Being Thankful

Bismillah.

Being thankful to Allah is hard. It’s even harder when experiencing tough times and nothing seems to be going according to plan. In such a situation, Shaitaan makes us forget the blessings of Allah that we have, instead shifting our focus to the blessing that we are – apparently – deprived of. But thankfully, Allah has sent down the Qur’an that contains the guidance that we need to swat away Shaitaan’s feeble plans.

Allah says,

Say, He is the one who has brought you into being, and has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and hearts; Yet how seldom are you grateful!

[Surah Al-Mulk:23]


How little are we thankful indeed! The most amazing thing here is not that the three organs mentioned in the ayah are fundamental to our physical existence. No! It’s that the three organs mentioned in the ayah – hearing, sight, heart – are the three most important instruments in recognizing the favors of Allah. If these become dulled, then recognizing the favors of Allah becomes difficult.

Think about this: if the heart stops beating, the person dies. If the spiritual heart hardens and dies, the person dies a different type of death; the Qur’an makes no sense and the ahadith seem like fairy tales. This  is the ultimate consequence of being ungrateful to Allah. This is why we can never afford to be ungrateful to Allah – even in the worst of times – because we are putting our existence at risk.

But being thankful is not easy. Sometimes, it’s not even in our control. We need help. “You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help” (1:4). Divine help and guidance is needed to accomplish this task.

Some prophetic guidance to help us be thankful, because without the prophetic guidance we would be clueless:

  1. After waking up, thanking Allah.
  2. Thanking Allah after each prayer.
  3. Thanking others who make a difference in our lives.
  4. Making this dua morning and evening

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Allahumma maa asbaha bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

and for the evenings:

Allahumma maa amsaa bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

The Prophet said, “Whoever says this in the morning has indeed offered his day’s thanks and whoever says this in the evening has indeed offered his night’s thanks”.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed if you are grateful and give thanks, surely, definitely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful, then know that My punishment is indeed most severe” (14:7). So let that drive us to be thankful to Allah – for His blessings, for His favours, for the things He withheld and for the things that He facilitated.

Alhamdulillah.


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The Dua of Musa [AS] and the Answer from Allah [SWT]

Bismillah.

Before Musa [AS] was given prophethood, he fled from the Pharoah to the city of Madyan – he had accidently killed a person and the Pharoah wanted to kill Musa [AS] in revenge. Upon arrival at Madyan, he found a well. At the well he saw a group of men watering their flocks, and two women were standing behind waiting for their turn since they could not jostle with the men for position.

One of Musa’s [AS] greatest and most admirable qualities was that he would always stand up for justice, whether it benefited him, hurt him or neither of the two. So, seeing this injustice he took the flock of the women and watered them on their behalf amongst the men. Keep in mind, Musa [AS] had no benefit from this and he was exhausted after his sudden journey away from Egypt. After he was finished, Musa [AS] went to a shade made this beautiful dua,

My Lord! I am truly in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’

[Surah Qasas:24]


Do you know what happened next?

Musa [AS] was asked by one of the two sisters to come meet their old father who wanted to reward Musa [AS] for watering the flock of his daughters…by marrying him to one of his daughters! Do you see how incredibly Allah [SWT] answered the dua of Musa [AS]?  He asked Allah [SWT] that he is in desperate need of any khair to come from Allah [SWT], and Allah [SWT] gave him a house, a family and a job all in one go!

What I find amazing is the personality of Musa [AS] even before prophethood. Often, when we have nothing to gain or nothing to lose, we never make a stand for the right thing. But subhan Allah, he stood up for justice and Allah rewarded him almost immediately for that.

Another thing that I find amazing is the trust that Musa [AS] had in Allah [SWT]. When he embarked on an unplanned, potentially dangerous journey away from Egypt to Madyan he said, <<قَالَ عَسَى رَبِّى أَن يَهْدِيَنِى سَوَآءَ السَّبِيلِ>> “It may be that my Lord guides me to the right way”. And this was before prophethood! How true is the statement of Allah [SWT] that whoever trusts Him, Allah will satisfy him/her and be fully sufficient for him/her [Surah Talaq:3]!

Wa Salaamun ‘alal mursaleen. Wal hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘alameen.