بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
A few months ago a Christian friend of mine invited me to attend her evangelical church in North London. I have always wanted to go to Church so I jumped at the opportunity. As we walked into this magnificent building waiting for the sermon to begin I couldn’t help but be in awe of the commitment of the service goers. The whole experience was very surreal from the band rehearsal prior to the service starting to the eclectic mix of worshipers. To be frank the whole set up reminded me of a scene in a movie. As the Priest started giving his sermon (tempo music playing in the background) the mood shifted in the room. What started off as a fairly laid back evening, accumulated in the Priest (out of hysteria)literally throwing the bible (HOLY bible may I add) across the room and started ‘speaking in tongues’, and as a cue everyone around me got up and joined in! You could not imagine my shock! I was just about getting over the fact that the Priest threw what they consider to be the holy book on the floor and now I had to deal with mass hysteria. Honestly nothing could have prepared me for this. However, it was in this moment that I thanked Allah and I mean truly thanked Allah with every being in my heart for being Muslim and I prayed and pray for Allah to keep me on the straight path and to never make me amongst those whose worship is misguided. I prayed for Allah to guide them because no matter how passionate their worship in effect it was falling on deaf ears. I am sharing this story with you not to mock other peoples religious belief but to make the point that sometimes we really believe what we are doing is correct and that our judgement is the right one or the superior one. Ultimately however, as human beings are our knowledge is limited and it is out of Allah’s mercy that we are guided. However limited our understanding of Islam is, it is from Allah. Thus we should be grateful for guidance and always ask Allah to protect our religion, our iman faith as it is the most precious gift we have and losing that or misdirecting our worship be it to false deities or even material wealth, family, possessions is truly a loss to big to bear.
What does it mean to be Thankful or grateful?
Muslims often use the phrase Alhamdulilah to capture this gratitude. Alhamdulilah meaning Praise be to God.
Being thankful is about recognizing the divine. It is about you remembering our absolute reliance on Him and His complete Self Sufficiency.
Being grateful is also about resigning ones whole self to Allah and is about Tawakal trust that whatever has happened to us or is happening to us is by the Will of the All-Mighty.
For one to really be able to be grateful and taste the fruits of faith, one needs to be able to accept divine decree. This does not mean that we should be complacent but rather contentment.
We should aim to of those when faced with a calamity or joy are able to say Alahdulilah ala kuli hal Praise be to God, whatever the case.
Thank fullness in times of hardship:
“After hardship comes ease”
As Muslims the phrase ‘its a test’ is something we are very familiar with. We all have dreams, however small or big, we have ambition and a vision. We all hope to do great things with our lives and sometimes life is a little disappointing because it might not turn out the way we planned it. It could also have turned out exactly how we wanted it turn out but the light at the end of the tunnel is not so bright. Islam teaches to strive and work hard even when life doesn’t turn out the way we expected or hoped it would so we should be grateful because as Muslims we know that we plan and Allah Plans and He is the Best of Planners!
The real life for Muslims begins at the moment of death. That is to say our goal in life is not this dunia but the akhira and it is beneficial for us to remember that ultimately,
“all that is on earth will perish, but the Face of your lord will abide forever- Full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour” Ar Rahman 55 26-27)
Thus for the Muslim dealing with any trail or test becomes that much easier because we know that our whatever it is that is getting us down is of little significance in the grand scale of things. Everything becomes insignificant when you remember the Day of judgment in all its glories.
Though our ultimate aim is the hereafter, Allah reminds us;
“Seek, by means of what Allah has granted you, the life to come, and forget not your share of the present world; and do good as Allah has done good to you and seek not to spread corruption on earth” al Qasas 28:77)
Thus, we should work hard and aim to achieve all that we can and not to be complacent and feel sorry for ourselves being grateful that whatever our test may be someone somewhere is suffering more than us (or how I like to think of it, better people have bigger problems!) we only need to study the life of Prophet (SAW)for us to know how to effectively deal with whatever tests we may face as Islam is a state of becoming not being.
So we should strive to become more patient, more steadfast, and more grateful.
Ultimately alhadulilah ala kuli hal. For what has happened, what is happening and what will happen.
Thankfulness in times of happiness and upon receiving good news
Actions speak louder than words; and saying your grateful is the relatively easy part. Although it is impossible to count the blessings Allah has bestowed upon us.
“And He gives you all that you ask for. But if you count the favors of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.”[The Noble Qur’aan [14:34]
Being grateful is about taking that extra step. It is about showing, in real terms, how grateful you are. If you get the grade you were after, the job you wanted, the business deal- whatever it may be and following it up with action by donating more, performing extra salah, making more dua and so on.
It is healthy for us to remember that whether we choose to pray to Allah or supplicate to him or even be Grateful adds nothing more nor takes anything away from the Majesty of the All Mighty. It is out of the mercy of God that we are even able to remember Him! SubhanAllah!
“Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.”[The Noble Qur’aan (76:3)]
“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, And be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.” [The Noble Qur’aan [2:152]
• Think of 3 things that you are really grateful for
• Thank Allah for reminding you of them
• Do something special- Read more Quran, Pray extra Salah, Make Dua, give charity. Be creative.
• Learn the dua
“ O Allah, what blessing I or any of Your creation have risen upon, is from You alone, without partner, so for You is all praise and unto You is all thanks”
Alhamdulilah for Islam
Alhamdulilah for our families
Alhamdlullah for our health
Alhamdulilah for ice-cream
Alhamdulilah for You.