FINE DIFFERENCE OF HAPPINESS OF THE HEART AND HAPPINESS OF THE SOUL

Imaam Al-Ghazali Rahmatullahi Alaihi mentions in Tabligh-E-Deen:

Happiness of the heart and happiness of the self (nafs) are two different things. Cupping taking bitter medication, venesection, cauterising boils sores, etc. are such difficulties which are distasteful to the self, but pleasing to the heart. The nafs desires things that grant it immediate enjoyment. However, the heaet prefers those things, which even though presently cause difficulty, will eventually lead to attainment of future benefit. The self is not willing to undergo any difficulty, irrespective of future comfort.

If the wife, due to the husband’s pressure, becomes afraid of her husband causing further difficulty to her, decides to forgive the mahr, keeping in mind the future benefits and comforts, that will be a result of this action, then this is due to the pleasure of the heart, and not the self. However, the verse mentioned takes into consideration the happiness of the self, and not the that of the heart, when waiving the mahr. By means of the above loophole, no ruler or king can demand that he pay the mahr, but how secure will he be in front of Allah Ta’laa? What answer will he offer the Ruler (Azza Wa Jall) of rulers, when the question will be posed to him, “Why did you consume the right of this weak and helpless lady, contrary to Our (Azza Wa Jall) permission?”

In the like manner, do not stretch out your hands before anyone, since begging is an evil habit. If at the time of extreme necessity, one is forced to ask, then never ask in a gathering. Generally, in such conditions, the one who gives will do so to save himself from embarrassment and disgrace in front of others present in the gathering. This is not happiness of the self. Money given in this manner cannot be used. There is no difference in extorting money from someone by physically whipping them, or extorting money using the whip of shame on his conscience. Both are extortion.

Do not make your religion a means of your livelihood. For example, do not don the garments of the pious with the intention of being regarded as a pious person, and as such, become the recipient of their monetary favours, whereas, in fact, you are completely useless and your heart is contaminated with filth.

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