By: KH Husein Muhammad

Life is a gift as well as a mandate or trustworthy  from God,  neither a human desire nor creation of human being. He also created human being with its various kind of sexes, faces, places, ethnicities, languages, beliefs, experiences and any other diversities. All of the people have different will and desire. But there are a same idea they have: namely happines.

What is happiness? Everybody will answer it with various answers, according to what they feel as enjoyment or pleasure. The Quran stated the various tendency or willingness, such as sexual desire, descendants, wealth, positions posts/positions, the good resideces or houses, vehicles, large plantation lands, and etc. This is a kind of materialistical tendencies which very personal.

In addition to that, there are many other form of happiness, which is spiritually and intellectually. Both of the material or physical happiness and the spiritual or noetic happiness is the kind of personal happiness. But there is also another kind of happiness which has the collective character (al-Sa’adah al-Jama’iyyah). This kind  of  happiness is formed based on the knowledge and justice. This is suitable with the mission of the Prophet PBUH as mentioned in the Quran:


الر . كتاب انزلناه اليك لتخرج الناس من الظلمات الى النور ( إِبْرَاهِيم: ١ )


Alif, Laam, Raa’. A Book which We have revealed unto thee, in order that thou mightest lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into light.” (QS Ibrahim: 1)

The word ‘al-Zhulumat’, literally ‘zhulumat’ is the plural form from the word ‘Zhala’ which means darknes. This is a connotative word (majas) to show the meaning of ignorance and despotism. While the word ‘al-Nur’ literally means light. But the purpose refer to knowledge and justice.



Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.(QS. Al Mumtahanah: 8)


Justice is the main idea in organize the relations between human being, including relation in the family. This is always taught by every religion, social tradition and humanity ethics. Its enforment is a necessary  as the effort  of achieving the people ideas in their life together. Abu Bakr al-Razi (d. 865 M) or in the Western World was known as Razes, one of philosopher and great Islamic thinker in the middle of century affirmed, “ The ultimate goal of the creation of us –human being- and where we will be directed are not for the physical enjoyment. But for the purpose of the knowledge achivement and justice practices.” (Read: Majid Khadduri, Teologi Keadilan Perspektif Islam, Risalah Gusti, Surabaya, Cet. I, 1999, p. 155).

Justice is the highest value in Islam. Based on the such principle, the cycle of religious teachings and laws are located. Related to this issue, it is interesting to read the Salafi figure, Imam Ibnu al-Qayyim al-Jauziyah:


فَاِنَّ الشَّرِيعَةَ مَبْنَاهَا وَاَسَاسُهَا عَلَى الحِكَمِ وَمَصَالِحِ العِبَادِ وهِىَ عَدْلٌ كُلُّهَا،  ورحمة كلها وَمَصالِحُ كُلُّهَا، وَحِكْمَةٌ كُلُّهَا، فَكُلُّ مَسْأَلَةٍ خَرَجَتْ عَنِ العَدْلِ إِلي الجَوْرِ، وعَنِ المَصْلَحَةِ اِلَى المَفْسَدَةِ وعَنِ الرَّحْمَةِ إِلى ضِدِّهَا، وَعَنِ الحِكْمَةِ الَى  العَبَثِ  فَلَيْسَتْ مِنَ الشَّرِيعَةِ وَإِنْ أُدْخِلَ فِيهَا بِالتَّأْوِيلِ.


Sharia  (rules) in Islamic religion was formed on the foundation of the whole wisdom and benefit.  All of them are justice, all of them are love (compassion),  all of them are useful or benefit, and all of them are wisdom.  So that every rules of life which  had been  deviated from justice and changed into tyranny , from the benefit to the moral hazards, from love to un-love, from wisdom to vain, so that is not Islamic rules, although it is intervened by intelectual  manipulations”.


Imam Al-Ghazali (d. 1111 M), Hujjah al-Islam, the Greatest Argumentator in Islam, wrote in his book: “al-Tibr al-Masbuk fî Nashihah al-Muluk” page 50:


وَفِى التَّوَارِيْخِ أَنَّ الْمَجُوس مَلَكَوا اَمْرَ الْعَالَمِ اَرْبَعَةَ آلافِ سَنَةٍ . وَكَانَتِ الْمَمْلَكَةُ فِيْهِمْ. وَإِنَّمَا دَامَتِ الَمَمْلَكَةُ بِعَدْلِهِمْ فِى الرَّعِيَّةِ وَحِفْظِهِمَ الْاُمُوْرَ بِالسَّوِيَّةِ. وَاِنَّهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَرَوْنَ الظُّلْمَ وَالْجَوْرَ فِى دِيْنِهِمْ وَمِلَّتِهِمْ جَائِزاً. وَعَمَّرُوا بِعَدْلِهِمْ الْبِلَادَ وَاَنْصَفُوا الْعِبَادَ. وَقَدْ جَاءَ فِى الْخَبَرِ أَنَّ اللهَ جَلَّ ذِكْرُهُ اَوْحَى اِلَى دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام اَنْ أَنْهِ قَوْمَكَ عَنْ سَبِّ مُلُوكِ الْعَجَمِ فَإِنَّهُمْ عَمَّرُوا الدُّنْيَا وَأَوْطَنُوهَا عِبَادِى .(الامام الغزالى: التبر المسبوك فى نصيحة الملوك, مكتبة الكليات الازهرية, ص 50).


