How many blessing do we ignore due to our insatiable need for more?
By Salma Ameen
Colombo, Sri Lanka
“Mum, you don’t buy me anything,” she shrieked, as she slammed her wardrobe door, causing the uncountable shelves with clothes to vibrate.
He scrolled through Instagram, the deceiving posts, the perfect lives and pictures of events displayed all over made him feel insecure and unblessed. He thought to himself, “Why Lord, am I being deprived…?”
She stared at the mirror with a frown. Her flawless face twisting in disgust, angling in every direction to find the best look as mentioned in the magazine. The mirror capturing a perfect face with eyes beautifully carved … a piece of art by God.
“God created me ugly,” she said as she slumped back onto the chair.
Ahmed sighed. He looked around his mansion-like house. He had everything at his disposal – the latest phone, the latest car, a perfect family. But something inside him made him feel incomplete. He could only see flaws, none of his material possession pleased him.
إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ
“Verily, man is ungrateful to his Lord”
You look at your house only to wish it was bigger, you look at your car only to wish it was newer, you look at your spouse and children only to wish they were like the movies portray. STOP! Stop right there and ponder over this verse from the Qur’an.
لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
“Be grateful and I shall give you more, but if you thankless verily my punishment is indeed severe”
Allah mentions in the Qur’an that if you show gratitude, He would multiply His blessings upon you. Being happy and grateful is not based upon materialism but it’s a state of being, a perspective that one needs to develop. YOU are the maker of your happiness and when Allah sees you making the effort, He will bless you for it.
In dunya, everyone wants to achieve bigger and better things and when we don’t receive similar blessings as others do, we tend to compare ourselves; leading to ingratitude. Appreciating the small things will eventually lead you to the bigger ones.
Why is it that we fail to understand that everyone is blessed in their own way in their own time? If you are deprived of wealth be grateful to Allah for your health, if you are deprived of health be thankful to those who are by your side through thick and thin.
Attune your mind to open up and accept the things you have and stop focusing on that which you lack. As the line goes, “Those who are not happy with today’s less will never be happy with tomorrow’s increase”
Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) reported that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:
“If there were for the son of Adam a valley full of riches, he would like to possess a second one like it, and son of Adam would not be satiated but with dust (i.e grave)”
(Sahih Muslim Book 5, 2285)
Gratitude is knowing and acknowledging that everything you possess is a beautiful loan from Allah the Almighty and He can increase it or withhold it as He wishes.
But one might wonder: what’s in it for me?
Well, gratitude has its own benefits in a person’s life and attitude. Here’s a list of the different ways in which an optimistic mindset helps a person.
Say hello to a care-free soul!
Being grateful makes you content with what you own and keeps you away from the rat race for more. It’s not about ignoring the problem rather focusing on life’s trials.
You’ll build better relationships
When you have practiced being grateful to Allah, it would be very easy for you to thank people as well. Remember this hadith of the Prophet:
He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.
(Sunan Abi Dawud 4811, Grade: Sahih)
By being grateful, you will make people aware of how much they mean to you and appreciate the favours done to you, hence building stronger relationships.
Be a positivity magnet
Positivity attracts positivism like good health, joy and love whereas negativity attracts negativism. Make the law of attraction work in your favour – don’t waste time focusing on what you lack. Focus all your energy in climbing up the mountain instead of sulking.
Obtain more barakah
The more you keep saying Alhamdulillah (all praise is to Allah) the more your blessings are going to increase. Saying Alhamdulillah in hard times is acceptance of your situation. As you never know what evil was actually warded off.
Close your eyes for a moment and think of how you’d be if you had lesser than what you have now.
Open your eyes and see the beauty of what you possess.
وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا ۗإِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
… And if you should count the favour of Allah you cannot enumerate them, Indeed mankind is most unjust and ungrateful
“The secret of having it all is knowing you already do”