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Pain and endurance and Happiness

It is of the most basic and fundamental religious beliefs that the world flows on the basis of divine wisdom, and there is not even one phenomenon or event that has no reason. Thus, it is important for us to know wisdom and expediencies of events. A good life is not a life that is full of pleasures and without pain; rather, a good life is a meaningful life. Therefore, meaningful pain cannot make the aware persons annoyed. The prophet of Islam said, "No prophet was annoyed like me" and he still endured and saw the good results of his endurance and patience. These are some of the reasons why the Qur'an says, "Certainly We have created man to be in distress" (Balad 90:4), and "Who created death and life, that He might try you which of you is fairest in works, and he is the All-mighty, the All-forgiving" (Molk, 67 :2). Another verse says, "Surely We will try you with something of fear and hunger, and diminution of goods and lives and fruits, yet give thou good tidings unto the patient" (Baqarah, 2:155) (cited in Pasandideh, 2007, p. 280-290).

We will surely face pain and difficulties. According to Imam Ali, the world "is a house surrounded by calamities and well-known for deceitfulness. Its conditions do not last and those who inhabit it do not remain safe" (sermon 226).

If we know these facts and come to know that all these difficulties and pains can surely lead to our perfection, we will not suffer from such problems but the problems will lead to our happiness. If we believe that we will definitely face such problems like fear, hunger, decline in wealth, etc., in this world, then we will surely suffer less stress, and we will enjoy more mental health. Therefore, we must change our attitudes toward the world and its problems so that we may attain a position in which we see no pain and difficulty, and all that we want will be done, because in such a position, we only want what God wants, and what God wants will be done.

A believer in one God knows that all the events of the world are meaningful and goal-oriented, not accidental. The Qur'an teaches us that "those who have said our Lord is God then have gone straight, upon them the angles descend, saying: Fear not, neither sorrow; rejoice in Paradise that you were promised. We are your friends in the present life and in the world to come; therein you shall have all that your souls desire, all that you call for, as hospitality from one All-forgiving, All-compassionate" (Fosselat, 41:30-32). And the Qur'an also emphasizes the fact that "surely, God's friends-no fear shall be on them, nor shall they sorrow. Those who believe, and are god-fearing, for them is good tidings in the present life and in the world to come" (Yunos, 10:62).

It adds, "Yet it may happen that you will hate a thing which is better for you, and it may happen that you will love a thing which is worse for you. God knows, and you know not" (Baqarah, 2:216), and "it is possible you may be averse to a thing, and God set in it much good" (Nesa', 5:19).

The first symptom of spiritual disorders is to grieve for those things that do not deserve grief.

Adapted from the book: "Foundations of Happiness"

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