Sahil Sharifdin Bhat
Do you know ? Every 40 seconds a person commits suicide in the world. That is 800,000 people ( mostly celebrities) die from suicide every year. Millions of people suffer from anxiety and depression in the present world. According to a report, around 284 million people aged 15-64 used illegal drugs worldwide in 2020 only to have a few minutes of peace and happiness. According to another verified report, about 50% marriages in America and a huge percentage of marriages worldwide turn into breakups and bitter divorces. A huge percentage of the people across the world pray for a nuclear war. Why is it so? The world is richer and more developed today than it was before. Why are then these problems there? The answer is that modern people are now financially richer than before but they are ‘’Unhappy’’. The Tv , the social media, the print media, the educational institutes, the self-claimed motivational speakers , the teachers, the parents , the friends— all lecture them how to become rich but none lectures them how to become ‘’happy’’. A happy person will never commit suicide or kill his fellow humans or practice drug abuse or indulge in domestic violence. A person shares with the outside world what he has within him— a happy person shares happiness and an unhappy person shares unhappiness.
Unfortunately, the religion of the people of the present age is ‘ to earn money by hook or by crook’. They may chant the holy hymns or verses with their tongues but their eyes are looking for money, their hearts are praying for money , their heads are dreaming of money and their feet walk in the direction of where money can be found. Hence , they are unhappy. The good manners of a moneyless man mean nothing in the present age. His educational degrees and academic certificates are just worthless papers. His health, happiness, etiquettes, knowledge, faith , emotional stability and nature are unimportant. His talents, efficiencies and skills are insignificant as long as he is moneyless. However, he is given a VIP treatment everywhere he shows up if and only if he possesses money. Nobody cares if he is illiterate, ignorant, alcoholic, mean, bad-charactered, abusive, aggressive, suicidal or what. If he possesses money or succeeds in buying fashionable clothes , expensive food and a stylish house, he is envied and honoured.
The tragedy is that the people of this age do not worry how one has acquired wealth. All they worry about is whether one has or has not wealth. Therefore, all the young men and women of this age are desperately looking for ways and means ( legal or illegal; halal or haram; lawful or unlawful) which will make them rich and wealthy overnight. Some of them sell the agricultural land of their forefathers or other ancestral property for the purpose of buying or building the things which make them look rich in the eyes of the society. Some of them deal in illegal and harmful businesses for the same purpose. Some of them give bribes or use political approach illegally to obtain government jobs or desired positions.
Fortunately, the BJP government has been exposing such frauds , scams and scandals on daily basis all over the country. The biggest example of it is that the honorable courts recently cancelled the recruitment exams conducted by different Recruitment Boards (SSB, PSC etc) for various posts , especially the posts of Bank Employees, Teachers , AP’s , Junior Engineer, Sub Inspector. What a pity! What a shame ! The consciences of the people of this age are dead and they blindly chase money ignoring their Aakhirah (afterlife) , faith , principles, inner voices , health and all.
The truth is that this behaviour and this mindset may increase their bank balance but it definitely decreases their peace of mind and renders them unhappy. They look rich and happy but they are , in reality, financially as well as emotionally bankrupt. They have killed their souls. They have stifled their consciences. They have hurt their spiritual leaders. They have displeased their creator. For a few earthy pleasures, they have completely ruined their afterlife. They have become moving dead bodies. They can’t sleep peacefully, they can’t work honestly and they can’t behave with their family members and friends lovingly. To speak the truth, they are trapped in the marshland of anxiety, stress , depression and defeatism. They indulge in drug abuse or commit suicide or have become incurable medical patients. In short, they have fallen headlong into the mouth of Devil.
The strings of the international media and the current education system are in the hands of Devil that carries on programming people to be in competition with one another with respect to material things. Therefore, everyone finds himself in a marathon of looking richer than others. For instance, an individual has a smart phone but he wants the new model of the smart phone that his friends or relatives or colleagues have got. Likewise, he has a lift but he is restless to buy a new lift like his rivals possess. He has a house but builds a new house like his competitors have built. His children are studying at a school but he sends them to a more expensive school only to make his neighbours feel jealous. Well, he does not have cash to follow these vain desires of his. He simply goes to the bank and borrows a huge amount of loan and then wastes his whole life paying EMI’s or commits suicide in frustration.
