If you had a different job,
One that better suited you,
Would you finally find the joy
That has long eluded you?
If you had a newer car,
Just like the neighbors do,
Would that finally bring contentment
And peace of mind to you?
If you had a bigger house
In the perfect neighborhood,
Would your heart feel at home then,
Like you've always wished it would?
If your children were angels,
And your spouse were a dream,
Would your heart start to dance
And your eyes start to gleam?
If you had EVERYTHING you wanted,
And fortune for a friend,
Tell me, if your life were "perfect,"
Would you be truly happy then?
See, the sad thing is,
I don't think you would be,
Truly happy, that is,
At least not like you could be
If you gave your heart to God
And quit trying to find a way
To find happiness in THINGS
That will eventually decay.
All the fortunes in the world
Won't take your sins away;
They can't save your spot in heaven
Or help prepare for Judgment Day.
Only when you know for sure
That all's well between God and you
Will your life be complete
And your happiness be true!
(submitted by sister Nora
before she returned to God)
EAT LIKE THE
[47:12] GOD admits those who believe and lead a righteous life into gardens with flowing streams. As for those who disbelieve, they live and eat like the animals eat, then end up in the hellfire.
I’ve seen an elephant pull up a bush and eat it—roots, dirt, and all. I’ve seen a polar bear tear apart a seal and eat it—skin, bones, and all. I’ve seen a bird grab a beetle and eat it—hard shell and all.
We don’t eat like that. We’re more discriminating. We take the skin off the chicken; we clean the dirt off the spinach; we remove the shell from the peanuts. So, of course, we don’t eat like the animals eat. That would be gross.
But I’ve also watched my dogs scarf down every morsel in their bowls in about ten seconds flat. Animals are eating by instinct, an instinct for survival. In the wild, they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from (although my dogs certainly don’t have that excuse!), so they eat quickly and completely so they don’t starve. But what’s our excuse?
I sometimes finish a meal so fast, I have no recollection of what was on my plate. I’m working to change that habit. All good weight loss programs try to teach you to eat more slowly and savor each bite. You’re encouraged to use all your senses with every mouthful. This is good for losing weight, but it’s something for submitters to consider as well.
Let the human consider his food! (80:24)
We should be grateful for every morsel we receive. We know it all comes from God. We have supermarkets full of groceries—aisle after aisle of choices. We don’t have to go out and hunt game, or grow crops, or haul water for miles. We know where our next meal is coming
from. It’s coming from God’s generous provisions. So every single bite is a gift from God and should be acknowledged.
We begin by saying “Bismillah” before we eat. We don’t have to know how the animal was slaughtered, and whether some stranger said magic words at that time. It’s up to each one of us to remember God as we begin to eat. We’re not going to be able to say “Bismillah” with every bite, but we should occasionally, during the meal, appreciate the blessing with “masha Allah” (God’s gift) or “alhamdulillah” or “thank You, God.” It reminds us where the food came from and how thankful we are to have it.
If we eat more slowly, we have more time to recognize the gift, and therefore, more opportunities to remember God. If we bring all our senses into it, it makes the food taste even better. It has a wonderful smell—each food has its unique odor—a roast in the oven or a pie freshly baked. The juicy beef and the fresh broccoli look good on the plate; the banana looks fresh and delicious as you peel it. You hear the sizzle of steak on the grill or the sound of biting into a crisp apple.
The feel of food is wonderful—holding an ice cream cone or picking up a chicken leg. And finally, of course, you come to taste. The culmination is having the piece of food in your mouth and rolling it around with your tongue and teeth as you savor it. We can also appreciate the packaging. From the amazing way God protects His fruits, like the banana and orange in their colorful peels, to the ingenious methods man has developed, such as frozen foods preserved and ready to heat at a moment’s notice.
Animals eat without thought or caring. They live their lives in total submission to God, and they glorify Him in ways we’ll never understand.
Cont’d on page 4