Khutbah – Friday 15 April 2016 – The Attainment of Happiness (Tahsil as sa’ada) by Dr. Muhammad Rafiq Khan

rafiqThe Pivotal role of the month of Rajab

Friday 15 April 2016/6th Rajab 1437

In The Name Of Allah Most Gracious Most Merciful

We Beseech of Allah To Send His Choicest Blessings,

Peace and Salutations Upon Our Leader and Master Muhammad (S.A.W).

 

Introduction

 

All our Thanks and Praises are due to Allah (SWT), Who is our Lord, our Creator, our Cherisher and our Sustainer. Allah is known to us as As- Salam (The Saviour), Al Mu’min (The One Who Secures), and Al Muhaymin (The Revealer). He is the Ultimate Source of all our Peace, Happiness and Contentment. We beseech of Allah Almighty to place His Choicest Blessings and Salutations upon His Beloved Rasul, Our Leader and Master Muhammad (SAW).

 

I am deeply humbled by the opportunity afforded to address this congregation today. It is fortuitous that today’s khutbah coincides with the first occasion of Jumuah during this Blessed month of Rajab, the seventh month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. There are many Prophetic traditions which exhort us to observe this month with increased acts of worship and piety and strive to advance spiritually in preparation for the Holy Month of Ramadan.

 

There are traditions which state that Rajab is the Month of Allah or Shahrullah, Sha’ban , the intervening month is Shahrun Nabi or the most beloved month of the Prophet of Allah whereas Ramadan is Shahrul Ummah or the month of the Ummah, a month for all of us. From this perspective, there are special rewards and stations of honour for those who strive to cultivate a special relationship with their Creator during this month of Rajab. Thus when Ramadan is imminent they are ready to maximize the gains one can attain during this most Holy Month of sacrifice and introspection.

 

I mention this because these three lunar months are usually the time of the year when a palpable spiritual reawakening and realignment takes place. We pivot towards living a more conscious and mindful existence. We do this year in and year out. We are less materialistically inclined. We consume less. We become more reflective. We focus on the inner or spiritual aspect of our being, something which is neglected throughout the year.

 

Iftar, a moment of Happiness

 

I am intrigued by the great sense of joy and happiness we all experience everyday when we break our fast at dusk as well as on the day of I’dd ul fitr. We deny ourselves any food, drink and intimacy to achieve a sense of happiness whilst ordinarily these are the very elements necessary to sustain our lives. Yet it is also a rather pertinent observation, that in formulating our intention to fast, we do not focus on achieving happiness as an outcome or as an end point, but couch it in terms of an act of worship which is performed solely to attain Divine Pleasure; it is a willing sacrifice of an obedient servant to his or her Lord; in this sense achieving a sense of happiness (sa’ada) and joy (farah) and contentment (rida) is but a by product of pursuing a much greater goal.

 

Spirituality, link with Happiness?

 

It is my aim in this presentation, to explore in some detail, the link between cultivating a higher level of spiritual consciousness and experiencing happiness especially during these Sacred months and beyond. I do this for two reasons. First of which is to debunk the idea that we are a marginalized community who has lost its sense of direction and purpose, and who finds satisfaction in violence, acts of terror and has simply forgotten how to live in happiness, peace and harmony with itself and others. Secondly, I want to focus on this topic for many of us are simply unaware of the vast richness of our intellectual tradition; in years gone by, the pursuit and attainment of happiness was an active area of focus and attention for many Muslim Philosophers, Sages, Poets, Scholars and Spiritualists alike. Their understanding of rahma, or compassion as a key term in the understanding of our din, and especially rahma towards oneself, or self-compassion, was I believe, the motivating force shaping a unique understanding of happiness or sa’ada based on our foundational sources.

 

Happiness, Worldly or Transcendent?

 

Most Muslims believe that the end point of all that they strive for is the Hereafter and that this earthly existence is not their eternal abode. This belief, whilst essentially correct, if left undeveloped and unexplored can lead to a poorer understanding of why we are here on this earth in the first place. This ignorance and lack of perception is so pervasive and so structured into our forms of thinking and perception that we fail to realise what a negative impact it has on the quality of lives we lead. Let us say it clearly and without any fear of contradiction; We are not destined to be unhappy on earth. It is our right to be happy and to share this state of happiness or sa’ada or variously as the Qur’an describes it as falah, surur, faraha,or evens radiyya with whomsoever we come into contact with.

