Peace – the oft-repeated concept that echoes in all minds. What does peace mean to us? A feeling of endless security, immunity from the myriad of life’s problems, and contentedness with oneself and close-knitted affection from those that matter?
Theoretically, we can create the most beautiful definitions of the word, but the question is, how much of it can be brought to reality from a daily life perspective?
Majority of the time, peace is an independent variable: our peace and tranquility are maneuvered by our very own hands. If we possess the tendency to blame external factors (people, material life, etc.) for dictating our life’s happiness, then everlasting peace is hardly attainable for us.
We are all in constant pursuit of the prolonged everlasting peace and happiness in life. Ever wondered why people persist in sinfulness? On closer examination, we will find that most sinful behavior comes about from the longing for peace of mind: music, drugs, alcohol, tranquilizers, anti-depressants are all approached for this reason. Moreover, most illnesses today are actually stress-related: diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, etc.
Peace of mind also has its own types: there is true and pure tranquility, but there is also a fake one. To make it simple, let’s just say that not everything that gives us happiness gives us actual peace of mind. That which might give us momentary happiness can fling us into the deep dark hole of guilt, frustration, and a worse form of dissatisfaction in the future. If we need everlasting and unwavering peace in our lives, our first step should be to make a clear distinction between the real source of peace and the delusional artificial sources. As believers, one thing we can be sure of is that the Holy Qur’an can definitely help us make this distinction.
The Quran gives us a formula to live by: “Surely in Allah’s remembrance do the hearts find peace.” (13:28)
How intricately simple is this formula for peace! Remembrance of Allah works like a key to several locks, because with true remembrance of Allah, several different things happen at the same time. First of all, we stay away from all other artificial sources of happiness, also known as sinful behavior. Secondly, we allow ourselves to enter into a state of Tawakkul – a positive reassurance that whatever happens to us is always for our own benefit, whether it is spiritual or material. Henceforth, worldly and material troubles cannot rob us of our peace of mind, because we have embarked into a stage which has been described by Imam Ali (peace be upon him) as follows: “A true believer has no worry except about his failure to fulfill his duties to the Lord.”
The Qur’an’s prescription relieves us from meaningless worries and gives us a simple formula to true happiness and peace. Knowing this, it should be of little surprise for us to recall how pleased and content Maitham at-Tammar was to get ruthlessly crucified by the enemies, or even to imagine the day of Ashura on which Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) and his close companions (according to a narration by our Fourth Imam) became happier and more tranquil as the time of martyrdom approached them. They are a manifestation of the peace of mind the Qur’an and Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) constantly speak about, and they are the ones who enjoy the promised everlasting peace that we all yearn for.
As long as we live within the limits prescribed to us by our Lord, nothing disturbs our peace. With this solution in mind, we are no longer confused wanderers that stumble along their paths. We have chosen to trust our Creator, who is our everlasting source of peace. The Qur’an promises the believers:
“He it is Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they might have more of faith added to their faith – and Allah’s are the hosts of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.” (48:4)