We live in a world where comfort is the no.1 priority for all; we want the most comfortable homes, most comfortable jobs, most comfortable flights, and most comfortable holidays. We don’t want to sweat or work hard, but simply be comfortable. The irony of such quest is that once we achieve such comforts, we become restless, we become bored and we normally either seek new challenges and adventures or go into depression and sadness because we find our life to be meaningless.
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ
“Verily We have created man into toil and struggle” (Chapter 90, Verse 4).
And although one might take this in the negative sense, but what if our happiness was linked to striving and struggling? A philosopher once said,
“We take no pleasure in existence except when we’re striving for something”.
I believe that’s a universal law.
But what should we strive for? What would be our compass to ensure that we’re growing in the right direction? That we’re achieving our potential in areas that would benefit us in this life and hereafter? This is where Islam comes in and gives us this direction. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran
وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالإِنسَ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ
“And I created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me” (Chapter 51, Verse 56).
Our happiness is linked to our striving for Jannah and the pleasure of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), which encompasses the concept of worship in its widest sense and it never ceases until we die. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says in the Quran:
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)” (Chapter 15, Verse 99).
So why are you struggling? Why do you need to be productive?
The answer: to be happy in this life and hereafter inshaa’Allaah.