Written by: Barah
Why do we always need more to be happy? Why are we never satisfied with what we have? Why is there always something missing? It’s hard to understand why we humans are never truly satisfied.
We were created to want more; our nafs [primal selves] will never be satisfied. Therefore, we always have this war within ourselves. This is why being thankful and content with what you have is considered jihad al-nafs–the struggle of the self. Because it is not in our nature to be content with what we have, reaching that stage is difficult and requires a lot of effort. Prophet Muhammad (s) knew that when he said, “If you give the son of Adam a valley of gold, he would want another one” (Sahih Muslim). Wanting more and being greedy is human nature; God did not create us to be perfect or flawless.
Indeed, we lack perfection and come with many flaws. Our main problem is our attachment to this dunya [worldly life] and to all the material things that will eventually leave us. None of it will accompany us to the hereafter, the life that truly matters. The Prophet (s) stated, “Whoever makes this world his only goal, God will confuse his affairs and place poverty before his eyes and he will be able to attain nothing from this world except for what God has already written for him.” He also said, “Whoever sets the Hereafter as his goal, God gathers his affairs for him, gives him richness of (faith in) the heart, and the world will come to him grudgingly and submissively.” (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan). No words have been truer than these. There is more to this life than just material things.
Being happy is feeling content and satisfied with what you have. If you are content with what God has given you, you will be the richest person. As God reminds us, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]” (Quran 14:7).
Helping others is another path to happiness. Remember the hadith that says, “Whoever removes one of the hardships of a believing soul, God will remove from him one of the distresses on the Hereafter. Whoever solves someone else’s problem, God will make things easy for him in this world and the Hereafter. . . God is ever assisting His servant as long as that servant is helping his brother” (Sahîh Muslim).
All in all, it’s faith that brings about happiness. When your life revolves around what truly matters–pleasing God–it puts itself together. Faith is key. Being a believer is more than just calling yourself one; it’s a lifestyle. And I tell you this from my own experience. When I forget about this lifestyle of faith I was blessed with, life can be unsatisfying, and I find myself unhappy. But when I live with faith, I’m truly happy.
Photo Credit: Barah A.