We’ve all attempted to define our criteria for happiness, but what is the Qurʾānic criteria of happiness set by the Almighty?
[Say, ‘In the bounty of Allāh and in His Mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.] Yūnus:58
The bounties of Allāh upon us and His Mercy are the true wealth in the form of Guidance to the Straight Patg, tawfīq to all those acts of worship that please Him, and protection from shirk and transgressions. THAT is a reason for us to be happy. And that is what true happiness is, in case you’ve ever wondered. Happiness is not bathing in materialism and “wealth”. And happiness is most certainly not tied to a human being (a friend, a spouse,…).
Throughout the Qurʾān, whenever there has been a mention of beneficial happiness, it’s been tied to goodness in the form of waḥī, Islām, mercy of Allāh, love of Allāh, and so on. Any other time there has been a mention of happiness in the Qurʾān, it’s been a dark, empty happiness, one that is leading to great grief in the Next Life.
This alone should tell us a lot. It should guide us to what we need to be doing in order to be happy, in this life and the Next.
Scholars of tafsīr have spoken at length about what this bounty of Allāh mentioned in this āyah could be, and all of these opinions come down to the Qurʾān and the guidance that is in it. And the Mercy-Raḥma part is being able to follow that guidance. That is happiness.
One exegete, ar-Rāzī, comments on the linguistic relevance of this āyah saying that its composition is such that it insinuates a limitation, that true happiness is limited to what Allāh describes in this āyah. Thus, ar-Rāzi concludes, any materialistic happiness is simply void.
And in the words of our beloved Amīr al-Muʾminīn, ʿOmar, “Indeed true happiness is the happiness with the Book of Allāh.”
Ṣadaqta yā ʿOmar; you’ve spoken truthfully, O ʿOmar.
After all, Allāh describes the Qurʾān as Bushrā (glad tidings) – for the believers. Fabidhālika fal yafraḥū.
With it, let the Believers find happiness.