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HOW TO AVOID TENSION

How to attain a tension-free life? It is a question asked by every man and woman. The Qur’an gives us a simple solution, which is mentioned in the chapter of the Qur’an entitled Al-Ra‘d (The Thunder). The relevant Qur’anic verse is as follows: Those who believe and whose hearts find comfort in the remembrance of God—surely in the remembrance of God’s hearts can find comfort. (13:28)

This Qur’anic verse refers to the creation plan of God. The formula given in this verse is: Contentment in this world is only for those who willingly accept the Creation plan of God. According to the Qur’anic explanation, the present world was created for only a limited period and also for a temporary purpose—that is, to develop your personality so that you may become eligible to enter the next world that is called Paradise.

Now the problem is that, although man was born with an ideal nature, and is an ideal-seeking animal—in the sense of wanting to have all the best things in life—the present world was not created for this purpose. In terms of personality development, the present world has enormous scope but, in terms of material achievement, the present world is very limited in its scope. Those who want to fulfill their material desires in the present world will very soon find that they have failed to build the edifice of their dreams. Anything that they achieve seems to them less than ideal. This is a source of all kinds of tension and stress. The formula given in the Qur’an is this: try your best to evolve your personality in terms of spiritual development and intellectual development. But, as far as your material requirements are concerned, adopt the need-based formula and not the greed-based formula. All kinds of tension and stress are the result of trying to achieve things that are not achievable in this world. The problem is that people judge things by a wrong yardstick; they judge their achievements by an ideal yardstick. This is unrealistic. The realistic formula is: to use the ideal yardstick only when judging your personality development. But when it comes to your material needs, use a different yardstick. Here, you have to realize that only less than ideal can be achieved. If you want to have a tension-free life in this world, adopt the realistic approach. Don’t run after your desires, for, in reality, they are impossible to fulfill.

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