Tag Archives: Divine Will

Islam and Happiness (Part III)

The path to happiness within the Islamic tradition has similarities with the West’s path to happiness. There is the recognition of the difficulties of the everyday world and the need to work hard to safeguard against poverty, ill-health, and harm.  There is also the recognition of the need to be sociable and kind to others.  In addition to this harmony and cooperation with others, the pursuit of knowledge and self-confidence is also required.  These actions are very similar to those of the West; in fact, they are nearly identical to the Journey portion of the road to happiness expressed in my book.  One major difference does exist: the actions in the West follow a hierarchy of one level leading to the next.  In Islam, such a hierarchy does not exist, which makes the completion of the steps more uncertain.

The above attributes allow the followers of Islam to recognize their Divine Destiny as expressed by the Divine Will.  It is the faith in Allah that allows the Divine Will to direct followers to the freedom from pain, fear, and anxiety in the everyday world, as well as the kingdom of Allah in the spiritual world.

Following the Divine Will has similarities in the West; for example, the possible attainment of freedom from everyday fears and anxiety.  Also, the spiritual welcoming into the kingdom of God for those who are to be saved.  In addition, the Divine Will is based on virtues that are intended to help the individual travel the road to happiness.

However, there is one main difference: this occurs at the beginning of the Adventure, which is the road after the Journey.  In the West, the Adventure begins with a call or summons.  This call can be ignored or accepted, if sent.  If accepted, the individual begins a series of trials to secure a boon or gift for the benefit of one’s family or community.  If the adventurer returns to the everyday world with the boon intact (which requires the love of others for the adventurer) then the adventurer attains happiness and the family or community flourishes.

It is this call to adventure, and required love of one’s neighbor, both of which are needed to reach happiness, that does not appear in the Islamic tradition.

Some final thoughts about the three Eastern/Middle-Eastern traditions regarding the road to happiness in my next post.

Islam and Happiness

As mentioned in my previous six posts, I am not an expert on Eastern religions.  I have tried to give a brief but accurate representation of the path to happiness as expressed in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions.  I would now like to turn to Islam – a Middle Eastern and North African religion.

In reviewing several authoritative references regarding the path to happiness as expressed in the Islamic tradition, I would like to discuss actions that support the pursuit of happiness, the Day of Judgement, as expressed in Islam:

1) Sound belief in Allah – Divine Guidance.  This action leads men in the right direction.  Faith in Allah develops reason and the way to truth – Divine Destiny.  This leads man to acquire good qualities and to aim for perfection.  The Divine Will is what directs the individual to the correct path in life.

2) Worship and devotion to Allah – leads to humility and encourages social welfare through attendance at worship services.  This leads to kindness to others.

3) Live within the limits of today.  The pursuit of wealth is important to protect one from starvation, ill-health, lack of warmth and shelter, and attack from others (safety).  The path to happiness, which is the preparation for the Day of Judgement, does not mean that one should neglect the everyday life.

4) Cooperation and harmony with others.  This includes family, schools, place of work, neighbors, and society in general.

5) Emotional stability – well-balanced life and approach to others in society.

6) Pursuit of knowledge

7) Self-confidence or self-esteem

8) Repentance

If the above actions are undertaken, then it is believed that one will experience freedom from fear and anxiety.  It is this freedom that is happiness on earth leading to happiness on the Judgement Day.

More to come in the next post.