If a life comes down to what a man or woman has learned, then I’ll say this: you may feel discouragement, anxiety or despair, but you never know what’s coming tomorrow. Never give up on Allah, and never give up on yourself. Allah brings life and light from darkness. A closed room opens and becomes a road to the sunrise. Miracles happen every day, and I am a witness to that.
First, take nothing and no one for granted. Remember to be grateful for everything – for health, breath, the heart pumping in your chest, wholesome food on the table, rain falling unbidden from the sky, family, friends, the Quran, the Prophet , everything. Gratitude is the first order of the day. Gratitude is the path to loving Allah. Gratitude is the only argument one needs against disbelief. It is the cure for sadness and materialism as well, and is the motivation to do better tomorrow.
When I sit down to eat with my daughter Salma, we first say Bismillah, then each of us names three things for which we are grateful. It has the effect of connecting us to the blessings of the moment – such as the food on the table – and the greater blessings that we often take for granted, such as the presence of family and the gift of Islam.
I’m a huge believer in gratitude, which is why I focus on it in my writings, including in my novel, Pieces of a Dream.
Ask from Allah
Second, know that you have nothing but what Allah has given you, and no protector but Him, so when you ask, ask from Allah. The book, “Don’t Be Sad” mentions a story:
A Muslim went to a certain country as a refugee and he implored the authorities there to grant him citizenship. He was denied, and all avenues were closed to him. Despite his many efforts at importuning others, all of his contacts failed. One day he met a righteous scholar, and explained his predicament.
The scholar said, `Supplicate to your Lord, for He is the One who makes things easy.’ This advice is given clearly in the following hadith:
On the authority of Abu Abbas Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
One day I was behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” (It was related by at-Tirmidhi, who said it was a good and sound hadeeth).
The refugee later related,
“By Allah, I stopped going to people for help or for intercession. Instead I began praying to Allah in the last third of the night just as the scholar told me to do. Just before the break of dawn, I would call to Allah and invoke Him for relief.
I submitted an application for citizenship without using any person of position to intercede for me. A few days passed and then suddenly, to my astonishment, I was called to pick up my citizenship request papers. They were stamped with ‘Approved.’
Third, forgive yourself and do better tomorrow. Everyone loses control sometimes. Everyone sometimes hurts others and feels regret. Everyone has shameful experiences. Everyone.
Fourth, forgive others. Be gentle and assume the best when it comes to people’s intentions. Everyone is struggling in this world. Other people’s anger or criticism is almost always the product of their own fear.
Save one soul
Why does it seem sometimes that the Muslim world is so out of touch with gratitude? Why does it seem that we Muslims are consumed with anger and frustration?
It’s understandable. We Muslims are a conquered people. Our lands were divided by colonialists, we are ruled by tyrants and kings, and we are under siege or occupation by non-Muslim powers in many places. We watch as some of our most ancient cultures are reduced to rubble and conflict. At the same time, we’re dealing with major social issues like corruption, poverty, unemployment and inability to marry.
All of that generates feelings of anger, frustration and resentment. We see that reflected in the discontent of many Muslims.
Surely, however, we are not meant to live our lives in a constant state of frustration. After all, there has always been – and will always be – suffering in the world. So the question is, how do we acknowledge the suffering of the Ummah, and work for the betterment of the Muslims, while still maintaining our own inner peace and sense of gratitude? How can we feel outrage while not allowing it to eat away like acid at our imaan?
Going back to the hadith of ibn Abbas (RA) mentioned above, we must remember that no one can help us or harm us with anything except that which is permitted by Allah. We must strive to do all we can for the sake of Islam, then leave the rest in Allah’s hands. If we are at least doing something, then we do not have to feel impotent.
It also helps to keep our focus small. No one can carry the suffering of the world on his or her shoulders. Try instead to help one person. There is value in saving one soul, or even assisting one person in a small way. When you have saved one soul, then save another, and another. In this way you become a part of a great movement of goodness and compassion that transforms the world.
All the while, be grateful. Focus on what you have, rather than what you do not have. Be aware of the visible blessings blossoming all around you, and imagine the many more invisible blessings showering down from Heaven.
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Hazat Mufti Shuaibullah Khan Miftahi db of bangalore, once related in majlis "when Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jeelani rah was asked if a rich man who is thankful (shaakir) to Allah swt is better or a poor man who is patient (saabir) over his ordeals, is better - the thoughts of big people are big - hazrat jeelani rah replied that in his view, a poor man who is thankful (gareeb-shaakir) is better!"