 

A happy person is different from a sad person. You might say that is so obvious. Yet to distinguish between the two can be a very difficult if you yourselves are drowned in a state of unhappiness and despair. It reminds me of a nugget of wisdom I gathered at a mental health workshop; doctors who themselves are depressed, do not diagnose depression in their patients. The people they see everyday are the latest expression to them of what the accepted version of normal is like. Similarly, if we are unaware of our own unhappiness, we fail to become conscious of the deep seated pain, anguish and unhappiness of others.

 

Happiness and Unconditional Love

 

For a child that is growing up, the unconditional love, kindness and attention a parent gives to a child is the most important element he or she needs to be able to experience what Divine Love is one day. A child’s first experience of love, of being accepted as they are, comes from their parents. If they fail to achieve that, they will be searching painfully throughout their lives, trying desperately to soothe that aching sense of loneliness and assuage that painful lack of self-esteem. Yet the love a mother and father has for a child, is in no way comparable to the Limitless Ocean of Love that is Divine Love. It is an understanding of this concept of Divine Love, or the Love Allah has for His Creation, How He Created us, Sustains us, Cares for us, is at all times Cognizant of all our needs and, Who is Lovingly waiting for us to return to Him, is I believe, at the very heart of our search for true happiness or sa’ada in Islam.

 

Rajab, Shahru-Allah

 

It for this reason that the month of Rajab acquires such a fundamental importance in our spiritual quest and development. It is Shahrul lah, the month of Allah. We must focus our attention on this prime relationship we must have with our Creator…

 

Alas, we are weak individuals. We know not what to utter, we know not how to speak to Him, we know not what to ask for; when we say something we may expose our weaknesses evens further. It is here that we draw inspiration from the Prophets and pious saints whom Allah has sent to us as bearers of glad tidings, as role models to teach us how to reach Allah’s Divine Pleasure.

 

I was astounded by the degree of authenticity, of spiritual beauty and intelligence and utter humility so beautifully expressed in one of the supplications for the nights of Rajab suggested by the Spiritual Masters of the Tariqa Naqshbandiyya

 

Oh my Lord, I am moving and stepping forward for the Station of Annihilation.

Oh Allah (Glory be to Thee Most High), I am asking Thee to cause me to vanish in Thy Existence and, O my Lord, I am moving toward Thy Ocean of Unity, The Ocean of Wahdaniyya.

Oh my Lord, Do not reject me until I reach the Unique Station.

Oh my Lord, since this month is your month, I come to Thee as a weak guest intending to worship without asking anything in return.

My aim, my goal is Thou and that is why I am coming.

Please do not reject me.

Oh my Lord, I say in all humility that it is as if I had spent all my life in disobedience, hidden polytheism and bad behaviour, and I am declaring wholeheartedly that I did not do any deed that is accepted by Thee.

Thou art Allah Who never threw away anyone that came to Thy door.

Thou art Allah, and no one came to Thy door by his deeds but only Thy Grant and reward, Oh Allah.

 

There are a great many dimensions to our faith or din; it is a limitless treasure trove, awaiting discovery as it can lead us to greater heights of spiritual, moral and, ethical refinement. It impacts on every conceivable aspect of our lives, each of which will carry the hallmark of happiness.

 

Once we have tasted what contentment, joy and happiness is all about, it qualitatively impacts on the kind of ibadat, (worship) we offer to our Lord. We can come to Him when we are in pain or in need, or feel a deep sense of guilt about what we have done and have now become so overwhelmed by the shame we have brought upon ourselves; His Tenderness and Mercy is such that He will not refuse us. Yet we can also come to him out of Gratitude and express our heartfelt Thanks and Praises for His Kindness and Generosity.

 

If we take the moral responsibility to cultivate happiness and contentment and joy and pleasure for ourselves and our dear ones, we lay the foundation to approach Allah joyfully out of gratitude; our salah becomes a joy and not a chore. We begin to emulate the Prophetic example of standing many hours in devotion and prayer, a true a’b dan shakur, becoming a truly grateful servant.

 

Defining Happiness

 

There is no universally acceptable definition of it to start with and happiness itself is a multi-layered concept. Happiness is so easily confused with pleasure. Happiness is a state of heart and mind; it is highly subjective and cannot be captured in a moment. It is something which you can say you either had or did not have after only after a period of reflection. It is a state of being and not an event or moment in your lives.

