Channel: Tarek Kareem Harris
The Reinvention Series
thankfulness thankfulness is an absolute cornerstone of the Muslim mind.
The Prophet peace be upon him is reported to have said,
Look at those who are far less fortunate than yourselves, not at those who are better off than yourselves, so that you will not belittle the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon you.
How are Muslims thankful? Well, the Muslim has to pray five times daily.
each occasion has many parts where we acknowledge and thank God for giving us life, and whatever blessings we have.
More than that, even in day to day life, listen to Muslims everyday words. Their conversations are overflowing with thankful notes and phrases.
Examples include martial law, which means God has willed it, and is said as a mark of appreciation or praise. When a Muslim sees something good.
Alhamdulillah means Praise be to God, and is said in a variety of situations, from when facing trials in difficulties, right through to giving thanks for one's health, or some other positive event.
jazak Allah means may god reward you with goodness. And this said when the Muslim is showing gratitude to someone else.
All roads and events lead the Muslim to a state of thankfulness of God.
You might say, well, doesn't that lead a Muslim to feel indebted and helpless
indebtedness to Allah should be taken as a good and positive feeling.
The Muslim understands that God is much more merciful than he is punitive. And as such, everything he has in life is a favor for him to use as well as he can.
Allah encourages a Muslim to use everything he has in the path of something good.
That would be a way of repaying the debt in a positive way.
If a person feels overburdened with a sense of being undeserving, as if they don't deserve what they have, and it feels like a heavyweight on their soul, then this is not indebtedness in a thankful way. This is needless guilt. This happens if the person fails to value himself as much as a larders.
It can also happen when the person is mentally unwell, in which case Allah has commanded him to seek remedy and for those around him to help him.
Plenty of modern research shows that practicing gratitude is helpful to relationships and well being.
In one study, a large group of people were trained to practice gratitude with prayer, where they noted only the new things that we're thankful for every day, and being thankful to God.
Compared to people who didn't do this, the study group showed greater recollection of positive events, greater optimism for the future, and even had less physical problems, visiting their doctor less, such as the power of thankfulness.
Allah is very fond of those who recognize what he has given them. Not only does Allah give them more, but they also make use of what they have more creatively and constructively.
The original and best thankfulness habit is embedded in our prayers daily, our Salah, our remembrance of Allah, reading Quran, and inada
take the time to make special mention of the things you want to thank Allah for. When you pray next.
Be very specific in what you thank him for.
It doesn't matter how insignificant The thing is. If it is in your life, you must find a reason to see why it is good for you. And you thank Allah for putting it there.
Some people find it useful to start a thankfulness diary.
That sounds a bit more than what it really is. It can just be a few words every morning that you type into your phone or onto a piece of paper where you note down three new things every day that you are thankful for.
Try it for a month.
You would think that you might run out of things to be thankful for. But if you do this right, it actually works the other way around.
The more you thank Allah for, the more you realize you have to be thankful for.
It is an immensely uplifting and self acknowledging
experience, which is proven to improve happiness within as little as two weeks.
So the next exercise is about thankfulness, and how to show it and how to improve it.
Your happiness will increase dramatically and rapidly if you do any one of the following five things.
Firstly, saying Alhamdulillah
practice praising Allah in your mind every few seconds, and then justify it.
For example, if you stood up, say Alhamdulillah, because you have legs.
You saw a tree, say Alhamdulillah thanking Allah for nature.
You remembered a good friend, say Alhamdulillah forgiving you such a friend. And indeed for your memory.
It can become a game with children.
teaching children thankfulness can be done if you make it a game similar to I spy
alhumdulillah how thankful we are for something beginning with T.
And the child asked for a clue. Well, the T is something where we can eat our food.
And I'm thankful because it is a place where we can join and talk.
Of course the answer is table
and so on and so forth.
The second method is called the shoe box and get an empty shoe box. And every day write a tiny note of something you are thankful for. And put that note in there. open that box up again after a month, you will find it is full of things that remind you of how lucky and blessed we all are.
The third method is similar, and it's called the sticky note wall. But it involves you and other people in the family.
Choose a wall or a fridge door and get a small pad of sticky notes.
Everyone in the family must write one thing every day to put on the wall until it is full.
When it is full, everyone sits around. And we take off the notes from the fridge or the wall. And we read the notes together. This is an enormously uplifting experience. And we get to learn the things that other people notice that we need to be thankful for as well.
Fourth method is called the letter of fax. Write a detailed handwritten letter to a person you are grateful to. They may be just in your life, and they may have helped you. They may be there for you express all the wonderful qualities about this person, and how they have personally affected your life for the better.
deliver it by hand if you can. This is an immensely gratifying experience, both for you and for the receiver.
A modern technological method of the thank you note is the WhatsApp Thank you bomb. The fifth method.
This is when you go through your WhatsApp contacts or any other contacts on social media. And for each one, remember something you can thank them for.
Tell them in a few words, that you were just reminiscing and you remembered how they did this for you, or how they have this quality. thank them for being them or for doing something for you. That's it. That's really all it takes.
These five methods as humble as they are, are immensely powerful in increasing Our thankfulness and helping us to return to a state of being positive in appreciating the things we have.
They say we tend to negate what we have, because the knifes is quite acquisitive. It likes to know what else it can have. And it tends to belittle what we already do have.
We can combat this by practicing thankfulness.