Hazat Yunus Sahab Palanpuri db, son of hazat Umar sahab palanpuri rah of nizamuddin, has quoted a hadith e shareef in the book "Momin ka hathyaar" something like - the one who reads the following dua in the morning -
"Allahumma maa asbaha bee min-ni'matin au bi-a'hadimmin khalqika fami(n)ka wa'hdaka laa shareeka laka falakal hamdu walakal shukr"
has thanked Allah swt for all the bounties of the day and the following dua in the evening -
"Allahumma maa amsaa bee min-ni'matin au bi-a'hadimmin khalqika fami(n)ka wa'hdaka laa shareeka laka falakal hamdu walakal shukr"
has thanked Allah swt for all the bounties of the night.
Wouldnt it be great if we attach this dua with fajr prayers and asr prayers to have a chance of being considered thankful slaves, inshAllah.
"When we thank Allah swt for some bounty, that thanking itself deserves another thanks to Allah swt for He was the one who blessed us with the taufeeq to thank him in the first place"
How to develop shukr by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad
Saturday, 16 November 2013
How to develop shukr?
1) learn to count our blessings,
2) do zikr of those blessings,keep on reminding ourselves of His blessings privately and publicly,
3) analyze the lives of pious people how they lived their lives,full of sabr and shukr,
4) analyze the lives of people living miserable lives around us, deprived of all the basic blessings we have
Why are we deprived of shukr?
1) we do not realize that we will loose our blessings,as if we deserve them,
2) we always look at people better than us,
3) mocking poor people,making fun of those deprived of those blessings
ان النعمة موصولة بالشكر و الشكر يتعلق بالمذيد و هما مقرونان فيقرن فلن ينقطع المزيد من الله حتى ينقطع الشكر من العبد
"Indeed blessings are attained through gratitude and gratitude is related to increase and these two are linked so that increase from Allah does not diminish until gratitude from the servant diminishes."
(Ibn al Qayyim, ‘Iddat al-Sabireen wa Zakeerat al-Shakireen, p.129)
"What secures them [Blessings] is gratitude [shukr], based on three supports: inward recognition of the blessing; outward mention and thanks for it; and its use in a way that pleases the One to whom it truly belongs and who truly bestows it."
(The Invocation of God, p.1)
" Gratitude is built upon five pillars: Submissiveness to Allah from the one expressing gratitude; loving Him for it; acknowledging His favor; praising Him for it; and not utilizing it in a way that displeases Him."
(Madarij al-Salikeen, 2/186)
What is the meaning of Shukr (Gratitude)?
“Shukr is to display the effects of the blessings of Allaah upon the tongue by way of praise and acknowledgement; in the heart by way of witnessing and love; and upon the limbs by way of submission and obedience.”
Imagine if this happened to you, you start feeling physically sick and tired all the time, and your body starts slowing down you feel weak, and your speech becomes slurred, you find it difficult to eat, everything becomes a challenge feeding yourself, getting dressed buttoning your shirt, tying your shoe laces. so after numerous visits to Doctors, and a battery of tests you are diagnosed with a Terminal illness, you have a family and young children, and many unfulfilled hopes and dreams...How would you emotionally respond to this? Perhaps complain and ask why me? Become angry and despondent? Would you still be grateful?
Here is someone who can speak from experience, Ustadh Usamah Cannon who is one of the earliest students of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf , and Shaykh Zaid Shakir and has worked as a Prison Chaplain and in youth out reach for a number of years, was recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.There is no known cure, for this disease a person body gradually wastes away and is unable to function, with an individual almost totally becoming immobile , in some cases unable to breathe and swallow and finally death. Life expectancy is about 2 to 4 years after diagnoses.
Ustadh Usamah Cannon has chosen to respond with Shukr.
Here is his uplifting talk called "Hope and Gratitude." given a few day ago.
What a person achieves or accomplishes is not out of one’s own greatness or position but its through the divine enablement of Allah. In any personal achievement one should always be humble and grateful to Allah.
Being grateful and looking beyond the negatives in your life.
Just a concept I came across write down everything in your life that is worrying you reflect on the blessings that are related to it. For example If you have received a bill.invoice be grateful that ALLAH has blessed you with money to pay it, if you have to borrow money from friends and family to pay that bill, be grateful to ALLAH that you have friends and family willing to borrow you money, If no one is willing to borrow you money be grateful that ALLAH has protected you from friends or family who might constantly remind you that they once helped you out in a time of difficulty and if therefore you have to negotiate an instalment plan with your creditor then be grateful to ALLAH that you have been offered an instalment plan and so on and so forth.
