While praying to Allah for a blessing, one must also ask Him for the moral values with which to appreciate it

There are innumerable blessings even in the lives of people living under the most difficult conditions. However, most people, instead of realizing these blessings, generally focus on deficiencies before all else.  They forget the existence of hundreds of beauties around them and get saddened by those blessings they could not possess. They consider themselves to be badly wronged and deprived of the best things in the world. They spend almost all their lives pondering about these missing things and the grievance they experience. While concentrating entirely on those, they remain unaware of the fact that there are many blessings around them, which are created for them, at every single moment.

Naturally everyone on earth would not be living under the exact same circumstances.  Someone may lack a blessing enjoyed by someone else. One may be very healthy while another struggles against a disease. One may be rich and another may be poor. In many aspects of life when the blessings given are compared, they may be different from each other. And in all these, there is much good and wisdom for everyone. But even without considering such different circumstances, the blessings people enjoy in general are so profuse that they should all rejoice at these great blessings from Allah and be very happy.

Our Almighty Lord says that these blessings are innumerable, even just in general terms:

If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nahl, 18)
He has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Man is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful. (Surah Ibrahim, 34)

And there is a great secret created by Allah behind all these blessings. If one cannot see the delights he enjoys; cannot appreciate the favor of Allah over him and is inclined to think only about deficiencies, then he can never be happy. That is because if Allah gives him even more blessings, even if He bestows all those blessings he grieves over not having, in just the form he would like them to be, that person will still – because of the moral values he possesses – see only what he lacks, and instead of being happy with what he has, will grieve for what he does not. Because what this person actually missing is not the blessings he does not possess, but rather the ability to appreciate the mercy, love and blessings of Allah. So long as he fails to attain profound moral values in that regard, even if all the blessings in the world are bestowed on him, he will still be unable to rejoice in these blessing.

Furthermore, someone who knows how to appreciate the blessings; who feels the love of Allah in every beauty he sees, great or small; and who is filled with joy because of the love of Allah; will be very happy even if he is lives under the worst conditions in the world.
No worldly joy can replace the happiness that person enjoys. The joy and peace that such a person experiences never ends. Even if he faces hundreds of troubles and destitutions, he will still experience the spiritual excitement of the presence of one single blessing until the end of his life. He gives his thanks to Allah with love and passion for He is the One Who has created that blessing for him. He will experience the joy of feeling the love, infinite kindness, mercy, friendship, closeness and protection of Allah even in that single blessing. Even under the most difficult circumstances, he enjoys the beauty of knowing that Allah is with him, that He is closer to him than his own jugular vein, that He will be his closest friend and will never withhold His Help from him for as long as he is sincere. Thinking that the existence of only this spiritual delight constitutes one of the biggest blessings created for him in this world, he gives his thanks to Allah as much as he possibly can, in the most sincere and candid manner.

Therefore, it is not the blessings themselves or their number that will make a person happy. It is living by the moral values with which to appreciate them. Unless one attains these moral values, it is literally impossible for him to be made happy, in the true sense of the word, by the existence of blessings. That is the secret imparted by Allah in the Qur’an with the words: “And when your Lord announced: ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe’.” (Surah Ibrahim, 7)  That secret is giving thanks for the blessings and living by the moral values with which to appreciate them. Or else someone without faith may also rejoice at blessings. Or a nonsane person may also be pleased when he is given a present, something to eat or something to wear. But that joy is merely a physical reaction obtained without the use of reason, stemming from the person having acquired a worldly gain. True joy is one that is experienced through love of Allah, with reason and the consciousness of faith. That is why, when a believer looks at his life he must reflect on whether he truly experienced that joy through the blessings he enjoyed. If a person only experiences the physical joy in the face of blessings, that means there is a serious gap in his life that needs to be made good as a matter of urgency. Because this may mean not giving proper thanks to Allah, failing to properly appreciate blessings or even ingratitude for them. (Allah knows the truth.) And a person's unhappiness despite all the countless blessings at his disposal, his constantly seing deficiencies throughout his life and grieving over them, may be a punishment from Allah for this ingratitude. Allah reminds people of this in the Qur’an:

 Remember Me – I will remember you. Give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful. (Surat al-Baqara, 152)
... When We let a man taste mercy from Us he exults in it. But if something bad strikes him for what he has done he is ungrateful. (Surat ash-Shura, 48)
That is how We repaid them for their ingratitude. Are any but the ungrateful repaid like this? (Surah Saba’, 17)
Curse man for his ingratitude! (Surah ‘Abasa, 17)
Truly man is ungrateful to his Lord and indeed he bears witness to that. (Surat Al-'Adiyat, 6-7)
You can ask forgiveness for them, or not ask forgiveness for them. Even if you asked forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah still would not forgive them. That is because they have rejected Allah and His Messenger. Allah does not guide deviant people. (Surat at-Tawba, 80)

In fact, one can only eat so many meals a day; even if he wants to eat more than 3-4 times a day, the body will not accept. Even if one has hundreds of outfits and changes them all the time, one can still only wear a certain amount of them in a day. If one had hundreds of homes or cars, he can still only use one at a time. Even if one could go wherever one likes on holiday, one can still only be in one place at a time. Even if one never sleeps – which is in itself impossible – one can still only enjoy these blessings for 24 hours a day. Therefore, the life of this world has not been created in such a way that happiness could be attained from worldly things themselves.

The joy in blessings that stems from love of Allah, on the other hand, is a great blessing to be enjoyed forever under all conditions and at every moment. And it is a huge privilege and a great blessing for a person who attained such morality, to be able to see the signs of Allah’s love wherever he looks. Because that is the source of a joy and happiness that will never end. For that reason, rather than concentrating on the presence or absence of a blessing, one should rather reflect on whether or not he has managed to acquire this understanding.


2010-07-28 15:44:25

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