What is the way to contentment and true blessing?
If you wish to understand how to enjoy, through belief, great contentment
and blessing, how to experience fulfillment and ease, then listen to the following
A parable to understand how belief gives contentment and brings blessing
Two men set off together on a journey for both pleasure and business. One
of them who is arrogant, self-serving, goes off in one direction, the other,
who is God-serving, goes off in the other direction.
Since the self-serving one is both conceited and pessimistic, he ends up
in what seemed to him to be a most wicked country because of his pessimism.
There he finds himself everywhere surrounded by poor and hopeless people who
are tormented at the hands of bullies and their lives ruined. Wherever he goes,
he sees the same scene. Everyone in that land is suffering the same misery.
Then he decides to forget all such events by becoming a drunk. Everyone then
seems to him like a stranger or an enemy. He has awful visions of dead bodies
and orphaned children. His soul is plunged in torment.
The other man, by contrast, who is God-serving, decent of conduct and fair-minded,
goes to a country which is, in his view, very excellent. This good man sees
a universal festival. In every corner there is joy and happiness, and a house
for the remembrance of God overflowing with rapture. He also sees the festive
celebrations of a general discharge from duties accompanied by cries of good
wishes and thanks. And he also hears the sound of a drum and band for the enlistment
of soldiers with happy calls of �God is the Greatest!� and �There is no deity
but God!� In contrast to the other man, who suffers on account of both himself
and all the people, this good-natured man becomes happy at both his own joy
and that of all the people. Moreover, he enjoys a comfortable trade and offers
thanks to God.
When he meets with the other man, he understands his situation, and says
to him, �You�ve become a crazy man. All the bad things and the ugliness you
see come from, and reflect, your inner world. Because of this, you imagine laughter
to be weeping, and the discharge from duties to be sack and pillage. Come to
your senses, clean your heart so that this inauspicious veil is raised from
your eyes and you may see the truth. For, this is an orderly country, prosperous
and civilized, belonging to a powerful, compassionate and just king. So things
cannot be as you see or suppose them to be.� Then the other man comes to his
senses, and is full of regrets: �Yes, I�ve really lost my mind on ac-count of
what I have drunk. Thank you. May God be pleased with you for rescuing me from
such a hellish state.�
O my soul! Know that the once arrogant man represents an unbeliever or a
heedless sinner. This world means for him a general mourning. All living things
appear as weeping orphans because of the hurt of separation and decay. Human
beings and animals alike appear to be lonely, uncivilized creatures cut down
by death. The great masses such as mountains and oceans appear in his vision
as a terrible corpse without soul. His visions arising from his unbelief and
misguidance breed such anxieties in his mind which torture him.
But the other man is a believer. He believes in God Almighty and affirms
Him. To his way of seeing, this world is a place where people praise Him, a
sort of practice arena for human beings and animals, a sort of examination hall
for human beings and jinn. All kinds of animals and mankind en-joy a demobilization�that
is, those who finish their duty of life travel in spiritual enjoyment to the
other eternal world. This is quite simple to understand�the world needs a new
generation to people it and to work in it. All kinds of animals and human beings
have entered the world to carry on some particular business. All living things
are as soldiers or even officers happy with the business appointed for them.
And the sounds that are heard are the sounds of their praise and glorifying
as they begin, or of pleasure as they work, or of thanksgiving as they finish.
In the view of the believer, all things are the obedient servants, or friendly
officers, or a lovable book of his Most Generous Master and All-Compassionate
Owner. Many more beautiful, sublime and pleasurable truths like these arise
from his belief.
This is because faith bears the seed of what is in effect a Tuba tree of
Paradise. Whereas un-belief contains the seed of a Zakkum tree of Hell.
Safety and well-being are only to be found in Islam and belief. Therefore,
we should continually return thanks to God, saying, �Praise be to God for the
religion of Islam and perfect belief.