 

When asked what makes them happy, all people irrespective of where they come from, will invariably, cite wealth, sensual pleasure, power, and good human relations as things which make them happy, whilst others will cite prayer, acquiring wisdom, understanding, knowledge and feasting the senses with expressions of beauty as instances giving them a sense of happiness.

 

Ultimately what is considered as real happiness, and this applies across all geographical, historical, cultural, religious and philosophical boundaries, is dependent on the worldview or weltanschauung of each culture. Thus Islam being at once a religion, a worldview, a way of life, a culture and a civilization, is no exception in this regard.

 

Enduring happiness, Divine Gift

 

If there are two distinguishing features which characterise the pursuit and attainment of happiness in Islam and which puts its understanding in a unique category, is its insistence on promoting an enduring, abiding and permanent expression of happiness as opposed to a transient manifestation of it which often gives it a hedonistic or pleasure seeking expression. Happiness, like love, wisdom, personality, gravitas, charisma, health, temperance, sagacity etc. are all Divine Gifts bestowed by our Creator in a mode, measure and manner as determined by Him.

 

Happiness, Pleasure and Purpose

 

If happiness does not equal pleasure, it is also never given its fullest expression without pleasure. It brings pleasure to see a little baby smiling; yet a crying infant who needs a diaper change, is unable to muster a smile, and is in need of care; somebody has got to make it their purpose to attend to this child, to soothe and comfort him and thus restore his status to one of pleasure and happiness. We sacrifice our pleasure by doing something purposeful in the hope that a child growing up un-neglected will be more emotionally balanced one day. Pleasure and purpose thus goes hand in hand and both are destined to give us a sense of happiness and contentment. We are either the recipients of pleasure or give pleasure to others by our selfless sacrifice and purposive behaviour. This is a conscious and deliberate choice that will bring us both pleasure and meaning in our lives so that we can experience maximum happiness.

 

Huzn, happiness contrasted

 

It is an integral part of Qur’anic wisdom not only to describe a concept but also to contrast it with its opposite. This leads to greater emphasis upon and deeper understanding of the word or idea described. Nowhere do we find a better expression of this aspect of Qur’anic style than with the following verse

 

“ Behold! Truly the friends of God (awliya Allah), no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve “ (10.62).

 

The Qur’an uses the term huzn or sorrow to contrast it with farah or rejoicing and rejoice. Implicit in the usage of this word is a mechanism of how one should overcome the opposite of happiness or grieving and sorrow and how one should transcend fear. Syed Hossein Nasr puts it so succinctly

 

The person who is content with God, and with whom God is content, fears nothing in this world; that person is God’s friend, and what fear can such a person have of anything, since God is a Friend, in fact the Friend?

 

There are few things in this world more beautiful than when two individuals declare their love and commitment to one another; equally so, there are few things more painful than when this Allah-given sincere love and affection for another human being is rebuffed by an obnoxious jilt. There are many examples of such incidents in our daily experience. Just how do you transcend such pain? How do you deal with an unfaithful spouse? A dishonest business partner? An unscrupulous researcher who plagiarizes your original ideas?

 

Happiness is not a state of heart and mind you can truly experience by yourself only. Happiness is only truly experienced when it is shared. Unhappiness on the other hand is traumatic and deeply personal at times. Deep loss, disappointment and unethical behaviour is the root cause of much unhappiness. The Qur’anic answer for such instances is to find contentment in Allah’s will. Sa’ada is not the only Qur’anic term to describe happiness. An interesting cluster of terms related to the root rdy, which is usually translated as contentment as it appears in Q89: 27;30

 

“O thou soul at peace! Return unto thy Lord, content (radiyyatan), contented (mardiyyatan). Enter among my servants. Enter my Garden (jannati).”

 

In the above qouted verse “content” means, ultimately, both for the soul to be content with Allah and with itself. This supreme state of spiritual happiness and contentment can also be attained in this life through spiritual practice. A human being can live inwardly within him or herself whilst still walking on the surface of this earth. It is for this reason that the Sufis so often stress the state of contentment and consider the station or maqam of rida, or contentment, one of the highest stations to be attained in the spiritual journey.

