The Beauty of Gratitude

Bismillaah.

One of the sisters over at GrowMama wrote a post a couple weeks ago that got me to thinking about gratitude.  And how easy it is for a person, myself in particular, to become ungrateful.  To get so caught up in the negative, or hardships, or dislikes and discomforts in life, that I fail to recognize the innumerable blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon me.

The post actually came right on time for me.  As I mentioned in my comment on the post, I had walked into the kitchen earlier that day to prepare lunch for the kids.  There were no clean plates, as the sink was filled up with breakfast and the previous night’s dinner dishes.  The counter was a mess from kids constantly pouring and spilling drinks…and using a different cup every time!  The sight reminded me that the dining table still needed to be wiped from breakfast, and the floor needed a quick sweeping.

My mind instantly went to the toys, books, markers, crayons, dress up clothes and other mess strewn about the house.  I could feel the pressure of being overwhelmed start to build up inside me.  The words, “I *HATE* summer” came to mind, and actually almost rolled off my tongue.

What I was feeling, was that I hated that my house was a chaotic mess!  I can’t stand to see stuff strewn about all over the house all day long; I can’t stand feeling like I’m in the kitchen all day long (between washing dishes several times a day, plus preparing 3 meals and 3 snacks); I can’t stand the bickering and constant tattle-telling on one another; I can’t stand not being able to accomplish “my” things; I can’t stand having to take them to class with me every week…and the list goes on.  Such a contrast to the quiet, relaxing days I used to spend when the kids were in school.

So yeah, those awful words almost came out.  But I stopped myself, alhamdu lillaah.  Sought refuge in Allaah from shayton.  Took a few deep breaths.  Thought a minute about what my feelings indicated.

And I concluded that I was in fact being ungrateful to Allaah.  A messy house, dirty dishes and a little bit more noise during the day is a small price to pay for having these wonderful little beings in my life.  Sure, it can get hard some days, but what would my life be without my children?  Nothing!

I think about the time before I was married, and how I used to ask Allaah to bless me with a husband and children, never really understanding what my own child would bring to my life of joy and happiness.  How it felt to love someone with all your heart, no matter they did.  How it felt for someone to love you with all their heart, no matter what you did.  My children.  My precious children.  When I think about this type of love, it truly amazes me.

Shame on me for even thinking to utter such ungrateful words.  There are people in the world who spend time, money and exert all their efforts into trying to conceive just one child.  Trying to fill that spot in their hearts that Allaah created for a child.  How could I deny such a blessing?  No, NO!  I would not trade my children for clean dishes, a tidy home and quiet relaxation.  NO!  Not in a million years.

It’s amazing that when I started to think differently, things got easier.  We developed – and have managed to stick to – a daily routine, which includes Qur’an first and foremost, as well as other engaging, entertaining and educational (the 3 E’s) activities.  I let them help out with small chores around the house too, number one to teach them responsibility, and number two because I need help!  A result of being organized is that I have more time to get the things done I need to get done, like studying for exams, blogging, etc.  So things are not as bad as I felt they were that day, alhamdu lillaah.

And that’s the beauty of gratitude.  Allaah says in Qur’an:

“If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings),” (Qur’an, Ibrahim:7)

When we redirect our focus from the negative to the positive, and work hard to appreciate the things Allaah has given us, He will give us more.  And more could be Allaah removing a negative, or increasing a positive.  Either case is a blessing from Allaah.

I pray to Allaah to always help me to be grateful for things, no matter how hard life may seem at times, ameen.  I pray this for myself and for all of you.

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9 thoughts on “The Beauty of Gratitude

  1. Asiya…….YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!!! AAAAAAHHHHH! OK i got that out, but seriously I am sooooo grateful to Allah subhana wa ta’aala for blessing me with these children. I feel so regretful myself when i have feelings or thoughts like you mentioned. I try to remeber the ayah….la yukalifu Allah illa wus aha…..I pray Allah make all our children a blessing for us and bring us us with them amongst the followers of the truth on yawm al qiyyamah, ya Rabb, ameen.

    Keep writing lil sis, this is so helpful, it goes well with my mornin cup a joe!!

    uhibuki habibti!

    • Thanks Naj :) And believe me, I can hear that “AAAAAAHHHHH!” all the way over here across the Atlantic, lol! Ameen to your du’aa, and thanks for the reminder about the ayah.

      Can’t wait to have a cuppa joe with you and Asma, inshaa Allaah!

  2. Naam, insha Allah! I left a word out of the ayah, laa yukallifu Allahu “nafsaan” illa wus aha! astaghfir Allah wa toobu ilayk! Allah burdens a person not beyond his scope, baqarah 286.

  3. Your post hit a nerve. I used to be a cheerful, positive person, but somehow over the years I turned into a pessimistic crankpot. I often wonder why. It’s not only responsibilities but when we are young the world seems beautiful and we can do anything – ANYTHING! But reality hits – we get older, marriage is not what it seems, the inlaws hate us (is it my fault?), we don’t achieve our goals or become what we thought we would become, and we suddenly realise all we thought or believed was wrong.

    • It’s no problem Bushra, you’re not the first who’s done that, lol!

      Welcome to my blog ukhti :) I completely understand what you’re saying, it is very easy to become pessimistic when things in life don’t turn out the way we imagined. I believe the most important thing though, is for us to constantly remember our intention, whether it’s taking care of our husbands and children, smiling up in the inlaws’ faces….if we at least try to remember that our reward is with Allaah, things will go so much easier. I know, I know, easier said than done, especially since as humans we seek instant recognition and reward. But Allaah does tell us in qur’an that paradise is for the ‘saabiroon’, or those who patiently persevered throughout life’s obstacles.

      Another important thing is this: each of us needs to find out who we are and than BE that person! There are only so many different hats we can wear in life, and at some time or another, any given hat will not be pleasing to someone…we can’t please all the people all the time…heck we can’t even please all the people ANY of the time! So I say, choose the “ME” hat, seek to please Allaah will all your soul, and keep stepping

  4. wow asiya that was realy nice. i turned into a grouch ball later in the day today seeing what the house looked like. it seemed like all ive been doing lately is feeding hungry tummies and cleaning and laundry and cleaning and laundry and cleaning and laundry .. lol…

    sometimes like u said we need to recognize the blessings and maybe just take a step back and see the big picture. and sometimes u just NEED A NAP :0-)

    by the way ive been meaning to call u but one thing or the other will come up, and i say to myself ‘ill call later’. well lookie here, i ended up at your blog tonight :-) guess what! i finaly started that quran class, i was so nervous the first time and was late! and she let me have it lol. and man i was like this is awesome. the first egyptian ive met who is SO strict about timing. so today the second class, we actually bonded! my first instinct is to dump learning arabic for now and switch to memorizing quran. its got a completely different flavor. its weird. subhanallah.

    • Hey Naureen, thanks for stopping by :)

      I’m glad you were able to benefit from the post alhamdu lillaah. And good for you on the qur’an class!! Yippee! For me, getting into a qur’an class did so much to boost my eman mashaa Allaah. I hope it does the same for you :)

      Keep me posted on your progress inshaa Allaah. Take care!

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