Remember that this life will contain both happiness and sadness

Muslim woman praying
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Islam teaches us that both happiness and sadness are a part of this life for us. Neither will be constant. We have to learn to accept that Allah destined this life to be this way in order to test us. The more we strive to understand this properly, the easier we will find it to cope with the changes in our emotions and experiences. We will learn to see this life for what it really is and understand that we are not supposed to seek permanent happiness here.

Pure and constant happiness exists only in the Hereafter in Jannah (Paradise). That is the reward from Allah for good deeds and sincere worship. In Jannah there will be no sadness or hardship. Neither will there be sorrow or worry. The more we push ourselves to learn about Jannah, we will realise how much it actually motivates us to do good in this world. It convinces us to rush to build on our good deeds and please our Lord.

The life of this world is such that we may go through periods of overwhelming happiness, whether that be from moving to a new house, being offered a new job, getting into university, or getting married. The things which give us happiness in this life are many. In receiving these things, we may sometimes become so engrossed in them that we forget what it is like to feel sad or low. We hardly remember the last time we felt upset or disheartened. We become so overwhelmed by the source or event that brought us happiness that we forget everything else.

The danger of this is that in the same way we may forget when the last time was that we were sad, we may also begin to forget our duties as believers. Through our periods of happiness, we may be continuing to pray to Allah, but we may start to lose focus in our prayer. Our thoughts become too attached to what we are happy about in this world. We forget to do zhikr and we decrease the amount of Qur’an we perhaps used to read.

Then, before we know it, we enter a point in life where we are faced with a hardship. The hardship makes us forget any happiness we ever experienced and it makes us forget how we had felt before. We start to question how the hardship came about, whether it is that we have lost our job or that us or someone close to us has fallen ill. We start to feel so disheartened about what we are going through that we come close to despair and hopelessness.

Our sadness should make us realise that we only have Allah to truly and ultimately rely on. Our sadness should strengthen our connection to Him and make us more sincere in our worship of Him. It should help us to detach from the worldly things that caused us to weaken our Imaan. We should always remember that the blessings in our sadness and hardships are that they do of course remind us of the temporary nature of this world, and remembering this brings us solace.

We find comfort in knowing that of course Allah did not create this world to be our permanent home. Every sadness and every happiness is temporary. This life is temporary, whereas the Hereafter is eternal. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah, so will you not reason?” (Qur’an 6:32)