Human desires are deeper than the depths of ocean and vaster than earth and sky. Fortunate are those who combat their desires with the shield of contentment while acting upon the Islamic teachings and lead a peaceful life. Along with being one of the most beautiful traits of a human being, contentment is also a source of satisfaction, tranquillity, forbearance and solace; because the one adopting contentment attains the treasure of peacefulness by observing forbearance and avoiding running after accumulating excessive wealth and fulfilling his desires. Whereas, the one who turns away from contentment becomes a slave of his Nafs and wanders astray here and there; because contentment is such a treasure that makes one independent from the dependency of others.
What is contentment?
To be satisfied with the distribution determined by Allah Almighty is called contentment; or to be contented with whatever you have is contentment. (Chirya aur Andha Saanp, pp. 8) Remember! Contentment does not mean to sit at home doing nothing, but to consider the sustenance received after making the efforts to be sufficient, is contentment.
Two blessed sayings of Beloved Mustafa صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on the virtue of contentment
1. Glad tiding is for the one who embraced Islam, was blessed with sufficient sustenance and observed contentment over it. (Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 4, pp. 156, Hadees 2356)
2. Best among the believers is the one who observes contentment. (Firdaus-ul-Akhbar, vol. 1, pp. 365, Hadees 2707)
Benefits of contentment
Along with developing self-respect and making one’s life peaceful, contentment also makes a person deserving of the pleasure of Allah Almighty and His Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Moreover, contentment is best of the weapons to protect oneself against the filth of greed and trap of covetousness. Sayyiduna Ibraheem Maaristani رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states: ‘The way you take revenge from your enemy through Qisaas (Islamic retaliation law), similarly take revenge from greed through contentment.’ (Nataaij-ul-Afkar Al-Qudsiyyah, Juz: 3, vol. 2, pp. 77)
Righteous predecessors would adopt contentment and do not let their self-respect get harmed. As it is narrated about Imam Khaleel Nahwee رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه that the ruler of the time sent a bearer to him to teach his [i.e. the ruler’s] children. Upon this, he رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه took a dry piece of bread out and showed it to the bearer and said: ‘Until this piece of bread is available to me, I do not need (ruler of the time) Sulayman Bin ‘Abdul Malik at all. (Bagheet-ul-Wi’aah, vol. 1, pp. 558)
Contentment and our society
Today, we are moving away from contentment. This is perhaps the reason why we see majority of the people complaining about the lack of sustenance. Contentment is the best support to survive in the most troublesome times of destitution. Similarly, an increase in bribes, cheating and robberies in our society are also informing about people moving away from contentment. The incidents of people committing suicide and self-immolation due to poverty and destitution become headlines of newspapers every now and then. One of the biggest reasons for this appalling situation of the society is also not practically adopting contentment.
Something to ponder about!
When our life is only for a few days and nothing in this world is everlasting, then it is neither wise nor a good fortune to leave contentment and remain worried in greed and covetousness. Therefore, adopt contentment firmly. By doing so, اِنْ شَآءَاللہ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ good fortune will smile at you with peace and tranquillity.