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Let’s delve into Chapter 4. “Forgetting the Unpleasant Things That Have Passed”


Useful Ways of Leading a Happy Life
Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Nasir ibn ‘Abdullah as-Sa’di

Reading: Chapter 4 Part 1

Print Reading Assignment for Ch 4 Part 1 (pdf)

Among the necessary causes of happiness and cessation of grief, anxiety, and worry is striving to remove the things that bring about grief, and acquire those that bring about happiness.

This is achieved by forgetting the unpleasant things that have passed. He has no power to bring them back. Knowing that occupying his mind with them is meaningless. In fact, it is stupidity bordering on lunacy.

Therefore, he has to struggle with his mind not to think of that.  He should also struggle with his mind not to worry over the future and not to pay attention to illusions of poverty, or fear for other unpleasant things he is imagining will descend on him in the future.

He should know that nobody knows what will happen in the future whether good or evil or pleasure or pain.  This is in the hands of Allah alone.

The slave has no control over it. His only due is to struggle to accomplish what will benefit him in the future and ward off harm from him.

He should also know that when the slave turns his mind away from worrying over the future in his affairs and relies on his Lord for its betterment, and is satisfied that his Lord will do that for him, when he does all of that, his heart will be tranquil and his condition will be good.  His worries and anxieties will vanish.


Assignment: Learning Activities Chapter 4 Part 1

Print Activities Assignment for Ch 4 Part 1 (pdf)

Choose a project from below and base it on today’s reading:
–Construct a bulletin board
–Construct a mobile
–Crossword puzzle(s) or vocabulary list(s)
–Make an outline of the book
–Make a poster, collage, photo board, or scrapbook page
–Write a poem about an idea or concept from today’s topic
–Use a paragraph as copy work or calligraphy project
–Or create a project of your own liking

Vocabulary Words
vanish, illusion, satisfied, lunacy

Choose one (1) of the items to answer in your Learning Journal:
What is your favorite part of today’s reading? Why?
What new thing did you learn (or re-learn) today?

Answer any four (4) of the following questions in your Learning Journal:
#1 List a benefit you gained from today’s reading.
#2 Name the two other strategies that relieve grief and worry.
#3 What do we use our minds to struggle against?
#4 Who handles the future?
#5 How are are imaginations described in paragraph three?

Activities. Do each of the following:

Written Thoughts: Write about what “illusions of fear/unpleasant things” means, and also what it means to you in your life.

Forget-List Activity:  Make a list of things you wish to forget. Use the activity below when an event, sound, smell, or some other thing triggers a thought or memory that provokes anxiety, fear, or grief. Design a worksheet for this activity. You don’t have to list things if they are too upsetting or private.

Mind-Control Activity:  One of the pieces of advice from today’s reading is to struggle for control of our minds and the thoughts they create. Practice turning your mind away from your worries. How? By creating a plan. First, brainstorm 3 things you will do to get back control of your mind and stop thinking certain thoughts. Next, design a cute worksheet on which to write your plan. Hang your plan in a place you can easily see or keep it in  your purse or wallet. Then, when a thought pops into your mind, or a feeling of panic, fear, grief hits you, follow the plan you created in this activity.

Pleasant List Activity: Brainstorm a list of things that are pleasant to think about or pleasant to feel. Next, design an artistic worksheet to place your list on. When you are done, hang this sheet in a place you can easily see it. When the need arises, think or feel a pleasant thing from this sheet.