Sunday, March 25, 2018

What does the Quran say about BEING GRATEFUL?

Two days ago, my entry is on HOPE. Yesterday, we chatted about COMMITMENT of which I suggested that key to staying committed is having a good dose of SABR. I also mentioned that Muslim scholars deemed SABR as half of faith (iman) while the other half being SHUKR – BEING GRATEFUL or THANKFULLNESS. In Malay it is syukur. As like SABR, I also feel that the word syukur, that in Malay the strength, width and depth of the word have been diluted to almost the point of inaction.

I see the idea of being grateful and thankful in the Quran as empowering even to the weakest of the weakest to move forward and achieve in life. SHUKR to me is knowing that “WHAT WE HAVE IS ENOUGH TO MOVE FORWARD”. It is a belief system which asserts that you and I have ample opportunities to move forward using what we already have at hand even if it seems insignificant. This position is rooted from the uncompromising conviction that a Merciful God cannot but create a scheme that ensures everyone regardless of position, time or location, blind or with sight, tall or short, rich or poor are given access to His Mercy anytime, every day. The concept of SHUKR!

Why we must believe that “What We Have Is Enough”? Unless we believe that what we have is enough, we cannot take action now! We play the waiting game. We procrastinate. We complain. We blame others. We blame the situation. We become paralyzed. We are not thankful. We are not grateful. Those who believe can act now even with the little at their disposal. Slowly but surely, they achieve success. A trishaw puller’s child can be a surgeon. Someone who started with nothing can build a business empire. Powerless oppressed people can be rulers. You can start from wherever you are, as long as you are grateful (Quran 14:7)

In other words, the moment we start being grateful we experience a mental shift – the one change needed that can radiate success to other parts of our being and remake our lives within a relatively short period of time. We get leaner and fitter - work out anytime, anywhere because we have the best gym set in the world - our own body weight and limbs. We climb up the corporate ladder as we maximize what we can achieve within our influence. We create schools out of shacks. Our houses become homes.  We start to make things happen and make a difference.

So here are 12 entries on SHUKR.

All emphasis are mine to help readers focus on a particular message.

1.    And [remember the time] when your Sustainer made [this promise] known: 'If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more;  but if you are ungrateful, verily, My chastisement will be severe indeed!" Quran 14:7

2.    And, indeed, we granted this wisdom unto Luq­man: “Be GRATEFUL unto God - for he who is GRATEFUL [unto Him] is but GRATEFUL for the good of his own self; whereas he who chooses to be unGRATEFUL [ought to know that], verily, God is self-sufficient, ever to be praised!” Quran 13:12

3.    NOW [among the best of the deeds which] We have enjoined upon man is goodness towards his parents. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth; and her bearing him and his utter dependence on her took thirty months. [and so, when he attains to full maturity and reaches forty years, he [that is righteous] prays: “O my Sustainer! Inspire me so that I may forever be GRATEFUL for those blessings of Thine with which Thou hast graced me and my parents, and that I may do what is right [in a manner] that will meet with Thy goodly acceptance; and grant me righteousness in my offspring [as well]. Verily, unto Thee have I turned in repentance:  for, verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves unto Thee!” Quran 46:15

4.    Verily, We have shown him the way: [and it rests with him to prove himself] either GRATEFUL or unGRATEFUL. Quran 100:6

5.    And then He forms him in accordance with what he is meant to be, and breathes into him of His spirit: and [thus, O men,] He endows you with hearing, and sight, and feelings as well as minds:  [yet] how seldom are you GRATEFUL! Quran 32:9

6.    They made for him whatever he wished of sanctuaries, and statues, and basins as [large as] great watering - troughs, and cauldrons firmly anchored. [And We said:] “Labour, O David’s people, in gratitude [towards Me] and [remember that] few are the truly GRATEFUL [even] among My servants!” Quran 34:13

7.    SAY: "[God is] He who has brought you [all] into being, and has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and hearts: [yet] how seldom are you GRATEFUL!" – Quran 67:23

8.    [Easy is it for Him to create likeness and variety:] thus, the two great bodies of water [on earth] are not alike the one sweet, thirst-allaying, pleasant to drink, and the other salty and bitter: and yet, from either of them do you eat fresh meat, and [from either] you take gems which you may wear; and on either thou canst see ships ploughing through the waves, so that you might [be able to] go forth in quest of some of His bounty, and thus have cause to be GRATEFUL. Quran 35:12

9.    AND MUHAMMAD is only an apostle; all the [other] apostles have passed away before him: if, then, he dies or is slain, will you turn about on your heels? But he that turns about on his heels can in no wise harm God - whereas God will requite all who are GRATEFUL [to Him]. And no human being can die save by God's leave, at a term pre-ordained. And if one desires the rewards of this world, We shall grant him thereof; and if one desires the rewards of the life to come, We shall grant him thereof; and We shall requite those who are GRATEFUL [to Us]. Quran 3:144-145

10. Why would God cause you to suffer [for your past sins] if you are GRATEFUL and attain to belief - seeing that God is always responsive to gratitude, all-knowing? Quran 4:147

11. For it is in this way that We try men through one another - to the end that they might ask, "Has God, then, bestowed His favour upon those others in preference to us?" Does not God know best as to who is GRATEFUL [to Him]? Quran 6:53

12. So remember Me, and I shall remember you; and be GRATEFUL unto Me, and deny Me not. Quran 2:152

Again, allow me to quote my favorite quote that gives me hope, stay committed and always grateful.

“So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.” Quran 3:139

Peace, anas

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