The world history had written that the Majus which in their ritual practices face to the Fire had dominated the world for four thousands years.”Why can they become established so long?” The Imam answered himself,”Because the nation was ordered and lead by the fair hands and  people who work for the people welfare. Religion according to them did not justify the despotism and distortion. There was a hadith stated that Allah revealed his inspiration to the Prophet Daud (David),  which said, “Hi Daud, stop your people to curse the stranger kings/rulers. Because they had contributed to prospering the city and protected my servants”

In achieving the justice, we should formulate the living laws together by basing ourself on the equality principle and the seven universal humanity principles (“al-Kulliyyat al-Sab’”). Those are Hifzh  al-Nafs (the protection of life), Hizh  al-Din (the protection of beliefs), Hifzh al-’Irdh (the proctection of human dignity), Hifzh al-’Aql (the protection of the freedom of thoughts and expression), Hifzh al-Nasl (the protection of reproductive rights), Hifzh al-Mal (the protection of property rights), and Hifzh al-Biah (the protection of the natural environment).


The Fiqh of  Happiness to the Sakinah Family

The Fiqh of Happiness in the higher level must be built on the reciprocity principles. Syeikh Syams Tabrizi said:


لَقَدْ خُلِقَ هَذَا العَالَمُ عَلَى مَبْدَءِ التَّبَادُلِ

The world is created based on the reciprocity principle”

The reciprocity principle is used as a way to interact among human being. The reciprocity was also mentioned in the hadith of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, namely:


قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لأحدهم :أَتُحِبُّ الْجَنَّةَ ؟ قُلْتُ : نَعَمْ، قَالَ : فَأَحِبَّ لِأَخِيكَ مَا تُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِكَ (رواه احمد)


The Prophet saidto one of  his relatives,” Do you want to enter the heaven?” He said, “Yes, of course”. The Prophet said,”Give to your  friend what do you like by yourself”. (HR. Ahmad)


Therefore,  the collective happiness can only be achived when every of us loves each other. Maulana Jalal al-Din Rumi said beautifully:

اَحِبَّ كُلَّ اِنْسَانٍ تَكُونُ دَآءِماً بَيْنَ الوَرْدِ وَالرِّيَاضِ

Love everybody, so you will be among the flowers and heaven’s gardens”


In a family, the reciprocity must become foundation, as the purpose marriage as mentioned in the Quran in QS Ar Rum 21, as the folowing:


And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect. (QS. al-Rum: 21)


If we take into consideration about this verse, we will find three key words which will be directed for the achievement of the goals and expected by the verse. First, the word “litaskunuu ilaihaa, generally this word means, ‘‘that you may dwell tranquility with them”. Al-Raghib al-Ishfihani in his ‘Mu’jam Mufradat li Alfazh al-Quran’ interpreted the word ‘sakana’ with several meanings. Among them are to stop or to rest after moving, still, to stay, to live, no fear, qiet, calm, and tranquil. This must give the meaning that a marriage is purposed as a media or place in which people inside will be protected and can experience the live with the tranquility and secure.

The second key word is ‘mawaddah’. Muqatil bin Sula–iman (w. 150 H), the expert of  tafsir (Quranic Exegesis) in the classical era, said that the word has four meanings.The three of them is mahabbah (love), secondly is al-nashihah (advice), and thirdly is al-shilah (the strong relationship). Through the three ofmeanings, so the marriage as mentioned in the such Qur’anic verse is a chain that can deliver the love relationship among each other,  to give advice on another, and to protect one another.

For the third meaning, Muqatil said that al-shilah or the good relationship means the relationship which never happen such actions or sayings that hurts each other (Muqatil bin Sulaiman, al- Asybah wa al-Nazhair fi al-Quran al-Karim, 309). While al-Ishfihani said ‘mawaddah’ as “mahabbah al-sya-i wa tamanni kaunihi” (to love something and to long for it).

The third key word is ‘rahmah’. Al-Raghib al-Ishfihani said that the word has the meaning “riqqah taqtadhi al-ihsan ila al-marhum” (the gentleness of the heart that required the person who give it treat the well for the people gifted). The same meaning was also mentioned by Al-Jurjani in his Kitab al-Ta’rifat. He said that ‘al-Rahmah’ means “iradah ishal al-khair” (the willingness to deliver the goodness). In our language, it means the deep ‘love and compassion’ which spiritually or sincerely from the bottom of the heart. Ahsin Sakha Muhammad, the Doctor of Tafsir or Quranic Exegesis, alumny of  Medina Islamic University, in one of his speech said that ‘mawaddah and rahmah’, even though can be intrepreted as the same thing, but the ‘mawaddahí’ is more tends to the physical love or love to the body,while ‘rahmah’ is more spiritually or refers to the feeling of the heart.

It is such an interesting thing, that the mawaddah and rahmah were said by the Quran  with the word ‘bainakum’ (among you or between the two of you) or in other words ‘one another’ or ‘each other’ (recriprocally). This must show that love and compassion is not only belong to one party, but belong for both parties who form to bond to live together, namely husband and wife. Mawaddah and rahmah are the principles that must be held tightly by both of them when the marriage relationship is still happen. The such love principles should be realize in the more realistic relationship through to give, to respect, and to help  each other. Mafhum mukhalafah (the logical consequences) of this meaning, both of them may not hurt and cheat each other.

The above principles are the norms that should become foundations related to every decision that impacted to the both parties. It means, a marriage is not merely a place to satisfy the sexual desire or lust, but more than that is to establish the humanity relation that will build them together for a peace and welfare life physically and spiritually, and the relationship to deliver the people generations that are healthy, smart and civilized.

The principle of equality and justice will bring us to an action that recognize the rights and responsibility of everybody, wherever and whenever, in the family or in the public space. At the same time , it will prevent from the tyranny. The such way of actions will create spaces for each member of family and community to continue their life without feeling disturbed by the actions which will degrade and hurt one another. There will be just the actions of caring, protecting, and loving each other, and this will be the real meaning of happiness. {}


*The Author is the Leader of Pondok Pesantren  Dar al-Tauhid Cirebon.

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