By Jamaal Diwan
Ibn ʿAṭā said:
“Whoever is not thankful for graces runs the risk of losing them; and whoever is thankful, fetters them with their own cords.”
This wisdom is based on the statement of God in the Quran:
“And when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’”
In this verse and in the wisdom we are presented with one of the greatest laws of this life: when you are thankful, God gives you more. When you are not, He does not. In this regard it is very important that we constantly work and seek to development a grateful view on our existence. This is in fact an act of belief and a cornerstone in the Muslim’s daily relationship with his or her Creator.
It is a simple concept but often very difficult to implement. This is especially true for those of us that come from cultures where we have been blessed with so much but at the same time it is common for people to complain about everything. We have to fight this and learn to be content with what we have and appreciate it. We cannot achieve happiness if we do not learn to appreciate the things that we have, especially the “little” things.
This Ramadan let us try and cultivate the habit of being thankful. Two things that we can do are:
– Specify a few minutes each day to just think about all that we have been given and thank God for it.
– Before we start eating we should pause and reflect about the food that we are eating and where it came from and how much God has given us. This simple practice, which is commanded from us in the Quran, can make a huge difference in our lives as it pushes us to be people of gratitude.