Appreciating the Bounties of Allah Ta’ala

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The bounties and favours of Allah Ta’ala are so vast and so many that we cannot count it, encompass it nor fully comprehend it. His bounties are everywhere and all around us. We experience and enjoy countless blessings, favours and bounties of Allah Ta’ala with every breath we take and every second that passes, yet we are oblivious to most of them. Even each breath that we inhale and each one that we exhale is a bounty in itself. Can we count how many breaths we have taken since the time we were born? If it is impossible to count and comprehend such a seemingly insignificant aspect, how can we understand the magnitude of all of Allah Ta’ala’s bounties? This is why Allah Ta’ala states in the Holy Qur’an:

وَ اِنْ تَعُدُّوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ لَا تُحْصُوْهَا ؕ

And if you count the favours of Allah, you will never be able to count them. {Surah 16:18}

عطائيست  ہر  مو ازو بر تنم 

چگونہ بہر موئے شکرے کنم

There are thousands of bounties in every hair of mine

Then how can I make Shukr for the bounties of every hair

{Tafseer Fuyoozur Rahman}

How will we be able to be truly grateful to Allah Ta’ala when we cannot even count His countless favours and bounties? There are millions of bounties   in our bodies alone, countless bounties above the ground, in the ground, everywhere you turn, in the skies, the clouds, the winds, the air etc. And the greatest favour of Allah Ta’ala upon us is the fact that He granted us Imaan and the love of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Even if we had to live a thousand lifetimes making Shukr (showing gratitude) to Allah Ta’ala for this favour alone, it will still not be enough, because we cannot even comprehend the magnitude of this favour. 

Let alone the greatest favour, let us try to understand the worth of just one favour of Allah Ta’ala that we take for granted every second of our lives – our eye.

It is recorded in the Hadith that there lived a pious man in one of the previous nations. He climbed a high peak on an isolated island in the centre of the ocean. He then engaged himself day and night in the worship of Allah Ta’ala. This spot was so secluded that no human could set foot on it. Allah Ta’ala provided for him a pomegranate tree and a sweet water spring. He ate and drank as he wished from this Divine Provision. This devotee spent 400 years in this pure and serene environment. It is obvious that if a person lives in such an isolated place, then surely, he will live a very pure life. He will not lie, steal or commit any sin. The root of evil is company, which at times is a sin itself.

When his time to leave this world came, the Angel of Death, Hazrat Izraeel (Alaihis Salaam) came to him and he made a request to the Angel saying, “Please grant me a few moments so that I may make fresh Wudhu and perform two Rak’ats of Salaah. When I reach the second Sajdah of the second Rak’at, you may then remove my soul.” The Angel replied, “I have brought just that amount of time for you from Allah Ta’ala.” Hence, he made Wudhu and performed his Salaah. The Angel of Death removed his soul in the Sajdah of the last Rak’at. 

To this day, Allah Ta’ala preserved his body in the same posture of Sajdah on that island. Once, Hazrat Jibraeel (Alaihis Salaam) related to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), “Ya RasoolAllah! When we descend from the skies and ascend it, we see this person in the posture of Sajdah.” 

It is stated that this person will be called on the Day of Qiyaamah to be judged. His records will reflect no sin at all. It will be full of good deeds and virtues. The Merciful Lord will order the Angels:

اِذْهَبُوْا بِعَبْدِىْ اِلٰى جَنَّتِىْ بِرَحْمَتِى

Take my servant to My Jannah through My Mercy

This person will comment, “Oh my Lord! In fact, through my good deeds,” meaning that his deeds are such that he is worthy of Jannah. Allah Ta’ala will then order the Angels to bring him to the Scale of Justice and place his 400 years of worship on one side, and place one of Allah Ta’ala’s bounties that he enjoyed for 400 years – his one eye – on the other side. It will be weighed and his 400 years of worship will be of no comparison to a single eye that Allah Ta’ala blessed him with. Allah Ta’ala will order:

اِذْهَبُوْا بِعَبْدِىْ اِلٰى نَارِىْ بِعَدْلِى

Take My servant to My Hell through My Justice

On hearing this, the servant will tremble with fear and plead, “No! My Lord! Not through my deeds, but through your Mercy.” The Merciful Lord will forgive him and will order the Angels:

اِذْهَبُوْا بِعَبْدِىْ اِلٰى جَنَّتِىْ بِرَحْمَتِى

Take my servant to My Jannah through My Mercy 

{Mustadrak ‘Alas Sahihain}

SubhanAllah! Look at the worth of just one eye that not even 400 years of constant worship without any sin is equivalent to it. How will we then be able to comprehend the worth of every favour of Allah Ta’ala that we enjoy throughout our lives?! 

We should therefore not be ungrateful to Allah Ta’ala by being disobedient to Him, when He blesses us with countless favours and bounties every moment of our lives. We should turn to Allah Ta’ala and cry in His Court out of gratitude also, not only when we want relief from hardships or when we seek forgiveness. 

Once, a Prophet of Allah passed by a stone that was by itself relatively small but there was a lot of water  coming out of it. The Prophet of Allah was astonished by this, so Allah Ta’ala granted the stone the ability to speak and it said, “Since the time I heard this decree of Allah Ta’ala, 

وَ قُوْدُهَا النَّاسُ وَ الْحِجَارَةُ ۖۚ  

(Jahannam) whose fuel are humans and stones {Surah 2:24} 

I have been constantly crying in the fear of Allah Ta’ala.” The Prophet of Allah made Dua to Allah Ta’ala to save this stone from the Fire of Hell and Allah Ta’ala accepted his Dua. 

After a long time had passed, that Prophet of Allah was passing by that place again and noticed that the same stone was still continuously crying. He asked the stone, “Why are you still crying?” The stone replied, “That time I was crying due to fear and now I am crying in joy and happiness.” 

The heart of humans is also like stone, in fact even harder than stone and the only way to remove that hardness is to cry in conditions of both fear and gratitude. {Mukashifatul Quloob}

We should therefore learn a lesson from this stone and cry to Allah Ta’ala in His fear but also cry in His Court in gratitude for the innumerable favours and bounties that He showers upon us. We must never complain about what we do not have, rather we must always be grateful for what we do have.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the ability to ponder over His bounties and favours and the ability to cry to Him in gratitude, Allahumma Ameen.

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