True Peace of Mind and Contentment
It is impossible to find peace and happiness in karmic belief. Surrender to Allah and the
destiny created by Him is the only source of true happiness and lasting peace.
As we have already stated, one of the reasons why people feel interest in philosophies such as the idea of karma is their desire to escape from the worries in their lives, their lack of peace of mind and their unhappiness. Different people try various methods of their own in order to achieve this. However, in reality the only way to achieve true contentment and peace of mind is to surrender to Allah, respect the boundaries He has set up and seek His blessing in every moment of our lives. It is He Who created mankind out of nothing, Who brought us out of non-existence and gave us life, Who equipped us with infinite varieties of sustenance, Who is infinitely Merciful and Kind, Who returns good with good, protects and cares for us, and Who created everything justly for our ultimate good.
Allah is the sole Lord of every living and non-living being in the whole universe; He is the sole Creator and the sole Power in the universe. All powers, all armies, all people and all groups belong to Allah and have surrendered to Him, whether they acknowledge it or not. Allah tells us this in the following verse of the Qur'an:
Is it other than the religion of Allah that you desire, when everything in the heavens and earth, willingly or unwillingly, submits to Him and to Him you will be returned? (Surah Al 'Imran: 83)
Anyone who surrenders to Allah, the sole Lord of the whole universe, and who accepts Allah as their only Friend and Guardian, bowing before Him in heartfelt love, obedience and awe, has found the only way to salvation, for Allah is the Supreme Power. We are told of Allah's greatness and His exaltedness in the following verse:
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. (Surat al-Baqara: 255)
Following this verse of the Qur'an, in which we are told of Allah's greatness and His exaltedness, we are told that if we turn away from false gods and towards Him, we will have taken hold, as it were, of a firm handhold to Him that cannot be removed as long as we cling to it:
As for those who believed and did right actions, their Lord will admit them into His mercy.That is the Clear Victory.
(Surat al-Jathiya: 30)
Because they do not realise this, many people mistakenly seek the support and the guardianship of beings who are in fact powerless to achieve anything and are just as impotent as they themselves are. Doing this causes such people to live their lives in fear and insecurity.
For instance, let us take the case of a person with a legal problem. This person will hire a lawyer to defend him. He will trust the lawyer because he knows the legal system much better than he himself does. As long as he continues to trust in the lawyer's abilities and feel confidence in him, he will feel relaxed and confident about everything to do with the lawsuit. But if he does not entrust his business to a lawyer in spite of the fact that he himself has no knowledge of legal matters, and take the entire responsibility upon himself, he will meet with many unnecessary worries and difficulties. Or let us consider the case of a person who is ill and who willingly entrusts himself to the care of his doctor, doing everything he says and following his advice. As long as he has confidence in the doctor's professional abilities, he will not search for different medicines and different treatments for himself.
Both these examples show how we place confidence in other people and surrender ourselves to them because of their special abilities. Being able to rely on someone we trust gives us a welcome feeling of peace of mind and confidence. However, trusting in Allah and surrendering ourselves to Him is an incomparably greater and more significant matter than this.
If we surrender ourselves to Allah, we willingly accept everything He sends us throughout our lives-every event, every image, every conversation. No matter what happens, we never ask, "What's going on?" When we have experienced difficulty, we never say, "If only this or that had not happened", because we know that everything that happens to us has been sent to us by our Lord Allah, to Whom we have confidently surrendered ourselves and in Whose justice, kindness and mercy we have absolute faith. It is very important for us to surrender ourselves to Allah, as a means to salvation. The importance of this is explained in the following verses of the Qur'an:
If they argue with you, say, "I have submitted myself completely to Allah, and so have all who follow me". Say to those given the Book and those who have no Book, "Have you become Muslim?" If they become Muslim, they have been guided. If they turn away, you are only responsible for transmission. Allah sees His servants. (Surah Al Imran: 20)
Those who submit themselves completely to Allah and do good have grasped the Firmest Handhold. The end result of all affairs is with Allah. (Surah Luqman: 22)
Those who do not surrender themselves to Allah, trusting instead in their own wisdom and seeing themselves as separate, independent beings, often experience suffering and torment throughout their lives. Whenever they do not get what they want, they immediately begin to feel unhappy and despairing-whereas if they knew that everything Allah sends us is for a good purpose in terms of our ultimate fate, and told themselves that Allah knows things that they do not know, nothing would cause them sorrow or anxiety. For example, if someone is late in arriving at the place he is going to, or is unable to reach it at all, he may feel sorry about this for days. However, if he surrenders himself to Allah, he will know that not being able to get there must have had a good purpose and that Allah must have willed this for his own good and he will not feel worried in the slightest. There will be no sadness and fear for such people either in this world or the next, as these verses of the Qur'an tell us:
Those who say, "Our Lord is Allah", and then go straight will feel no fear and will know no sorrow. Such people are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, for ever, as repayment for what they did. (Surat al-Ahqaf: 13-14)
Yes, the friends of Allah will feel no fear and will know no sorrow: those who believe and guard against evil, 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: 62-64)
Everything in the heavens and everything in the earth belongs to Allah so that He can repay those who do evil for what they did and repay those who do good with the
(Surat an-Najm: 31)
Apart from His promise that we will have happiness and peace of mind if we surrender to Him and to the fate that He has determined for us, Allah also promises us that He will allow those who have faith and trust in Him and perform good actions to have a good life in this world:
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)
... There is good in this world for those who do good, and the abode of the hereafter is even better. How wonderful is the abode of those who guard against evil�(Surat an-Nahl: 30)
There are many good things in this world. In order to have a good life, one thing we need is friends we can trust and with whom we can enjoy a relationship of mutual affection and real intimacy. Allah lends His support to His servants who have sincere faith in Him and who trust Him by giving them friends who are good Muslims like themselves-trustworthy, honourable people who are friends of Allah. That is why a Muslim is never lonely. One of Allah's greatest gifts to the faithful is to ensure that they always have friends with them - fellow-Muslims whom they can trust, whom they love and respect and whom they hold in greater honour than they hold themselves.
