In this article, I set forth conceptions of happiness (sa‘ada) from the Islamic tradition, and against this background, I discuss the failure to attain happiness in the modern age. The cumulative Islamic tradition attests to the importance of happiness to faith in God, and to the importance of faith to happiness. While the themes of knowledge, enlightenment, balance, peace, and knowing the other are central to the Islamic theology of happiness, the failure of happiness is embodied by the idea of jahiliyya (a state of ignorance). I argue that a crucial issue in considering happiness and the failure of happiness is how one understands submission to God, and that submission to God is not simply obedience or servitude to God; rather, submission to God means aspiring to and seeking the goodness of God, and liberating one's soul and being from a state of godlessness, or ignorance (jahiliyya), in order to attain a state of Godliness. To grow into and with God's love is the epitome of fulfillment, goodness, and happiness. However, when submission becomes a formulaic relationship based on generalized stereotypes about history, societies, and people, or on a stereotyped understanding of one's self dealing with a stereotypical understanding of an omnipotent but inaccessible God, unhappiness becomes the norm. Drawing on this analysis, I argue that in the modern age, the modalities of thought in puritanical movements have had a consistently demoralizing and dehumanizing effect that persistently undermines the possibilities for social and moral happiness, and thus, undermines the very purpose of the Islamic faith.