This Ramadan, like many of you, I made du’ah.
Du’ah for health. Du’ah for Jannah. For family. For friends. For Hajj. For my parents. For countless blessings – small and large. I am sure that many of us have made du’ah for some of these things for years, for as long as we can remember. And yet, we may forget the things we no longer make du’ah for. The things that Allah (SWT) blessed us with that once seemed so out of reach. The trials that He (SWT) brought us through with mercy that are a distant memory. The pains that He relieved us of that we barely remember in this moment.
This Ramadan, Allah (SWT) blessed me with many things this Ramadan that just one month later, I already take for granted. Once I received these gifts and blessings, I stopped making du’ah with the same desperation. In some cases, I stopped making du’ah for them to altogether.
What can we learn from this tendency?
As humans, we are often ungrateful. One moment we are lost at sea, in rough waters, pleading with our Lord, begging Him for His mercy and hoping for His blessings. The moment we are saved, the moment we attain what seemed unattainable, we take a breath and return to normalcy. And in truth, we return to complacency and mediocrity. In sum, we are ungrateful to our Lord.
And yet, we are reminded of how critical gratitude is to our success time and time again in the Qur’an.
“Therefore, remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.” (2:152)
“We bestowed (in the past) Wisdom on Luqman: “Show (thy) gratitude to Allah.” Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul: but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, Worthy of all praise.” (31:12)
Our tendency to be ungrateful for the blessings Allah (SWT) provides us with – including Ramadan itself – is contrary to what our beloved Prophet (SAW) teaches us. One particular hadith exemplifies the approach we should take when receiving blessings – both those we ask for and those we didn’t ask for.
A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “I asked, ‘Messenger of Allah, why do you exert yourself so much while all your sins have been forgiven?’ To this he replied, ‘A’ishah, should I not be a grateful servant of Allah?’” (Muslim).
When even Rasul (SAW) exerted himself more and more, year after year, who are we to decrease in our worship and du’ah? When we are blessed time and time again – with life, health, wealth, family, children, food, drink, shelter, and so on – how can we remain ungrateful?
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said, “None will enter Paradise but will be shown the place he would have occupied in the (Hell) Fire if he had rejected faith, so that he may be more thankful; and none will enter the (Hell) Fire but will be shown the place he would have occupied in Paradise if he had faith, so that may be a cause of sorrow for him.” (Sahih Bukhari – Book #76, Hadith #573)
So let us be of those who are grateful, those who are of Ash-Shakareen (the grateful) and not of those who turn our backs on Allah (SWT) the moment we obtain what our hearts desire.