Whether they are young or old, what most people expect of the world is not just a successful, secure, comfortable and luxurious life, although everybody would enjoy a life of this kind. Above all, people want their lives to have a meaning and a purpose. On this important point, believers and disbelievers part company. Because they know this life is their only chance of earning the good will of Allah, believers make winning His approval their aim right up to the end of their lives.
Disbelievers, on the other hand, pursue various purposes in order to take maximum advantage of this valueless world and live as long as they can driven by the desire to possess the world. Because of this there are major differences between the true happiness of believers and the false happiness of the community of the ignorant. Believers are aware of the true nature of this world and the reason for its creation. They know that Allah is testing them and that it is their duty to serve Him. For this reason, they hope throughout their lives for Paradise which is their real home and try to gain Paradise by working to become more deserving of Allah's generosity and reward. Happiness is a great blessing both in this world and the next which Allah grants His pious followers for their sincere belief and devotion. The only source of the happiness and tranquility of believers is their faith. Allah makes sincere believers feel happiness and tranquility as a blessing in their hearts. What believers experience is not a happiness dependent on circumstances but the spiritual happiness which their faith brings them. As for disbelievers, so long as they do not believe they will be unhappy. Allah tells us that in return for their disbelief He makes their hearts unhappy and troubled:
When Allah desires to guide someone, He expands his breast to Islam. When He desires to misguide someone, He makes his breast narrow and constricted as if he were climbing up into the sky. That is how Allah defiles those who have no faith. (Surat al-An'am, 125)
As long as they do not abandon their passion for the things of this world, disbelievers can never know or experience the peace and happiness which faith brings. Allah expresses the regret they will feel on the Day of Judgment with the words, "They will say, 'If only we had really listened and used our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze.'" (Surat al-Mulk: 10) Allah also tells us that unhappiness is their lot in the life of this world by reason of their disbelief:
"Were My Signs not recited to you and did you not deny them?" They will say, "Our Lord, our miserable destiny overpowered us. We were misguided people." (Surat al-Muminun, 105-106)
Because they live in accordance with Allah's guidance, on the Day of Judgment, Allah will send believers to a Paradise filled with blessings where they will remain for all eternity and they will be received by its guardians as follows:
And those who have fear of their Lord will be driven to the Garden in companies and when they arrive there, finding its gates open, its custodians will say to them, Peace be upon you! You have done well so enter it timelessly, for ever." (Surat az-Zumar, 73)
With their entry into Paradise, the believers, whose happiness will already have begun in the life of this world, will find the greatest joy and salvation. In the Garden Allah has prepared for them, they will experience eternally the boundless blessings of Paradise; the joy and happiness which earning the approval, love and mercy of our Lord has brought them...