ABU DHABI // The UAE not only strives to make its people happy by providing them comfort and luxury in their daily lives, it also cares for their spiritual wellbeing, says an Islamic scholar.
Dr Elham Shaheen, a professor of Islamic faith and philosophy at Al Azhar University in Egypt, said the country’s leaders were promoting Islamic teachings and hosting religious scholars from around the world to help people to achieve happiness in this life and the afterlife.
She was speaking on Sunday at a seminar on happiness and the Quran that the President, Sheikh Khalifa, hosted to mark Ramadan.
On the study of the Quran, Dr Shaheen said people should understand it with strong faith and to learn all its teachings.
“Allah revealed the Quran for us to reflect upon its verses,” she said.
Saud Al Dousary, a Saudi preacher at the seminar, said the youth were seeking happiness in a wrong way by being lazy and idle.
“They are the furthest they could be from being happy. But when we inform them about the rewards of hard work they will become happily productive,” he said.
“Even when one faces a crisis, the prayer to recite is filled with optimism and hope.
“The prayer says, ‘Oh Allah, reward me for my crisis and compensate me with something better’.”
Happiness also comes from being satisfied with fate, good health, food and shelter, according to Mr Al Dousary.
“So we should not be surprised at the happiness of the UAE people and how they want to share it with the world,” he said.
Abdulnaser Moussa, a mufti from Jordan, said there were millions of students around the world desperate for a full copy of the Quran.
“I travelled to many countries around Africa and I saw students studying the Quran while sand is blowing in their faces,” he said.
He described the students’ patience in coping with their challenging environment and their focus on learning. “They write verses with their hands on wood and boards ... and the happiest of them all is the one who managed to complete a full copy of the Quran,” said Mr Moussa.
He stressed the importance of endowments to students who are determined to learn and study the holy book.
“There are donations [of Qurans] worth millions but still there are students writing on wood, so we need millions of copies,” said the mufti.
For Muslims seeking to perform good deeds during Ramadan, an endowment of copies of the Quran would be ideal, he said.
Besides giving a Quran to a mosque where it could be of use to many, Muslims should contribute to countries where the holy book was scarce, said Mr Moussa.
“The greater the benefit [to others], the more reward you will receive,” he said.