah from the Islamic University of Al-Madeenah and is a well-known student of knowledge.
He is known by many of the scholars of ahlussunnah wal-jamaa’ah – the likes of: Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin Al-’Abbaad, Shaykh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalee, Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeen, Shaykh Salih As-Suhaymee, Shaykh Muhammad bin Ramzaan Al-Haajiree, Shaykh ‘Ali Al-Haddaadee, Shaykh Muhammad bin Haadi Al-Madkhalee, Shaykh Muhammad Al-Fayfee
Compiled by The Salafi TT Team.