The “Science” of Happiness

A couple celebrating.

Positive psychology, self-help, the science of happiness.

I recently watched a documentary called “Happy” about what brings people happiness and joy. The documentary interviewed many psychologists, neurologists, and other “happiness experts” as well as surveyed many different cultures around the world (but notably did not include a single Muslim nation or culture). The 1.5 hour long documentary had just 10 seconds on the fact that religion brings “some” people happiness and it included 30 seconds on how religion actually is a source of much pain and suffering in the world.

Ultimately, the documentary concludes that happiness is about being charitable, serving others, being grateful, being content, pursuing meaning, connecting with family and neighbors, not overvaluing money and material possessions, meditating and spending time on quiet reflection, and spending time in nature.

I thought to myself, all these things have analogs in Islam and organized religion generally. Do people not make that connection? If happiness is the goal and these are the factors that are conducive to happiness, then organized religion and especially Islam, which harmonizes these factors and brings them to their perfect expression in the Sunna, is the clear answer, or at the very least, a front-runner for how people should lead their lives.

The only cost for that happiness is believing in God, and so even hedonistic modernity will sacrifice happiness to avoid submitting to a higher authority, preferring instead to define happiness in terms of an assortment of hollow truisms that may capture the form but miss the essence and source of true happiness.

Positive psychology, self-help, the science of happiness.I recently watched a documentary called "Happy" about what…

Posted by Daniel Haqiqatjou on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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