Every person’s idea of the ideal holiday is different. Some people find the idea of caravanning across the country to be appealing, while others are attracted by the concept of camping in the wilderness. Others may feel inclined to recline on a quiet, picturesque beach, while there are yet others who spend their holidays commuting from mall-to-mall, in search of the best bargains and most extraordinary deals. Regardless of the form in which the holiday is enjoyed, the underlying concept is the same – to find happiness and joy.
However, the reality of the matter is that NOTHING in this world is stable, constant, reliable and predictable. How many people embarked on their dream holiday, only to have a nightmare unfold? Tsunamis… Delayed flights… Interrogation or detainment by immigration officials… Lost luggage… Inclement weather… Being mugged or robbed… Losing passports…
Even if one’s holiday does not deteriorate into a horror story, the fact still remains that when the holiday is over, all that remains are fading memories and a few mementos. There is no lasting happiness achieved through a holiday, which is why before one holiday can even end, the next holiday is already anticipated and planned.
Now, what if someone was to tell you that you can live EVERY DAY like a HOLIDAY? You would probably think that they were joking, but the reality is that you absolutely can! Furthermore, it won’t cost you a single cent!
To find happiness and joy, we must identify the source of happiness and joy. We tend to think that good food, luxury items and clothing, attractive scenery, exotic holiday destinations, etc. are the sources of happiness. However, we could not be further from the truth. The true source of happiness and joy is Allah Ta‘ala, and the key to acquiring this happiness is to attach and link our hearts to Allah Ta‘ala.
Everything else that we attach our hearts to will either depart from us, or we will depart from it. However, Allah Ta‘ala is the Eternal Being who is constant and unchanging. If we attach our hearts to Him, our hearts will ‘live stream’ His love with such speed that there will never be a ‘buffer’. The ecstasy and joy that we will perceive will be such that every luxury of the world which we ever enjoyed will pale and seem insignificant in comparison.
Ebrahim bin Ad-ham (rahimahullah) was once the king of an empire, living in absolute luxury. However, he voluntarily ‘divorced the world’, left his kingdom and dedicated his life to the worship of Allah Ta‘ala. On one occasion, Ebrahim bin Ad-ham (rahimahullah) ate a simple meal of dried bread, and then thanked Allah Ta‘ala exclaiming, “Alhamdulillah!” Then, using his hands, he scooped some water from a river and drank it, also thanking Allah Ta‘ala exclaiming, “Alhamdulillah!” After consuming this simple meal, which most people would struggle to swallow, let alone enjoy, he remarked, “If the kings and princes knew the comfort and happiness that we enjoy, they would fight us with swords, throughout their lives…” Hearing this, his companion, Ebrahim bin Bash-shaar (rahimahullah), remarked, “People are chasing behind comfort and luxury, and this is where they have gone astray.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 6, pg. 218)
Imagine a person who stands in a line every day, for hours on end, waiting to receive a bucket of muddy water. After receiving his bucket, he celebrates his ‘great achievement and acquisition’. What would we say to him? We would tell him that instead of running behind the small, muddy bucket, he should rather locate a water source. By finding the source, he will secure pure, refreshing water in an unlimited quantity. Similarly, we should not chase after the meagre, dirty scraps of ‘happiness’ that the world offers. Rather, we should find the source of happiness, which is the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala. If we remain in the pleasure of Allah Ta‘ala, our hearts will continue to perceive pleasure, joy and happiness.
May Allah Ta‘ala bless us with His Divine happiness, and such happiness of the heart that we will feel as though every day is a holiday, aameen.