Personal Narratives

The Nature Of Gratitude

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Oh one whose heart has hardened, stop. Step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Let your mind meander through the hills and valleys of your innumerable blessings. Listen to the beating of your heart, feel each breath as your chest rises and falls. Open your eyes and gaze towards the glorious light of the sun and the scattered puffs of white fluffy clouds. Let your body fall backwards and become engulfed by the soft blades of grass as you inhale the pleasant mingled perfumes of the flowers. As you lay in the midst of your reverie, ask yourself: have you ever felt more grateful? As butterflies tickle your skin and the breeze refreshes your broken spirit, the answer comes to you. You begin to realize the simple, yet profound beauty of the moment, a product of the complex collaboration of the senses you possess.

Oh forgetful one, just think and ponder briefly and you shall see. What if just one of those senses went missing or ceased to function? Just one. Would this sweet escape lose some of its luster? Will this rendezvous with nature open up your eyes at last?

Oh struggling soul, created weak in flesh you were, but your Lord is Most Merciful. He never places upon your already aching shoulders a burden greater than they can bear. As you run your delicate fingers across delicate petals, contemplate upon the way you lose your resolve with every trial that befalls you. The way you always break at the very onset. The way that the gifts surrounding you, so openly and plainly, suddenly become obscure to you. The way you permit yourself every time against your better judgment to think, “everyone is against me. My life is horrible. I have nothing and I am worthless. Why did You do this to me Allah? Perhaps the world would just be better without me.”

Oh sleepy one, when will you wake up? How many hungry children will you have to remember as you eat your daily meals before it sinks in? How much of the disaster and devastation of others will it take to collapse wall of your indifference? What must you lose before you can come to know its value and the value of all your blessings? When will you choose to be grateful and reap even more bounties?

This is your chance. Turn to Him. Thank Him. Praise Him, as all of nature does.

{And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe’.” (Sura Ibrahim 14:7)}

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Aziza, lovingly named after her maternal grandmother, is a part-Indian, part-European Ohioan. With an interest in writing and learning more about her faith of Islam, she found her niche in MYM. She is excited to be able to communicate the cherished feelings in her heart. Through her pieces, she hopes to inspire not only Muslims, but non-Muslims alike.