November 2017: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Safar 1439

Volume 33 No 11

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Giving Thanks

[2:172] O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone.

The history of Thanksgiving

Before I get into the history of Thanksgiving, I just want to say this about history in general. With many historical accounts, there are three sides—one side’s version, the other side’s version, and the truth from God. So, as with any history, the history of Thanksgiving may not be completely accurate. According to Wikipedia, thanksgiving pre-America involved religious ceremonies following a harvest. There are early accounts of Egyptians, Greeks and Romans having a feast after harvesting their crops and paying tribute to their gods. In the early 1500s in England, there were 95 holidays that involved feasting and celebration. King Henry VIII reduced these feasts from 95 to 27, but the Puritans wanted to eliminate all holidays and simply have Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving.

Days of Fasting followed unexpected disasters, such as the drought in 1611, disastrous floods in 1613 and the plagues in 1604 and 1622.

Special blessings from God, such as the victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, called for Days of Thanksgiving. To remove all the variance of celebrations, one annual Day of Thanksgiving was assigned in 1606.

The origin of Thanksgiving in America is somewhat controversial. One account points to a peaceful gathering, celebrated after a fruitful harvest between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. Another account states Thanksgivings were celebrations of victories in physical combat over the land. Whatever truly happened, we know that God tells us humans to be thankful for our food and our lives.

In 1789, George Washington issued a proclamation calling for a national day of Thanksgiving. (See Submitters Perspective Nov 2012.) Regardless of the accuracy of the historical accounts of early Thanksgivings, the annual day celebrated in the US began absolutely as a time to be thankful to God alone. As submitters, of course, we do not have a specific day designed to be thankful to God. God willing, we are thankful all day, every day, all year, all of our lives.

[2:152] You shall remember Me, that I may remember you,

and be thankful to Me; do not be unappreciative.

When I did a search in the Quran, I was surprised to see there are only 9 verses with the English word “thank.” But, as the previous verse shows us, thanks in the Quran is associated with appreciation. And a Quran search of the word “appreciate” yields pages of verses, which makes perfect sense to me. But the following discussion is of the verses using the word “thank.”

[2:172] O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone.

This verse doesn’t mean a holiday once a year, have a feast and be thankful. God willing, we should thank God with every drink, every snack and every meal.

[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.

In my younger years, I wanted to use this verse for my personal gain. I didn’t understand the wisdom of this verse. When God gave me money, I thanked

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