So a few verses that I want to reflect upon today come from Surahs number 30 and 31. And in Surah 30, which is Surah Room, in verse number 33, Allah (SWT) says:
When trouble touches men, they cry to their Lord, turning back to Him in repentance: but when He gives them a taste of Mercy as from Himself, behold, some of them pay part-worship to other god’s besides their Lord
That they show no gratitude for what they were given, so let them enjoy their blessing for a while, they will soon come to know.
And this verse highlights a tendency in people to only reach out to Allah (SWT) in instances in which they’ve exhausted every other avenue and they finally realize at the end of that whole process that no one else is really able to help them out in that situation except Allah (SWT). And this becomes more and more prevalent the harder the situation at hand is. So for example, we might find ourselves in a bind, and then we try everything that we can to get ourselves out of it, realizing only at the end of that process that we should have turned to Allah (SWT) at the start. And we forget that we are just as in need of Allah (SWT) at the end of that whole search, at the end of that whole process, as we were at the beginning of that whole process.
And then after we get that mercy, after we get that relief from the situation we were in, we begin kind of ascribing other things and putting other things in a position that only Allah (SWT) should be in. And so if we want a job, or if we’re really in desperate need for some money or some assistance, or we really want to get married, or any situation we find ourselves in, once we get that thing, we start saying that you know, I got this thing because I worked really hard, or I tried really hard. We start ascribing other things to our source of mercy, we start giving credit to other things than Allah (SWT) and we forget how desperate we were.
And this is kind of symptomatic of an issue that a lot of ourselves find ourselves in, and that is ingratitude.
Allah (SWT) also says in Surah Room a few verses later.
When mankind tastes some mercy from Allah (SWT), they become extremely rejoiceful. And when some hard afflicts them because of what their own hands brought them, they become utterly in despair.
This kind of highlights and shows us that we get preoccupied with the blessing and forget that it’s Allah (SWT) who is ultimately the One to thank. And we forget that gratitude is the foundation through which we understand our relationship with Allah (SWT) in that there is nothing that we are entitled to as human beings. There is no blessing that we are entitled to. We kind of get used to the things that we have and forget that gratitude is something that we have to embody as a way of life. And to highlight that point, in Surah number 31, Surah Luqman in verse 12, Allah (SWT) says about Luqman Al-Hakim, the great wise man, the person whose wisdom was so great that Allah (SWT) made a point to preserve it in the final revelation, He says:
We certainly gave Luqman wisdom. And the culmination of his wisdom was to be grateful to Allah (SWT) And whoever embodies gratitude as a way of life, constantly is grateful, does so only for their own benefit.
And whoever is ungrateful, then Allah (SWT) is Self-Sufficient, not in any need of praise.
He is already praised. So it’s important to think about our lives as a culmination of moments in which Allah (SWT) is merciful to us when He didn’t have to be, and when we got blessings from Allah (SWT) that we weren’t entitled to. This attitude of gratitude, this lifestyle of gratitude, is one that carries the believer through hard times and through good times, recognizing, realizing, that it’s not about the blessing or the lack thereof, but it’s more so about the relationship with Allah (SWT), so we ask that Allah (SWT) allow us to always be grateful for His blessings and never show ingratitude.
Jazakum Allahu khair, Assalamu Alaikum.