Moulana Rumi says, A person is intoxicated on the mat of a Masjid while another is sitting in a garden full of flowers but he is surrounded with the thorns of grief. This person is crying among flowers while the other is laughing among thorns. Now if someone says that this is a combination of opposites, how can Allah make one happy in the state of grief?
The answer to that is why does water not affect the Swiss-made waterproof watch although they are surrounded by water on all sides. Just as these watches are waterproof, so can Allah make the hearts grief-proof. The one on whose heart the mercy of Allah cascades, he will be content amongst thousands of worries. Those worries are for his reformation, nurturing and for the progress of his Iman. He may be crying and his eyes may be full of tears, yet he is happy within. He may be in grief due to the illness of his children or his own illness, yet this grief does not penetrate his heart. What is the proof of this? The proof is a Meat-ball. A person who eats a Meat-ball full of chillies, will have tears rolling down his cheeks. You will think that he is in a problem. You tell him to leave the Meat-ball and give it to you. What will he say? He will reply that he is enjoying the Meat-ball and having pleasure within himself. These are tears of ecstasy – not tears of grief.
In a similar manner, in order to please Allah, one will have to leave all kinds of disobedience. Disobedience and sin remove the mercy of Allah. Every sin distances one from Allah, the speciality of sin is that even a very minor sin takes one further away from Allah, while on the other hand the speciality of obedience is that even a very minor act of virtue brings one in close proximity to Allah. Thus, leave every act of sin by regarding it as poison and stay in the company of the pious. Take the name of Allah and He will make the heart free of grief. Such a person remains content in this world all the time. Whatever grief there is, it will remain beyond the perimeters of the heart. When Allah desires to keep a person happy and endows him with His special grace, then the vicissitudes of this world do not cast him into the pits of sorrow.
Moulana Jalaluddeen Rumi says that if Allâh wants to keep a person happy, He changes the essence of grief into happiness. The people of the world will try to remove the grief by using the means of happiness. They will remove fire and replace it with water. However, Allâh is capable of combining two opposites. He transforms fire into water and He changes the essence of grief into happiness. He changes the shackles of the feet and imprisonment into freedom.
Consequently, when Yusuf Alaihis Salâm was imprisoned, he said, "O my Sustainer, the prison is more beloved to me." This is a prison in Your path. I am going to prison because of You. And where You are, the Creator of the gardens, the prison no more remains a prison. It is more beloved to me. Allâh Ta'âla is so beloved that if the prison of His path is more beloved, how will the gardens of His path be?