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Happiness comes from Zikr, not the Prom
by Salman Ali
(Please take the liberty of reading the following text as it can make you the happiest person on earth AND CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Please do post your comments on this article!)
The Prom and Happiness
Happiness! Ah what a wonderful term, wouldn't all of us like to have that? I think it's the only thing that we need in life. How can we achieve happiness in the life hereafter after as well as in this life? (note the reverse order of the last sentence).
Most people think, 'okay sure suffer all this life to get a reward of which we are not sure we will get as we are never good enough for God'. But I intend to prove that you do the get the rewards of obedience in this world and that you can get happiness even in the most direst of circumstances.
Luxury Enjoyments (proms/parties/other enjoyments)
The main reason people want to go the prom is not because they are really seeking personal enjoyment or happiness but because it's their last association with their classmates or just "because everyone else is going to be there". Now ask yourself the question: is this really making me happy? Or am I being forced into it?
If you are really going to the prom because it's the last time you're going to meet your classmates, then invite your closest friends to your home and have a social gathering. You can have a couple of trustworthy elders (preferably of young age who understand teens). And no one has to wear tight and uncomfortable clothing or have to show their cleavage. You can have a friendly chat. I am sure you'll treasure the memory of being with your closest friends more than being with people you never really got to know. Isn't this true happiness?
I myself did not choose to go to the prom because I didn't find happiness there. In the beginning all of my friends were really pushy, they wanted me to go. Sure, I felt disappointed for not going there, but it was only for one day, that's it. Besides, my friends who did go to the prom, don't really talk about it. They talk more about the fun times 'our group' had when we were by ourselves. So to conclude, the prom doesn't really provide any "happiness" to any person (let alone a Muslim). Rather it leaves most people sad and questioning their own beliefs.
The Prom and "The Pandora's Box Phenomenon"
Most people think, one night of the prom, so what? Well, not necessarily. When you go to the prom you are becoming accustomed to that atmosphere so that if a similar event occurs in your life (other parties) you will go there which will further extract from your happiness.
Some of my brother's non-Muslim friends have a very boring lifestyle. During their holidays, all they do is drink and go to a night club. That's there lifestyle. Can you imagine doing that everyday?
Most say that the reason they do it is because they can't find any other suitable lifestyle. We all know that there are more suitable lifestyles. Do you know why they said such a thing? It's because they're accustomed to a lifestyle that's draining their happiness. It's like drugs, it's like an addiction. They became accustomed to this lifestyle probably from their night at the prom. Think about all-night raves. You go back home in the morning with a raging headache. Your whole sleep timetable is disturbed. Is this making you happy?
I know that most of our Muslim brothers and sisters probably will not be willing to go to night clubs after going to the prom, but they will become accustomed to the atmosphere, and if they see others going to the prom they would not condemn them.
You are going to get away with this, but are your kids gonna get away with this?
For those of you who went to the prom, the reason you behaved "decently" is not because you chose to do it. It was restrictions placed by parents on you that made you do so. However, when you grow up you are going to be more lax about the prom idea and you probably will not take extra precautions with your kids as your parents did with you.
You'll probably give them more leeway or more room to maneuver because you might be more sympathetic to the prom. When your kids have their kids they are going to give even more leeway. Hence your descendants will get closer and closer to that "all week night club" lifestyle that I mentioned earlier. And the happiness will literally evaporate from your family. Do you want to take away your kids' happiness?
So Then What is True Happiness?
True happiness lies in being satisfied with what you have, to be contented. What's the one way to always be happy? It is THANKFULNESS.
God just didn't create thankfulness to make our lives boring. He made it to make us happy, He cares for us. The question one must ask himself/herself is 'what do I get from being thankful?'
Well let's start with an example: Let's say you're 30. You live on minimum wage and you are very depressed about yourself. Is there something that can change all of this?
Look at your hands. Can these same hands write reports that can win you jobs and promotions? Look at your eyes, ears and your nose. Can these three organs record data into your brain that can make you into a famous historian, scientist, doctor, interior decorator or a chef? Look at your feet (legs included). Can these same legs make you carry a wounded person (paramedic/nurse) to a hospital bed or can it make you jump hurdles in a race or score the winning goal for your team.
Look at your mouth (tongue). Can this organ convince a youth not to commit suicide, kill someone, take drugs (i.e. can you be a counselor)? Or can this organ help you win the attention of audiences? Does this make you feel happy?
Finally, look at your head (brain). Can this part of your body make you the most knowledgeable and respectable person in the world? Wouldn't you be happy with that? Yes, it can. Imagine you had none of these things how would you feel ? Now imagine having most if not all of these organs with you. You don't have to imagine this. You do have these things and having even one of these organs can make you really happy. What's there to be sad about?
