I don’t intend to be preachy or self righteous with this write up; sometimes we all do not enjoy those holy bores, but I want you all to examine these scenarios: A friend borrows money from you, promises to pay back by month end, doesn’t pay for another two months, she returns the money, you do not hear from her again till she needs another loan.
A brother in-law comes knocking on your door with a bag filled with his clothes from the village, you take him in as a good sister-in-law, despite your tight budget as a family, you care for him (food, fees and living expenses), and just when you are beginning to stabilize as a family, another in-law comes knocking on the door. This one comes with this attitude like you are a wife and this is my brother’s house. Huh?
You call a potential business partner; show him your business plan (the entire plan), from vision to execution and returns. You wanted to bat around ideas, get an input. He says little. Later, you hear he has started a venture with exactly the same theme as you showed him. Zeitgeist? Naaaa. The guy stole the idea, took all the plans, and ran with it. Somehow, the business thrives, he refuses to acknowledge you or even say a thing about it to you.
These are characters that irk one, characters that smacks of greed, and ingratitude. We humans sometimes have to endure from one another. If we do so much to one another, I wonder what we do to our invincible God. We sometimes hear people blame God, accuse God, question God and so on. One of my daily mantra as a kid was 'Alhamdulillah'. I probably started saying it before I understood its full meaning. As Muslims, it is imperative to develop an attitude of gratitude. Another favourite verse in the Quran is: “Which is it of the favours of your Lord can you deny?” (Quran 55). When things are going our way, we should be thankful. We get so carried away these days and forget to say a simple thank you; how much more reciprocate. I know people who only call when they are in need, upon getting what they need, they bolt, only to re-surface when there is another need. I am wondering if these people remember to say Alhamdulillah rabbil alamina to the Almighty at all.
Gratitude is like magnet, it attracts other blessings. Gratefulness for the favour and rewarding the one who does it. This indicates a Muslims’ good manners. The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Reward the one who does you a favour, and if one does not find anything to give, let him praise the one who did the favor. If he praises him, he will have thanked him; otherwise, he would be ungrateful to him." [Al-Bukhaari in Al-AdabAl-Mufrad] Sometimes, when things fail to go the way you planned, they turn out better than you could have possibly expected. Welcome life's surprises and choose to see the positive value that is in each one of them but most importantly find something to be grateful for. If you look around you and you feel there’s nothing, say Alhamdulilah for being alive, for breathing, and if you happen to be on life support or breathing through a respirator, be grateful for that respirator. Find something to say Alhamdulilahi for and if you are alive and healthy, which is certainly a premium gift to show gratitude for.
As Muslims, developing an attitude of gratitude is paramount; gratitude to fellow humans and most of all gratitude to Allah (SWT). My prayers today for the entire Ummah who are facing one difficulty or the other; to those with health issues, remember Allah (SWT) is al-Qawiyy (strength), I pray for sound health. To those romantically or re-productively challenged, marriage/baby dust, for those waiting to take that leap of faith, please close your eyes and jump! Those in toxic relationships, I pray Allah (SWT) gives you wisdom to manage the situation or the strength to walk away. For those who are yet to achieve their utmost heart desire(s), I pray Allah (SWT) makes a way at the most appropriate time. Finally, for all those who believe all is well (at least seemingly), I pray it continues to be just so. Did I leave anyone out?
For me, every new day is a day of possibility, of renewal, an opportunity to make a fresh start, to challenge the thorny aspects of life and to take that bold leap of faith. I am in no way perfect, but a new day presents an opportunity to be a better person, to strive to be a better me. All in all, Alhamdulillah for life and I hope for a better future. There is just so much to be grateful for. Always remember that it’s not your skills, knowledge, talent, wisdom or power that gets you ahead in life but Allah’s rahma, then Alhamdulillah should constantly be on your lips whatever the case may be. Develop an attitude of gratitude! Salaam alaikum waramatulahi wabarakatu.