Respected people, the purpose of your life is not to get bankrupt in an endeavour to make the others sing the praise of your lifestyle and success. Please , please and please, stop competing with one another in material things, that definitely leads to depression and unhappiness. Instead, start competing with one another in peace of mind, love and affection towards one’s family members , good manners , good character, good health, righteousness and kindness. Don’t fall into the mouth of Devil by chasing after money blindly. Don’t be like that professor who draws over a lac of rupees as salary monthly but was caught thrashing his wife on a road asking her to obtain her share of property from her parents and give it to him so that he would pay back the loan of seventy lac rupees he owed to the bank. He had taken that loan to build a stylish house though he had already a comfortable house. Don’t be like that woman who left her husband only because he lost a government job and then opened a small shop to make both ends meet. Don’t be like those people who pay bribes to get government jobs or tenders and thus destroy their afterlife for a few pleasures of this world. Don’t be like those people who acquire money by foul means and then spend on their beloved family members and thus granting himself and them tickets to Hell. The Devil is dragging you away from the right path with his weapons of illegal wealth oradultery or a fashionable life. Don’t follow him.
The first duty of an individual is to make himself happy by affording the basic necessities for himself and his family. Therefore, he needs to do a job or a business to generate a sufficient amount of income to be able to buy the basic necessities. In other words, he has to earn money for the sake of happiness. He does not have to murder his happiness for the sake of his money. Money is one of the hundreds of things an individual needs to live happily in the world. Money is not the only thing he needs to live happily in the world. How can an individual be happy after providing bribe or using unlawful means to obtain a government job no matter how much money he earns as a salary? He knows in his heart of hearts that he sold his Emaan (faith) , conscience, Akhirah (afterlife) and his self-respect to get a government job which belonged to somebody else.
Remember, when a person falls in his own eyes, no amount of cash can lift him up. How can a person be happy after grabbing the land of his relatives or some helpless people? How can a person be happy while he is doing a Haram business or a Haram job? One of my friends resigned from a well-paid job and opened a kiranastore at Pulwama only because he learnt that his job was Haram according to his religion. He preferred happiness to a Haram well-paid job. He believed that the life of this world is a test from the creator and he must pass it with flying colours. He believed that the earthly life is temporary and he must not waste the eternal Heavenly life for this temporary life. He knew that the people enter the narrow homes of soil eventually leaving behind their expensive lifts, fashionable dresses, big palaces, fake fans and spurious flatterers. He sacrificed his well-paid Haram job (money) for his happiness and a person like him will never suffer from anxiety or depression or unhappiness because his conscience is clear.
Happiness is purely a divine blessing and it will never stay in an impure heart. Therefore, chase the happiness that is long-lasting, not the Haram money or the short-lived pleasure bought with Haram money. Your aim should be to become one of the happiest people in the world by adopting legal and halal means. Your aim should not be to put your name in the list of the world’s richest people, for, that list changes after every month. You are not here to accumulate the most wealth. Your original home is Paradise. You won’t be happy so long as you are off the track that leads to Paradise. It is the capitalists and their concubine , the international media that deviates you from the right track by whispering you to earn money by hook or crook, become one of the richest people in the world and then enjoy wine, women, swimming pools , beaches, expensive restaurants and the similar stuff. How sad! Their philosophy did nothing but increased anxiety, unhappiness, depression, crime , violence, divorces and sucides in the world. Their philosophy pushed the world into the mouth of Devil.
You need to read the philosophy of Buddha , teachings of the prophets, , Poetry of Rumi , Wordsworth, Kahlil Gibran, Galib and Iqbal to come safely out of the mouth of Devil and lead a happy life loved by your creator and by your soul , conscience and heart. Let the stupid people or the worldly wise people laugh at your job , lift , home and dress but let not your soul and your creator be unhappy due to your Haram wealth. Live like Allama Iqbal or Maulana Rumi whom the world still loves , not like the richest people of the times of Allama Iqbal or Maulana Rumi , whom nobody remembers today.
Let me put on the flow of my thoughts a brake with the following words of Allama Iqbal :
I am tired of the competitions in worldly things, O Lord!
What is the use of the wealth which fails to give true happiness?
I seek escape from such tumult, my heart is desperately looking for ;
The peaceful silence for which one can sacrifice all his worldly wisdom and wealth.
(The author lives at Lethapora Pulwama. He can be reached at [email protected])