Just by declaring or becoming a Muslim doesn’t guarantee you will be a happy person, that’s a misconception. Of course the declaration of faith is such an exceptional and relieving moment for almost everyone who’s taken it, but this is just when the tests and trials all begin; for Allah SWT says “Do men think that they will be left alone on saying: We believe, and that they will not be tested?” (29:2). So make no mistake about it, it’s by living as a “real” Muslim that you will find the roads to happiness.
Since Allah is The Creator of this whole universe, then this whole universe is muslim whether its constituents agree to it or not; that’s the first and most crucial fact in this life. The major difference though is that the ones who willingly submit to Allah, follow the Quran and Sunnah and abide by Allah’s rules in His universe, i.e. the teachings of Islam are called Muslims with a capital ‘M’. Whereas, those who refuse are still muslims, albeit with a small ‘m’, meaning they still can’t control their own fate, not even their own breathing or at the least prevent death.
Submitting to Allah as the religion of ‘Islam’ means is easier said than done except for those Allah has showered with mercy. It starts by trusting Allah’s decrees, fate and destiny on earth. It actually goes further and believing that no matter the hardship, it is actually a blessing, which has prevented something worse, expiated a sin or raised the person’s level in Jannah. Furthermore, it extends to a firm belief that no matter the hardship, it will pass; just like every other test and every other trial the person has faced in their life.
There is definitely good reason why the prophet SAW advised us to read Surat Al-Kahf on Friday or on its eve when he SAW said “Whoever reads Surat Al-Kahf on the day of Jumuaah (Friday), will have a light that will shine from him from one Jumaah (Friday) to the next” [Bayhaqi]. So while doing so, always remember that the knowledgeable man ruptured a boat, killed a boy and fixed a wall in an unfriendly town in what appeared to be the most notorious acts; yet, the truth was that all three acts were rather great “mercy (and favor) from your Lord” (18:82). This is where happiness lies, and this is how a Muslim should deal with their own tests and trials.
To be resumed in shaa Allah in Part 2…