Pearl of Wisdom

'Every aspect of this world seems greater upon hearing than when it is seen, and every aspect of the Hereafter is greater when it will be seen than when it is heard about. So be satisfied with the hearing in lieu of the seeing and with the tale in lieu of the concealed. [regarding the Hereafter and the unseen you should be content with what you hear and you are informed of by the prophets].'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 114

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Seven Keys to happiness and success (Married Life)

The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

In this picture, just look at their condition... no place to sleep, still they have made some space for the cat and the dog... water poring from the roof but still each one of them have a peaceful smile on their face... Simply amazing! Therefore: Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.

1. Mutual Trust: Key to happiness and success

Mutual Trust is a very important factor for all relationships. When trust is broken, it is the end of the relationship. Lack of trust leads to suspicion, suspicion generates anger, anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation.

A telephone operator told me that one day she received a phone call. She answered, 'Public Utilities Board.' There was silence. She repeated, 'PUB.' There was still no answer. When she was going to cut off the line, she heard a lady's voice, Oh, so this is PUB. Sorry, I got the number from my Husband's pocket but I do not know whose number it is.

Without mutual trust, just imagine what will happen to the couple if the telephone operator answered with just 'Hello' instead of 'PUB.'

Imam Ali (as) says: "The best of belief is trustworthiness, and the worst of manners is betrayal."

Imam Baqir (as) says: "There are three things that God did not exempt anyone from doing. Returning the trusts and keeping your pledges to the good and the evil-doers alike, and being good and merciful towards parents regardless of their being good of not."

Imam Sadiq (as) says: "Had the killer of Imam Ali kept a trust with him he would have given it back."

Imam Ali (as) says: "Do not betray the one who trusts you even if he betrays you. He also swore that the Messenger of God told him an hour before he died: Return the trust, to the good and the evil-doers, and whether it is trivial or big."

2. No Pointing Fingers: Key to happiness and success

A man asked his father-in-law, 'Many people praised you for a successful marriage. Could you please share with me your secret?'

The father-in-law answered in a smile, 'Never criticize your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, she could not find a better husband than you.'

We all look forward to being loved and respected. Many people are afraid of losing face. Generally, when a person makes a mistake, he would look around to find a scapegoat to point the finger at. This is the start of a war. We should always remember that when we point one finger at a person, the other four fingers are pointing at ourselves.

If we forgive the others, others will ignore our mistake too.

Imam Ali (as) says: "Ignore the shortcomings and forgive the mistakes of others, just as you hope that God will forgive your crimes and sins." "The best deed of a great man is to forgive and forget."

3. Creating Perfect Relationships: Key to happiness and success

A person visited the matchmaker for marriage, and requested 'I am looking for a spouse. Please help me to find a suitable one.' The matchmaker said, 'your requirements, please?' 'Oh, good looking, polite, humorous, sporty, knowledgeable, nice talking. Willing to accompany me the whole day at home during my leisure hour, if I don't go out. Telling me interesting stories when I need companion for conversation and be silent when I want to rest.' The matchmaker listened carefully and replied, 'I understand you need television not spouse.'

There is a saying that a perfect match can only be found between a blind wife and a deaf husband, because the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and the deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of the wife. Many couples are blind and deaf at the courting stage and dream of perpetual perfect relationship. Unfortunately, when the excitement of love wears off, they wake up and discover that marriage is not a bed of roses. The nightmare begins.

4. No Overpowering: Key to happiness and success

Many relationships fail because one party tries to overpower another, or demands too much. People in love tend to think that love will conquer all and their spouses will change the bad habits after marriage. Actually, this is not the case. There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that "It is easier to reshape a mountain or a river than a person's character."

It is not easy to change. Thus, having high expectation on changing the spouse character will cause disappointment and unpleasantness.

It would be less painful to change ourselves and lower our expectations.

Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a prosperous country. One day, he went for a trip to some distant areas of his country. When he was back to his palace, he complained that his feet were very painful, because it was the first time that he went for such a long trip, and the road that he went through was very rough and stony. He then ordered his people to cover every road of the entire country with leather.

Definitely, this would need thousands of cows' skin, and would cost a huge amount of money.

Then one of his wise servants dared himself to tell the king, "Why do you have to spend that unnecessary amount of money? Why don't you just cut a little piece of leather to cover your feet?"

The king was surprised, but he later agreed to his suggestion, to make a "shoe" for himself.

There is actually a valuable lesson of life in this story: to make this world a happy place to live, you better change yourself - your heart; and not the world.

5. Right Speech: Key to happiness and success

There is a Chinese saying which carries the meaning that 'a speech will either prosper or ruin a nation.' Many relationships break off because of wrong speech. When a couple is too close with each other, we always forget mutual respect and courtesy. We may say anything without considering if it would hurt the other party.

A women and her millionaire husband visited their construction site. A worker who wore a helmet saw her and shouted, 'Hi, Emily! Remember me? We were friends in the secondary school.' On the way home, her millionaire husband teased her, 'Luckily you married me. Otherwise you will be the wife of a construction worker.' She answered, 'You should appreciate that you married me. Other wise, he will be the millionaire and not you.'

