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Provisions for Finding Happiness from Imam al-Ghazali

Provisions for Finding Happiness from Imam al-Ghazali

Imam al-Ghazali wrote a work so that humans can find happiness. What are the formulas?

In one of his books, Imam al-Ghazali concocts a formula for finding happiness.

If you say, "I have understood myself," what you really know is the outer body consisting of hands, feet, head, other members, not the substance of the real self. Notice, if you are angry then, seek enmity; If you desire, then what you seek is marriage; If you are hungry, you seek then; and if you are thirsty you seek drink, then if it is true that you are so, surely the animals will compete with you in all these matters. Therefore what is obligatory for you is to know the true nature of yourself so that you understand and be able to identify, “what kind of thing are you? Where did you come to this place from? Why were you created? With what is your happiness? And with what do you feel trouble?”


Thus a little introduction from Imam al-Ghazali in the article about knowing oneself. One first step to happiness.


Kimiya 'as-Sa'adah if freely translated means the solution of happiness. Not far from basic chemistry, namely the melting of various elements to form certain compounds. Imam al-Ghazali in this book also experimented with various substances that exist naturally in a human being. The result of experimenting with the substances of happiness then becomes a perfect substance in a person.


Imam al-Ghazali wrote that in humans there are four characteristics, namely the nature of livestock, the nature of wild animals, the nature of demons, and the nature of angels. Each trait has its own intake of happiness and satisfaction. Knowing these four things is the initial capital to understand yourself. Then if it has succeeded in dissolving the four, a human being is able to become complete.


First, the happiness of farm animals.

Obtained from eating, drinking, sleeping, mating. If one's obsession with happiness lies here, then it is enough to make an earnest effort to optimize the stomach and genitals.


Second, the happiness of beasts.

Obtained by hitting, attacking, antagonizing other people, and some other wild animal actions.



Third, satanic happiness.

Obtained by cheating, doing bad things, and manipulative actions. If one's happiness lies here, please keep yourself busy with those qualities.


Fourth, the happiness of angels which incidentally becomes the main happiness of the human heart.

It is in the intensity of witnessing the beauty of the divine attributes. In this nature there is no way for anger and lust. Therefore, if a person has the same essence as angels, he should be serious about knowing his origins so that he understands the way to the divine presence and attains witness to the Most Beautiful and Sublime Essence. Then purify yourself from the shackles of lust and anger. Until the climax is someone knows exactly why all of the above traits are formed in humans.


Allah SWT created these qualities not to make humans captives, but vice versa, namely so that someone subdues all of them to take the journey of life that he faces.


Each of the above properties has its own function and role. For example, there are traits that become mounts, some are used as weapons. That's how it all goes until someone manages to get true happiness. Even if the purpose of the trip is passed, then corrective steps are immediately carried out and return to the place of true happiness that has been determined. That place is a place of residence for special people who always feel the presence of God's attributes.


To describe it can be likened to the human self as a city. Hands, feet and limbs are a chaotic society. Syahwat is a corrupt Duke. His indiscriminate and ruthless security forces are anger. The mind is the prime minister and the heart is the king.


If the state of the city is left like that of course will be destroyed. Therefore the king must consult with the prime minister, then make the mayor and the apparatus under his control. If this step is taken, the kingdom will be stabilized and the city will be brought back under control. Similar to the situation that exists in humans, the heart continues to dialogue with reason, while lust and anger must be able to obey under its orders, until in the end the self becomes established/sturdy and becomes the cause of happiness in getting to Divine knowledge (Makrifat).

Perfect happiness is built on three aspects, namely the power of anger, the power of lust, and the power of knowledge or reason. The fundamental thing that needs to be done is to make all three proportional and balanced. The power of anger if excessive will give birth to stupidity, violence and even murder. If it is minimal, it will eliminate religious zeal and protection of world affairs. Likewise, the power of lust if it is excessive, it will make wickedness. If it fades it will become lethargy without passion and fatalistic attitude. If it is balanced it will be 'Iffah (maintaining honor), Qanaah, and other noble qualities.


the result, if everything has dissolved completely completely that's when a servant finds happiness, as stated in a verse:


وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْاِنْسَ اِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوْنِ


Like a climber trying to see the beauty of the mountain from its peak. The passion of conquest is a source of energy. The eye senses as the first message catcher. Intellect acts as a digester which proves the wonders of creation. And the peak, the heart that feels the divine delicacy.


If the beauty of the mountain alone has consumed the ink of the pens of writers around the world to describe it sincerely, what about the beauty of the Creator and the happiness that comes after seeing Him?


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