The Secret of Happiness
There are so many points of views about this subject that it is too difficult to define it comprehensively. These kinds of discord are because of man’s different views towards the life and its purpose.
If you ask a young man who has finished his high school education and is waiting to enter University, “who is lucky?” He answers: “The one who successfully passes the university entrance examination. Also, if you ask a single young man who wants to marry a respectable woman, he asks: “the one who marries a capable and fit wife is lucky.”
And then, if you ask a woman with a hot-tempered and immoral husband, she answers: “the one who has a well behaved husband is lucky.”
On the other hand, you cannot find a person who is completely successful in achieving his wishes and desires, because of the obstacles and limitations of this world it is hardly likely that one can reach all of one’s goals.
The Holy Quran and the Confinements of Nature:
The Holy Qur’an has also pointed out this reality and we will mention three of its verses:
“And there is not a thing but with us are the treasures of it, and we do not send it down but in a known measure.” (15:21)
“…Allah indeed has pointed a measured for everything.” (65:3)
“And He gives you of all that you ask Him, and if you count Allah’s favors, you will not be able to number them.” (14:34)
In the first and second Verse, the Holy Quran has introduced the creation of the world on the basis of “measure” and “quantity. And it can be inferred from the third verse that no one will be able to achieve all of his desires and wishes, but everyone will achieve a certain quantity of them.
Based on the above-mentioned viewpoint it is difficult to define a lucky man. Although those who have restricted human desires to the limited circle of materials, believe that the goal of life is satisfying human desires and benefiting from material achievements. And thus they try to explain “prosperity” within these terms.
Prosperity from Two Viewpoints:
From the viewpoint of a materialist, a lucky man is a person who has more and more possibilities, and unlucky is the one who is deprived of them. As we pointed out before, from the religious viewpoint destiny and limitation, contrast and mortality are necessities of this world.
Therefore, there is no prosperous man, because, supposing that all the factors of convenience and welfare are prepared, they are still unable to escape the unpleasant and occasional accidents such as fatal diseases, senility and finally death?
Now if we look at mankind from another viewpoint, where the curtain of materiality is pushed aside, we will discover that the human being is a collection of external and the internal, body and soul. Man’s happiness cannot be limited to only material affairs, rather it can be found in spiritual well being.
Therefore, a lucky man is the one who under the umbrella of faith and remembrance of Allah overcomes his carnal desires, and controls his behavior, actions and even thoughts. According to this ideology, he will consequently achieve the position of confidence and spiritual serenity. The world gradually becomes meaningless and insignificant in his mind and only God is seen as great and significant.
Imam Ali (AS) describes the virtuous person as follows. “Allah becomes great in the eyes of their souls, and everything except He becomes small.” (Nahjul-Balagha, Sermon No. 193)
When the world and its transient pleasures become small and insignificant in man’s eyes his eyes become open to the spiritual goals of life, which is more sublime than material pleasures, and enjoyments.
Prosperity in difficult times:
From the viewpoint of a pious man, most of the troubles and restrictions of this world are actually good and most of the affairs with a pleasant appearance are actually unpleasant.
Therefore, he will never be fooled by these apparent affairs.
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (AS) states that:
“When Allah loves His servant, He plunges him into waves of afflictions. `O Sadur! (A companion of Imam Sadiq (AS), you and I will spend our day and night perpetually with troubles and calamities.’” (Usule Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 253.)
A truly pious man, not only tolerates unpleasant events very easily, but also looks upon them as mercy and grace and will be able to tolerate disappointments and difficulties with the weapon of trust in Allah. When someone sees a person in the throes of difficulties and problems he says:
“What a troubled man. Thank God we don’t have such problems.” They see such situations as a sign of misfortune and God’s anger.
On the contrary, if they look at a rich and comfortable man, they view him as a successful person whom Allah considers special. These kinds of opinions are against Islamic training and ideology. It is caused by mistakes in interpreting the ruling system of the universe. This Islamic ideology does not mean that every troubled man is beloved in the eyes of Allah or that every rich man is out of favor by Allah. We believe that according to the Quranic Verses, although having ease such as a beautiful house and a loving wife are signs of prosperity, difficulties and problems are necessities of life, which are effective in the shaping of the human personality.
:Briefly, prosperity is a reality, which everyone wants to have, and searching for it only within the material sphere is pointless and unachievable.
In a nutshell, the secret of prosperity depends on one’s faith, good deeds and patience in the face of unpleasant events. And this is a door that the Holy Qur’an has opened towards mankind when He states in Surah 103 that:
“I swear by Time, Most surely man is in loss. Except those who believe and do good and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience.”