While dwelling on the concept of comfort and happiness, we picture the most enjoyed moments of our lives. Not only we are all admired to pursue happiness, but also we plan our lives to reach the state of everlasting tranquility. From a baby on its mother’s lap to an old man who has finished the major part of his life’s journey, from a school student whose summer vacation has just arrived to a university graduate who has completed semesters of endeavor, from a young man who has ended one day of hard work to parents devoted to enjoy observing the fruits (their children) of their lives growing, all and all are in the pursuit of tranquility.
Each time we set the stage for a new phase in our lives, we still look for comfort, as if this chain never ends or tranquility only belongs to some selected elites. So where is comfort? And where should we find and whom should we turn to for answer?
Shouldn’t we ask this question from the Lord, the one who created us and knows us the best? Let us turn to His vicegerents and listen to what they preached about the pursuit of happiness. The following summarizes the prescription of Imam Zain al-Abedin (PBUH), our fourth Imam, on the matter. Imam Sajjad is unique for he observed the worst hardships; however, he never let hardships take away his peace and tranquility. He answers our question in the following saying.
Zuhri, one of the students of Imam Sajjad (PBUH), says: “Once Imam was telling us, ‘whosoever does not find tranquility in the promise of Allah, will find his heart ripped apart by desires. I swear by Allah here and hereafter are two pans of scales, if one becomes heavy, it will overweight the other’, then Imam recited this verse:
‘When the Day of Judgment comes, which will certainly happen, it will destroy some and superior others. By Allah His enemies will be ruined and His friends will ascend to paradise.’(1) Then Imam turned to one of the people in that session and said: ‘Have piety for Allah and demand your desire from the right path. And do not ask for something that has not been created, for he who desires that which has not been created would tear apart, and would not gain access to it.’
The man said: ‘How could one ask for something which has not been created?’ Imam Sajjad (PBUH) said: ‘One who seeks to increase his wealth is after comfort in this world and comfort is neither created in this world nor for those who live in this world. Comfort is only in heaven and created for the people in heaven. Difficulty and burden is created in this world and for those who live in it. Whoever receives the smallest item in this world, he is given greed twice of that amount; and whoever has more in this world, he is more needy because he depends on the help of people to keep his wealth. Thus, the wealth of this world brings no means of comfort but the Satan tries to increase the greediness in mankind by continuous temptation and illusion of wealth that creates relief and comfort, whereas the wealth only increases the discomfort in this world and more accountability in the Day of Judgment.’
Then Imam continued: ‘Those who are friends with Allah (SWT) never went sought discomfort in this world to get to worldly dreams. They did it for their hereafter life.’
That which has not been created on this earth and for its people is comfort. Allah (SWT) has not placed a sense of peace in comfort; He has told us not to find peace in rest and comfort, rather we are told to look for it in faith and belief unto him, and in His promises. For he who did not find comfort in Allah’s (SWT) promises faces deep regrets.
(Reference: Selection taken from “Khisal” by Shaykh Saduq, Chapter 2)
Roshd Website would like to congratulate you, dear friend, and all Muslims on this auspicious occasion, the fifth of Sha’ban, the beauty of worshippers and the master of prostrators, Imam Ali ibn al-Hussain (PBUH).
1- The Holy Quran, (56:1-3)