Questioner: People strive to attain happiness, their ways in achieving it being diverse, if our Shaikh would clarify for the people some milestones in their path to attain it?
Al-Albaani: I don’t think there is any differing in this except among the philosophers.
Amongst the Muslims who believe in Allaah and His Messenger and who believe that there is no path to happiness in this life or the next except by clinging to Islaam there is no multiplicity of answers–[the only answer] is to cling to Islaam.
And vice versa, whoever wants misery should turn away from Islaam, and this is very clear from many verses, like His Saying, the Most High, in the well-known aayah, “And whoever turns away from My remembrance–indeed, he will have a depressed [i.e., difficult] life, and We will gather [i.e., raise] him on the Day of Resurrection blind. He will say, ‘My Lord! Why have you raised me blind while I was [once] seeing?’ He will say, ‘Thus did Our signs come to you, and you forgot [i.e., disregarded] them–and thus will you, this Day, be forgotten.’” [Taa Haa 20:124-126]
But the thing we must pay heed to, something which is a very big reality and painful from another angle due to many of the Muslims lacking it, many of them [lacking it] in terms of knowledge and some of them practically, is that Islaam with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم upon the understanding of the Salaf as-Saalih is the cure for all diseases and psychological illnesses which have afflicted a people who have not tasted happiness.
Islaam derived from the Book and the Sunnah and the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih is the cure.
But the thing I want to mention now is that many alien matters have entered this cure, which, if we don’t say have corrupted it completely then at the very least have prevented it from being an absolute one, [and I’m referring here to] those things which have come into Islaam which are not a part of it, whether they be in creed, worship, behaviour or manners, and due to these things which have afflicted it, this Islaam is turned inside out … its effect is not manifested in the community that practices it.
So the fault is not with Islaam but rather those things that have been added to it.
That is why we always and forever insist on saying that if we want this happiness, there is no way to it, as we already mentioned, except through Islaam–but not, if the expression be correct, Islaam with an ‘elastic’ understanding but with the special understanding based upon the Book, the Sunnah and the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih.
It is then that it, and nothing else, will be the spring of happiness.
Whatever the case, I hold that questions like this are studied in universities which do not specialize, in fact, do not give importance to studying Islaam, but are concerned with studying general culture whether that be Islaam, or philosophy, or secularism or things like it [i.e., they don’t know that happiness is found in following the true Islaam so they spend time trying to find other ways to achieve it].
Amongst the Muslims, the understanding is that there is no happiness except by clinging to Islaam–I just wanted to add [through this answer the point about] clinging to Islaam with its correct understanding …
Interjector: O Shaikh! I had taken a booklet from you which I photocopied, called, ‘Useful Ways of Leading a Happy Life,’ by Shaikh ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’di [who was Shaikh Uthaimeen’s teacher, may Allaah have mercy on them both], even though it is only a few pages long, it’s a very great book, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: Maa shaa Allaah.
Interjector: If a person was depressed, sad, ill at ease, overburdened with sorrow, and read it, subhaanallaah! Namely, if the expression is allowed, it’s as though it’s magic.
Al-Albaani: Maa shaa Allaah.
Interjector: Yes, by Allaah, ‘Useful Ways of Leading a Happy Life,’ truly amazing, O Shaikh. [Click here for the book]
Al-Albaani: You should read it.
Interjector: It is great, subhaanallaah! By Shaikh ’Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa’di. [Click here for his website]
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 311.