I used to think that to be content/happy was when we reached a certain level in society, or obtained certain things; a degree, stable career, nice car, house, spouse, starting a family, many friends, looking good, rockin’ the latest fashion etc.
With experience & intellectual maturity one comes to realise that these things don’t always make us content/happy. In fact, many of these things are the cause of our turmoil & can do much to challenge our emotional well-being.
How we stress over our next set of exams! How we work under pressure/overtime to meet deadlines at work (at times neglecting our families), how we get hurt by those close to us, how our cars need expensive maintenance, our houses need regular payments so we can keep them, our ever-evolving fashionable outfits/’looks’ need to be maintained, the effort we need to exert to retain our social circles etc.
My point is NOT that we don’t strive for a better lifestyle/not look after ourselves; rather my point is that we have assigned goals to ourselves that are everlasting and we become so occupied with them we forget to ‘live’ in the process. We fear losing these things, and when we do lose them, or these things hurt us/didn’t work out the way we hoped; some of us struggle to cope.
So what provides permanent happiness regardless if we lose these things? What gives contentment despite the falls? What doesn’t require ANY material gain for us to feel complete?
It is closeness to Allah (God). To acknowledge that no one can help us apart from Him, to recognise that it is Him that has put us through this hardship & He is the only one that will remove it from us. We must understand that when God sends us a hardship it is only for OUR BENEFIT – God loves to give; He takes no pleasure in withholding/breaking without reason. There is always a reason for it!
One of the reasons Allah withholds/takes back/breaks us is so that you call to Him, or call to Him even more! Imagine The Master of the Universe is pulling us to His doorstep Himself! The One who gave us life is trying to offer us comfort, reward, mercy and ease but we become so blinded by our pain that we fail to see anything beyond our suffering.
The purpose of the hardship was never to hurt us without motive. Rather it was to bring us back to Him – now it is our choice if we accept or decline the invitation.
Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel