Being a Happy Muslim comes from the feeling you have when you worship Allah (swt), and only you and Allah know you are worshipping Him. For example, when you wake up for Fajr prayer, and you are really tired, but you wake up because you know it’s your duty as a Muslim, though nobody is there to see you except for Allah and the angels. Well, when you have that faith in your heart, and you are praying to Allah just for His sake, and not to be seen by others, that is where your real happiness comes from.
So the very short answer is to develop your faith in Allah and to do a lot of worship of Him out of pure faith and nothing else. Make it a habit to worship Allah, and you will develop a stronger relationship with Him. When you have that strong faith in Him, you will realize that you have achieved the greatest gift.
Many of the ideas in this book are about how to cope with this challenging world–coping skills. But the core basis for happiness is pure faith in Allah that leads you to doing your duties as a Muslim.
Therefore, in order to live in this challenging world, you must develop coping skills—positive ways to deal with your problems, sadness, difficult people, etc. The way that you develop these coping skills is that you study yourself and keep trying different ideas. For example, one of my favorite coping skills is to exercise. Another of my favorite coping skills is to avoid situations that cause me stress—such as avoiding difficult people to deal with. I am not saying that we should run away from our problems, but sometimes you can just avoid stressful situations. If you must deal with difficult people, you must discover the best coping skills (use your reason/intelligence for this).
For example, when someone says something to me that bothers me or hurts my feelings, I have trained myself to pause, act like I am thinking about what they have just said (when I am actually calming down and returning to inner peace), and then decide how to respond (such as by saying, “I will need some time to think about that”). Hint: Many coping skills may require some “acting”.
The point is that you need to actually prioritize feeling happiness/inner peace. You need to work at feeling happy, rather than wait for happiness to find you. You need to find what works for you. A famous slogan of the solution-focused counseling model is, “If it works, then keep doing it.”
HAPPINESS HINTS: Discover the positive coping skills that work for you. In my opinion, the three most important coping skills are:
1. Remaining calm in every situation.
2. Letting go of thoughts that are not helpful to you.
3. Focusing on what you are thankful for.
Self-awareness is extremely important. One way to be more self-aware is to keep asking yourself, “How am I feeling right now?” Hopefully, this will help you to shift yourself to feeling calm, inner peace and strength at all times. And remember: only you know how you really feel.