One of the greatest difficulties for the ignorant-those who follow a code of ethics different from that outlined in the Qur'an-is not having anyone near them who can be a friend to them; they have no one on whose wisdom and sincerity they can rely, who will stand by them in all circumstances and who will give them support based on sincere affection rather than on any desire for personal advantage.
Friendships between people who do not follow the values set out in the Qur'an and exemplified in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, always contain an element of conflict of interest. These people may not have anyone near them to support them if they find themselves in material or emotional difficulties. This never happens with friendships between Muslims. Muslims have such high standards that they will give priority to meeting the needs of other people even when they themselves are in need. Allah describes these qualities of the believers in the following verse:
Those who were already settled in the abode, and in belief, before they (the emigrants) came, love those who have emigrated to them and do not find in their hearts any need for what they have been given and prefer them to themselves even if they themselves are needy. It is the people who are safe-guarded from the avarice of their own selves who are successful. (Surat al-Hashr: 9)
A good Muslim does not enjoy being in the company of those who do not call on the name of Allah, who rebel against destiny and who have a liking for idle talk. That is why Allah ensures that Muslims provide support for each other. The faithful constantly call on the name of Allah, speak enthusiastically of the beautiful things He has created and give thanks for His gifts. Everything they say has a reason and a purpose; in everything they say there is joy, wisdom and beauty, and strength, truth and majesty. Their words never cause distress, pessimism or despair and never lead people to give up hope that a solution will be found; their words are always hope-giving, like an announcement of good news, bringing enlightenment to those who listen and opening up new horizons for them; their words provide endless food for thought and create a feeling of spaciousness and relaxation in the listener. No one offends anyone else, no one says hurtful things and no one speaks with envy or derision; instead, there is real friendship, joy and affection, as there is the honesty of speaking the truth, and real and genuine counsel in the affairs of this life and the path to the next.
Another characteristic of a good life is that it is lived in clean, healthy and comfortable surroundings. Muslims always choose the cleanest and most healthy alternative. The conditions in which the ignorant live, however, are generally dirty, disorderly and depressing. Such people prefer out-of-the-way places that are dark and smoky, even for recreation-although the soul of man was created in such a way as to be able to feel pleasure in the cleanness and beauty of Heaven.
And there are others who say, �ur Lord, give us good in the world, and good in the hereafter, and safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.�They will have a good share from what they have earned. Allah is swift at reckoning.
Allah may also give Muslims comfortable living conditions and material abundance in this world. As we are told in the Qur'an, some prophets such as Muhammad, Sulayman, Yusuf and Ibrahim, peace be upon all of them, were people to whom abundance and material wealth were given. For example, Allah tells us that He has made Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, rich, saying to him: "Did He not find you impoverished and enrich you?" (Surat ad-Duha: 8). However, our Prophet was generous and gave everything away to others and always preferred others, so that often he was left without a single dinar or dirham, simply because of his generosity and reliance upon Allah. Also, Allah gave Yusuf control over the treasuries of Egypt. And when Sulayman prayed to Allah to give him a kingdom greater than anyone else could possess, Allah granted his prayer.
Allah has prepared Gardens for them with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever. That is the great victory.
In the following verse of the Qur'an, Allah tells Muslims that through His munificence He will make them rich. In this case, Allah mentions that if people are too poor to marry, yet they ought to marry and then He will enrich them:
If you are poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat an-Nur: 32)
There is good news for them in the life of the world and in the hereafter. There is no changing the words of Allah. That is the great victory!
(Surah Yunus: 64)
Allah may make some of the faithful rich, and if He does, it is through His grace and favour, but the faithful never pursue the material benefits of this world as an end in itself. Their only desire is to obtain Allah's grace and mercy, and to gain the Garden that Allah has beautified with an infinite number of good things. Thus they use the blessings and the wealth Allah has given them in the best possible way, in order to obtain His blessing. They are not wasteful. They protect those in need and enable them to enjoy the good things Allah has made available. They also use everything they own in the best possible way as a means of causing the teachings outlined in the Qur'an to become more widely known and practised.
Unlike the faithful, those who deny Allah often have a life of never-ending distress and suffering. Even though they may be rich and have all the wordly goods they could ask for, Allah gives such people heaviness of heart:
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 disbelieve. (Surat al-An'am: 125)
In another verse, Allah tells us that those who obey Him will be happy, whereas those who do not will have a life of worry and care:
But if anyone turns away from My reminder, his life will be a dark and narrow one and on the Day of Rising We will gather him blind. (Surah Ta Ha: 124)
The only way for us to have a good life both in this world and the next is to love Allah, to fear Him, to obtain His friendship and to respect the rules and limitations set out in the Qur'an. Superstitious beliefs, such as the corrupted idea of karma, that do not originate in the Qur'an cannot provide any real solution to our need for happiness and our desire to live a good life. Allah tells us that it is He Himself Who rescues us from distress in the following words:
Say: "Allah rescues you from it, and from every plight. Then you associate others with Him". (Surat al-An'am: 64)