Allah SWT is The Most Gracious. He promises us Eternal Paradise for the one who believes and does righteous deeds. We have so little to do to attain the ever-lasting bounties of The Hereafter, and still we fail by allowing our chances to slip away! And SubhanAllah, if one lets his numerous chances slip away, he is losing the Jannah of this world too. And only the one who attains Jannah in this world will attain the Jannah of the Hereafter.
By attaining Jannah in this world, I mean, attaining peace of mind and tranquility in our hearts. Nowadays, we have a notion that if we are physically enjoying perfect health, have wealth and all the latest technologies and facilities that come with it, we will find our inner peace and will be able to be happy. But true happiness comes with being content with The Lord and what He Azza Wajal has provided us with. It is a sense of stability that carries us throughout the trials of life.
Our Prophet said: “Whoever makes this world his goal God will confuse his affairs and place poverty before his eyes and he will be able to attain nothing from this world except for what God has already written for him. Whoever sets the Hereafter as his goal, God gathers his affairs for him, gives him richness of (faith in) the heart and the world will come to him grudgingly and submissively.” (Ibn Maajah, Ibn Hibbaan)
We can enjoy inner peace and thus enjoy happiness in this world and Paradise in the Hereafter if we can always reflect on the following:
- Surrender completely to the will of Allah SWT. Allah Azza Wajal has not commanded us to do anything that is not beneficial for ourselves and the whole mankind in this world and/or the Hereafter. We should have that trust in Him and thus, follow His Dheen (religion). For example, when someone is going for a job interview, and she removes her hijab (or he shaves his beard) fearing that she (he) won't get a job otherwise; shows the lack of trust in Allah SWT. He/she feels that following the dheen of Islam is going to be against him/her, and thus prefers to disobey Allah SWT.
Ibn Abbas Radhiyallahu anh narrated that one day he was riding behind Allah's Messenger and he said, "Young man, if you are mindful of Allah, He will be mindful of you, and if you are mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. When you ask for anything, ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek help in Allah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only what Allah has recorded for you, and if they were to unite to do you some injury, they could injure you only with what Allah has recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry. (Ahmad and Tirmidhi -Sahih).
شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَأُوْلُواْ الْعِلْمِ قَآئِمَاً بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ - إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللَّهِ الإِسْلَـمُ
Allah bears witness that none has the right to be worshipped but He, and the angels, and those having knowledge (also bear witness to this); (He always) maintains His creation in justice. None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. (Surah Aal Imran: 18,19)
- Total Submission and Obedience, which is required after the surrender: There is no "but"s, it is incumbent on every believing man and woman. When we fully submit to the commands of Allah, and try to excel as much as we can, we will be pleased with ourselves, for we know that we are trying to please no one but The Lord Almighty whose approval is the most important thing to us. Allah SWT says:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلاَ مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْراً أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَـلاً مُّبِيناً
It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed into a plain error. (Surah Al-Ahzaab: 36)
- Remembrance: The constant remembrance that it is Allah SWT who created us and sent each one of us to earth for a purpose. Each one of us is a representative of Allah (khalifah) on Earth. Each one of us should have one purpose in this life, and that is to attain Jannah in The Hereafter. And we should remember that inshAllah we will meet with Our Lord, and will be able to see Him.(Ya Allah, bless us to be among those who will be able to see You, Ar-Rahman!) And only those who surrender and submit with firm belief will be able to do so. Allah says in the Qur'an:
الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُمْ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ أَلاَ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ - الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ طُوبَى لَهُمْ وَحُسْنُ مَـَابٍ
Those who believed and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. Those who believed, and work righteousness, happiness and comfort is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return. (Surah Ar-Ra'd: 28-29)
Everything a Muslim does will be with the remembrance of Allah, be it in his thoughts, speech or actions. This is like what Allah says:
قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِى وَنُسُكِى وَمَحْيَاىَ وَمَمَاتِى للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ - لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
Say: "Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." (Surah Al-An'aam: 162-163)
وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know. (Surah Al-Baqara: 216)
And Allah says:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الاٌّمَوَالِ وَالاٌّنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّـبِرِينَ - الَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـبَتْهُم
مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُواْ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّـآ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعونَ - أُولَـئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَتٌ مِّن رَّبْهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.'' They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e., who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones. (Surah Al-Baqara: 155-157)
Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu alihiwassalam said: Whoever pretends to be patient (with a desire to be patient) God will give him patience. (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
- Thawakkul upon Allah: The content believer does his part and then prays to Allah for the khair (good) to happen, and leaves all his affairs unto Him. He knows that Allah will facilitate the best for him. This is the meaning of the famous hadeeth of Rasoolullah: Tie your camel first and then, put your trust in Allah Azza Wajal. (At-Thirmidhi)
We should ponder upon ayahs like:
اللَّهُ خَـلِقُ كُـلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُل شَىْءٍ وَكِيلٌ
Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Trustee (Guardian and Disposer of all affairs) over all things. (Surah Az-Zumar: 62)
Let's pray to Allah with utmost humility that we become sincere Muslims putting our trust in Allah SWT alone, and find contentment within ourselves. May Allah give us tranquility of heart and soul, and purify them for us. May Allah give us happiness in both the worlds, aameen.