Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
A Praiseworthy trait: Being Grateful
I remind myself and all of you to always have taqwa of Allah s.w.t. in all of our affairs in life. With taqwa, we will be provided with solutions for our difficulties and be granted sustenance beyond our expectations.
My beloved brothers,
The Qur’an contains many parables for us to emulate. Amongst these is the story of the Prophet Sulaiman a.s. He was a prophet who was gifted with numerous blessings from Allah. Amongst those blessings was the gift of understanding many languages. He was also provided an army made up of human beings, jinn and animals.
Even with the numerous blessings bestowed upon him, Prophet Sulaiman a.s. was never proud or arrogant of them. Allah s.w.t. speaks of Prophet Sulaiman’s nobility in Surah An-Naml, verse 19, which reads:
Meaning: “So Sulaiman smiled broadly at her words and said, ‘Lord, inspire me to be thankful for the blessings You have granted me and my parents, and to do good deeds that please You; admit me by Your grace into the ranks of Your righteous servants.’”
Imam Al-Alusi, when interpreting this verse, said that when Prophet Sulaiman spoke of his gratitude over the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him and his parents, it actually reveals to us of our obligation to be grateful to Allah for all His favours upon us. This includes the blessing of living with a family. Rasulullah s.a.w. also mentioned a trait of a servant who is thankful to Allah s.w.t.:
Meaning: “Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” [Hadith reported by Imam Ahmad]
During these difficult and trying times, when we are tested by Allah s.w.t, the more we are reminded to reflect upon the blessings that He has bestowed upon us, and to look at the positive aspects behind the test. This is because, those who are thankful will ultimately benefit from their expressions of gratitude. Allah s.w.t. says in the Qur’an: “…And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself…” [Surah Luqman, verse 12]
When a servant of Allah is thankful, he will be overcome with positive feelings in himself. Therefore, even if he is being tested right now by Allah, but he is thankful, a sense of humility will engulf him. He will start to see the many blessings of Allah that he has been provided with. Let us think about Rasulullah s.a.w. and his attitude when he experienced something unpleasant or disliked by him. He would say:
Meaning: “Praise be to Allah in all circumstances.” [Hadith reported by Ibn Majah].
We are all aware of the difficult situation that we are currently in. These are the best times for us to be at home. Let us grab this opportunity to strengthen our relationships with our families. Often, our busy day-to-day activities get in the way of us spending time with our family members. Some of us may want to complete certain tasks, or learn a new knowledge, or complete the recitation of the Qur’an and reflect upon its meanings.
Perhaps, this is the wisdom behind this challenging and grim period. It is a self-reflection moment for us, to appreciate the time that we have with our families and to reevaluate our priorities in life.
At the same time, let us continue to support each other, by offering a helping hand to those who are affected by their jobs, or those who are serving the Stay Home Notice (SHN). Let us perform any good deeds for our families as well as those around us. Hopefully, our good deeds will lift our spirits up and instinctively lead to a feeling of deep gratitude towards Allah s.w.t.
May Allah make us from amongst those who are thankful for the blessing of our family life, and from those who are patient. Amin ya Rabbal ‘Alamin.