To be continued....Ganiyat Kareem is a botanist and a staff writer at 1one4.com
Being happy is very essential in our lives. Wearing a dimpled smile does not mean happiness always. Sometimes we fake it to make people think we are living a perfect life even when we are not. For me, happiness is dependent on circumstance and occasion. I tend to always wear a happy face even when am imploding, it comes naturally for me. I could have things going on in the peripheral of my mind which could be dealing me a heavy blow, but you know what, I chose to see the positive and beauty of every circumstance I find myself in, and with Allah, I chose to smile. It will always be better In sha Allah. For every time I experience calamity or someone tries to bring me down, it always lead me to some more self discovery. I get to know me better. I do shed tears its good to calm frayed nerves. Crying makes one sober and help to recognizing that there is still some conscience in there. These are tips from my own experience of how to make life happier and more fulfilling as a Muslim: 1. Seek the Pleasure of Allah – Nothing can make us happier than seeking the pleasure of Allah and doing so constantly. The Qur'an tells us about what is the greatest happiness, calling it a 'supreme success' and about the people who deserve this supreme success. The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends) of one another; they enjoin (on people) Al-Ma'rûf (good), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (evil); they perform As-Salât (prayer), and give the Zakât (charity), and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. Allah has promised the believers -men and women, – Gardens under which rivers flow to dwell therein forever, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of 'Adn (Eden Paradise). But the greatest bliss (happiness) is the Good Pleasure of Allah. That is the supreme success. (Q71:72) 2. Take Note of What Makes You Happy and Unhappy First take some time and think about the things you do everyday of your life. What makes you happy? What makes you unhappy? Sometimes people do things because they think they have to, but if they’re unhappy doing these things, they should consider doing them less or not at all. So when you realize something makes you unhappy, make a mental note to do less of it, or stop doing it all together if you can. When you realize something makes you happy, make a mental note to do more of it for a happier life. I keep saying, the essence of life is to be worship Allah and to do it happily. Who are your good friends? What are your hobbies? What do you do naturally and happily? You should engage yourself in honest conversations and find time to get to know yourself more and more. Life is happier and more fulfilling when you acknowledge your strengths and limitations. 3. A Comfortable Home When you think about your home, does it make you smile? Or, does it frustrate and aggravate you? “There’s no place like home,” but if thinking about your home doesn’t bring a smile to your face, then it may be time to change something about it. If moving isn’t an option, you can still do many things to make your home happier, livelier and warmer. Give your home a good cleaning. Get rid of old clothes and furniture. We Nigerians are constantly planning for the future while neglecting the present. Good, comfortable furniture does not have to be very expensive. You do not have to wait till you move to your own home to make yourself comfortable. Do whatever you can to create a home environment that makes you happy. It helps the psyche. A comfortable, happy home is part of a happy life. 4. A Happy Job What do you do? Do you enjoy what you do for a living? Do you feel excited every morning while getting ready for work? How about your boss? Are they kind and fair or a micromanaging tyrant? We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important for one to be averagely happy there. If you love your job, lucky you; but if you don’t love it, you should do something right now. Life is too short to waste our waking hours doing what we fundamentally do not enjoy. Start looking for a new and better job. Yes, jobs are hard to come by these days, but I will say there is always space for the best, so strive to be the best. If corporate life isn’t for you, look for jobs where you can work from home or not far from home, but largely on your own terms. You can also consider opening your own business and working for yourself. If none of these ideas are an option, think about ways to make your personal life more fulfilling. 5. Be Thankful The more thankful we are to Allah (swt), the more He will shower His bounties upon us. Appreciation of what Allah has blessed you with is vital for this step to be achieved. This is indeed an act of worship. And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you give thanks, I will give you more (of my blessings), but if you are thankless, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” [Suratul Ibrahim vs 7] A happy Muslim always has alhamdulilahi constantly on his/her lips. 6. Satisfy Your Soul Work on activities that result in internal happiness that satisfy and bring a smile to the heart. Strive to partake in activities like feeding the poor, assisting the distressed and volunteering during Islamic activities. Nothing beats helping another human being and bringing a smile to another face especially the less privileged. “True enrichment does not come through possessing a lot of wealth, but true enrichment is the enrichment of the soul.” [Bukhari] If your happiness meter is low, try these quick fixes: You can write Islamic poems, play mind enriching games and also learn something new and fun like a new language. You can take a holiday and appreciate the wonderful work of Allah, across geographies, languages and culture. Visiting historical places can help the spirit.The world is a phenomenal place and there is need to discover it. 7. Avoid Worldly Comparisons Nigerians are apparently very aspirational people. You do not have to compare yourself to celebrities, rich or affluent people, especially in this our society. Comparison should be in the deen. The best of mankind are Muslims so admire the life of the Messenger (pbuh), Khadijah, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with them) who are our role models. “Look at those less fortunate than you, don't look at those above you, for this is better.” [Muslim] 8. Where You Are and Who You’re With It’s not just about what you’re doing. It’s also about where you are and who you’re with. Look at the person you’re with? Do they make your happier than other people you’ve spent time with? If they do, spend more time with them. If they don’t, spend little or no time with them. This concept may not seem like a secret to you, but you’d be surprised how many people fall down the rabbit hole of unhappiness because they don’t do the things that make them happy, go to the places that make them happy or spend time with the people who make them happy. Always surround yourself with happy, positive people. People who make you grow, people who speak only the truth to you, people who enrich and inspire you and make the world a better place for you, those are the people one should be caught with. Allahu alam.