FROM MAULANA'S DESK
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, born in 1925, in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, is an Islamic spiritual scholar who is well-versed in both classical Islamic learning and modern disciplines. The mission of his life has been the establishment of worldwide peace. He has received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour in India, and the Demiurgus Peace International Award. He has been called ’Islam’s spiritual ambassador to the world’ and is recognised as one of its most influential Muslims1 . His books have been translated into sixteen languages and are part of university curricula in six countries. He is the founder of the Centre for Peace and Spirituality based in New Delhi.
ROAD TO HAPPINESS
I F you seek to know what is the most common issue faced by people all over the world, you will certainly reach the conclusion that it is 'living in unhappiness'. Rich and poor, powerful and powerless, popular and unpopular, almost all people are living in a state of unhappiness. In terms of degree, there may be a difference, but in reality, everyone’s case is one and the same. Now the question is, what is the reason behind this universal unhappiness?
The reason is very simple. Man is born with an 'explanation-seeking' nature, but is compelled to live in a world that appears unexplained to him. It is this contradiction that creates the problem. Experience shows that everyone tries to overcome this contradiction one way or another, but fail to arrive at the required result; that is, to explain the world around them in a satisfactory manner. During my youth, I too was involved in this quest. After years of long pursuit, I finally discovered the answer in a verse of the Quran. This Quranic verse reads:
Surely, in the remembrance of God,
hearts can find comfort.
THE QURAN 13: 28
Here, remembrance of God does not mean a repetitive recitation of the word God. It is in a profound sense the constant realisation and acknowledgement of God. It means that, one who discovers God and His scheme of things regarding creation, will consequently find that trail which, if he follows, can lead him to discover the secret of real solace.
According to my experience, people seek the answer to their question within the present world, whereas according to the divine plan the world Hereafter has to be taken into consideration. Only then will you discover the fact that will remove all tension and give you real happiness. The fact is that God Almighty created man as an eternal being and divided his lifespan into two parts: the pre-death period and the post-death period. The pre-death period is the travelling period and the post-death period is when you reach the destination. Death is not an end to this journey. Death only serves as a gateway to the next world.
The next world is the world of Paradise. Paradise is the perfect version of the present imperfect world. It is equipped with all those features that are required for enjoying real and lasting happiness. If you accept this explanation of human life, death becomes a positive event for you. Life becomes a continuous journey, from the imperfect world to the perfect world; from the present temporary world to eternal Paradise. Now the question is, how can we find entry into Paradise? The Quran gives the answer in these words: “He will abide forever in the Gardens of eternity, through which rivers flow. That is the recompense for those who purify themselves.” (THE QURAN 20: 76)
Self-purification is the key word in this regard. According to this Quranic verse only purified souls will find entry into Paradise. A purified soul means an unpolluted soul. According to a Hadith, every person was born with a divine nature. So, the one who pollutes his original nature will be deprived from entering Paradise, and the one who preserves his soul in its original form will find entry into Paradise. He will be gifted Paradise as an appreciation of his good conduct. This fact is mentioned in the Quran in these words: “He who purifies it will indeed be successful, and he who pollutes it is sure to fail.” (THE QURAN 91: 9-10)
If you are travelling by train to a well-known destination, then every station will give you a dose of solace knowing that with every moment you are coming closer to your goal. So is the case of life, if you are on the right path, as described by the Creator, you will only be happy that every day and night you are coming closer to your goal which is none other than eternal Paradise. This thought will give you a tension-free mind and true happiness.