 

Reconciling our will with the will of the Divine is simply another way of putting across this idea. We do not allow any setbacks to impact on our level of happiness. We act with the fullest of confidence that Allah knows our plight. He in His Infinite Generosity will more than compensate us for our patient perseverance in the face of sadness and sorrow.

 

Communal, Public Happiness

 

Yet the acquisition of happiness or sa’ada must never be seen as an individual or personal affair only. What about our collective happiness? Happiness within broader extended families, neighbourhoods, cities, or nations?

 

Every year, since 2011, The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network has been publishing the World Happiness Report. Many governments and community organizations are using happiness data and the results of subjective well being research findings to enable policies that support better lives. They argue that happiness provides a better indicator of human welfare than does income, poverty, education, health and good government measured separately. They find that people are happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness. They also find that happiness inequality has increased significantly in most countries, in almost all global regions, and for the population of the world as a whole.

 

Happiness, A Geographic Fault?

 

Happiness seems to be a long way from the equator.  According to the new World Happiness Report 2015, the 10 happiest counties were Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia. Except for war-torn Syria and Afghanistan, the 10 unhappiest countries are all in Sub Saharan Africa. Sadly for us as Muslims, no Muslim majority nation features anywhere near the top ranked happiest nations of the world, evens in those awash with much material wealth from natural resources extracted from the soil.

 

Is it a mere coincidence that this particular distribution of happiness as measured above is skewed towards the more, wealthier Northern hemispheric countries, particularly in Europe and America? Is their definition of happiness a universally acceptable one? What about the deeper underlying philosophical and historical basis which informs current understanding of happiness in these societies? What about their emphasis on happiness as mere hedonistic notions of pleasure and absence of pain, of prioritizing individual rights above common good? Is the world simply full of autonomous individuals who, instead of cooperating for common good, were inclined toward conflict-leading to a “war of all against all” in which life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” as the Enlightenment philosopher Thomas Hobbes would have us believe?

 

 

Alternate Views and Models for Shaping Happiness

 

Is there a different way of conceptualizing human society vis a vis our common quest for happiness? Indeed, there are many views which are gaining currency these days. It is here where Muslims can make a very unique contribution towards the global quest for increased happiness and less inequality in happiness as seen in so many areas of the world these days.

 

I am thinking here of Ariana Huffington’s ground breaking Thrive –The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life. Drawing on the latest research and scientific findings in psychology, sports science, sleep medicine and physiology she shows the profound effects on the quality of our lives of meditation, mindfulness, sound sleep, living a life unplugged from the incessant barrage of the social media and the internet and encouraging the growth of a culture of giving and sharing. It is no longer cool to say that “I am busy”, overworking ourselves, suffering from stress and burnout and on top of it all to carry this depleted status like a badge of honour.  We can interpret all those positive features she advocates within our own cultural setting by substituting the above with thikr, practicing sound sleep hygiene, making tafakkur on Allah’s Creation which we are surrounded by, developing a new routine to our daily existence starting with the pre-dawn prayer, letting our daily work and interaction with others be structured according to the rhythm offered by prioritizing the observance of the five waqts or prayer times as fixed features of our daily activity schedule; last but not least, giving the practice of sadaqa and, service to others, or hidhma, a more concrete expression.

 

I am thinking here also of Matthieu Ricard’s, Happiness a Guide to developing Life’s Most Important Skill. Based on a Buddhist perspective, but skilfully incorporating some of the latest findings in neuro science and studies on human cognition, he shows how simple exercises to still the mind can help us get off the roller coaster ride of the toxic, self –harming nature of anger, envy and other behaviours which are destructive to our happiness instead of experiencing the pleasure of being calmly alive and aware. There are other voices from the field of positive psychology, philosophy and new age movement trends that make equally strident claims of having the panacea for perpetual happiness within their grasp.

 

When we read some of this literature we as Muslims must avoid the temptation of thinking that we are latecomers to these debates of how to promote happiness and create an environment in which we can thrive and not simply survive.

