Bring joy to your fellow man, for one day it will be your companion.
Bringing joy-suroor, to people is an important aspect of human character which is highly recommended by Islam. Joy is an inner feeling of happiness which is attained through many ways. I can only point out to two of them in this short post. One is through the self attempt and desire to adopt a positive outlook towards life; this kind of approach is often possible when the individual is surrounded and blessed with the right circumstances and conditions which are fundamental to the positive attitude of man. However there are others who are not necessarily blessed with the same circumstances therefore these kind of people, who are not as fortunate, need to experience joy-suroor, in their life through the love and compassion of others, and this is the second source of “joy” to be attained by man.
The process of Bringing joy to those who are in need for it represents a divine act bestowed by God upon both parties; those who do the act and those who receive the joy. It is one of God’s method of communications to man. Man is created week in nature, as it is clearly stated in 4:28, therefore hardship and suffering are an inevitable realities of life through which man’s inner universal values are enabled to realize themselves. Hence the need for adopting positive outlook to life and bringing joy to others is crucial to man’s social, economical, sociological stability and prosperity. That is how God encourages man to bring joy to others; to our children, to the poor, to the less fortunate, which is God’s way to alleviate these inevitable realities of life from “his creation” by “his creation” to test our true connection to His knowledge of the Ultimate Truth; as He the Most high stated in His glorified words“God wants to lighten your burdens:4:28.” Hence it is through those who are conscious of God’s Glory the burden which inflict man is made possible to be alleviated and lightened. Then bringing “joy” to our fellow man is one of God’s mysterious merciful acts which is designed to lighten the burden imposed upon man. And it is through this venue that man’s inner knowledge of the cosmos is being authenticated and verified, as God’s stated:
“Who has created the life and the death that He may try you, which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, Forgiving,67:2″
Accordingly , bringing joy to others is a form of good conduct and it is part of the ultimate purpose of man’s creation into this ephemeral world, and his final journey towards his creator. It is part of what make us human so that we could earn the Mercy of God in this world and the Hereafter.
There are several Prophetic traditions which emphasis upon the notion of joy. I have chosen one tradition narrated by Imam Sadiq who is the grand child of Prophet Muhammad and who said in many occasions that any tradition is conveyed by him is usually an inherited knowledge which is traced back to the prophet of Islam. Therefore I leave you with a beautiful tradition(1) which adequately elaborate on the notion of Joy and its benefits to man on the Day of resurrection till his final abode.
[When a believer is resurrected from his grave then an “model-mithal” is brought forth with him as a companion who leads the way to the day of reckoning. Whenever the believer sees in a vision the horrors of that Great Day then this “model-mithal” will say to him do not be afraid and sadden and I give you the glad tidings of joy and honour from Allah SW. Then this “model-mithal” keeps comforting and assuring him of God’s Mercy and forgiveness during his long waiting journey of the Day of accountability. Then upon that great Day (when his turn comes to stand before God) he shall find God Merciful and compassionate and God grants him paradise. AS he is entering Paradise his mysterious companion the “model-mithal” is still ahead of him and leading the way to Paradise, then he says to the “model-mithal”; the Mercy of Allah be upon you; you have been with me since I have left my grave and you kept my company all the way until I am granted paradise and you have been comforting me and promising me of God’s Mercy and honour and you were truthful of what you have told. And now you are still with me(in Paradise); who are you? Then the “model-mithal” replied: I am the “Joy-al suroor, which you have brought into the heart of your brethren believer in the lower world. God the Almighty have created me as an “model”; from that “Joy” to tell you the glad tidings (to keep your company in your difficult journey towards God) (1) ]
(1) Imam Sadiq hadeeth is taken from shebekat aseraj translated from the Arabic by “Katib”