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Sunday, April 18, 2004  

On Gratitude You must thank God for all that He has favored you with. You have no good thing, whether outward or inward, religious or worldly, but that it comes from Him. He has said, Exalted is He: Whatever good thing you have is from God. (XVI:53) God’s favors upon you are more than you can number or be aware of, let alone adequately thank Him for. If you would count the favors of God you cannot number them. (XIV:34) If the poor and sick among the people of Monotheism reflected on God’s favors upon them, they would become too intoxicated by giving thanks to feel the hardship of patient endurance. You should do as much as you can to thank your Lord, and confess your total incapacity to do so adequately. Know that thankfulness leads to the perpetuation of favors already received and to the obtaining of others that are desired. God the Exalted has said: If you give thanks, I shall surely increase you. (XIV:17) He is, Exalted is He, too Generous to take away a favor from someone who is thanking Him. He has said, Exalted is He: That is because God never changes a blessing He has bestowed on any people until they first change that which is in themselves, (VIII:51) that is, their neglecting to give thanks. And God has exhorted His servants to render thanks to Him many times in His book: Eat of the good things with which We have provided you, and give thanks to God if it is indeed Him that you worship. (II:172) Eat of the provision of your Lord and give thanks to Him. (XXXIV:15) And the Prophet, may blessings and peace be upon him, has said: ‘Let each of you have an invoking tongue and a thankful heart.’ And: ‘Faith has two halves: one is patience and the other thankfulness.’ Know that just as you must thank God for favors which are proper to you, such as knowledge and health, you must also thank Him for favors which are general, such as the sending of Messengers, the revelation of Books, raising up the sky, and stretching out the earth. The basis of thankfulness is that the heart be aware of such favors, that they are from God alone, and that nothing comes to one through one’s own ability and power, but only through God’s grace and mercy. The limit of thankfulness is to use each one of His favors in His obedience; if you do not do so, you will have neglected to give thanks for it; and if you use them to disobey Him, you will have fallen into ingratitude, whereby favors turn into afflictions. Anyone who still enjoys some favors while using them in disobedience to God is being lured. God the Exalted has said: We shall lure them from whence they do not know. (LXVIII:44) And: We only give them rein that they may grow in sinfulness. (III:178) Similarly, ‘God gives rein to the wrongdoer until, when He takes him, He does not let him go.’ (Hadith) It is part of thankfulness to praise God frequently, and to rejoice for the favors bestowed, because they are means of attaining to the propinquity of God, and because they are evidence of God’s solicitude for His servant. It is part of thankfulness, too, to make much of His favors, even those that are small. It is related that God once said to one of His Prophets: ‘Whensoever I grant you a poor grain of wheat, know that I have remembered you thereby; therefore thank Me for it.’ It is part of thankfulness likewise to speak of God’s favors without, however, digressing into anything that might suggest self-righteousness in religious matters or insolence in matters of the world. Deeds are according to the intentions behind them. And all good comes from following our virtuous predecessors in all circumstances; and God knows best. - Imam Abdallah Ibn Alawi al-Haddad, Book of Assistance (Risalat u’l Mu’awana)



posted by SuFiSTiC | 4/18/2004 05:06:00 PM |
As for him who fears to stand before his Lord and restrains the ego its desires, the Garden is shelter.
(The Snatchers:40)
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The Fire is surrounded by all kinds of desires and passions, while Paradise is surrounded by all kinds of disliked, undesirable things."
(Bukhari)
Whoever does good at night is rewarded during the day and whoever does good during the day is rewarded at night. Whoever is sincere in abandoning a desire is saved from catering to it. God is too noble to punish a heart that has abandoned a desire for His sake.
(Abu Sulayman ad-Darani)
Beware of your ego, and trust not its mischief;
The ego is worse than seventy devils.
(Arabic Poem)
Abu Bakar Balkhi
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I seek God's forgiveness, and do not claim that my intention in producing this Blog is confined to good religious purposes; how may I do so when I am aware of the hidden desires, egotistic passions, and worldly wishes that I harbour? I do not claim innocence for myself; the ego is indeed an inciter to evil, save when my Lord shows mercy; my Lord is indeed Forgiving, Merciful. O God! I seek Your protection against my committing idolatry [shirk] knowingly, and Your forgiveness for that of which I am not aware! I ask God to make me and all other believers benefit from this Blog and to render my production of it purely for the sake of His Noble Countenance.

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