Anyways to further illustrate the above point the following childrens story might be helpful.
A young woman was sitting at her dining table, worried about taxes to be paid, house-work to be done and to top it all, her extended family was coming over for festival lunch the next day. She was not feeling very thankful at that time.
As she turned her gaze sideways, she noticed her young daughter scribbling furiously into her notebook.
“My teacher asked us to write a paragraph on “Negative Thanks giving” for homework today.”
said the daughter.
“She asked us to write down things that we are thankful for, things that make us feel not so good in the beginning, but turn out to be good after all.”
With curiosity, the mother peeked into the book. This is what her daughter wrote:
“I’m thankful for Final Exams, because that means school is almost over.
I’m thankful for bad-tasting medicine, because it helps me feel better.
I’m thankful for waking up to alarm clocks, because it means I’m still alive.”
It then dawned on the mother, that she had a lot of things to be thankful for!
She thought again…
She had to pay taxes but that meant she was fortunate to be employed.
She had house-work to do but that meant she had a shelter to live in.
She had to cook for her many family members for lunch but that meant she had a family with whom she could celebrate.
We generally complain about the negative things in life but we fail to look at the positive side of it.
What is the positive in your negatives? Look at the better part of life today and make ur everyday a great day.
Be happy and blessed always.
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal
All praise and thanks are only for Allah in all circumstances.
Narrated from A’ishah radi Allahu anha,
“When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam saw something that pleased him, he would say: Alhamdulillahil lathee bi ni’matihi tatimmus saalihaat, and when he saw something that displeased him, he would say: Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kuli haal.
(Narrated in Sunan Ibn Maajah, classified as Saheeh according to Shaykh Albaani rahimahullah in Silsilatus Saheehah hadeeth 265)
Okay I am going to borrow posts on shukr from other threads just to make it a more easier for myself and others by having everything on shukr on one thread.
It is easy to make Shukr when things in your life are going well, but most of us start to despair when calamity strikes and start asking "Why did this happen to me? " and become ungrateful. I read a Quote By Shaykh Abdul Qadir al Jilani sometime ago... to paraphrase someone asked him what spiritual station is better "To practice Shukr in times of blessings or to practice Sabr in times of difficulties." He stated that what was superior to both was to practice Shukr during times of difficulties.
The following story which I posted elsewhere is a demonstration of the aforementioned state.
Shukr of the Mother of a terminally ill child.
This story was recounted by Prof. Khalid Al-Jubeir, consulting cardiovascular surgeon and religious speaker in one of his lectures:
Once I operated on a two and a half year old child. It was Tuesday, and on Wednesday the child was in good health. On Thursday at 11:15 am – and I’ll never forget the time because of the shock I experienced – one of the nurses informed me that the heart and breathing of the child had stopped. I hurried to the child and performed cardiac massage for 45 minutes and during that entire time the heart would not work.
Then, ALLAH decreed for the heart to resume function and we thanked HIM. I went to inform the child’s family about his condition. As you know, it is very difficult to inform the patient’s family about his condition when it’s bad. This is one of the most difficult situations a doctor is subjected to but it is necessary. So I looked for the child’s father whom I couldn’t find. Then I found his mother. I told her that the child’s cardiac arrest was due to bleeding in his throat; we don’t know the cause of this bleeding and fear that his brain is dead. So how do you think she responded? Did she cry? Did she blame me? No, nothing of the sort. Instead, she said: “Al-Hamdulillah” (All Praise is due to ALLAH) and left me.
After 10 days, the child started moving. We thanked ALLAH and were happy that his brain condition was reasonable. After 12 days, the heart stopped again because of the same bleeding. We performed another cardiac massage for 45 minutes but this time his heart didn’t respond. I told his mother that there was no hope. So she said: “Al-Hamdulillah. O ALLAH, if there is good in his recovery, then cure him, O my Lord.”
With the grace of ALLAH, his heart started functioning again. He suffered six similar cardiac arrests till a trachea specialist was able to stop the bleeding and the heart started working properly. Now, three and a half months had passed and the child was recovering but did not move. Then just as he started moving, he was afflicted with a very large and strange pus-filled abscess in his head, the likes of which I had never seen. I informed his mother of the serious development. She said: “Al-Hamdulillah” and left me.
