Thursday, 20 December 2007

Being Thankful To Allah

From the very beginning of Man's creation, the issue of gratefulness and thankfulness to Allah has been debated.

After refusing to bow to Adam, Shaytaan said:

"Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and Thou (Allah) shall not find most of them thankful." (Surah 7: Ayat 17)

This statement from the worst of liars has proven to be true, not only among the disbelievers, but also among the Muslims.

Unfortunately, we Muslims have fallen into the trap of Shaytaan, and have gotten so caught up in our comings and goings, our daily routines and our worldly pursuits - to such an extent that we very rarely take the time to reflect on the favours of Allah, and to thank Him with the thanks that is due upon Him. We are so busy conducting our daily lives that we forget who is really in­charge, and from where our sustenance comes.

This is not and must not be the way, for Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

"Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me." (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 152)

Many of us get into the, "If I only..." syndrome.

Thus -

"...if I only had a better wife, I would be grateful..."

"...if I only had sons instead of daughters, I would be grateful..."

"...if I only had a bigger house, a better car, more money, a better job, etc..."

- and the list goes on and on. We are constantly focused on the things we don't have, instead of being grateful to Allah for the things we have.

This is a very serious illness, for which the Prophet Muhammad SAW, has given the cure. The Prophet SAW admonished us, in terms of worldly things to always look to those beneath us, and to those less fortunate than us, for this will keep us thankful.

Infact, Allah SWT says about the Prophet Muhammad SAW as the best of examples. In terms of showing us how to be thankful to Allah SWT - he (SAW) is as Allah says.

It is narrated by Al-Mughira RA that the Prophet SAW used to stand (in Solat) or perform Solat until both his feet or legs swelled. He was asked why (he offered such an unbearable Solat). He said, "Should I not be a thankful slave." (Bukhari)

As the Prophet SAW advised us, the best way to stay thankful to Allah is to count His favours in our lives everyday; for Allah SWT says:

"And He gives you all that you ask for. But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude." (Surah 14: Ayat 34)

This statement of Allah is so true, yet we put so little value on it, and do not take heed.

The very fact that we got up in the morning, that we can offer Solat, that we have breakfast, that we have clothes to wear, water to bathe ourselves, that we have homes to shelter us from the outside, that we have our health, our families, etc., are all favours from Allah SWT. We should take none of it for granted, or become arrogant enough to believe that we have attained any of it because of our own efforts alone. This is infact a serious spiritual disease among the rich, the 'successful', and the well-off amongst Muslims. Many claim that their 'success' is through their own efforts and initiatives alone.

We must mould our heart to understand the importance of Shukr, and by being thankful - this frees our hearts from greed, jeal­ousy and envy. When we are thankful to Allah, we remain mindful of Him and His continues Mercy toward us, and this in return humbles us and improves our characters. The very fact that Allah has guided us to Islam and the Sunnah of His Prophet SAW in itself should be source of continual praise.

Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:

"Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful." (Surah 76: Ayat 3)

Allah also says that only few of His servants thank Him. Let us then strive to be among these few by keeping our tongues wet with His remembrance and hearts soft with His praise.

(From the advice of Sister Sumayyah b Joan)

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