Whether we are at university or in the workplace we sometimes find that we are comparing ourselves to others around us. We may look at others and think, wow, this person is so intelligent or confident or attractive and we feel that we may not possess certain qualities or even material goods, that we wish we did. What Allah (swt) has told us is that we must be content with what we have:
“So hold that which I have given you and be grateful” (7: 144)
How content we are is sometimes dependent upon how we define success. Is success having the best job? The biggest house? The highest grades? Not necessarily, the real success in this duniya is having the ability to realise that true success lies in the Hereafter. Knowing that what you have on earth is not what you should be measuring yourself by but rather, seeking contentment in your material position and to be greater in the practice of your deen.
Most Islamic scholars and pious Muslims who came before us were poor, they did not have nice cars and huge houses, and despite this they led fruitful lives and benefited mankind because they used all that they were given and used their time in the correct way. There are also those who have been given everything in terms of wealth, children and all that one could ask for, and the importance they placed upon these have been the cause for their misery and ruin.
How many investment bankers have we read about in our newspapers, young men committing suicide? We also know in developed nations, suicide and depression and are increasingly becoming the most common causes of mortality and morbidity.
If we are seekers of happiness, we should be content with the physical appearance that Allah has favoured upon us, our family situation, and the sound of our voices. The level of our understanding we have and the level of our salary. If we fear that we are unemployed, we must remember the will of Allah is key;
“It is we who portion out between them their livelihood in this world” (42: 32)
Therefore I encourage and hope insh’Allah that you are all content with what you have, whether it is a little or a lot and that you are grateful. Remember not to feel sad at the conditions you find yourself as it is said in the Quran:
“Be not sad, surely Allah is with us” (9: 40)
Remember that there is no such thing as perfection on earth rather this is what we should constantly remember Jannah for.