A wise person once declared: “Nobody goes down a path of destruction except believing that it is a path to happiness.”

Many of us are simply looking to be happy. However, in the process of seeking happiness (and not always knowing the consequences of seeking it in the places we looking) we only find ourselves incurring harm and greater unhappiness upon ourselves. Hence, the Qur’an reminds us that “If the truth were in accordance with their desires, the heavens, the earth, and everyone in them would disintegrate” (Mu’minun, 23:71).

Don’t I, or others,reflect upon what is truly good for us? Yet people–unknowing of what direction we should take in life–have only our desires to lead us. At times we may even feel enslaved to our base passions and ego which appear to be the only thing moving us forward.  Yet, don’t we know that if our desires are given free reign over our souls they will only mislead it.  Of this God says: “The deeds of disbelievers are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but, when he gets there, he finds it is nothing” (Light; 24:39).

Worse than “finding nothing” is finding only pain, loss, or becoming even more disoriented on one’s path. Such an experience may feel like we are covered by “shadows in a deep sea covered by waves upon waves, with clouds above–layer upon layer of darkness” (Light; 24:40).

But wherever God wills, there is His Light.

Darkness and disorientation is not a healthy state in life, and it need not be a permanent one. We may feel at times like we are traveling a path of happiness, only to later discover that it was but a mirage, or worse, a path of self-destruction. However, in each journey we have something to learn, and perhaps our life is full of too many journeys to count. I pray that in each journey I learn something about the true path to happiness. Along the way, I also pray that I am learning how to further surrender my base desires for the desire of One whose sustaining power and merciful nature is the true source of my happiness.

3 thoughts on “Seeking Happiness in a Mirage

  1. I read once that when we give advice we are actually talking to a younger version of ourselves and telling ourselves what we wish someone would have told us at some critical point in our lives. Reflection and introspection and taking the time to ourselves to analyze our motives and desires is one of the most important things we can do. This is a concise, well assembled and beautiful reminder for me to do just that and really think about how my choices, fueled pehaps, in part, by selfishness, brought me to where I am today. Jazakallah kheir.

  2. Assalamu Ailakum Br. Ibrahim,
    The path to ultimate happiness and all that we seek is right within. We need to recognize it, purify it, and protect it from the desires of our nafs/ego. Then we will be able to truly connect with our creator, Allah (S.W.T) and understand His signs. My nephew asked me a few weeks back what is the secret to my happiness and I said submitting to Allah’s will and being content with it.
    JazakAllah khair for this reminder!

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