Whatever happens, hard or good times, we all crave happiness for the heart.
That is the culmination of the journey of a piece of the heart when it is happy to face whatever befalls it.
A happy heart means no problems. Instead, it faces issues with a calm and airy nature.
Many people still wonder, what is happiness?
There is no human being who does not want to be happy.
Anything that human beings strive for and do is to achieve happiness. It is the natural nature of every human being.
Unfortunately, the human desire for happiness is often unfulfilled.
Many people do not know what happiness means, and they also do not know how to get it.
If we look for something that we unknown, we will not find it.
Therefore, the quest for happiness must first begin with finding happiness’s meaning.
What Does It Mean To Be Happy?
Some think that the meaning of happiness is relative.
It varies from one individual to another.
For the sick, the healthy feel happy. But when you are healthy, happiness is not in health anymore.
He has moved on to other things. Happiness is non-specific. It’s like a kind ‘moving target’ for this group.
There are also pessimists.
They think that there is no happiness in this world. Life is to suffer.
Humans are born with tears, live with tears, and are sent to the grave with tears. Happiness is a utopia, illusion, or wishful thinking. It does not exist in reality and reality.
Before getting an answer about the true meaning of happiness, we must first determine what the source of that happiness is.
Where did he come from?
Does that happiness come from the outside-in or the inside-out?
Many feel that happiness stems from external factors.
For example, a person possesses power, appearance, name, and approval from the source of property.
We think we will automatically feel happy if we become millionaires, rich people, politicians, aristocrats, good-looking persons, and scholars.
So many peoples are struggling and willing to do anything to own property, power, and more on that confidence.
Are the lives of the rich, the handsome, the aristocrats, the dignitaries, and the intellectuals happy?
It has become a rule of life (sunnatullah); man will not get everything he wants.
No human being can avoid something he does not like. Life is a test for all human beings, regardless of their position, wealth, or approval.
The words of Allah SWT, meaning:
He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed(Surah al-Mulk: 2)
The rich man may own a fortune of millions, but how can he avoid getting sick, old, and dying?
Lady Diana, who had all the packages of the advantages of a dream woman, finally passed away in a tragic and sad situation.
John Lennon could not avoid being killed even though millions of fans adored him.
On the other hand, Elizabeth Taylor is counting the ages that are eroding her beauty and body shape.
That is not to mention the misfortune that befell famous politicians and nobles such as Al-Malik Farouk (Egypt), Shah of Iran (Iran), Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), Louis XVI (France), Tsar (Russia), and others.
Strictly speaking, pain, insults, overthrows, and other tests of life have crushed many wealthy people, good looks, politicians, and scholars in the race for happiness.
What evidence is there that they lost happiness?
There is no need for us to argue using the Qur’an and hadith because the display of the mass media alone is enough to prove how unhappy they are.
Strange, celebrities from Hollywood, i.e., those who have beautiful looks, multi-billion dollar assets, and famous names, are plagued by various chronic problems.
It is ironic when these performers are the least entertained in the reality of life.
Those involved with drug and alcohol addiction, household breakdown, crime, and this mental illness are undoubtedly unhappy.
If they were happy with the name, property, and appearance they possessed, indeed, they would not be involved with all that mental turmoil and personal confusion.
Of course, something ‘missing’ in that pile of property, appearance, and name.
The Difficulties of Life Are Not the Cause of Unhappiness
Let’s look at this issue from another side as well:
- Is it true that the hardships of life take away the feeling of happiness in this life?
- Are sickness, old age, human insults, poverty, failure, defeat, and other hardships of life the cause of the loss of happiness?
The answer is not necessarily!
If we think that the hardships of life are the cause of the loss of happiness, then we have belonged to the group of pessimists who believe that there is no happiness in the world.
Why is that?
The essence of this life is to be tested. That is the inevitable rule of life.
If it is true that hardship is the cause of the loss of happiness, then no human being will be happy because all human beings must be tested.
On that basis, the hardships of life are not the cause of the loss of happiness.
As an analogy, if lemon juice is placed on healthy skin, then we will not feel anything.
On the other hand, if the lemon juice is dripped on the cut skin, the pain will be felt.
So what causes that pain?
Is it the lemon juice or the cut skin?
Of course the answer is, the cut in the hand.
The lemon juice is like the hardships of life, while the wounded skin is a sick heart.
A sick heart is a heart that is filled with negative feelings such as anger, frustration, despair, revenge, fear, arrogance, jealousy, greed, and many more.
The hardships of life that occur to oneself, in fact, only give rise to more negative things that are ready to nest in the heart when the heart is ‘sick.’
When tested with human insults, feelings of frustration, anger, or resentment arise. When tested with wealth, the nature of greed, madness, and arrogance appears.
Poor, human insults and the like are not the cause of the loss of happiness, but the feeling of frustration, anger, and impatience is what causes it.
The fact is, the test only highlights the reality of the heart that was already unhappy long before the trial occurred to a person.
Thus, it is evident that the opinion that says happiness comes from the outside is rejected altogether.
This is because the ‘health’ factor of the liver is more dominant in determining whether a person is happy or not than all external factors.
This indirectly shows that happiness comes from the inside out – a matter of the heart.
So, this is the meaning of happiness
Simply put, happiness is to have a calm heart in the face of any life test.
This is the true meaning of happiness following the guidance of Allah SWT in the Qur’an.
The words of Allah SWT, meaning:
“Know that by remembering God, the heart will be calm.”(Surat al-Ra’d: 28)
Rasulullah SAW also said which means:
That is the human body; there is a piece of flesh. When it is good, the whole body is good, but when it is corrupt, then the whole body is corrupt. Remember, it is the heart.(Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Rasulullah SAW said again which means:
It’s not that wealth with a lot of possessions, but that wealth is rich in heart.(Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
A rich heart means a calm heart, airy, and feel enough with what you have — be grateful for what you have, be patient with what you don’t have.
Therefore, the heart needs to be cleansed and preserved, and its ‘health’ is preserved so that simple qualities such as trust, patience, gratitude, qanaah, forgiveness, and so on are born.
The culmination of happiness is when one’s heart can motivate him to do good and avoid the evils and prohibitions prescribed by Islam easily, without the need for further thought.
And Imam al-Ghazali said, “This is the essence of noble morals.”