Quran says not to be too happy. Why?

Quran: Chapter 57 (The Iron): Verse 23 So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster.

It always bothered me. Why doesn’t God want us to be overly-happy? If happiness is a good thing, being overly happy would mean more of a good thing, wouldn’t it? Honestly, that’s all each and everyone of us is striving for anyway.
I can understand the first part of the verse. That we shouldn’t be overly obssessed in grief over something (even someone) that we’ve lost. That just leads to more stress, worry, anxiety and most of all it’s a plain waste of time. But if you’re overly happy leads to more endorphins, more adrenalin and a more positive, optimistic outlook on life.

Maybe Quran says that because:
Excessive happiness is like having a double-espersso, with piles of whipped cream drenched in hot-chocolate. It lead to an immediate all time high. But when the caffiene runs out, boy does the crash feel lousy. But I don’t think that’s the reason why God has advised against being ecstatic. Next time you’re going through a high, just observe yourself. One would think we become overly happy because circumstances around us have changed which now give us a higher quality of life, for eg winning a million dollars that would make you overly happy. However that has not been the case for me. Last couple of times when I was on a high, I realised, it was not because of circumstances but because of a super major achievement that I did. It was because I was so damn smart and intelligent, that my planning and strategy solved this major problem and it would not have happened if it weren’t for ME. It was the drunkenness of me, that was feeding my euphoria.

But how much of that is due to me really?
Even if I came up with a direction with which we should approach an issue, I did that because of the people, tools, circumstances that were around me. Even if it was some super ingenious solution that I had come up with, it was because of the training I received. And all of which (people, training, circumstances) I truly had no control over. If these were different, you can be sure my decision would be something else. Truly truly what do I have to be pleased about. If anything I should just be eternally grateful that this goodness that happened it was through me. It could very well be anybody else. Therefore gratefulness even if it’s excessive is a much more truer and apt expression.

Quran Chapter 3 (Family of Imran):Verse 145 and whoever desires the reward of this world, I shall give him of it, and whoever desires the reward of the hereafter I shall give him of it, and I will reward the grateful.


  1. Salaam Brothers
    This was reaaly nice.Its been a while ,Hope all is fine .My Salaams to your family and MOSHIN.

    Khuda Hafiz
    Sohail / Renita

  2. I recently bumped into your blog…very useful/interesting content overall.
    I think the above remaark on happiness makes perfect sense.
    When we are too happy or excited, we tend to get
    carried away and make mistakes.
    Anything in excess that is not moderated will
    usually be harmful.

  3. Hi
    Good!!! To see more comments on Arif / Ali blog.
    Happiness!! is always like a lighting candle, it shows the glowing flame when we light it, but we will see the dark beneath the glowing candle. This shows there is sorrow behind the every happiest movements U experience it. Should be very very careful when we see any happiest time or movements.

    Its 200% right what the God documented through Quran lines.


  4. Gents,

    Permit me to say that perhaps what God says is that we must treat our sorrows and happiness with equanimity.


  5. Hi Vish,

    You are right. God is saying that we must treat our sorrows and happiness with equanimity. But the question here is why? What’s wrong with being excessively happy?


  6. I can only work from the English translation, but I read the passage not as warning you not to be excessively happy – but as to not be exultant. Exultant is jubilant because of a triumph – celebratory – and although the dictionary may not say this – exultant implies a show of success – in other words boastfulness. An exclusive centering on the self – a lack of perspective to put it loosely, perhaps. It’s then clear that the remainder of the passage after the semicolon is not only consistent with but directly follows from the first half of the sentence.

  7. Haala!
    The reason to why Allah tabarkutala doesnot want us to be accessivly happy is quite simple and also obvious. The aim of every muslim is to attain jannah.By being excessivly happy in this world, it would cloud our greater aim. Too much happiness in this world would blur our focus.
    Also Allah has ordered us to maintain an equilibrium in evry espect of life.
    And yes if we are very happy with anything, we’d miss it terribly.

  8. Hmm. Harry I think you hit the nail on the head there. Certain online dictionaries do define exultant as being ‘jubilant because of triumph’. Which then truly does lead to ‘A lack of perspective’. An understatement, yet, very succintly put.

    You may get asked this a lot Harry, but I can’t resist…are you anyway related to Ken Blanchard?

  9. Salaams Nadia,

    Always a pleasure to see your comment :-). You’ve mentioned that too much happiness would blur our focus. In the sense that, if it was only joy & pleasure we expressed, we’d get carried away and being humans we’d forget our Lord and Creator in the process. Hmmm, sure, I can gel with that.

    However, sometimes it’s just the opposite. Sometimes, we’re closest to God when we realise how blessed we are and are simply reeling in the ecstacy of His remembrance.

  10. Excellent. I like ‘drunkenness of me’. We call that ego. And arrogance. A huge ‘yay me’ feeling. Humility is the key no? And moderation. Balance. May Allah teach us to hate kindly and love carefully.

    (Psst, there are 3 typos – caffeine, espresso & *leads*). My bad for highlightin’em. :) AWESOME piece though.

    Aha ha @Ken Blanchard question. He is, he is.

  11. Then happiness and bounty and a garden of bliss. in surah

    Sahih International
    [They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.”
    Muhsin Khan
    “Eat and drink with happiness because of what you used to do.”

    Sahih International
    So We forgave him that; and indeed, for him is nearness to Us and a good place of return.
    Muhsin Khan
    So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good place of (final) return (Paradise).
    Tamil NEW
    ????, ???? ???????? ?(?? ???????)?? ???????????; ?????????, ????????? ???????? ???????????? ????????? (??????)????, ????? ???????????? ?????.

    (????????????? ??????????:) “??????? (??????????) ?????? ?????????????????, (??????????????) ?????????? ???????????, ??????????.”

  12. Not sure if anyone is still around: This all sounds like a pile of dung!

    No need to over complicate a simple notion of happiness. If you are happy enjoy it, embrace it and encourage it. Life is based on two fundamental pillars: Learning about the Universe and Happiness! If anyone says otherwise tell them to crawl back to the cave where they got their inspiration of spreading nonsense and gloomy behavior!

  13. Mansoor; Completely Agree with you. It’s amazing how some people strive so hard to be miserable.

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