July 12, 2006

Contentment ? The Million Dollar Solution

There are two types of people in this world: those who try to search out the
million dollars, so they can live on the high end of life; and those who try
to find the million dollar solution to life?s hurdles.

The former group plunges into the profit-driven corporate
world like a slave: Obeying the 9-5 hours? rule that the master slaps
on them and wearing the standard uniform, consisting of a cell phone, laptop,
blue shirt and tie, and a compatible suit. This group digs deep into the earth?s
resources hoping that one day it will indeed strike that ?million dollar
life-style?.

When this group is given some blessings from God, they jump on it like a thirsty
dog laps up water, not realizing how they approach and use the bounty is also
a test. And when this group is tested with an affliction, they lower their heads
in dismay, wallowing in self pity, not recognizing that they are blessed with
much more than several millions who are starving every day, and at times homeless
due to a war or natural disaster. This group lacks foresight and remains in
this despicable state until God, out of His immense mercy, changes their worldly
affairs for them again.

~~~~~~~~~

The latter of the two groups tries a different way to attain
a similar goal. While they too work those 9-5 jobs, and they too may carry the
same stylish, state of the art gadgets that every other corporate ?slave?
carries, such as the cell phones, PDAs, and slick laptops, they run a different
course.

They are after contentment – the state of mind, body, and soul that has far
reaching effects on an individual?s personality, lifestyle, and psychology.
These individuals are not as caught up in the rat race of life; they rather
struggle to attain a peace of mind. When they are given wealth by Allah they
turn to Him in gratitude thanking Him and asking Him to continue His immense
mercy on them, realizing that they can never even come close to showing enough
gratitude for all that He has provided. And when this group is tried with a
test, they turn to their Creator alone, realizing that this life and death have
been created as a test for them. They can attain a state of gratitude again,
as they recognize that they have far too little time to thank God for the remainder
of things He has provided them with.

Which group do you think gets the most out of life? Which group do you think
experiences most happiness?

Therapists and psychologists of today remain in a state of awe as they search
for the true source of contentment. Muslims have been blessed with the answer
to this life?s mystery:

He (Allah) guides to Himself
all who turn to Him – those who believe and whose hearts find satisfaction in
the remembrance of Allah – for without doubt in the remembrance of Allah human
hearts find satisfaction. (13:28)

6 ways to capitalize on the best wealth in life:
Contentment!

1) Gaze at those below you! The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
instructed his companions to look at the people below them in status and wealth,
and not at those above. Many of us live in societies where people seem to
be just as well off as us; it is important that we make ourselves aware of
the stark realities of poverty in our own back yards, and more importantly,
all over the world. These facts and stories should humble us and make us less
self-absorbed.

2) Understand the realities of this life. Allah (SWT) says
?[He] Who created death and life that He might test you as to which
of you is best in deed. And He is also Mighty and Forgiving.? [67:2]
A believer understands that this life is short in length compared to the 50,000
years that the Day of Judgment will be, and it is only a testing field to
distinguish those who have faith from those who do not. The Messenger of Allah
(pbuh) also once said ?This world is a prison for the believer and paradise
for the unbeliever.? Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reminded his
companions, ?The believing slave (who dies) is relieved of the fatigue
and pain of this world and has gone to the mercy of Allah.?

3) Fifteen Minutes of pleasure aren?t worth it! Often
we don?t realize it, but majority of the worldly objects we chase after
only bring us few minutes of pleasure. Once those fifteen minutes of enjoyment
are over, we move on, and strive to attain something better. As smart and
reasonable individuals we need to re-assess whether the fifteens minutes of
pleasure are worth all the time spent in attaining them, or is the everlasting
next life more important?

4) Thank you cards to Allah (SWT): we express our thanks
to people all the time, for the small kindness they show. Why not thank Allah
while we?re at it? In a state of personal contemplation, try thinking
about each thing that God has graciously bestowed us with and that someone
else is deprived of. Ponder upon how much mercy God has had on us by giving
us the sight, hearing, and speaking faculties alone! When we fully understand
God?s mercy in allowing us to breathe another breath, we would become
grateful in times of wealth and poverty, alike.

A man will come on the Day or Judgment who had devoted his whole life to
the remembrance of God and God would ask him if he thought he deserved to
enter Paradise, or it would be His mercy. The man?s good deeds would
then be weighed against the mercy of Allah (SWT) and it would turn out that
Allah?s mercy in just giving those eyes was greater than the man?s
entire life of worship!

5) In your pocket, not your heart: Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf and
Uthman bin Affan (may Allah be pleased with them both) were blessed with many
riches, but what distinguished them was their generosity and detachment from
their own wealth. The wealth was in their pockets and not in their heart.
Let?s understand what drove them ? as they had what we spend our
whole lives to attain, yet they used it in very different ways.

6) Read & Understand the Quran: The words sent down directly
from God surely must have practical answers to our life?s predicaments.
A great publication to read on this subject: Quran: Your Gateway To A New
World.

May Allah (SWT) make us of those who are content with what
ever worldly state He places us in; may He grant us success in this life and
the next; and may He give us steadfastness in our faith, and make us of those
who guide, and are rightly guided. Aameen.

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