Monday, 30 December 2013

WE CANNOT PURSUE HAPPINESS

WE CANNOT PURSUE HAPPINESS
Kate Bates (Kaamilah bint Qadar)
From “Refinement of the Heart”  
by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Mark Hanson



In the Islamic Traditions, happiness – SA’ADA - is not a state.  You cannot BE happy at any point of your life, but you can FEEL happy.  Happiness is the sum total, the result of your life, whether you lived a happy or a miserable life based what you did in your life.

  Ghaguib Isfahani, a great ethicist, a mufassir, one of the great Ulama of Islam (and Imâm al-Ghazaali) said: the whole purpose of life is happiness.

There is no SA’ADA in the Dunya (material world).  The prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was commanded by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to be humble.

The beginning of humility is to force your Self (Nafs) and the Holy Qur’ân mentions  

NAFS AL AMMÂRH = ANIMALISTIC COMMANDING SELF
NAFS AL LAWWAMA = THE REPROACHFUL NAFS
NAFS AL MUTMA’INNA = THE NAFS AT PEACE


See Tazkiah – term alluding to "tazkiyah al-nafs" meaning "purification of the self".

Wikipedia

Egocentricity makes life miserable for everybody.  Sayyidina Umar (RA), may Allah be pleased of him: Be tough on yourself because blessing does not last. The real happiness is on serving others.  ETHAAR = to begin to prefer other people.  ‘Giving charity’ makes us feel good.  It fires off all the pleasure centres of the brain when people give charity, according to a recent study. This is how Paradise on Earth can be built. 

This is the (compassionate) way we are designed, but, the Nafs is here to prevent this from happening.  Nafs, Shaytaan, Hawa and Dunya are the enemies of the human.  The Qur’ânic Science of Tassawuf – Gharbat un Nafs - is destined to overcome the Self


Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
I did not see any evil, but I warned you about it.  And I did not see any good but I guided you to it.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
None of you will enter Paradise until you believe, and none of you will believe until you love one another.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Can I tell you something that if you do it love will begin to grow amongst you?

The Companions answered: Yes, indeed, ya Rassuul Allah.

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
Spread peace amongst you. 

The primary meaning of that is give the greeting of peace, but it also means what it says: SPREAD PEACE!

The Prophet, peace be upon him, came with such principles to help people help themselves, navigate the world in a way that makes it much easier to bear because it is already difficult.  The world is difficult.  It is a test, an IBTILA'A.

Our problems come from egocentricism when we think we are the sun and everything else should revolve around us; when we think money is more important than the family.  The Nafs likes things that are delightful = LAZZAT. 

The  crisis of this Ummah (of Muhammad) is ADAB. 

Adab is proper behaviour, etiquette, “refinement, good manners, morals, decorum, decency, humaneness.”

Akhlaaq is getting our character aligned with the character of the Prophet, peace be upon him.  One aspect of his character is smiling.  The Prophet was constantly smiling.  He always smiled when he saw people.  In all states (ahwaal, singular haal), he remembered Allah.  He did constant Zikr (dhikr), remembrance of Allah.  Tassawuf, the Qur’ânic science of Sufism, revolves around SINCERITY. 

But, Muslims blame their QADAR for their own ineptitude.  They say Allah decreed it (their fate or destiny).

QADAR is rendered as FATE and is the good and the bad thereof which are from Allah, and one of the six articles of faith.  “Imaan e Mufassal”.

Belief in Allah
Belief in the Angels
Belief in the Revealed Books
Belief in the Messengers
Belief in Qadr
Belief in the Last Day

But, we can say QADAR ALLAH only when we have done everything in our power and according to our means to make things better.  But, in Islam there is no such thing as fatalism.  It is only a disease of humans to complain when they do not do the works (Jihaad).

Finally, in Sheikh Hamza Yusuf’s lecture on “Articles of Faith”, he relates a Greek story.
 Articles of Faith Part 1 of 2

Prometheus gives man fire, that is, knowledge. 
Prometheus is cursed by the Gods as they do not want man to have knowledge because man would compete with the Gods.
When Prometheus was asked what he gave to man, he said:
I gave him the fire and I taught him the crafts.
Then, he was asked: What else?
Prometheus answered:
I gave him FAITH.

Meaning, without faith the human being is in a hopeless state.  Humans need faith.  Without faith we are in a state of despair.  With faith, we have HOPE.

Caution when reading words translated from Arabic.  Allahu ‘alam (Allah knows best)

Kate Bates
Monday 30th of December 2013

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