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How to Live a Good Life

Toward Finding Inner Peace
By C. Mofty
Muslim Writer
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A ‘Good Life’ is based on spiritual contentment
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{Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and We shall certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did} (Quran 16:97)

A good life is what most people want to live.  It is a life of happiness and fulfillment with little suffering, pain, or sickness. 

Aristotle wrote about it. Several novels and plays have been written on it. Singers like Tony Bennett have made it popular with their songs. 

The American dream defined it to be richer, better, and fuller for everyone in the form of good education, a well-paying job, and a comfortable life.  The state of Nebraska even chose ‘A Good Life’ to be it’s promotional slogan.

God’s Word, on the other hand, sets a slightly different standard for a good life.  It bases a ‘good life’ on spiritual contentment.  It does not limit a good life tied to superior education, material plenty, or the perfect body.  It brings happiness not from what lies outside, but from within.  More accurately, a ‘good life’ is God centered.

God promises a ‘good life’ to whoever does good deeds.  What makes deeds ‘good’? It is not what people define ‘good’ for themselves.  Worst criminals justify their crimes.  Fighting parties do not think of themselves as anything but ‘good.’ A ‘good deed’ is simply every good action that is listed in the Book that God has revealed for humanity or it was taught by the prophet that God send.  Quran is the Book revealed by God and Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet He send.

How to Get There?

There are several points to be noted:

This ‘good life’ is not tied to wealth, family status, or membership of a privileged class

1.   A ‘good life’ is promised by God to every child of Adam, man or woman.  It is an equal opportunity to attain happiness for every human being.  It does not matter where or when they live.  The recipe of success is the same for all.  Male or female, all are equal in the sight of how God rewards them in terms of the effort they put in this life.

2.   The only requirement for the person is to have faith.  Faith in God is the foundation on which life must be based.  This ‘good life’ is not tied to wealth, family status, or membership of a privileged class.  They may be ingredients to happiness, but without a connection with God they lose meaning.  The way to have a connection with God is to believe in His prophet as well.  Therefore, a person must have faith in God and His prophet.  Only a person with faith will perform works that are commanded by God and His prophet.  Faith is the driving force of any action acceptable to God.

3.   The ‘good life’ can be any form of comfort.  It can be earning a decent livelihood that does not contradict God’s teachings.  It can be the inner feeling of contentment whether one is rich or poor.  Some state it is the pure joy of worship.  Think about it, someone who lives a ‘good life’ should love someone or something.  What greater joy can be there than loving God and building a relationship with Him based on worship!

4.   This life is not the end of it.  There is more after death.  Living a ‘good life’ on this earth is further rewarded by God in the eternal life to come after death.  God promises to reward men and women of faith with the best actions they did in this life – and the reward is no less than eternal Paradise.

5.   Most people work all their lives to have the perfect ‘good life.’ Whether it is finding ways to make more money or going to college, yet not everyone is able to live a life of happiness and fulfillment.  Why? Because a ‘good life’ is a gift of God.  He gives it to whom He wills.

6.   Many people put forth great services for fellow human beings.  They make discoveries, create inventions, find cures, build free clinics and schools, but they lack faith.  God does not wrong them.  God pays them back in this world, but in the life to come, they get nothing.  God informs us in the Quran,

{If anyone desires a harvest in the life to come, We shall increase it for him; if anyone desires a harvest in this world, We shall give him a share of it, but in the Hereafter he will have no share} (Quran 42:20)

Such people do not serve humanity to earn reward in the life to come, they do it to earn fame or to get rich.  They usually get what they worked for.  That is their reward.  God states,

{But the deeds of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but, when he gets there, he finds only God, who pays him his account in full - God is swift in reckoning} (Quran 24:39)

Source: The Religion of Islam - http://www.islamreligion.com
Related Links:
Contentment: A Paradise on Earth
The Only Shelter in the Storm
How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart
Happiness is Found in Sincere Worship
Those Who Do Good Meet Goodness

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