Sometimes in my life I’ve felt that I have little to no real blessings especially in those moments when I’m on the self-pity pot.  But then when I start to think rationally again I realize that I’ve been given many blessings by Allah and as I count them I grow to be more and more thankful.

I know I am blessed with my spouse who is forever there by my side and no matter how bad something is when I look into my spouses eyes and see that little smile I somehow know that all will work out well and that I am not alone.  I thank God for my spouse who has been and is still one of my greatest blessings.  I am blessed with my family even in times when we bicker like all other families.  But no matter how bad the bickering I would not exchange them for anything in the world.  I am blessed with my health and with my home.  I’m blessed when money has been short and somehow we make it through to better times.  I’m blessed in my work by doing things I enjoy.  I’m blessed to live in a beautiful country and most especially I am blessed to know God my Creator who is always there with me showing me His guidance, wisdom, and compassion.  All of these things and more, some small and some large, are blessings in my life and for all of these things I am thankful.  So when I count my blessings I realize I have many and I think this is so for everyone.  It’s not that we don’t have blessings in our lives.  It’s that we need to wake up and realize them as blessings and be thankful.

Sadly, we live in a world filled with greed and unthankfulness.  We take far too many things for granted never stopping to give thanks to God.  In so doing we sometimes become selfish and even arrogant but this is not the way God wants us to be.  God wants us to realize our blessings and He wants us to be thankful not greedy and not arrogant.

Psalm 23 puts things nicely I think.  It begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd; I have everything I need…”.  That means even when I don’t think so I still have everything I need because God makes sure of that and He does.  In verse 5 it says God pours oil of Blessing upon my head and fills my cup to overflowing.  Yes, God does this for all believers and we need to realize it and be thankful.  We need to count all of our small blessings and just not the few big ones because God most often blesses us in small ways which are no less significant than big blessings.  And we should have as believers true thankfulness for God’s goodness to us, always.

We should be thankful for the mercy God shows us each day.  When we sin and ask Him for forgiveness He does out of His mercy.  So we should praise Him and be thankful with all of our hearts for this because this too, God’s Mercy, is yet another blessing we can count.

God wants us to be thankful in everything.  The Qur’an says this:

“God does not burden anyone with more than they can bear.”
Sura al-Baqara 2:286

“But those who attain to Faith and do Right deeds, We do not burden them with more than they are able to bear; they are destined for Paradise, therein to abide.”
Sura al-Araf 7:42

Sometimes we face things that we think are just too much for us but they are not and they are not because God never gives us more than we can bear.  He knows our strengths and He knows our weaknesses.  He knows everything about us.  So even in things that we think are too much to bear we should STILL be thankful.  I think many times when we face things we think are too much to bear God is teaching us a lesson and it is up to each of us to decipher that lesson and learn from it.

I know that many times when things look bleak that we forget to remember God but we need to realize it is in those times when we most need to remember Him and when we most need Him to help us and guide us.

“Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me.”
Sura al-Baqara 2:152

“….Most surely Allah is the Lord of Grace towards men, but most of them do not give thanks.”
(Sura Yunus 10:60)

The Qur’an admonishes the Muslim to always hold God in the forefront of his or her mind.  So does the Torah and the Gospels.  Like Muslims, Christians and Jews are also suppose to keep God in the forefront of their minds.  God wants to be first in our lives not last.  And God wants us to realize our blessings and be thankful to Him for all of them.  He doesn’t want us to be ungrateful.  God is the Lord of Grace and it is through His Grace that He blesses us.  Sadly, some people are not thankful and they take their blessings for granted.  These are people who are on their way to Hell.  They are not the kind of people God wants.  Their punishment awaits them and they will be made to answer for their lack of thankfulness.

“And He (God) it is who made for you the ears and they eyes and the hearts,
little is it that you give thanks.”
Sura al-Mu’minun 23:78

Think about this.  If you have your eyes, your ears, healthy hearts, or anything else of the body God has given you those things and they are blessings.  We should be thankful for even these simple things that most of us take for granted.  Sadly, most people are not thankful for these things until they loose their sight, hearing, or suffer heart disease.  We should even be thankful for the night and the day, for nature God’s creation, and for the food He provides for us to eat too.

“And out of His Mercy, He has made for you the night and the day, that you may rest therein, and that you may seek His Grace, and that you may give thanks.”
Sura al-Qasas 28:73

We should be thankful for our births also and even that in itself is a blessing.  Speaking of the creation of Adam the Qur’an says this:

“And He made him complete and breathed into him HIS SPIRIT and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts; little is it that you give thanks.”
Sura as-Sajda 32:9

God breathed His Spirit into Adam and into every one of us at our births so that we would be living people.  We should be thankful for this and have reverence for what God has done for us to make us living.

In these days when we are surrounded by so much materialism we should each make it a point to stop and rest and to count our blessings and give thanks to God our Creator.  Often we don’t realize our blessings until we don’t have them anymore.  When we loose something then we realize how blessed it was but we don’t need to wait for that do we?  We need to be thankful right now.  Thankful for that spouse, that family, that job, that home, etc.  We do NOT need to wait until we lose someone or something before we give thanks to God.  We need to be thankful NOW!

Here’s a humbling thought.  Consider that NOTHING in the world belongs to you.  Nothing!  Consider that EVERYTHING belongs to GOD.  You don’t own anything.  You came into this world with nothing and you will leave this world with nothing.  All that you do is simply borrow it briefly because God allows you to during the course of your life but you don’t own it because everything belongs to God.  And then consider this…..

God just like you and me wants to be appreciated.  And just like you and me God gets angry when we are not thankful as we do when we help someone or lend them something and we don’t get one word of gratitude for our act of kindness.  God has feelings just like we do and that is clear in the Qur’an, the Bible, and the Torah.  He feels joy, happiness, anger, sadness, and everything else.  When we are ungrateful it hurts Him just as we are hurt when someone is ungrateful to or for us.  So God owns everything and we own nothing because all things belong to Him.  And just like us, God wants us to appreciate the things He does for us and has given us, our blessings big and small, old and new.  Let we who are Believers always be mindful of God and let us give thanks for our blessings which are MANY not few.  Let us realize them and appreciate them and let us bring a tear of JOY to God’s eye with our gratitude.

Abbas Khan