Thursday, April 5, 2012

Laughing and Weeping

وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَضْحَكَ وَأَبْكَىٰ

And that it is He (Allâh) Who makes (whom He wills) laugh,
and makes (whom He wills) weep.

The Holy Quran 53:43

I find that a lot of people are hung-up on happiness.

I've written about it before in my post Pleasure vs Happiness

The expectation is that the state of happiness is the normal way we should be feeling and any deviation from that norm means that we are either being wronged or somehow wronging ourselves.

Remember that

It really isn't about what's around you as much as what's inside you.  If you have peace inside you then that foundation of calmness makes good feelings possible.

Peace is Islam.  So, yes, to feel happiness means veering back to where you know you should be on the path. 

I wrote about Dr. Robert Holden's work here.  He says, "When you forget who you are, you forget what happiness is."  So, getting in touch with your inner core (which is where you are connected to God) means you can reach that bouyant feeling of floating along through the day.

I'm thinking again about what is happiness because of a Tweet that came to me.  " 9.6% of its population chronically depressed, the U.S. is the most depressed country in the world. least depressed is Nigeria"

That's amazing, isn't it?!

Yet, it made me remember a psychological study of lottery winners a year after their win.  The study was called, "Lottery winners and accident victims: Is happiness relative?"

Another blogger wrote about it here.

Years ago, I read about the study and never forgot about it.  Even before Islam, I was completely against the buying of lottery tickets.  I once lost a dream job I loved because I refused to sell pull tabs.  I was visiting schools and teaching social skills through drama.  Part of the non-profit's way to afford their program was to have their teachers sell pull tabs in bars.  When I balked at the evils of gambling, I was let go.  It remains totally ironic that I had been teaching children to find their inner voice and to distinguish right from wrong but when I did the same and spoke up to my boss it was not appreciated.   


The Western theory is that happiness comes in a bottle or in a pill; that we can find it in a person, or in a pile of money.  This is disproven time and again. 

I've been really moved these last days by the awesome words in the surah An-Najm.  I invite you to read and to remember.  Read because you've been searching.  Read because you want peace.  Read because through peace you'll find inshahallah the happiness you so desire.


MarieHarmony said...

I totally agree Yosra, happiness is to be found within. You can't buy it and nobody can give it to you. You can have many things and be unhappy, you can have nothing and be happy.

It is really an inside feeling, that I think only a true connection with your inner-core and God can provide you.

Hope you are well dear. take care and have a beautiful day!

Bonnie said...

My brother won first division in teh lottery a few years ago. he went from being a nice, normal man to being one of the most selfish people I have ever met in real life oh and he is just miserable.

But sometimes happiness is not so easy either. Mental health problems are something not talked about enough in our Muslim community. I have had sisters see my wrists by accident (badly scarred by prior suicide attempts) and have had them say 'but you have a degree in psychology' LOL oh it only it were that simple. Allah bless them.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Marie,

Thanks for your comment. As always, I'm glad you're a reader.

I would love to interview you, Girl. I don't know what is holding you back from Islam but I'd love to learn what it is.

Maybe you aren't meant to come to Islam (and that's fine) but I'd like to invite you.

Asalamu Alaykom Bonnie,

I think that, as Muslims, our goal is not to be that bouncing ball of emotions. Neither up high as a kite or as low as sucicidal. We can be even-keeled. That's my goal. I'm not always meeting it! But at least I want to stop cresting and crashing.

It is very sad to think of you ever trying to stop your life. Very sad. I'm sure in that moment of realization, the sisters grapple with how you could ever be that person. Their comments are them at a loss for how YOU could be so low in your faith. Of course, that was before Islam and inshahallah Islam will guide you to better.

May God bless all of us who strive to be people with emotions not emotional people.

MarieHarmony said...

Yosra, This would be my pleasure dear.
As we say " never say never", I just think I believe in God, and being part of a religion does not make me at ease. As I often say being from none of them give me the chance to embrace them all.
Take care dear.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Marie,

Thanks so much for your reply to my questions. I've taken my questions and your answers and put them together (with some addition thoughts from me) for a future posting. I'll post sooner rather than later inshahallah :)