“Who is the most favored of Allah? He, from whom the greatest good comes to His creatures.”
–The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as recorded in Bukhari
A powerful way to be a happier Muslim is to make this world a better place in some way, big or small.
Marci Shimoff, in the book “Happy for No Reason,” has an entire chapter about living a life “Inspired by Purpose.” She writes on page 239: “When you serve a purpose larger than yourself, it brings more meaning and joy to your life.”
She encourages you to find a cause that is meaningful to you personally. “All of us are drawn to different causes,” she writes.
Of course, a huge teaching of Islam is to do good deeds, to bring good to our world. “Good” can mean so many things. Here are some examples of good causes that people work for:
- Social Justice
- Ending Poverty
- Protecting the Environment
- Improved Mental Health
- Helping the Handicapped
The list can go on and on. You can donate money to charities or volunteer your time.
Shimoff writes, “Research has consistently shown that giving of yourself to others, altruism, is associated with greater well-being, health and happiness, as long as you don’t ‘overgive’. Giving of yourself doesn’t mean being codependent, trying to fill an inner emptiness, or serving others at our own expense. The service I’m talking about comes from joy, inspiration, and purpose, and supports more peace and well-being in your life.”
I will end this post with two beautiful hadiths about helping others:
Allah (mighty and sublime be He) will say on the Day of Resurrection: “O son of Adam, I fell ill and you visited Me not.”
Man will say: “O Lord, and how should I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?” Allah will say: Did you not know that My servant So-and-so had fallen ill and you visited him not? Did you not know that had you visited him you would have found Me with him?
O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you fed Me not.”
Man will say: “O Lord, and how should I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?”
Allah will say: “Did you not know that My servant So-and-so asked you for food and you fed him not? Did you not know that had you fed him you would surely have found that (the reward for doing so) with Me?
O son of Adam, I asked you to give Me to drink and you gave Me not to drink.”
Man will say: “O Lord, how should I give You to drink when You are the Lord of the worlds?”
Allah will say: My servant So-and-so asked you to give him to drink and you gave him not to drink. Had you given him to drink you would have surely found that with Me.”
–The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as recorded in Sahih Muslim, Hadith 1172
“He who endeavors (to relieve) the needy, the desolate, and the poor, is as one who endeavors in the service of God, is as one who stands up (to pray all night) and does not relax and rest, and as one who fasts and breaks it not.”
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as recorded in Bukhari, Muslim