I remember there was a time when I was so hungry after coming back from class. With hectic life schedule, sometimes having proper meal is not really an important issue for students like us. Until when I got back during the evening, then only I realized how hungry I was. So off I went to the nearest cafe and grab some bread with cold drink. "Alhamdulillah!" I said as I felt the coldness of the drink running down my throat. The feeling? Indescribable.
And recently I was having this stomachache, which was excruciatingly painful that it did not even resolve when I took the first medication- Chinese herbs. To make things worse, that night we were about to have our family dinner at this nice restaurant. Of course I didn't want to miss that golden opportunity. So I tried to calm my self down and did istighfar as many as I could. 2 hour before the dinner, I took paracetamol and not long after that, the pain vanished!
Subhan-Allah wa Alhamdulillah.
These 2 incidents got me thinking. I was hungry and not long after that, I managed to get food. I was having pain and after taking painkiller, the pain disappeared. But what about those who live in a country that to get food is like hoping for a miracle to happen? What about those people who are being tested with diseases and pain, but they can't even afford to get the medicine, or in a more serious condition, they don't even know what is the cure for the pain they are having.
Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alayhi wasallam) has reminded us with this beautiful hadith;
“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)
When talking about being grateful, there can never be any greater example that we can learn from, besides Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alayhi wasallam) . There was a time when 'Aisha (radiyallahu anha), wife of Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alayhi wasallam) was in great awe when she saw him standing for so long, tirelessly performing his prayer in the middle of the night that lead her to ask him,
“O Prophet of Allāh, why do you undergo so much hardship despite the fact that Allāh has pardoned for you your earlier and later sins?” He (pbuh) responded, “Afala akuna abdan shakura? Should I not prove myself to be a thankful servant?” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)
Subhan-Allah. How this beautiful hadith can give so much of impact to our lives. The fact that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) striving so hard to please Allah with his ibadah although he has been promised Paradise is something that all of us should ponder.We are being blessed with young age and full of energy, but we neglect this blessing by loitering around and not doing much for this ummah. We've been blessed with health, but we neglect it by eating unhealthily. Allah has blessed us with more than enough money for us and the family, but we are so stingy when it comes to giving charity and spending it for His cause. We have so much time, but we are wasting it with too much of entertainment. Until one day when Izrail comes, there can never be anybody else who are at loss but the people who choose to live in this way. Na'udzhubillah. May Allah forgive us.
Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has set us an excellent example through this hadith. So now it depends on us on how are we going to shape our lives. Lets start by first instilling the feeling of thankfulness in our hearts and followed by expressing it through our deeds and actions. Wouldn't you feel embarrass to face someone who has been lending you something amazing and constantly giving you a favor, but there you are, meeting them, seeing them and act as if you owe nothing to them? And now this is our Lord who has been blessing us with so many things since we were born, we walk on the Earth that He created, yet we do not feel embarrass towards Him?
Let us strive towards becoming a grateful slave of Allah, for we just don't know when and in which way His favor will come into our lives. People who are thankful will never be at loss. In Quran, Allah says;
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.' (Quran; 14: 7)
May Allah guide us to be among the people who constantly remember Him, be thankful to Him, and to be able to use the blessings He bestowed us with, only for His cause. We ask Allah to forgive us for the arrogance that we have in our hearts, and replace it with humbleness and seriousness in attaining His blessings. Allahumma ameen.