How often do we take time to count the numerous blessings bestowed upon us? When was the last time we truly felt grateful and appreciated the fact that we are still given the opportunity from Allah to increase our taqwa to Him?
Let us do more of these reflections. Hopefully, by doing so, Allah will grant us the strength to be more consistent in heeding His commands and abstaining from His prohibitions.
It was reported that once the Prophet Muhammad held the hand of Muaz and said: “Oh Muaz! By Allah, I love you”. Muaz replied: “By Allah, I love you too oh Rasulullah”. Rasulullah then said: “I advise you, do not forget at the end of every prayer to say; Which means: “O Allah, help me to remember You, to be thankful to You and worship You in the best way.” [Hadith narrated by Abu Daud and An-Nasa’i]
Through the hadith above, how Rasulullah wanted his ummah to also obtain such a level of gratitude. He taught his companion whom he loved to beseech Allah to be made a grateful servant of His. Dear brothers, a deep sense of gratitude will not only inspire and motivate a person to do good deeds and spread kindness, but it will also bring about a sense of peace and tranquillity in a person. How is that so? In being grateful, we need to always count and reflect upon the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us. In fact, every time when we are overcome with sadness, disappointment and despair, we should recall each and every blessing that Allah has given us. This is the lesson learnt from al-Quran, verse 11 in Surah Ad-Dhuha (which means):
“But as for the favour of your Lord, make mention [of it].”
What is meant by reporting the favours and blessings that Allah has given us is not by displaying it and showing off on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
However, we should realise that gratitude begins by, first and foremost repeatedly recounting the blessing and reminding ourselves of it. This is done with the hope that it will not only bring about gratitude but also a sense of Qana’ah which is contentment with what has been given to us.
Often we do not feel satisfied with the material wealth that we already own, and thus this leads to a sense of displeasure and anxiety. For example, we may already own a handphone that is in good working condition and is rather new in the market, but instead of being thankful that we have it, we continue to want to own the latest phone. Or perhaps we have a car that is in good condition and meets the needs of our family, Alhamdulillah, yet, because we lack the sense of Qana’ah we desire a new and more expensive car.
I do not mean to say that we cannot or should not have ambitions and desires, but we should not let them prevent us from feeling content and at peace with our lives. Or worse, the desire to gain such material wealth causes us to be unhappy with our lives and our family, and lead us to be deep in debt. Hence, from today we should make it a point to take time and reflect upon the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us. Among the blessings that we should always appreciate is that we have our family with us.
There are so many people out there who long for their families but are not able to be with them. Yet, we see others who abuse and neglect their family members. And then there are those who betray the people who have loved, cared for and treated them with kindness. Especially today with the ease of social media, we have heard many cases of couples who have misused these platforms to have affairs with others.
It is sad that they have forgotten the blessing of having a devoted spouse who has been with them through good and hard times. Appreciate our spouse and our children as long as we are given the opportunity to do so. Look at their faces, witness their actions, and remember how they continue to bring much joy to our lives. That is the nikmah (joy) from Allah that we sometimes often overlook. Always recite the supplication taught by our beloved Prophet (which means):
“Oh Allah, help me in feeling content with the sustenance that You have bestowed upon me, and grant me Your barakah through it, and replace what I have lost with what is better.” [Reported by Al-Hakim]
May Allah grant us a sense of peace and tranquillity as a result of being grateful and content with what He has bestowed upon our families and ourselves.
Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.