بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ
“[All] praise is [due] to Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs [all] praise in the Hereafter. And He is the Wise, the Acquainted.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surah Saba: 1]
The Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes the importance of true gratitude and shukr of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى). Our Rabb has bestowed many blessings on us, but the nature of mankind is such that we are never happy with what we have and are always most ungrateful.
Noteworthy trainers, counselors, and therapists around the world are offering so called “life-changing courses” to people for leading better and more fulfilled lives. The common message given by these workshops and courses is to be content with life, be grateful, think positive, make the most out of what life has given you . “Bring Positive Vibes to the work place”, “Right Karma at your home”, “Selfless Leadership for Success”and “Change your Aura,” are all buzz words we often hear.
Interestingly and fortunately for us, Believers, all of this was simplified 1400 years ago and communicated to us in a book that starts with the all encompassing concept of “Alhamdulillah”. All praise be to Allah at all times and in all ways. If anything can be called truly life changing it is but this concept.
Gratitude at a Personal Level
From our health to our minds and from our families to friends the blessings of Allah are all around to be acknowledged. On a personal level when I look at my life, I feel guilty of taking many things for granted and complaining unnecessarily.
If I look at my current situation, Allah has given me the tawfeeq (ability) to learn the Qur’an as I am a student of the Qur’an. I have help at home and a supportive spouse, hence I can leave my kids behind and come to class. I have the mental ability to understand and grasp what is being taught. I have all the facilities at home that can assist me in doing my study of the Qur’an in the best possible way. But really do I acknowledge all of this?
Going through the ayahs of Surah Saba, the concept of shukr (gratitude) was reiterated in my mind and how we can please or displease Allah based on our reaction to what we have in life. Insh’Allah, my resolve is to strive to be a grateful servant of Allah.
And this must be done at all three levels of Shukr:
- Acknowledgment of the heart (Tasdeeq bil Qalb)
- Mention though the tongue (Iqrar bil Lisan)
- Manifestation through the limbs (Amal bil Jawarih)
I particularly want to begin focusing on the second and third aspects. I have chalked out some broad action points for myself.
a. Mention Through the Tongue
- Whereas I complain about everything under the sun from the inefficiency of KESC to the laziness of my domestic staff, it is very rare that I mention the many graces that Allah has bestowed on me. I will Insh’Allah make it an action point to mention the wonderful things in life so that I am reminded to thank Allah.
- I need to work on my Nawafil (voluntary acts of worship). How can I ever expect to get anything extraordinary in the akhirah if I have not done anything extra for Allah? I will strive to do more nawafil, recitation of Quran, tasbeeh and supplications.
b. Actions to Prove
I want to make it a point to use my abilities and faculties to spread the word of Allah. Following is a basic first list of how I will start this and Insh’Allah with time I need to keep taking it to higher levels.
- I do visit and read the Qur’an Reflections blog quite regularly, but now I must start being more interactive on it to promote it further.
- Facebook is a huge tool and I can use it to spread the message of Allah. From links to blogs and Islamic videos, to posting an ayah or hadith, there is much that can be done very easily. Alhamdulillah, as I write this I have ready started work on this aspect by posting a very relevant video about Sahaba on my profile on Facebook. I also spoke to an old school friend on Facebook chat and invited her to my class on Monday as a listener. (May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) accept my humble efforts. Ameen)
- Whatever I am learning of the Qur’an I must try and communicate it to my siblings and even my domestic help. I will have to think and find ways of doing this more often and on a regular basis, Insh’Allah.
- I want to buy and store material related to Islam that will make good gifts and use these as presents whenever I need to give something to my friends and their kids. For example books and tapes for kids with Islamic poems and stories.