 

Tahsil as sa’ada,   Attainment of Happiness

 

In the Islamic Wisdom tradition, which includes commentaries on the Qur’an, Hadith, Gnosis, Mysticism, philosophy, theology and the cosmological sciences, there are many extant works which amply treat the subject of happiness or sa’ada. Just a cursory glance at some of the titles in this genre is sufficient proof of the importance past scholars gave to this topic. I refer here to al-Farabi’s Tahsil as sa’ada, (The Attainment of Happiness), Tartib as sa’ada ( The Order of Happiness) by Miskaway, some chapters devoted to this topic in Ibn Arabi’s Futuhat Makkah, as well as of course al Ghazzali’s famous Kimiya-yi say’adat (The Alchemy of Happiness)

 

Let me just quote to you two short representative samples from some of the sources cited above.

 

Al Ghazali in his Alchemy of Happiness states

 

“How does one know that the happiness of a human being is in the knowledge of God-The Exalted?” Know that this becomes known if you become aware that the happiness of each thing is in what it finds pleasure. And the pleasure of each thing is in that it be in accordance with its nature. And that which is in accordance with its nature is that for which it was created, so that the pleasure of passion is in reaching the object of its desire; and the pleasure of anger is in taking revenge from the enemy. The pleasure of the eye is to see beautiful forms and that of the ear to hear beautiful songs and melodies. Likewise, the pleasure of the heart is in that which characterizes it and it has been created for that characteristic which is knowledge of the truth of things.

 

Thus according to al Ghazzali, there are different kinds and degrees of happiness which he associates with pleasure and which are available to man; it is knowledge of God which stands at the apex of this hierarchy. Real happiness or Sa’ada for al Ghazzali is identified with knowledge of that which is abiding or enduring and, at the highest level that refers to knowledge of God.

 

Similarly, Ibn ‘Arabi, in his Futuhat Makkah also reflects on the theme of Sa’ada. According to him, everything in this world is a reflection of some of the Divine Names. The reflections of Names related to Divine Wrath lead to wretchedness (shiqa’), and those related to Divine Mercy lead to happiness or felicity (Sa’ada). Authentic knowledge leads to salvation and deliverance (najah), which is, itself, happiness and avoidance of wretchedness. It is the nature of this kind of knowledge to lead man back to Allah through the path of happiness and felicity, and any knowledge that does do so is not knowledge but what Ibn ‘Arabi calls “opinion”, “conjecture” or “surmise”.

 

Just how does one attain to this beneficial knowledge of God and attain the blissful state of Sa’ada?

 

Rajaba

 

It is here I believe that the current month of Rajab we find ourselves in plays such a pivotal role. Derived from the word rajaba which means to respect or to revere or to fear, it is also known as Shahrul lah or the month of Allah. it asks of us to strive to create a heightened sense of Allah consciousness.

 

Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Scholar, puts it as follows;

 

Those of us who are on full alert with prayers, supplications, and glorifications within the month of Rajab, attain a pure pleasure of a wonderful spectacle. Everyone speaks in an elevated manner and style; a majestic look, awe for the Divine, and the joy of hope is on our faces.

 

Communication between each and every individual is established through the medium of the heart, improper behaviour decreases, and people unload all their worldly burdens and rise to spiritual joy as if on an Ascension. The splendour overflowing from their souls and the colourful refinement on their faces reach such lofty levels that they can soften even the most hardened of hearts and extract elegance from them.

 

Nights evolve into mystical form and inspire brilliant thoughts as Rajab begins. Each moment becomes a gateway to the Divine and infuses us with hope and heavenly fancies, appealing to our desire for the infinite. Our silent feelings are awakened and remarkable thoughts of happiness are voiced in an extraordinary expression.

 

Rajab, critical communication

 

Rajab for me is all about starting a critical communication within ourselves and giving it its fullest expression when we turn to our Creator in supplication.

 

But alas just where do we begin this onerous task and who besides the Prophet of Allah do we take as our best role model to guide our behaviour such that we too may savour some of the delights this month of Rajab has to offer?

 

The Prophet of Allah taught us how to relate to our Creator. He gives voice to our innermost fears of inadequacy, frailty and, fear that our parlous spiritual state might not make us worthy recipients of Divine Succour.

 

He informs us through various authentic traditions how to relate to our Creator, how to form an idea just Who Our Creator is and what his Names and Attributes are. The greater this knowledge the closer we are to Him and the more we become recipients of Happiness as a Divine Blessing in our lives.

