The key to happiness

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
Assalam Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatuhu

            Happiness is a value, it’s true value shines out when you begin to realize it’s essence. Happiness is beautiful. It’s a gift given to you through the grace of the Almighty, Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. Imagine yourself being in a summer camp and you are asked to wake up early, and walk the trails and do all kinds of things that you usually wouldn’t do when you are at home. There is so much action going on in life that if you find yourself focused and just enjoy whatever it is that you are doing with others, then this is it! You have your adventure. You take a route, a map, follow a direction, and walk the unknown roads you have never seen before. This is the moment you pause and just think for a while. You are definitely a great thinker and your question is, “what exactly am I doing here?” You are here to have fun, to explore, to discover great things. So just walk along with your friends and climb that high mountain you see right in front of you.
            Well according to my experience, life is just like this! You take one route to another. You know where you are going.. as in what degree to pursue, which job you want to take, what train to catch.. every day you have the same routine. So what if in that busy life of yours, you face calamities? You experience sickness – where you cannot get up from your bed or experience an overwhelming pain that you have never experienced before. This is all part of your camping trip. Life is a journey and in this journey there may not be peace or happiness every moment. It’s always changing just like the winds or the colors of the leaves in autumn.  You still have to let it happen and face it. Be ready to face every challenge because your Lord doesn’t burden you with something you cannot handle. You cannot let any calamity take over you and make you depressed. Happiness is yours and yours alone.  Everything that you have is not yours.  It’s all a gift given to you from Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. When one gift is gone, the other is always present. You just keep receiving so much from your Lord, Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. Alhamdulillah.
“I saw a pious man on the seashore wounded by a tiger.  No medicine could relieve his pain; he suffered much, but he nevertheless constantly thanked Allah, the most High, saying, “Praise be to Allah that I have fallen into a calamity and not into sin.” ~ [Abu Abdullah Adhami]
Be thankful and realize what you really have. You definitely do have something no one else has. Something even greater, you know why? That is because you are realizing it. You are bringing the unknown to known. You are finally discovering every beauty that is hidden in the world that Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala has given to you. You have a lovely family, a lovely home, a lovely sight that you gaze upon every day when you leave your house. You have Al Qur’an in your room, which you read in your “happy hour time” every day. You definitely have so much more than what you ask for.
“And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the blessings of Allah , you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” [14:34]
 You don’t have to go look for happiness. Happiness is right by you.  Don’t wait for someone to hold your hand and walk you through happiness. You can only find it through experience, when you experience that paradise in your mind and heart, when that paradise builds itself with gardens in your heart. For when this life’s journey ends, your road to Paradise begins Insha Allah. Our goal in this life is to work for paradise, not make this world a paradise for ourselves. We have to constantly work hard and enjoy everything we are doing. At the end, we will be rewarded for everything we do Insha Allah. There is no need to be upset.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. ~ Denis Waitley
For happiness to come along your way, you need to take a few steps:
1. Have a good thought about others. Just think good about others no matter what they do to you. Learn to take it easy. Don’t let others hurt you. My all-time favorite is “seventy” excuses. Make up an excuse for them and then move forward.
2.  Moving forward is another step. The past is gone and it won’t come back no matter what you do. So keep moving forward. You have yet to cross the bridge and if you keep looking back, you will never be able to reach your destination. A poet once said: “There was a time that made me weep but when time moved on, I wept with nostalgia for that time.”
3. Fulfil your goals. Make a list of your goals and start working on them. Don’t procrastinate. Just go with it. Let no one stop you.
4. Help others. When you start to help others, naturally you will feel very happy. The secret to happiness is to give to those that don’t have.
Now the question is where to find the happiness?
Happiness is in your emaan, in reading the Qur’an, in your daily Salah, in pleasing Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, in loving Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala, in helping others, or even in making others smile.
When you have no one, you have Allah SWT with you. If you call on Him, He listens to you even if it’s in the middle of the night. If you have lost something or someone in life, know that Allah SWT will grant you something much better and there will be someone good in your life again. He takes and He gives. When you are in need, He is the first one who comes to your aid. He has truly blessed you with guidance and that’s where the beauty lies. The beauty of Islam that shines inside of you. Loving Allah gives you so much peace. When you obey Him, you will find tranquillity. This is where your happiness lies, in being close to Allah SWT. You need nothing else. You have Him – you have everything.
Happiness is attained by three things:
being patient when tested,
being thankful when receiving a blessing,
& by being repentant upon sinning.
-Ibn al-Qayyim (al-Wābil aṣ-Ṣayyib)
Finally, I will leave you with one of the most beautiful words by one of my most favorite Sahabas, Ali (Radi Allahu Anhu):
“I swear by Allaah (jalla wa alla), and His Name I swear and I swear, that if even if your eyes were to melt down from crying in fear of Him and in yearning for Him, and even if you were to live in this world as long as it will last, making constant offering combined with every type of worship in thankfulness towards His Magnificent and countless blessing upon you, it would not be sufficient as a demonstration of gratitude for His guiding you to Islaam”
May Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala grant us lots of happiness and beautify our hearts with faith, Ameen Ya Rabb Al Alameen.