Don’t Let Grief and Worry Make Your Short Life Shorter

The intelligent person knows that his real life is the life he lives in happiness and tranquility, and that it is very short indeed. Therefore he should not make it shorter by allowing grief and moaning over troubles to get the better of him, because that is the opposite of real living. He should be very covetous of his life, so that most of it does not become the loot of worries and troubles; and in this there is no difference between both the good and the bad people. Except that the believer has a more complete and perfect realisation of this fact, and makes better use of it for the good of both this world and the hereafter.

When something unpleasant happens to him, or he is afraid that it will happen to him, he should remember the other blessings of Allah on him in his religion and worldly life, and compare them with the unpleasant thing. If he does that, he will realise how abundant are the blessings of Allah on him, and how insignificant are the troubles that befell him.

He should also compare between his fear in the evil that may possibly befall him, and the many other possibilities of safety and deliverance from that evil that may occur. Therefore he should not let a weak and insignificant possibility outweigh stronger and more numerous possibilities. By this, his fear and anxiety will fade away. He should also assume the occurrence of the worst possible trouble on him, and then prepare himself to deal with it if it occurs, and strive as much as possible to ward it off if it has not occurred, or remove or lighten if it has occurred.

Among the useful things to remember is to know that what people do to hurt you, especially slander and other evil talk, will not hurt you. Rather it is them that it hurts. The only way it will hurt you is if you occupy yourself with grieving over it, and allow it to get the better of your feelings. When you do that it will hurt you as it did hurt them. But if you pay no attention to it, it will not hurt you in nay way.

Know also that your life is subservient to your thoughts. If you engage your thoughts in what is useful to you in your religion and your worldly life, then your life will be good and happy. Otherwise, the opposite will be the case. Among the most useful ways to drive away grief is to remind yourself not to desire thanks and gratitude from anyone except Allah. So if you do good to someone who has a right over you, or has no right over you, then know that your deal is with Allah, and do not pay any heed to the thanks and gratitude of the one to whom you were good. This is as Allah the Most High said regarding His elite among the creation,

“(They say) We feed you for the sake of Allah alone: no reward do we desire from you, nor thanks.” (Al-Insan:9)

This is more important where dealing with the family, children and any other person strongly connected to you. Whenever you make it your habit to drive any evil away form you, you rest in peace, and make others also rest in peace.

Among the things that make life easy for you, is to follow a natural path in your effort to do righteous and excellent actions and avoid constraining yourself to follow an unnatural path that will fill your heart with worries and anxieties, and you end up going nowhere in attaining excellent positions. This is because you followed a crooked path. All this is wisdom. Also make use of the moments of turbidity, and turn them to moments of sweetness and clarity. By that, the sweetness of your please will increase and your troubles will vanish.

Make the attainment of useful things your goal, and strive to realise them, and pay no attention to harmful things. This will occupy you away from the things that bring about grief and sorrow. Sieze moments of leisure and mental concentration to accomplish important activities.

When undertaking useful things you should rank them in order of priority and importance. Find out the one which you have a stronger urge to do, and which your self desires more. Its opposite will bring about boredom, weariness and irritation. Seek help in good thinking and good counsel. It is said that the one who seeks good counsel never regrets. Study what you intend to do carefully and throughly. When you are certain of the good that is in it and resolve to do it, then rely on Allah, and know that Allah loves those who rely on Him.

And praise is to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be on our Master, Muhammad and his family and companions.

Useful Ways of Leading a Happy Life by Shaykh Abdur Rahman bin Nasr As S’adi Pages 34-37 (end)