This article is actually a podcast I did with untoislam.com. Please click this link to hear it:
Here are 12 ways Islam helps you to feel more content with life:
Islam gives us a very clear purpose in life: to worship and please and serve God. The Holy Quran states:
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Holy Quran, 51:56)
So really the purpose for being in this world is to worship God and this brings contentment because we have a direction in life, a goal in life: to please our Creator.
2. Allah is forgiving and merciful
Allah begins every surah/ chapter in the Holy Quran with “Bismillahirrahmaanirraheem,” in the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. Knowing that Allah chooses these names, these attributes for us to remember Him by is so heartwarming. Allah is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful and this brings contentment because we don’t have to be perfect. If we sin, all we have to do is ask Allah for forgiveness, and Allah will forgive us. So it brings great contentment to know that Allah’s mercy is greater than His anger. Allah is so forgiving, so merciful, and there’s a hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says that God says:
(God says) O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I will forgive you for what you have done, and I will not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. (Tirmidthi, Ahmad)
3. Islam is simple
Islam is very simple. The main teachings of Islam obviously are to believe in Allah and do good deeds. And there’s a hadith:
A Bedouin came to the Prophet and said, “Tell me of a deed such that if I were to do it, I would enter Paradise.” The Prophet said, “Worship God without worshiping anything along with Him, offer the (five daily) prescribed prayers, pay the compulsory alms (zakat), and fast the month of Ramadan.” The Bedouin said, “(I swear) by Him in whose hands my life is, I will not do more than this.” When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet said, “Whoever would like to see a man of Paradise should look at this man.” (Bukhari)
Knowing that we don’t need to make religion complicated brings contentment. If we focus on the 5 pillars of Islam, we are doing the minimum we need to do. Hopefully we will do more, but it’s nice to know that Islam is mainly about doing these 5 pillars.
4. It’s all about your heart’s sincerity
Islam is all about being sincere, genuine to Allah, and this brings a lot of contentment. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would pray to God; he would say:
O God, Make my inside better than my outside, and also make my outside righteous. (Tirmidthi)
So having inner sincerity to God is more important than anything, and another hadith says:
Allah does not look at your bodies nor does he look at your faces, but He looks at your hearts.
Your looks don’t matter and your wealth doesn’t matter: it’s your heart.
Knowing that Islam places so much emphasis on the heart and sincerity brings contentment because it makes us prioritize being honest with ourselves. And so when we’re honest with ourselves, that brings contentment.
5. We are in the Community of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)
Being in the Ummah or community of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) brings so much contentment. It is a great honor. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last prophet sent to humanity by God. So it’s really a great honor to be in his community. There’s a hadith that says:
“Allah (swt) has given one Dua to every single prophet that He has guaranteed He will respond to.(Dua means a prayer/asking Allah for something. So Allah has given one chance to every prophet to make a prayer that is guaranteed to be answered.) And every single prophet has used up this Prayer for himself in this world, except for me. I have saved it and I have not used it and I will not use it in this life. I have kept it for my Ummah (my community) and I will use it for them on the day of judgment. And this Dua will be, O Allah, forgive my entire Ummah.”
And so the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) cares about us and loves us so much that he saved a prayer that God has guaranteed to answer on the Day of Judgment, and that prayer is for our forgiveness. So it’s such a blessing to know that.
6. Islam encourages us to be thankful
Being thankful is such a big part of Islam. In the Holy Quran Allah says,
If you give thanks, I will give you more.” (Holy Quran 14:7)
Also the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a hadith,
“Look at those below you and do not look at those above you, for it is the best way not to belittle the favors of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Thankfulness is so important to be content with life and it helps us to focus on our blessings.
7. Islam encourages us to be patient
Patience is also a huge value in Islam. The Holy Quran says that Allah will reward those who are patient. It’s just a part of life that we are going to have hardships, so Allah repeatedly says to have patience and that Allah’s promise is true. (Quran 16:96, 2:155-157).
And so being patient is such a big part of being content because it helps us to accept the hardships that come with life instead of getting angry or upset about them. So patience builds acceptance which is a part of contentment.
8. Believing in the Next World
Believing in the next world brings so much contentment because this life is bound to disappoint us. So it’s wonderful to know there’s a next world and that death is not the end. When we die we will have another life, an eternal life. So it’s wonderful to know that and we don’t have to put all of our hopes into this world because it’s temporary and there’s a next world that’s forever.
9. It’s all good for the believer
We believe as Muslims that it’s all good. It’s all good for the believer. Whatever happens to a believer is good in some way. Whether it’s a good thing they like and they become thankful or whether it’s a hardship, we become patient, and patience is good for us too. So we believe that everything that happens to us is good, and that brings so much contentment.
(“How excellent the affairs of the believer: his affair, all of it, is good for him; and this is not the case with anyone except the believer; if prosperity comes to him, he is thankful (to God), and if adversity falls on him, he perseveres patiently: so it is all good (for him)” (Hadith in Muslim).)
As Muslims we believe in destiny and this brings so much contentment. We believe that everything that happens to us was destined to happen and we don’t need to worry so much because whatever happens, it was God’s will, and there is good in that. God is Good and so anything that happens to us is good in some way. Destiny is definitely a big part of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in a hadith:
Be aware that if the whole of mankind were to gather together to do something to help you, they would only be able to do something for you which God had already written for you. Likewise, if the whole of mankind gathered together to harm you, they would only be able to do something to harm you which God had already written to happen to you. (Tirmidthi)
Destiny is a blessing. We do not need to despair of our losses nor become proud of our blessings, because everything is the will of our Lord. We do believe that of course we have a choice and we have some power over what happens through the choices that we make and the actions that we do, but at the same time Allah already knows and has destined what happens to us.
Prayer is such a big part of Islam. We pray five times a day and we are encouraged in the Quran to seek God’s help through prayer and patience (2:153). And prayer brings so much contentment because it builds your connection with God. It brings you peace. And it’s kind of a routine thing you have to do everyday, and that routine also brings peace and contentment. And prayer is a protection. So when we pray we believe that we are protected by God and that prayer is such a big source of protection.
12. Islam is the truth
Islam is the true religion. Knowing that we are following the true religion of God brings contentment, right? The Quran says in multiple places:
Truly, the religion of God is Islam (3:19)
So Islam is the chosen religion of God, of the one true God. And in the Holy Quran it says:
And whoever desires other than Islam as a religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers. (3:85)
So really Islam is the religion of God and it brings so much contentment to know that we’re in the true religion and we are so blessed.