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|Author||Topic: Searching for Happiness ?|
Junior Member (Idle past 4326 days)
Happiness is a common goal that everyone strives to attain. Philosophers, intellectuals, doctors and artists alike have all strived in search of the causes of happiness and ways to escape anxiety.
The reality is, however, that the proposed solutions achieve only partial or superficial happiness. They are more or less like drugs which only provide temporary relief; when their effect wares off, anxieties return two fold.
The following words invite you to ultimate happiness and will lead you to true success. But before you begin reading, I hope that you to take a moment to try to open your heart and mind - as the intelligent one is he who searches for the truth no matter where it lies.
An undeniable reality is that permanent happiness cannot be achieved except by believing in God - The Creator - and following His guidance. Since it is He who created mankind, He is the one who knows what pleases and benefits them, just as he knows what saddens and harms them. A number of psychologists have affirmed that only a religious person lives with true content and serenity. So if believing in God leads to ultimate happiness, then how can this be achieved?
There are numerous religions and a variety of creeds. However, their critical differences in core issues make it impossible for all of them to be correct. So which is the correct religion? What is the correct creed that God requires us to believe in and in the end pleases Him? And which one of these creeds guarantees us happiness in this life and in the hereafter?
Before answering these questions, a criterion must first be established to be used as a basis for correctly determining the true religion. I firmly believe that all sensible people will agree that a religion is not deemed correct simply due to the fact that one was raised in that religion, had parents that adhered to it, or lived in a society that practiced it. Rather a religion's accuracy and authenticity are based upon substantial evidence and firm intellectual proofs. Intellect, the distinguishing factor between mankind and animals, must be applied when studying the issue of religion, which is undeniably the most important and gravest of all matters.
A short journey into the world of religions and sifting through various creeds could prove to be a good method in arriving at the desired conclusion. In order to save you the time and effort, I say with full conviction and confidence that no matter how much you investigate this issue, you will only arrive at one reality: that the true and correct religion is Islam and that true happiness and content lies within it.
Before you hastily rebut this statement and stop reading, please realize that completing the rest would not harm you at all, and it may in fact benefit you. Also, remember that you have an intellect by which you can distinguish things and determine truth from falsehood.
This is an important question, indicating that the questioner is mature and enlightened. In response I say:
Islam is a religion that includes a number of merits and characteristics that are absent from other religions. These characteristics, alone, serve as convincing evidence that Islam is the true religion of God. You can determine the authenticity of this statement by contemplating them.
Islam's many merits and characteristics make it impossible to elaborate on all of them. However, some of the most important can be summarized as follows:
1. Amongst the greatest merits of Islam is that it fulfills the spiritual aspects of the human being and enables those who embrace it to have an ongoing connection with God. This makes it possible for them to be at ease spiritually. It shields them from chaos, being lost or feeling (spiritually) empty, and protects from mental instability.
2. Another of Islamâ€™s merits is that it coincides totally with common sense. All of the Islamic legislation and its rulings are acceptable intellectually and are never contradictory. One man who embraced Islam was asked why he did so and replied, "Islam never ordered me to do anything that I later wished wasn't obligated, and it never forbade me from anything that I later wished wasnâ€™t forbidden."
3. Islam is an all-inclusive way of life attending to both spiritual and physical needs. Practicing Islam does not mean that one has to be secluded or that he is prohibited from the finer things in life. Rather, according to Islam, a person can be religious and still enjoy a normal life - attaining prestigious ranks/positions and achieving the highest academic degrees.
4. Among the merits of Islam is that it is a comprehensive religion. Every aspect of a personâ€™s life is managed by Islam. There is not a problem except that a solution for it lies in Islam, which makes it possible to embrace and practice in every time and place. How can this not be the case in such a well organized religion that has guidelines and positive instruction for every aspect of life including: conflict resolution, buying and selling, social and marital relations, greetings, public etiquettes, and even how a person eats, sleeps and dresses. These practices have not been addressed generally, but rather in precise detail, causing the mind to wonder in amazement. Know that Islam even provides direction on how to wear and remove footwear. It encourages people to use their right hand when eating, drinking, shaking hands, and when giving and receiving items. As for disliked affairs such as using the bathroom, the left hand is to be used.
5. Another of Islamâ€™s merits is that it establishes good for mankind in all its regulations and safeguards them from evil. It is man himself who benefits from these regulations. Islam's prohibition of alcohol and drugs for example is only because of the great harm they cause to a person's physical and mental health. You can witness the state of a drunken man, no longer human except in appearance. A lot of murders, disputes, traffic accidents and rapes would not have taken place were it not for consuming these mind-altering products.
6. A radiant aspect of Islam is that it pays a great deal of attention to values, character, and praiseworthy manners, while prohibiting mankind from oppression, transgression and bad character. Islam is a religion of love, unity and mercy. It defines an individualâ€™s relationship with his parents, relatives, neighbors, friends and all people. Islam embeds the best of manners in those who embrace it and prevents them from living selfishly. It encourages its followers to help others and take others' feelings into consideration - especially the poor, orphans, elderly and widows. They all have rights in Islam that must not be taken lightly by Muslims. Muslims shouldnâ€™t feel like they are bestowing favors upon others when giving them their due rights, rather these rights are obligations upon Muslims. It is considered to be a great sin in Islam for one to go to sleep with a full stomach knowing that his neighbor is hungry.
This summarized introduction should make it clear that Islam is a logical religion that can be easily understood by all people. The doors to Islam are wide open and do not shut for anyone looking to enter.
Understanding all of Islam's teachings in a short article is impossible. However, briefly discussing some of its fundamental tenets should assist in further clarifying the religion for those who are interested.
