All expressions, supplications, the cries of the innocent, the invocations of the sick – ascend to Allah. Hands and eyes automatically extend to Him during moments of suffering and misery. The tongue shrieks and calls His name. The heart seeks calm, the spirit seeks rest, the mind seeks light, and all these are attained when we call upon Him, the Perfect, The Exalted! Consider the blessings and the favours of Allah upon you, how they follow you from above and below, indeed from all directions.
“And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them” (Al Qur’an, 14: 34)
You take all that life offers you and you still remain ungrateful? Can you imagine yourself walking without legs? Will you swap your ability to hear or see for the weight of Mount Uhud in gold? Or your ability to speak in return for massive castles? You worry for what you don’t have and feel ungrateful for what you have. Observe, introspect, and be thankful.
By clinging to the past and its tragedies, one gets a kind of madness. Don’t languish in the dreams of a period gone by, in the shadow of something you have lost. Free yourself from the ghostly fragment of the past.
Remember, today is all that you have! You don’t have to see the evening as you get up in the morning. Live as if your life cycle is just one day, as though you were raised in the morning and would perish in the evening. Live happily and free from sadness, chaos, rage, envy and malice. Convince yourself of the following: “This is the final day of my existence.” When you attain this attitude, you will benefit from every moment of your day.
Say to yourself: Today I will aspire to be faithful to Almighty, to pray in the best possible way, to perform more voluntary deeds of righteousness, to recite the Qur’an, and to read good books. I must plant goodness in my heart and remove from it the seeds of hate, such as envy, resentment and hypocrisy.
Doing good to others comforts the heart. Don’t feel dismayed when you realise that many neglect your services or overlook your good deeds. Be at ease if you are repaid with ungratefulness. Rejoice in the understanding that you will be honoured by the one who has limitless resources at His command. It is not to suggest that you should refrain from behaving positively towards others; the argument is that you should be emotionally equipped for ingratitude.
If you find yourself in trouble or suffering, show kindness to others. Give to the poor, support those in need, and visit the ill.
Neutralise idleness with active chores. Idleness causes the mind to drift. Idleness is a slow and concealed suicide. Idleness is like the sluggish torment inflicted on prisoners in China. They are put under a tap from which a drop of water falls every hour. In the intervening time, many of them lose their minds. Being idle is being lazy. Idleness is a robber that preys on your time. So, get up now and say a prayer or read a poem or a book, worship the lord, research, compose, organise the library, repair things in your home, or help others so that you may bring an end to your inactivity. Destroy boredom by working and you will see yourself transformed into a happy soul.
The writer is a research scholar