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Short Islamic Stories: The Illusion of Reflection (Real, True Happiness only in the spiritual world)

Short Islamic Stories: The Illusion of ReflectionOnce there was a king who had presented his daughter, the princess, with a beautiful diamond necklace. The necklace was stolen and his people in the kingdom searched everywhere but could not find it. Some said a bird might have stolen it. The king then asked them all to search for it and put a reward for $50,000 for anyone who found it.

One day a clerk was walking home along a river next to an industrial area. This river was completely polluted, filthy and smelly. As he was walking, the clerk saw a shimmering in the river and when he looked, he saw the diamond necklace. He decided to try and catch it so that he could get the $50,000 reward. He put his hand in the filthy, dirty river and grabbed at the necklace, but some how missed it and didn't catch it. He took his hand out and looked again and the necklace was still there. He tried again, this time he walked in the river and dirtied his pants in the filthy river and put his whole arm in to catch the necklace. But strangely, he still missed the necklace! He came out and started walking away, feeling depressed.

Then again he saw the necklace, right there. This time he was determined to get it, no matter what. He decided to plunge into the river, although it was a disgusting thing to do as the river was polluted, and his whole body would become filthy. He plunged in, and searched everywhere for the necklace and yet he failed. This time he was really bewildered and came out feeling very depressed that he could not get the necklace that would get him $50,000.

Just then a saint who was walking by, saw him, and asked him what was the matter. The clerk didn't want to share the secret with the saint, thinking the saint might take the necklace for himself, so he refused to tell the saint anything. But the saint could see this man was troubled and being compassionate, again asked the clerk to tell him the problem and promised that he would not tell anyone about it. The clerk mustered some courage and decided to put some faith in the saint. He told the saint about the necklace and how he tried and tried to catch it, but kept failing. The saint then told him that perhaps he should try looking upward, toward the branches of the tree, instead of in the filthy river. The clerk looked up and true enough, the necklace was dangling on the branch of a tree. He had been trying to capture a mere reflection of the real necklace all this time.

Moral of the story: Material happiness is just like the filthy, polluted river; because it is a mere reflection of the TRUE happiness in the spiritual world.

We can never achieve the happiness we are looking for no matter how hard we endeavor in material life. Instead we should look upwards, toward God, who is the source of real happiness, and stop chasing after the reflection of this happiness in the material world. This spiritual happiness is the only thing that can satisfy us completely.

Short Islamic Stories: Be a Lake (True Happiness Quotes)

Be a Lake (True Happiness Quotes)The old Master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. "How does it taste?" the Master asked. "Awful," spat the apprentice.

The Master chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the apprentice swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man said, "Now drink from the lake."

As the water dripped down the young man's chin, the Master asked, "How does it taste?" "Good!" remarked the apprentice. "Do you taste the salt?" asked the Master. "No," said the young man.

The Master sat beside this troubled young man, took his hands, and said, "The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount we taste the 'pain' depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things..... Stop being a glass. Become a lake!"

Short Islamic Stories: The source of our Problems is Materialistic World

The source of our ProblemsA group of working adults got together to visit their University lecturer. The lecturer was happy to see them. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

The Lecturer just smiled and went to the kitchen to get an assortment of cups - some porcelain, some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.

The Lecturer offered his former students the cups to get drinks for themselves.

When all the students had a cup in hand with water, the Lecturer spoke: "If you noticed, all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup, but we unconsciously went for the better cups."

"Just like in life, if Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold/maintain Life, but the quality of Life doesn't change."

"If we only concentrate on the cup, we won't have time to enjoy, taste and appreciate the water in it."

The lecturer continued his advice and said: "According to Noble Qur'an, the Sources of our problems are four:

We strain our eyes in longing for the things which other people have, and forget our own bounties given by Allah and forget to enjoy them. Noble Qur'an says:

(20:131) Nor strain your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to parties of them, the splendor of the life of this world, through which We test them: but the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring.

We complain so much about trivial pains and problems we face in this world, while forget the actual suffering we may face in the Hereafter due to our wrongdoings and negligence. We also forget to realize that actual pleasure is in fulfilling our duty to ease the sufferings of people around us. Noble Qur'an says:

(20:127) And thus do We recompense him who transgresses beyond bounds and believes not in the Signs of his Lord: and the Penalty of the Hereafter is far more grievous and more enduring.

We are so much after the conveniences and glitter of this world that we forget the core purpose of our life; which is a test with full of sufferings in order to obtain reward of PARADISE from our Lord in the Hereafter. Noble Qur'an says:

(28:60) The (material) things which you are given are but the conveniences of this life and the glitter thereof; but that which is with Allah is better and more enduring: will you not then be wise?

We take the life in the world as permanent and spend all our sources just building it as if death is for 'somebody else and not me', while we forget the fact that eternal life is that of Hereafter.

(87:17) But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.

Let us stop complaining and enjoy and appreciate our life which is an investment for a blissful eternal life in the Hereafter.

Once Imam Ali (as) was asked: "If choice given, what would you prefer: life in this world or death?"

Imam Ali (as) surprised the man by replying: "I will select life in this world because through it I will be able to earn the pleasure of my Lord".

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Short Islamic Stories: Change your attitude. Don't complain

Change your attitude. Don't complainIf you don't like something change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. Maya Angelou

Remember: If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it yourself! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. All situations will be resolved, but in God's time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the SFGTD box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.

If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!

Should you decide to send this to a friend; thank you. You may have touched their life in ways you will never know!

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Islamic Moral Stories is designed by Akramulla Syed Last Updated: Friday, February 12, 2010