“…Who created me, and He [it is who] guides me. And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink; and when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and who will cause me to die and then bring me to life; and who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment.” (Quran 26:78-85)
After a 17 hour fast from food and drink, one cannot but be filled with gratitude for what God Almighty has provided. We have so much to be thankful for, but it is easy to forget. We can gulp a glass of water without even giving any thought to where it came from, what pleasure there is in it and how much it benefits us. A fasting person feels the very few sips of water slide down from the mouth to the stomach and be replenished by every drop.
The very first word as we open the Qur’an is ‘alhamdulillah’ – all Praise is to Allah and we are reminded to say ‘alhamdulillah’ as a form of gratitude throughout the day, after sneezing, after eating, when someone asks how we are, we respond with ‘alhamdulillah’.
In Chapter 55 of the Quran, titled “The Lord of Mercy,” God asks the same question thirty-one times, “Which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?”
No matter how bad our situation, there is always someone worse off and sometimes, we need to reflect on this in order to be grateful. For example, there are some people who have no eye lashes – a small in size but significant in functional loss; there are people who are not able to walk, not able to see colours, who have partial or no sight, who have partial or no hearing, and the list is endless.
Some statistics from British Red Cross that might help us be more grateful:
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, then you are richer than 75 per cent of this world!
If you can read, then you don’t belong to the 1 billion people who CANNOT read.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, then you are luckier than the million who will not survive this week and even luckier if you live in UK because you have the NHS that guarantees you will have healthcare in case of illness.
So, the next time you bite into an apple or any food, look at it, think about where it came from, how many people were involved in the process of getting it to you, how many in the world who may not be so fortunate to have it, how appealing it is to your sight and smell, then as you bite into it, how pleasing it is, then finally how it tastes and replenishes you. After all this, you can truly appreciate and be thankful to the Almighty for providing it to you; and reflect as Prophet Ibrahim did in the verse above (Qur’an, 26:78-85)
Kawther Hashmi, member of the Muslim faith
Date: Monday 11th May 2020