Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch
I saw a series in which one person cured his depression and death wish through the joy of others. Isn’t that what we should also desire(to be happy)? I remembered a hadith (it is authentic?) in al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ lil-Ṭabarānī 6026 that has a similar content.
What are your thoughts about the concept of giving joy to others in order to have joy in life?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
Bringing joy to people is a manifestation of a good state of heart. It personifies the state of heart that resembles that of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace), who was sent as a Mercy to all Mankind.
The state of mercy that would cause someone to seek the joy and happiness of others and to act in a way that brings that about is the type of mercy that draws the Mercy of Allah, the Most Merciful.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those in the Earth and those in the Heavens will have mercy on you.” [Abu Dawud and TIrmidhi]
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and give him peace) was described as being constantly cheerful. [Qadi ‘Iyad, al-Shifa]
From the above narration, it is clear that the reward is that Allah Most High will treat that person in kind. The Arab Proverb says, “Reward is in kind with the deed.”
The Hadith that you quoted shows in great detail the reward for treating people with kindness:
Ibn ‘Umar narrates that the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The most beloved of people to Allah is he who is most beneficial to people. The most beloved of deeds to Allah is joy that one causes in the heart of a Muslim; or to relieve a tribulation from them; or to fulfill their debt; or to free them of hunger. For me to walk with a brother of mine to take care of a need (of his), is more beloved to me than secluding myself in devotion into this Mosque (i.e., the Mosque of Medina) for an entire month. Whoever holds back their anger, Allah will conceal their faults and whoever swallows their rage whilst having the ability to act on it, Allah will fill their heart with security on the Day of Judgment. Whoever goes to help their brother’s need, Allah will make firm their feet on the Traverse (Sirat), on a day that people’s feet will slip.” [Tabarani]
In each of these examples a person was rewarded for their good deed in kind.
Who Does this Apply to?
Treating people with beautiful character applies to everyone. However, it is even more emphasized towards Muslims, as they have a greater right over their fellow Muslims. It even applies to animals and insects.
Responding to Evil with Beauty
This would apply even to one enemy in some scenarios. However, this is most difficult. One should be careful to try and adopt this level of righteousness if they are not ready or if there may be harmful repercussions.
Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.