By Tasnim Nazeer
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Gratitude is a praiseworthy trait as it enables us to be thankful for the blessings that Almighty Allah has bestowed on us and be content with our share in life. Many challenges often hinder our ability to be grateful to our Creator.
If you are struggling and feel you are not as appreciative as you should be about what you have, here are some steps to make you feel more positive about your life and increase your bond with Allah (st).
1. Count your Blessings
It is only natural to lose sight of the blessings we have if we always see the shortcomings. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, humankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” (Quran 14:34)
One way to appreciate what you have is to create a list of all the good things in your life, even the things you take for granted, for instance the ability to see, hear, walk, and speak. This will make you realise how much you already have, find contentment in it, and appreciate Allah for His Divine decree.
2. Remember the less fortunate
Abu Hurairah (ra) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Look at those who stand at a lower level than you but don’t look at those who stand at a higher level than you, for this would make the favours (conferred upon you by Allah) insignificant (in your eyes).” (Muslim)
This hadith clearly expresses the importance of being grateful by always looking at those who are less fortunate rather than those who may have more. Allah tests us all with varying degrees of sustenance, and He will increase your blessings if your heart remains thankful.
3. Stay Positive
Try to turn the negative events in your life into positive ones by considering any lessons learnt from them. Perhaps a negative event occurred and this made you turn to Allah. A hardship or challenge in your life might have changed a bad habit or prompted you to make dua. Fadalah bin
Ubaid al-Ansari (ra) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sa) say: ‘Happiness is due to him who is guided to Islam and possesses provision that suffices him for his day and remains content.’” (at-Tirmidhi; authentic)
4. Make Dua (Supplication)
Have you ever made a dua that was fulfilled by Almighty Allah (st)? Most of us supplicate and once our needs are fulfilled, we often forget to express our gratitude. Whether or not our duas are accepted in this life we should continue to supplicate, worship Allah, and show Him that we are grateful to Him. Allah increases your sustenance if you are grateful, as He has mentioned in the Qur’an: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe.’” (Ibrahim 14:7)
It was narrated by Abu Bakrah: “When anything came to the Prophet (sa) which caused pleasure or by which he was made glad), he prostrated out of gratitude to Allah.” (Abu Dawud; sound)
Always prostrate to Allah to show your appreciation even for the simple blessings in life.
5. Say Alhamdulilah (All praises are for Allah)
Make a habit of saying Alhamdulilah. Allah (st) loves those who are grateful to Him not only during times of ease but also through adversities. Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger (sa) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except a believer; if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), and thus there is good for him in it; if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is good for him in it.” (Muslim)
Tasnim Nazeer is an award winning Freelance Journalist/Writer and Author who has written for a variety of print and online publications including CNN International, The Muslim News, Your Middle East, Islam Channel and many more. She was awarded The Muslim News Award for Excellence in Media 2013 and is an UN Universal Peace Federation Ambassador for Peace. For more information visit her website at www.tasnimnazeer.com or follow her on Twitter: @tasnimnazeer1
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© IIPH 2015