Thanksgiving: Gratitude for challenges
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silver pellets, rolling on the table of your brain—pretty soon, they come across your groove and fall in, leading you down the same behavior or belief as before.
So if you repeat a phrase, a mantra, over and over—especially if you reflect on what you are saying—it creates a deeper and deeper groove, which faith can fall deeply into. That is why the Basmalah or Quranic prayers can be so powerful—you are reminding yourself that God is Most Gracious (and most Giving!) and Most Merciful. And when you are repeating with a singer with a lovely voice, MashaAllah, it can be even more powerful.
So what can come of being more grateful? Simply put, the Quran tells us:
[14:7] Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me, the more I give you." But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.
How does this work? Well, one aspect is when we are appreciative for something, we put more value on it—so we feel richer.
Another thing that can happen when we are grateful, is that our acceptance of things, our submission to God’s will, expands. We are no longer fighting our life circumstances; we are in the flow with them.
An Indian mystic said: “When you are no longer in conflict with your life, you become serene and natural, you relax. Then, you float. The world is no longer against you, you can float in it.”
We can also be in gratitude for the challenging things, for they help us grow. The English clergyman George Herbert said, “Storms make oaks take deeper root.”
God knows us best, and we can trust Him to give us the right intensity of storm.
[2:286] GOD never burdens a soul beyond its means: to its credit is what it earns, and against it is what it commits.
"Our Lord, do not condemn us if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, and protect us from blaspheming against You, like those before us have done. Our Lord, protect us from sinning until it becomes too late for us to repent. Pardon us and forgive us. You are our Lord and Master. Grant us victory over the disbelieving people."
[23:62] We never burden any soul beyond its means, and we keep a record that utters the truth. No one will suffer injustice.
So this sort of gratitude for challenges helps us accept things as they arise.
[27:40] The one who possessed knowledge from the book said, "I can bring it to you in the blink of your eye." When he saw it settled in front of him, he said, "This is a blessing from my Lord, whereby He tests me, to show whether I am appreciative or unappreciative. Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good, and if one turns unappreciative, then my Lord is in no need for him, Most Honorable."
[ed. note: While Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in November in the USA, we should offer Thanks to God all the time.]
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[2:152] You shall remember Me, that I may remember you, and be thankful to Me; do not be unappreciative.
[30:50] You shall appreciate GOD's continuous mercy, and how He revives the land that has been dead. He will just as certainly resurrect the dead. He is Omnipotent.
[56:68-70] Have you noted the water you drink? Did you send it down from the clouds, or did we? If we will, we can make it salty. You should be thankful.
[16:114] Therefore, you shall eat from GOD's provisions everything that is lawful and good, and be appreciative of GOD's blessings, if you do worship Him alone.
Only the Righteous Works…
God, out of his infinite Grace, enables whomever He wills to work righteousness because [18:46] Money and children are the joys of this life, but the righteous works provide an eternal recompense from your Lord, and a far better hope.
This is a tremendous gift, as righteous works are our means to salvation.
[18:110] Say, “I am no more than a human like you, being inspired that your god is one god. Those who hope to meet their Lord shall work righteousness, and never worship any other god beside his Lord.”
[25:77] Say, “You attain value at my Lord only through your worship. But if you disbelieve, you incur the inevitable consequences.”
[7:56] Do not corrupt the earth after it has been set straight, and worship Him out of reverence, and out of hope. Surely, GOD's mercy is attainable by the righteous.
[32:17] You have no idea how much joy and happiness are waiting for you as a reward for your (righteous) works.
These righteous works are outlined in Surah Al-Baqarah—The Heifer (2), and expanded in Surah 25.
[2:2-5] This scripture is infallible; a beacon for the righteous; who believe in the unseen, observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and from our provisions to them, they give to charity. And they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are absolutely certain. These are guided by their Lord; these are the winners. Footnote 2:3: Since the Contact Prayers are decreed five times a day, they constitute the prime source of nourishment for our souls. Along with all other practices in Submission, the Contact Prayers were originally revealed through Abraham (21:73, 22:78).
[25:72-7] They do not bear false witness. When they encounter vain talk, they
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