“Consider well contentment, for it is a treasure without end.” (Al-Tabarani)
I am not sure anything satisfies me more than those rare occasions, when I experience a sudden intellectual breakthrough and spiritual advancement. This recently happened to me, when I was rereading a passage from one of my favourite books on Islam: “Those, who learn the lesson being taught by the Quran, understand that there is nothing they can do about their worldly lot, so they put their effort into improving their lot in the next world.”
I was immediately reminded of the following Hadeeth: “God has preordained five things for every man He has created: his period of life, his action, his lying down, his moving about and his provision.” (Ahmad) I thought about how different my aspirations are now that I am a Muslim.
Growing up, I was taught that God did not exist and religious people were fools. My parents wanted me to get a good job, make a lot of money, live in a big house and be happy. But what is happiness? Recently, I was visiting a Muslim sister, who said: “religion should be easy and make you happy in this life.” I disagreed. We obey Allah (swt) and His Messenger (sa) for the next world and eternal bliss. Submission is not always easy nor does it always make us happy – but it can make us content.
Our beloved Prophet (sa) taught us how to be content: “When one of you looks at someone who is superior to him in property and appearance, he should look at someone who is inferior to him.” (Bukhari and Muslim) Our provision, appearance and lot in life have already been decreed. We should be content and grateful with what Allah (swt) has provided us. He (swt) knows what is best and what will lead us to Paradise.
If anyone would have told me growing up that I would someday be a Muslim, wear a Hijab and cherish learning about Allah (swt) and how to obey Him (swt), I would have laughed out loud. I do not have most of what my parents had wished for me: I stay home raising my girls; I occasionally earn some money by writing; and I live in a two-bedroom apartment. But as it turns out, I am happier than they are, and more than I could have imagined.
Every day, I try to thank Allah (swt) for bringing me to Islam. Faith is a gift, and I did nothing special to deserve it. In fact, I could name many others, who appear far more deserving of this blessing than me. I am truly content with Allah (swt) as the Lord, Islam as the religion and with Muhammad (sa) as the Prophet and the Messenger.