Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Perform Thanks

“I’malu aala dawooda shukra…”
"Work, people of David, with thanks."

There is an activity that has been suggested so many times, but I never actually sat down and did it until recently. The exercise is to write down all of Allah’s blessings upon you, starting from the obvious then working your way to ones you never thought about. Write down the blessing of sight, health, loved ones, and possessions. Write down Islam, the ability to comprehend the Quran. Write down the name of that friend or person who is the love of your life, your best friend, your parent, and your child. And then dig deeper and write down your abilities, talents, the thoughts in your soul that comfort you when you are sad and keep you company when you are lonely.

If this activity overwhelmed you, as it did me, and you felt your throat choked and paralyzed with shame at how you have fallen short of thanks, wondering how on earth to begin, the answer is always to move forward. There is no negative, fearful, humbling feeling in Islam that is not accompanied with an overwhelming sense of hope and a call to action. Until the final moments of life, we are never powerless, never doomed. We always have the Hereafter itself literally a footstep away.

“I’malu aala dawooda shukra…”

Perform thanks. Do not merely say it, feel it, reflect upon it. Perform it.

We cannot expect only to be polite with Allah, and then win His pleasure and salvation. It is not enough to offer token words of thanks, and then move on with our lives. We are His servants, His vicegerents on earth, entrusted with a mission and gifted with such blessing and ability. All that we listed on that sheet of paper, all of those blessings that we managed to count as well as the innumerable ones we left out, those are tools for us to serve Him with. We will be held accountable for them if we don’t.


Marwa said...

Salaam Maha,
I love your blogspot. Masha'Allah, may Allah (swt) give you the energy to continue sharing with us your beautiful and deeply reflective thoughts. This post really hit home with me because the easiest way for me to become affected is to think of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with his swollen feet telling Aisha (ra) "Shouldn't I be Abaden Shakur (A grateful Servant). THe most perfect and complete human is saying this, and oftentimes we think of things that are obstacles in our life instead of reflecting on the bounty. Jazak Allahu kheyr for the post :)

Fatima said...

Just so you know, I used this post for a khatira in my usra the other day. Question for you, I see it translated as 'perform with thankfulness.' What about 'Act out your thankfulness'? It has a different meaning, I think, and I feel like it connotes the meaning well, but maybe i'm misunderstanding it.