All of Islamâ€™s regulations and teachings are important, but some have precedence over others. There are six essential articles of faith that one must believe in, and five pillars that one's faith must be built upon.
As for the six articles that must be believed in:
1. Believing in Allah (God) alone, associating no partners unto Him in worship. This is done by believing that Allah alone is the Creator of this universe and everything that is within it, and that it is He alone who disposes its affairs as He sees fit. Consequently, worship can only be offered to Him alone. Worship is implementing the teachings of Islam and its legislation while believing that all other religions are false.
2. Believing in the angels. Angels were created by Allah but we can not see them. They worship Allah and never disobey Him. Allah orders them to carry out many of the universe's affairs. The angel Gabriel, for example, (peace be upon him) delivers Allahâ€™s revelation to the messengers. Another is Mikayeel (peace be upon him), who is entrusted with the affairs of rain. Still there are other angels responsible for writing the deeds of mankind - deeds which they will be held accountable for on the Day of Resurrection. It is essential to believe that all of the angels act solely upon the order of Allah and do only what He wills.
3. Believing in the Books of Revelation. This means to believe that Allah revealed books to His servants comprising of His words. These books contain bliss for mankind by clarifying what Allah is pleased with as well as what He dislikes. The Angel charged with delivering revelation to the Prophets is Gabriel (peace be upon him) - the greatest of angels. A prophet then conveys the revelation to the rest of mankind.
4. Believing in the Prophets. This is done by believing that Allah has chosen the best of mankind to be recipients of His revelation and ordered them to convey His religion to the people. There are numerous Prophets, among them are: Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Lot, Joseph, Moses and others (peace be upon all of them). Also from them is Jesus. It is imperative to believe that he is among the best of Prophets and to love and respect him. Whoever despises him or denies his prophethood is not Muslim. Likewise it is compulsory to believe that Allah created him from a mother only, with no father, just as Allah created Adam with neither a mother nor a father.
5. The Last Day. This is fulfilled firmly believing that after this life of ours is over, there is another more complete life. In it, there are immense rewards and magnificent luxuries, as well as punishment. Luxury is in Heaven and punishment in Hell. So whoever is righteous and believes in the religion of Islam enters Heaven, a place that contains untold pleasure and unimagined bliss. All the luxuries on earth cannot be compared to it at all. Whoever enters Heaven will continue to live in such luxuries for eternity as death does not exist therein.
6. Believing in Divine Decree. This is to believe that everything that happens in this world is due to Allahâ€™s knowledge and will. Nothing except what He wills takes place, and what He does not will, does not take place. Allah has written everything in a great book (The Preserved Tablet). Believing in divine decree also includes believing that Allah created everything.
As for the five pillars that must be practiced:
1. Uttering a phrase that is the key to entering into Islam. It is a contract between a servant and his Lord, signifying that he is upon this religion:
2. The Prayer. It is a combination of statements, actions and invocations carried out in a specific manner. It is performed five times daily and doesnâ€™t take much time at all. In fact, a prayer may not take more than five minutes. Prayer is the link between a servant and his Lord. It enables a Muslim to be confident, mentally and spiritually at rest, calm and untroubled.
3. The Zakaat. A wealthy Muslim must give a small portion of his money to the poor, 2.5% of his wealth to be exact. Even though it is a small amount, it enables the Muslim community to be conciliated and merciful amongst each other. It propagates brotherhood, love and concern amongst Muslims. And again, Zakaat is only to be given out by the wealthy, not the poor.
4. Fasting. What is meant by fasting is that a person withholds from eating, drinking and sexual relations during the month of Ramadan [which is the 9th month of the lunar calendar] between dawn and sunset. The sick, travelers, and those with valid excuses are pardoned from fasting. They are permitted to eat and drink but must make up the missed days once they become able.
5. Hajj. It is a form of worship that must be performed only once in a lifetime, in Makkah. Those who are physically incapable or not financially able to perform it are pardoned from doing so.
Hopefully what has preceded is sufficient in clarifying - in a summarized fashion - some of the merits of Islam. I invite all who have not yet entered into the fold of Islam to listen to a sincere invitation from one who only wants good for you: save yourself before death takes you by surprise, and thus you die upon other than Islam - what a great loss that is!
Do you know what dying upon other than Islam means? It means that you would enter the Hellfire, abiding therein for eternity. This is what Allah has warned all those who die without embracing Islam. So why would you take a chance with an issue as grave as this?
Iâ€™m going to ask you a question that I want you to answer honestly:
If you embrace Islam, you can continue living your normal ordinary life, but in a more spiritual, organized, and pleasant fashionâ€¦and after death, tremendous delight and eternal pleasure await you.
If you have reached a level of conviction, believing that Islam is the true religion, but fear that embracing Islam would prevent you from enjoying pleasures that you cannot live without, then compare these temporary pleasures with eternal pleasure. Which of the two should be given preference?
Furthermore, you can embrace Islam and then gradually try to reduce such pleasures. And if you were to honestly invoke Allah, He would surely aid you in leaving them. In any case, embracing Islam and having shortcomings is better than not embracing Islam at all.
If the barrier between you and Islam is due to having a weak personality, the inability to make such a big decision, or because you fear that people may talk about you or mock you, know that these are just unrealistic thoughts. You would not be the first person to embrace Islam; a lot of others have made the decision to do so. They did not lose anything, their lives were not ruined, nor do they have any regrets. Furthermore, does it make sense that you sacrifice your own well being and happiness in this life and in the hereafter just because you fear mockery or admonishment?
This affair is worthy of your time. Contemplate upon it deeply.
My last words: Do not lose yourself! I ask Allah to bless you with true guidance.
One who wishes only the best for you,
I see no topic here, just preaching.
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