SHALL WE NOT BE THANKFUL?
IF EYESIGHT WAS a human invention, its inventor would send us bills detailing all the wonders we’ve seen, the sights we’ve visited, the steps we’ve read, and the people we’ve met. The bill would go on and on. Considering the high price we’d have to pay for just being able to see, only the extremely rich would be able to afford this luxury product called eyes.
Let us now consider the blessings of our tongues. Again, another very profitable area if humans invented it. They would place the price tag as high as they could and feel fully justified—imagine all the communication we would be doing with their product! Phone bills are typical examples of making money off our tongues: when we do not pay the bills, service is terminated—No more talking on the phone. Imagine no more talking with your tongue if you forgot to pay your tongue-bill.
Eyesight and speech are only two of the many priceless blessings Allah has given us for free. All we are asked in return is to be thankful. And even in this we are not compelled by force. But if we chose ingratitude we commit a massive injustice.
Without eyesight, the pleasures of this world are non-existent. An affluent blind man, for example, would surely exchange all his fortune for the ability to see. This blessing of sight alone is worth all the money in the world, but Allah has so graciously given it to us without charge.
On business trips, the company covers the cost of food, lodging, and travel. If we use the company’s money to buy stereo systems for all our friends, they would refuse to cover the cost and our jobs would be in danger because of our abuse of the privilege.
Now imagine if Allah, the Majestic, treated us the way same our employers do, immediately revoking our privileges us after we’ve erred, or even terminating our contracts. We’d all be dead in a flash. For we forever abuse the gifts and blessings He has given us. We use our tongues in ways that displease Him, such as in backbiting, lying, and swearing. And we continue to abuse the gift of eyesight and allow our gazes to wander to sights He has forbidden. The company would fire these employees straight off. But Allah doesn’t fire anyone (pun intended) straight off. He, the most Forbearing, gives us chance after chance.
Here is another way to look at it. Say you had been a paying customer of a cell-phone service for ten years, your service would be terminated the moment you can no longer pay, despite the thousands of dollars you’ve paid in the past. Yet, Allah does not even take anything from us, and instead overlooks our mistakes and ingratitude. Is there any company in the world that will continue providing services to people who refuse to pay? Yet that is exactly what Allah does, except His service is the gift of life.
Allah does not send us monthly bills or ‘fire” us the way an employer would. He is all aware of our abuses but allows us to use His favors. When someone does a good deed for us, we are so thankful and try to return the favor. Should we not feel compelled to please Allah?
Considering all that He has given us, despite our faults. And He continues to give us so many changes, so we may be able to recognize that and show Him gratitude.
The worst a company can do is discontinuing our services, charge late feels, and send collection agencies after us. Yet, eventually, we can just go to another company for service, just like we can look for another job if we get fired. However, what will happen on the Day of Judgment when a lifetime of abusing the many favors we’ve been given may prevent us from entering Paradise? There is no other Paradise to apply for. There is certainly no other Lord to implore. An early Muslim once said, “(Thankfulness) is to not use His favors for the purpose of disobeying Him”.
So let us pledge to devote our lives to actions pleasing to Allah, the source of all our bounties. That is indeed, the best way to express our gratitude.
(Courtesy: Al Jumuah Magazine)