Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i
MORE Q/A

Is it sinful to be happy?

Question:
How does Islam look at happiness? Is everything that makes one happy really sinful? Must we curtail all the good things in life?

Response:
Happiness is the ultimate objective of all humans, including the religious humans. The only thing we differ is in the understanding of what constitutes happiness. Probably it would not be wrong to claim that the most important ingredient of it is contentment. Hollow bursts of laughter wouldn't necessarily be a genuine criterion of happiness as indeed other forms of entertainment which give only temporary joy are not true manifestations of happiness.

Having said that, Islam is neither against entertainment nor joy. All it desires is that it should be within limits of morality and should not make humans unmindful of their creator and the purpose He has created them for. True contentment (happiness) comes only when we operate within moral limits and continue to thank God while we enjoy life. And indeed it's not possible to thank God if we don't enjoy His blessings properly. How can I thank Him for the taste of mango if I haven't tasted and enjoyed it properly? But the fact is that the true taste of mango is something I can only enjoy when after feeling it in the sensory system of my tongue, I also thank God from deep inside my heart for having allowed me to taste such a brilliant fruit. Those who haven't enjoyed the true taste of thanking God don't know what real enjoyment is.

We do often get bored and at times depressed while going through the routine drill of life. Entertainment is therefore a necessary part of human life to maintain the right balance in our personality. However, if we make entertainment the ultimate objective of our life it would mean that we haven't gone for the right balance, because life is soon going to come to an end.

True gratefulness of God, which is the purpose of religion, comes only when we properly enjoy the blessings of life He has given us, enjoy them within limits of morality, and the limits that don't cause us to become unmindful of His remembrance.

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