Happiness amongst other definitions can be described as a state of well-being and contentment which is best expressed by cheer and joy of the face." Sure enough, that's just one way off putting it. But what does it really mean to feel on top of the world or entirely at peace with oneself? Do you feel immersed in joy? On cloud nine? Or is there something that’s still missing? Something, that still cannot give you ‘happiness’ in a full dose! Nonetheless in the world we live in today, happiness is an emotional state that seems to be escaping and evading most of our lives. People in general are just no longer happy for a number of reasons too! Whatever the reasons that have brought about this unhappiness we need to know too that there are ways to combat and dispel unhappiness. Those who are unhappy have chosen too. How often we find people in miserable situations and tragic situations who despite the intense pain and heartache they are experiencing, are still able to brave a smile or two. This speaks a lot about how we can be in control. Those who day in and day out remain in a state of unhappiness is because they’ve chosen to remain that way. Life is certainly all about choices and we are the architects of our own lives!


Happiness generally comes about when we hear good news and sadness over bad news. It can be over loss (for example, money, death, divorce etc) or even for that matter something like failing an exam which you studied so hard for or not being good enough at the last job interview that you had.. And whilst the list of things that have the potential of throwing us into the doldrums are almost endless, isn’t the list of things that could make us happy the same?

As Muslims we are also affected by this scourge and we need to look at this from a different perspective. Amongst the tenets or founding pillars of Islam is that we should believe and that too in a firm way, that all good and bad comes from Allah Ta’ala alone. The point is then why should we feel so bad about it when we have already accepted that all good and bad comes from Allah Ta’ala!  This is one of Islam’s greatest gifts that has been designed by the All-Wise, The All-Knowing Allah Ta’ala that saves us from going into depression and thinking so negatively about an issue. When we firmly believe and accept that whatever happens in our lives is simply the passing of a divine decree then there would be no difference between good and bad! In fact everything that happens in our lives will be the same. There would be no intense grief nor would there be overwhelming elation and joy.

Yes, reality is sweet and bitter, but why is it that we tend to focus on the bad things in life more than the happy things? Is it not a fact that in most of our lives there are more things which we should be grateful and of course happy about, than those things that make us sad and unhappy? If there are two things we are unhappy about then at the same time there are twenty two things that we should be happy about. Why focus on the few and plunge into an unhappy state when by looking at the majority we are able to soar to newer and greater heights! Thus it’s only on account of how we look at things in our lives that we either become happy or sad! The ball lies in our court!

As much as we live in a world of gloom and doom more than anything else, we are still able to come across ‘happy’ and joyful people. We are amazed by this and sometimes wish we could be like them. I remember when I was a teacher I was blessed to have a boy in my life who showed me that if he could be happy then anybody and everybody else could be happy too. Here was a boy who due to a birth defect had no arms. Unlike you and I this boy had just stumps where his arms should have been. When I first saw him I almost instantly became sad and pained. However his was a different story. He was a boy that was always cheerful, bubbly and happy no matter what came over him. So cheerful he was that he spread cheer wherever he went.  From that day onwards I focused entirely on this trait of his. If he could be happy despite this great handicap why couldn’t I be? After all I had one more of life’s blessings.

This boy taught me that I too could be happy like him by doings the things that he did. Always greeting his teachers and friends with a smile! Always putting others before himself. Not judging others and most importantly always seeing the good traits in others. This state of mind can only be achieved when you start being grateful to Allah Ta’ala for what you have. Be thankful for your parents, your friends, your grades, your looks and last but not least, for the life that He has given you. If you haven’t seen this life as a blessing as yet give thought to the hundreds if not thousands of people who in our world are on a daily basis fighting for their lives attached to machines that are helping them to stay alive. And if you do not have any of those things, then don’t become disillusioned because Allah Ta’ala has still given you a life, and this beautiful world to live in and all the things in this world to look at and appreciate. Allah Ta’ala may have in store something better written for you. And all the blessings that you have or don’t have are a test to see how you appreciate them. Once you bring Allah Ta’ala in everything that you do in your daily life, then once again you too will be courting happiness all the way till your grave. Once you start being happy, people will get attracted to that and will want to listen to you. Happiness spreads happiness whilst gloom spreads only that. If we want to uplift the lives of others and spread happiness let’s start with ourselves!

At the end being unhappy will not do you any good. Not good for your emotional, physical as well as your spiritual being. So be happy and spread the cheer! When you are happy then Allah Ta’ala will be happy with you! With Him by your side, nothing can go wrong!

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