Perpetual Happiness Belongs to Believers
They are Given the Good News Here on Earth
People in the community of the ignorant carry within them an indescribable discomfort no matter how happy and cheerful they may appear to those around them and always give a false impression of happiness. No matter what they do, they cannot be rescued from their unhappiness. Their ingratitude for the blessings Allah has given, their rejection of the word of Allah and their living a life far removed from the guidance of the Qur'an drive them into unhappiness which begins in the life of this world and will be greatly intensified on the Day of Judgment.
Whatever the circumstances in which they find themselves, because they are people who trust in Allah, who always turn to Him, who think continually about what is pleasing to Him and never deviate from the guidance of the Qur'an, the boundless mercy, generosity and love of Allah are always with believers. Allah has promised that He will never leave them alone and without aid. For these devoted servants who make a sincere effort for His cause without giving way to doubt, and who joyfully devote their lives and their goods to gaining His good pleasure, Allah brings the good news that as the reward for what they have done they will live for ever in a Paradise filled with blessings:
There is good news for them in the life of this world and in the Hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory! (Surah Yunus, 64)
Their Lord gives them the good news of His mercy and good pleasure and Gardens where they will enjoy everlasting delight. (Surat at-Tawba, 21)
As we can see from these verses, Allah has brought believers the good news of Paradise, describing the joy that will soon be theirs. Awareness that the boundless mercy and love of Allah are always with them and the hope that Allah will reward them with the Gardens of Paradise bring a great comfort and peace to the hearts of believers. In the Qur'an, Allah also informs believers that they will be brought good news by angels:
The angels descend on those who say, "Our Lord is Allah," and then go straight: "Do not fear and do not grieve but rejoice in the Garden you have been promised." (Surah Fussilat, 30)
This indescribable happiness of believers is not limited to being given the good news of the Garden. In addition to this, Allah blesses His true servants with the news of a beautiful worldly life in the verse, "... There is good in this world for those who do good, and the abode of the Hereafter is even better..." (Surat an-Nahl: 30)
Allah also promises believers that they will live an excellent life in this verse:
Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 97)
We can see in the Qur'an that this good news brought to believers by Allah is manifested in the lives of many of the prophets. For instance, the prayer of Prophet Sulayman (as): "He [Sulayman] said, 'My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly You are the Ever-Giving.'" (Surah Sad: 35) This prayer was answered and he was given great worldly wealth. In the verse, "Did He not find you impoverished and enrich you?" (Surat ad-Duha: 8), Allah tells us that Prophet Muhammad (saws) was also given wealth. In addition, in various verses the Qur'an tells us that Prophets Dawud (as), Ibrahim (as) and Dhu'l-Qarnayn (as) were given great resources and openings. As well as the endless wonders and rewards He has reserved for the believers in Paradise, Allah grants them blessings in this world and this increases their devotion to Him and their desire and eagerness to be united in the Garden.
In the Qur'an Allah promises that believers will always be happy and secure in this world and that by the guiding light of the Qur'an He will give them strength and power:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55)
This is a pledge of Allah's to believers. What believers must do is show their gratitude to Allah and praise His name in exchange for this favor.
They are Pleased with Allah's Mercy and His people
As has been emphasized in previous sections, the happiness of people in the community of the ignorant is dependent on worldly life and the extent to which they can take advantage of it. All their affection and respect for one another as well as their relations with each other are based on materialistic criteria. They have convinced themselves that in this way they will lead a happy and tranquil life. However, there is one thing which they forget or ignore every time. Human happiness depends not on comfort in material terms but on spiritual comfort and tranquility. Whether a person is rich or poor, he cannot be happy unless he feels spiritual calm and comfort. In the community of the ignorant, this materialistic drive pushes people in the direction of a bottomless pit, for it is a source of trouble. Allah describes this situation in the Qur'an:
...Do not let their wealth and children impress you. Allah merely wants to punish them by them during their life in this world and for them to expire while they are disbelievers. (Surat at-Tawba, 55)
As Allah tells us in the Qur'an, no matter how much property they acquire and accumulate and no matter how far they improve their status, unbelievers will gain nothing but torment and misery. Because they do not understand the beauty and the comfort which the guidance of the Qur'an can bring them, they try to fill their spiritual vacuum with fleeting worldly gains. Believers naturally experience spiritual contentment because they have faith in Allah and worship only Him. In a verse of the Qur'an, Allah defines believers as those who "humble themselves before their Lord" because this satisfies their hearts. He also brings them the good news of Paradise:
As for those who believe and do right actions and humble themselves before their Lord, they are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. (Surah Hud, 23)
In another verse of the Qur'an, Allah tells us that the hearts of believers are contented only through His remembrance and that it is only through His remembrance that any heart can find contentment:
Those who have faith and whose hearts find peace in the remembrance of Allah. Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace. (Surat ar-Ra'd, 28)
What makes believers happy and brings them peace and comfort is the deep devotion they feel towards Allah and being with Allah in their hearts at all times. This favor is a blessing and a mercy granted by Allah to His sincere believers in return for their sincere faith. They experience the happiness of knowing that when they pray Allah will answer their prayers, that when they make a mistake Allah will always forgive and help them if they confess it sincerely, that He will definitely show them a way out, that they will receive a full or even excessive reward for what they do and that they will attain Allah's boundless mercy. Thus the source of the joy and happiness of believers is the unlimited mercy and benevolence Allah shows them. Allah describes this joy of the believers in the Qur'an as follows:
Say: "It is the favor of Allah and His mercy that should be the cause of their rejoicing. That is better than anything they accumulate." (Surah Yunus, 58)
Allah's mercy and great benevolence manifest themselves unceasingly until the end of their lives. The Garden filled with blessings which Allah has prepared for the faithful will also be theirs eternally by Allah's permission.
