The Colour of Happiness

We all evidently want happiness although most of us have no idea what it actually looks like. How many of us would recognise happiness in its purest form if we came across it?

Today, most of us would define happiness as something money can buy.

Money can buy many things and we find that it can also buy people for humans have dramatically decreased the value of the human race. We have gone back to the dark ages although we are convinced that our technological advancements make us more sophisticated. We believe happiness can be attained by being successful in our careers for that type of success brings money home. And money, it seems to many, brings happiness.

We find that everyone wants to be something other than what they are to be happy.

Children want to be adults, adults want to be young again, the sick want to be healthy, the rich want to be happy, the poor want to be rich, men want to be women, women want to be men, fair people want to be dark, dark people want to be fair etc.

Growing up, we’re also taught that happiness comes as a result of being successful in our careers and this is the illusion that keeps everyone focused on seeking what they believe will bring them ultimate happiness. During the course of your life, you’ve maybe read many books on the subject, hoping to find the ingredients that bring about happiness.

However, you’ve discovered that every time you’ve tried to be happy, a condition was laid; you have to be in the right job, marry the right woman/man, live in the right neighbourhood, wear the right clothes, travel to luxurious destinations, drive a fast car and eat at fancy restaurants.

Overtime, you’ve learned to accept that happiness without conditions can never be yours. You’ve also grown to accept that the things you’ve accumulated have not brought you the happiness you expected. The concept should be fairly simple – work hard and long enough and you will attain success which will earn you money, which will in return make you happy.

But many of us have reached the pinnacle of our success, have attained all the worldly things we wanted and yet our satisfaction is not complete. We still have an empty gap within us that was never meant to be filled by what we so naively thought would fill it.

When we finally discover that the pursuit of happiness could never be found in the things we were pursuing, many of us hit a brick wall and decide between two choices;

Keep making more money as that would eventually make a difference.

As a result of utter disappointment, commit suicide as that will end the pain of feeling incomplete and unhappy.

The first choice is completely foolish for this person is convinced that ‘more’ money will bring him the happiness he seeks although having x amount of money did not initially make a difference. And he has no guarantees that more x amount of money will materialise happiness. This person will spend his life chasing a mirage just like a dog chases his own tail without ever being able to reach it.

The second choice is utterly senseless as this person believes that ending his own life is the solution to his problems. He’s convinced that there’s no way out from his mess except taking himself out of the equation. He leaves behind loved ones and many responsibilities but due to the disappointment he feels, he’s also convinced that he has let others down and cannot bring himself to face them. This person is unable to deal with the challenges and suffering of this world. The fact that they’re often from the richest parts of the world doesn’t make their suffering less painful. Take a look at Sweden as an example; it’s one of the richest countries in the world but it also has the highest suicide rate in the world. Why? Because people were convinced wealth brings happiness but they realise that wealth is not accompanied by happiness. This heartbreaking discovery leads them to do senseless acts.

Imagine being told you have a science exam at school and studying hard for this, you make sure you cover during your revision everything you were taught about the areas that will come up in the exam. Upon taking the exam, you answer all the answers correctly based on what you were previously taught. You however, discover you’ve failed the exam despite your sincere efforts. How would that make you feel? Confused? Angry? Cheated? Wronged? Frustrated? Disappointed? This is, in essence, what people feel when they were told their whole lives that happiness comes from money and success, and discover they were lied to.

So, what’s happiness, what does it look like and how can it be defined?

Firstly, happiness is the feeling of inner contentment, satisfaction and peace that comes as a result of the condition of one’s life. It’s the result of one’s wise and often calculated choices made throughout their lives to guarantee such outcome. Happiness does not come by chance nor does it come as a result of one’s efforts in aimlessly trying to be happy without knowing the accurate steps or essential ingredients to be so. It is something that can be attained by anyone, at any age and from any background. Some attain it at a young age, some at an older age, and many are born with this gift although they don’t often recognise its worth.

Happiness can be recognised by those who have the gift of two sights; eyes and heart. Those who see with the eyes and heart and whose vision is not tainted by ignorance, falsehood or arrogance.

{Have they not travelled in the land so that they should have hearts with which to understand, or ears with which to hear. For surely, it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the hearts which are in the breasts} Quran: 22:46

Happiness can be defined as having good fortune and being in the state of ease and tranquillity. Happiness comes from knowing your Creator, worshipping Him, glorifying Him and living your life according to His commands. It’s not an illusion but a reality and a promise lived by over a billion people in the world. Allah says in the noble Quran:

{Nay, whoever submits His whole self to Allah and is a doer of good, He will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve} Quran: 2:112

{Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to him will We give a new life, a life that is good and pure and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions} Quran: 16:97

If the people believed in Allah as their Creator and the only one worthy of their worship, they will find the happiness they earnestly seek. Furthermore, they will receive from Allah, the blessings, ease and good fortune they seek in this life without conditions.

{If the people of the towns had but believed and revered Allah, We would have indeed opened to them blessings from heaven and earth} Quran: 7:96

The noble book of Islam, the Quran, informs mankind about how one can attain happiness. And as the Quran is a divine scripture, there are no falsehoods, false promises or deception found in it.

It informs us of our Lord, His chosen religion and reminds and warns of the deceptions of this world. It gives us glad tidings of a true promise and teaches us the colour of happiness, how to recognise and attain it, but more importantly, how to live it.

If you’re a Muslim, you know what I am referring to even if you’re not a practising one. You know it because you’ve tasted the sweetness of faith, the sweetness of prayer and the sweetness of knowing your Lord. Your heart is set at rest because Allah Has told us what sets hearts at rest;

{Those who believe, and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; for surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest} Quran: 13:28

If you’re not a Muslim or have never considered Islam, you owe it to yourself to look into it if you seek true happiness untainted by ignorance and not conditioned by material success.

You have surely tried everything including different substances and still wake up with the same empty hole in you. You have visited interesting places, surrounded yourself with luxury, comfort and people yet you still feel incomplete.

This is because Allah Has already determined that true happiness cannot be found except with Islam and the one who rejects it will be denied the happiness he seeks despite his life-long efforts.

{And whoever turns away from My reminder, his shall be a narrow life, and We will raise him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say: My Lord, why have You raised me blind when I had sight in the world? He will say; Even so, our signs have come to you but you neglected them; and thus shall you be forsaken this day} Quran: 20:124-

Source: Jamiat KZN