To Your Heart’s Content

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Assalaamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you

Contentment.  Happiness.  Success.

It seems that the three words I have mentioned above are interchangeable in what they describe and in what they define.

You could say that if one is successful, then that success will lead to happiness which in turn will lead to contentment in life.  However, if that is the case, then does that mean that only those people in life who are successful are actually happy and therefore, content?  Hmm, maybe we should not let success be the sole criterion for contentment in one’s life…..

The reason for that is because contentment is linked to the heart which is spiritual whereas these days, everyone’s definition of success is most definitely physical and material.  And a person is only truly happy when they are happy on the inside.  That is why the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) said that ‘contentment is not the material wealth, but it is the self-contentment of the heart.’

So why is it that today, when we have wealth, technology, family, friends and every possible, conceivable thing at our disposal, we are still not happy inside?  Why are we still not content in our hearts?  Is it because we are not looking hard enough?  Or is it because we are not looking for it in the right places….?

Maybe that’s more accurate, maybe the things we think will provide us with happiness and contentment are not actually the right things at all…..

A Muslim is always encouraged to look at what Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) say in every aspect of his or her life.  Allah has said in the Qur’an, ‘Verily in the remembrance of Allah do the hearts find rest.’ This tells us that for a Muslim, through recitation of the Qur’an, remembrance of Allah through Zikr, praying salaat and general obedience to Allah, the heart, and therefore, the person will find happiness and he or she will be content in life, no matter what lies in store.

Unfortunately, although we purport to know and believe in this, the Muslims of today are looking for their happiness in things like music, and other non-Islamic activities.  And when they do not find it there, they get worried and start jumping from one thing to the next, unable to concentrate and focus the mind on any particular thing, in the hope that if they keep their mind occupied and do not allow their heart to rest, it will somehow achieve the state of contentment.

What the Believer must realise is that contentment in the heart can only be attained when one accepts the full facts of this life and the Hereafter.  Furthermore, after acceptance of that, we must on a daily basis do the things which enable us to remember the Hereafter and please Allah, and so this is where our acts of worship come into play.

By reminding our hearts and therefore, ourselves by way of these acts of worship, our hearts will in time, become attuned to core Islamic principles such as Jannah (Heaven), Jahannum (Hell), the Akhirah (the Hereafter/life after death), Qiyaamah (the Day of Judgment), etc – in short, our hearts will grow accustomed to and fully believe in the transient nature of this life and the definite eventuality of the permanence of the life to come, which in turn will lead to us inculcating such fundamental Islamic values such as Taqwa (Piety), Khauf-e-Khuda (fear of Allah) which insha-Allah (God-Willing) will lead to a more contented heart…phew!

I hope you followed that!

And if you didn’t then I’ll put it another way – when we wholeheartedly give ourselves to the Master and Creator of all that exists, Allah the Greatest, when we make a permanent place for Him in our hearts, then He will permanently make sure that no matter what life has in store for us, our hearts will always weather the storm and we will be content and happy with what He has given us.

Then no more will we go in search of the ‘next best thing’ to find our peace of mind because we will always have the best prescription – the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and most importantly a direct connection, better than the fastest broadband connection known to man, with our Lord, our Creator, Allah.

Furthermore, once a Believer starts experiencing these seismic changes in the heart, then we will naturally be more inclined to seek it from Allah instead of turning to the base, material pleasures of this world – pleasures which are limited in every respect.  We will then start to believe and yearn for the pleasures promised by Allah in Jannah which no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard and which no heart has even contemplated.

And better still, we will yearn for the greatest pleasure that a human can ever experience, a pleasure which surpasses all others but will itself be never surpassed – the closeness, the proximity, the sight of our Lord Most High – Allah.

Yes these things may seem far away and unattainable, but as we humans have proved throughout the course of our history, what was impossible today, will be a reality tomorrow.  Therefore, today, surrounded in this world, living this life, these realities may seem an age away, but in actual fact, it takes only the blink of an eye and before we know it, we will be in that other world experiencing all those things first hand, and wishing that we had more time in the previous world so that we could have made better preparations.

And so I write this post, for the pleasure of Allah, and I dedicate this to all my family, the family of mankind, for all those souls who are not content, who keep on asking themselves the difficult questions…..for all those who are kept awake night after night by some problem or another in their life, something which is clear or that niggling ‘itch’ in their hearts which they cannot quite diagnose.  Allah is here, for all of us, and day and night He is calling out to us b y means of His signs, and so we must realise this and run – run to Allah and find that contentment.

And Allah knows best.

Ma’as-salaam – With Peace

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One Response to “To Your Heart’s Content”

  1. The gentleman understands righteousness, the petty man understands interest

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