A little girl asked her father, 'How did the human race appear?' The father answered, 'Allah (SWT) made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made.' Two days later the girl asked her mother the same question. The mother answered, 'Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved.' The confused girl returned to her father and said, 'Daddy how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by Allah (SWT), and mother said they developed from monkeys?' The father answered, 'Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your mother told you about hers.'

Frequently exchanging these remarks plants the seed for a bad relationship. It's like a broken egg - cannot be reversed.

6. Personal Perception: Key to happiness and success

Different people have different perception. One man's meat could be another man's poison.

Once Luqman (as), The Wise said to his son, "Oh son! Do not tie your heart in seeking the pleasure of people. You are not likely to succeed. Do not pay attention to what people say. Instead tell yourself always to seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT)."

Luqman (as), The Wise wanted this lesson to be always remembered and never to be forgotten. He thought of a way. So, he then told his son to ride a donkey and the son obeyed. The father followed behind on foot. They traveled in this way for some distance.

After some distance they came across a group of people. Seeing the son on the donkey, one of them said, "What an impolite and bad boy. The old father is walking on foot. The young son is comfortably riding on the donkey. This is no manner to show respect to one's father."

Father and son heard this. The son came down from the donkey. Luqman (as), The Wise rode on the donkey.

After some distance they came across another group of people. On seeing the father riding the donkey, the elder of the group said, "Oh you old man! This is not the way to bring up a son. You make him walk in the hot sun, while you sit comfortably on the donkey."

Luqman (as), The Wise paid attention to what the people said. He came down from the donkey. Both father and son walked on foot. The donkey walked in front. They went a little further.

People seeing them, said, "How foolish you are? You walk behind a donkey. Why don't you ride it?"

Luqman (as), The Wise and his son once again accepted what the people said. They both rode the donkey and went further. They came across a river. There was a bridge to be crossed. Some people were sitting there. They saw Luqman (as), The Wise and his son riding the donkey. One of them said, "It is very unkind and cruel of you two to ride on the poor donkey. The little animal can hardly take all your burden."

So taking this advice Luqman (as), The Wise and his son dismounted from the donkey. They traveled a little distance further. Looking very lovingly Luqman (as), The Wise said to his son, "You have heard and seen what the people said. It must have assured you, by now, that whatever you do or whichever way you move, one is not able to please the people of the world." You can never have everyone praise you, nor will everyone condemn you. Never in the past, not at present, and never will be in the future.

Luqman (as), The Wise pointed at the flowing river and added, "A person can build a wall across the river. It will stop the flow of the water. But it is not possible to shut the mouth of the people from criticism."

Very clearly, similar is the case in our world today. The tongue has no bone. It can speak even without thought. There are as many opinions as there are people in the world. It is very bad to find fault with the other person, especially when he is doing something good. A person can feel very hurt when he listens to all the tongues that talk loose. To avoid getting hurt by loose talk, a person can train himself. He can discipline himself to think. By thinking he can know what is wrong and void. When a person is sure that what he is doing will please his Master, Allah (SWT) the Almighty, then he must never worry what others speak. Thus, do not be too bothered by others words if your conscience is clear.

"We must do what we conceive to be the right thing and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we will be successful. Because if we don't do the right thing, we will be doing the wrong thing and we will just be a part of the disease and not a part of the cure." - E. F. Schumacher

7. Be Patient: Key to happiness and success

This is another story which happened in the States. A man came out of his home to admire his new truck. To his puzzlement, his three-year-old son was happily picked stone and scratched lines on the side of the truck. In his anger, the man ran to his son, knocked him away. And took the little boy's hands and hit it many times as punishment, not realizing he was using a wrench. When the father calmed down, he rushed his son to the hospital.

Although the doctor tried desperately to save the crushed bones, he finally had to amputate the fingers from both the little boy's hands. When the boy woke up from the surgery and saw his bandaged stubs, he innocently said, "Daddy, I'm sorry about your truck." Then he asked, "But when are my fingers going to grow back?" The father was so hurt. He went back to truck and kicked it a lot of times. Sitting back he looked at the scratches, little boy wrote "I LOVE YOU DAD." Later then committed suicide.

Think about this story the next time someone steps on your feet or you wish to take revenge. Think first before you lose your patience with someone you love. Trucks can be repaired. Broken bones and hurt feelings often can't. Too often we fail to recognize the difference between the person and the performance. We forget that forgiveness is greater than revenge.

People make mistakes. We are allowed to make mistakes, because we human beings are not perfect. But the actions we take while in a rage will haunt us forever.

It takes 72 muscles to frown - only 14 to smile! So keep smiling, After all, we only live once.

In the word SMILE:

  • S stands for Sets you free
  • M stands for Makes you special
  • I stands for Increases your face value
  • L stands for Lifts up your spirits
  • E stands for Erases all your tensions

A Smile makes us look younger, while Prayers make us feel stronger.

Think about how special a smile is. It costs nothing, but has the power to enrich all, who receive it.

A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.

Even a smile or a kind word is considered charity.

Good Life starts only when you stop wanting a better One. So, Live like a Candle, which burns itself but give lights to others.

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