What I mentioned above is a part of thankfulness and being contented. The other part is praising and thanking God. By Praising God for His favors and blessings upon you just realize how many things you have to be happy about, including parents, friends and Islam.
That's the reason why God made thankfulness Wajib (obligatory) on us as He cares for us and doesn't want us to feel sad, He wants us to be happy and contented. You don't have to go on a vacation to be happy. You can do that right from home.
Why does a walk in the park make you feel happy? Its because you think about nature and the good things in life and hence you think about God (remembrance).
This is the reason why all of the religious people spend all of their time in remembrance, in Zikr, because just like you and me they want to be happy in this life as well as the life Hereafter.
Can a prom really bring you that happiness?
There you go. I have proven to you how to attain happiness in this world, through Zikr, as well as in the hereafter. I hope I have convinced most of our young Muslim readers from not going to the prom and have changed the thinking of those who did go to the prom. Even if one person changed his/her mind then I feel my work is done, for curing people of their problems makes me a happy person.
Bilal M, Birmingham -
wrote on 6/17/2010 12:26:28 AM
Comment: i can't believe this. i am a 16 year old muslim boy and my prom is TODAY. I hAve been awake all night; praying and playing xbox and i was just searching random prom pages. i still havent made my mind up to go but i have a choice since my parents paid me for in advance. ive been feeling guilty about the ramifications of me going that could affect my religion and all of a sudden i come across this page. subhaanAllah. what a wierd coincidense. but i still feel like going because i want to see all my friends for the last time. they are all going to different colleges and some are even moving. Does this make me a bad person, a kafir because eventhough i know im not meant to go and iv been prompted not to go i still want to???
Sahel, Holand -
wrote on 1/13/2005 2:37:05 PM
Comment: You can also wear a beard to show other people
that you are muslim. That's always working by me.
shireen, on the comp in england! -
wrote on 8/2/2004 5:01:50 PM
Comment: excellant article mashallah! reli defines happiness. alhmdulilah!
wrote on 6/20/2004 6:44:38 PM
Comment: Assalam Walaikum,
This was a great article. The importance of finding happiness on our own through Islam and the importance of thankfulness were presented really well.
However, I'd like to say that I'm a muslim male and I went to prom with all my friends and really enjoyed it, and that going to prom for one day from the 19 years i've been alive as a musilm did not weaken my beliefs of islam or take away all my good doings from the past. No, i DID not have a date,(we all went as a big group), No, i did not go to any party afterwards(we all gathered at a friends house afterwards where parents were present), and No, there was never even an ounce of alcohol aronund me the whole night. Prom was simply one night of my life that I spent with my graduating class and my close friends and I'll cherish the memory of it forever.
I think going to prom or not should be left upto anyone on a personal level. Of course, I wouldn't encourage it, because it is just one more luxury in life that we as muslims are to try to abstain from, But, if you're going to talk about wasting precious time in your life by going to prom for 3-4 hours, then I'd suggest that you also talk about giving up television, movies, music, and all of that other "good" stuff.
What I'm trying to say is, the subject of prom is not needed in this article that conveys the message of "being happy and thankful" , and rather, actually takes away from the actual message of the article. Instead of using prom, talk about various things as a whole or a materialistic lifestyle for the contrast needed to convey the message of finding happiness and being thankful.
Nevertheless, its a nice article and I enjoyed reading it.
wrote on 4/28/2004 12:51:35 AM
Comment: one can still go to prom and be thankful and behave decently (not because of limitations and expections from teachers, parents, etc. to behave decently, but rather because they believe in behaving this way), i don't believe we should spend a large amount of money on prom when this money could go elsewhere, and i don't believe in some of the things that students engage in during, before, and after prom, but prom itself will not make an immoral person, sure, the time spent at prom could be used doing something more useful, but prom is not as evil as some of us would like to think
Amina, MN -
wrote on 12/16/2003 11:05:24 PM
Comment: i absolutely love this article.
s-butt, Female -
wrote on 12/10/2003 4:45:20 PM
Comment: I am impress and i do zikr. And i made my life happly. This is true zikr makes life happy
fatima, canada -
wrote on 6/15/2003 4:20:38 PM
Comment: You did a great job convincing me. Well done.
shezana, london -
wrote on 6/7/2003 3:52:19 PM
Comment: salaamz, i fink that was really beautiful it certainly changed my mind about my life, it surely will do the same for others. wassam
eslam, earth -
wrote on 5/21/2003 8:53:00 PM
Comment: I DONT THINK GOING TO A PROM IS A GOOD THING AFTER ALL!!!!!!!!!
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