 

Three traditions

 

Hadith 1.     Narrated / Authority of: Abu Dhar

Allah’s Messenger said that Allah said: He who comes with a good deed, its reward will be ten like that or even more. And he who comes with vice, his reward will be only one like that, or I can forgive him. He who draws close to Me a hand’s span, I will draw close to him an arm’s length. And whoever draws near Me an arm’s length, I will draw near him a fathom’s length. And whoever comes to Me walking, I will go to him running. And whoever faces Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, I will meet him with forgiveness nearly as great as that, provided he does not worship something with me. (This Hadith is sound and reported by Muslim, Ibn Majah and Ahmad in his Musnad). Another prophetic tradition says: (He who met Allah associating anything with Him, will enter Hell) (Muslim)

 

Hadith 2

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah the Almighty said:

‘I am as My servant thinks I am (1). I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself; and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm’s length, I draw near to him a fathom’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.”

Another possible rendering of the Arabic is: ‘I am as My servant expects Me to be.’ The meaning is that forgiveness and acceptance of repentance by the Almighty is subject to His servant truly believing that He is forgiving and merciful. However, not to accompany such belief with right action would be to mock the Almighty.

It was related by al-Buhkari (also by Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn-Majah).

 

Hadith 3.

 

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said:

‘If My servant likes to meet Me, I like to meet him; and if he dislikes to meet Me, I dislike to meet him.’”

 

  • What are the key ideas which emanate from reading just three traditions and how relevant are they to our discussion today?

 

  • There is Divine reciprocity for whatever deed we do. If we undertake the initiative to reach toward Allah, we will get rewarded, guided and blessed beyond measure. The basis of our meeting with our Lord in prayer and supplication is with Love and enthusiasm and willing surrender and submission; if our motives are not sincerely for Allah, our supplications and prayers lack integrity and hence we will not gain the intended benefits.

 

Heightened Spirituality, Social interaction and Happiness.

 

Our happiness, or lack thereof, is based on our interaction with others. How well we deal with people is a reflection of our deeper consciousness of the higher ethical demands of our faith commitment. If we take leave of the fact that Allah is All Seeing, All Hearing and, All Knowing we will commit anything under the sun, reassuring ourselves that we can get away with it. A heightened spiritual consciousness, makes us honest and trustworthy; we become people of integrity and of those whose word is their honour. Are these not the vital elements needed to ensure we have happy, joyful and contented interactions with others?

 

Conclusion

 

It is during this month of Rajab that we have to take the advantage of returning to Allah; this is His month; If we honour Him by avoiding anything which compromises our moral and spiritual integrity, strive towards purifying ourselves of any sinful tendencies by constant istighfar (seeking Divine Forgiveness), Happines or Sa’ada will be just one of the many celestial benefits we will enjoy. By aligning our thoughts, hopes, aspirations desires and actions in accordance with what pleases Allah, as we do with our fasting on our daily basis during the month of Ramadan, we will experience that joy, felicity and happiness which need not be just a transient experience at the time of iftar.

 

It is our accentuated spirituality during these months that gives us the ability to transcend those who are vicious, less than ethical, damaging and toxic in their relationship with us. A heightened spirituality teaches us to reach out especially to them for true sa’ada or happiness will not materialize if such individuals and their behaviours are allowed to flourish unchecked.

 

What Rajab ultimately does is to make us more psychically integrated, more wholesome

so that it empowers us to reach out to others. Spiritual change within encourages us to continually improve our social relationships; is that not what it really means to be happy and spread happiness wherever we go?

 

By being merciful and tender towards others we become beneficiaries of Divine Rahma;  happiness or Sa’ada is then but stepping stone away from us. The Prophet of Allah reminds us in a tradition that if we put right right what is between us and our Creator then He will put right what is between us and His Creation.

 

We pray to Allah to make us of those who seek a closer relationship with Him during this Blessed month of Rajab and who strive to spread Sa’ada so that the human spirit Allah has Blessed us all with can flourish as it joyfully and in gratitude returns to its Creator.

 

 

Addendum

 

ibn al-Qayyim states

 

Our Salaf would advise each other with three phrases, were a slave (of Allah) to inscribe them in his heart and recite them with every breathe, it would not fulfil the the rights of these phrases.

 

  1. Whoever rectifies his inner, Allah will rectify his outer.
  2. Whoever rectifies his state with Allah, Allah will rectify his state with people, and
  3. Whoever works for the afterlife, Allah will suffice for his needs of this world.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.