We immediately turned him over to the surgical unit that deals with the brain and nervous system and they took over his treatment. Three weeks later, the boy recovered from this abscess but was still not moving. Two weeks pass and he suffers from a strange blood poisoning and his temperature reaches 41.2°C (106°F). I again informed his mother of the serious development and she said with patience and certainty: “Al-Hamdulillah! O ALLAH, if there is good in his recovery, then cure him.”
After seeing his mother who was with her child at Bed#5, I went to see another child at Bed#6. I found that child’s mother crying and screaming, “Doctor! Doctor! Do something! The boy’s temperature reached 37.6°C (99.68°F)! He’s going to die! He’s going to die! I said with surprise, “Look at the mother of that child in Bed#5. Her child’s fever is over 41°C (106°F), yet she is patient and praises ALLAH.” So she replied: “That woman isn’t conscious and has no senses.” At that point, I remembered the great Hadith of the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam): “Blessed are the strangers.” Just two words… but indeed two words that shake a nation! In 23 years of hospital service, I have never seen the likes of this patient sister.
We continued to care for him. Now, six and a half months have passed and the boy finally came out of the recovery unit – not talking, not seeing, not hearing, not moving, not smiling, and with an open chest in which you can see his beating heart. The mother changed the dressing regularly and remained patient and hopeful. Do you know what happened after that? Before I inform you, what do you think are the prospects of a child who has passed through all these dangers, agonies, and diseases? And what do you expect this patient mother to do whose child is at the brink of the grave and who is unable to do anything except supplicate and beseech ALLAH? Do you know what happened two and a half months later? The boy was completely cured by the mercy of ALLAH and as a reward for this pious mother. He now races his mother with his feet as if nothing happened and he became sound and healthy as he was before.
The story doesn’t end here. This is not what moved me and brought tears to my eyes. What filled my eyes with tears is what follows:
One and a half years after the child left the hospital, one of the brothers from the Operations Unit informed me that a man, his wife and two children wanted to see me. I asked who they were and he replied that he didn’t know them. So I went to see them, and I found the parents of the same child whom I operated upon. He was now five years old and like a flower in good health – as if nothing happened to him. With them also was a four-month old newborn. I welcomed them kindly and then jokingly asked the father whether the newborn was the 13th or 14th child. He looked at me with an astonishing smile as if he pitied me. He then said, “This is the second child, and the child upon whom you operated is our first born, bestowed upon us after 17 years of infertility. And after being granted that child, he was afflicted with the conditions that you’ve seen.”
At hearing this, I couldn’t control myself and my eyes filled with tears. I then involuntarily grabbed the man by the arm, and pulling him to my room, asked him about his wife: “Who is this wife of yours who after 17 years of infertility has this much patience with all the fatal conditions that afflict her first born?! Her heart cannot be barren! It must be fertile with Imaan!” Do you know what he said? Listen carefully my dear brothers and sisters. He said, “I was married to this woman for 19 years and for all these years she has never missed the [late] night prayers except due to an authorized excuse. I have never witnessed her backbiting, gossiping, or lying. Whenever I leave home or return, she opens the door, supplicates for me, and receives me hospitably. And in everything she does, she demonstrates the utmost love, care, courtesy, and compassion.” The man completed by saying, “Indeed, doctor, because of all the noble manners and affection with which she treats me, I’m shy to lift up my eyes and look at her.” So I said to him: “And the likes of her truly deserve that from you.”
ALLAH says: “And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient; Who, when calamity strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to ALLAH, and indeed to HIM we will return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” [Surah 2:155-157]
Umm Salamah (the wife of the Prophet) said: I heard the Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) saying: “There is no Muslim who is stricken by a calamity and says what ALLAH has commanded him – ‘Indeed we belong to ALLAH, and indeed to Him we will return; O ALLAH, reward me for my affliction and compensate me with that which is better’ – except that ALLAH will grant him something better in exchange.” When Abu Salamah [her former husband] passed away, I said to myself: “What Muslim is better than Abu Salamah?” I then said the words, and ALLAH gave me the Messenger of ALLAH (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) in exchange. [Sahih Muslim]
الطاعم الشاكر بمنزلةالصائم الصابر-رواه البخاري معلقا
"The person who is thankful while eating food will get the same reward as one who is patient while fasting."~Hadith
Let us all be grateful for the food Allah has given us & thank Him
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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