The Strength of Their Devotion to Allah
Throughout their lives believers have faith together with the certain knowledge that everything takes place with Allah's knowledge and under His control. Every moment of a person's life, every word he says, his every thought, everything that happens to him and where and when he will die are determined before he even comes into the world. He lives out what Allah wants for him. It is this which gives believers great peace and comfort. They know that everything which happens to them has been planned by Allah and is definitely to their advantage. Because of this, in every circumstance believers take refuge in Allah. They are guided by Him and they ask for His help. Allah refers to this powerful devotion of the believers as follows:
Say: "Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust." (Surat at-Tawba, 51)
Believers put their trust in Allah in all matters and because they accept everything He creates for them they never give way to fear or concern under any circumstances. Their submission to Allah keeps them from worldly fears and concerns of any kind. People who live in the community of the ignorant have a great many fears and concerns because they do not trust in Allah. The most important of these are fear for the future, fear of poverty and fear of death. They worry about these all the time and, taking the whole burden on themselves, try to find solutions. It is impossible for a person to find a way out without Allah's help and mercy. Believers who sincerely believe in Allah and submit to Him from the heart stay away from these troubles caused by worldly stresses and fears and are always carefree, cheerful and optimistic.
Another important factor in making believers happy and tranquil is their knowledge that any event which happens to them that seems negative is in fact to their advantage. Faced with the problems they encounter, ignorant people feel great anxiety and discomfort and are crushed by them. When something occurs which seems disadvantageous, they cannot see the good and the benefit in it which Allah wants for them. For this reason, they always fall prey to a pessimistic and hopeless outlook. This in turn distances them further and further from Allah. This state into which such people sink increases their pain and dismay even more. Allah tells us that the hardships disbelievers suffer will continually increase:
But as for those who deny Our Signs, We will lead them, step by step, into destruction from where they do not know. (Surat al-A'raf, 182)
With the expression "from where they do not know" in the verse, Allah is informing us that the deniers of the truth will experience anxiety and unhappiness in the life of this world in a way they do not expect at all. They are not aware of what really makes them unhappy and troubled. So long as they are not devoted to Allah and His Book they will be unable to identify the source of their unhappiness and will continue to be troubled.
Believers, on the other hand, see good in everything and whatever the circumstances in which they find themselves, they never forget that what happens is what Allah wants for their own benefit. So there is nothing to sadden believers or trouble them. Even if they are in a very difficult and disadvantageous position, they turn to Allah and remain patient while asking for His help. This is a blessing for believers. By the same token in times of ease and plenty they turn to Allah nonetheless and show their gratitude to Him and try to draw closer still to Him. This, too, is a blessing for believers.
Thus the submission of believers to Allah's decree and their attachment to Him make them happy and at peace under all circumstances and earn them His approval. Our Prophet Muhammad (saws) described this attitude of the believers as "strange" and praised it as follows:
"Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight he thanks [Allah], thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it." (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 20)
As our Prophet (saws) said, for believers everything is a source of benefit. This privilege is exclusive to believers and is a manifestation of Allah's mercy towards them. Allah gives the good news of His mercy towards believers in the Qur'an:
As for those who believed and did right actions, their Lord will admit them into His mercy. That is the Clear Victory. (Surat al-Jathiyya, 30)
The powerful devotion of believers to Allah brings them closer to Him under all circumstances and causes them to be continually contented and at peace.