Does He Love you? Think about it…
We complain a lot. Ungrateful servants. The nature of the dunya. We think about all that we don’t have. We get so frustrated. Why can’t I get that promotion? Why can’t we have a house without a leaky roof? Why is my car always breaking down? Why can’t I get health insurance? Why can’t I find a good spouse? Why do I have to live in a community where I’m isolated? Where I’m not welcome? Why am I in pain? Why did my mother have to die? What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t God answer my prayers? Why can’t He Give me a measure of comfort and ease? What have I done wrong?
It’s so easy to get caught up in that cycle of thought. It’s destructive, and it’s probably natural, but it’s also a big open door for the whisperings of the shayateen (human and otherwise). Let’s try a different tactic. How many of these apply to your life?
I can breathe without assistance. So can my spouse, our kids, my siblings, my parents, my grandparents, my best friend… Alhamdulillah. Thank You, God.
I can walk, run, dance, crawl,. So can my spouse, our kids, my siblings, my parents, my grandparents, my neighbor. Or… I can’t do these things, and I need a wheelchair, but I’m here. I’m here with the people I love. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, God.
My heart does the work I need it to. So do the hearts of my spouse, our kids, my siblings, my parents, my friends. Perhaps my grandfather’s heart is weak, but we have the resources and knowledge to get the treatment he needs. And his heart is physically weak, but it’s still filled with love for his family. Alhamdulillah. Thank You God, for letting me live in these times when doctors have the knowledge and means to treat many heart conditions.
I can see. Or I can’t. I can hear. Or I can’t. I can speak. Or I can’t. I can use Braille. Or sign language. I can get glasses or laser surgery, hearing aids or cochlear implants. You’ve still Given me the means to communicate with others. I can see the calligraphy of Your Word. I can hear Your Word. I can hear the summons to prayer. I can speak the words of the Fatiha. I can see, hear, and / or touch the Signs of Your Creation and Majesty all around me. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, God.
My son doesn’t understand the world in the same way we do, but he gives so much to those he comes in contact with. My daughter’s a little different, but we wouldn’t have been the people we are today if she was “normal.” My mom slowly forgets the life she led, but my siblings and I cherish the times You’ve Given us with her, even when it’s so, so hard. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, God.
My house isn’t a palace, but it’s a roof over my head and walls to protect my family from the cold, snow, rain, wind, heat, and animals. I have electricity and running water, a refrigerator and stove. I’ve got a computer, a phone, a television. My job’s not the greatest, and maybe I sometimes need outside help, but my kids have got food in their bellies. Our clothes are second hand, but we have the raiment of Adam (aleyhi salatu wa salaam). I don’t have to beg, or resort to more desperate, illegal measures. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, Lord.
My spouse and I don’t always get along… but (s)he believes in You. (S)he is faithful — insha’Allah, that fitnah will not be ours. (S)he doesn’t abuse me — with fists or with words. (S)he does what (s)he can to help care for this family, and (s)he loves our children. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, Lord.
I’m not addicted to drugs. Or alcohol. Or gambling. Neither is my spouse. Our family doesn’t have to go through the pain, anger, and fitnah that accompany these afflictions. I’ve never had to deal with the guilt that comes from knowing I used the rent and food money on my addiction. Or perhaps I had these problems in the past, but I’ve overcome it. I realize that being Muslim doesn’t automatically make me safe from substance abuse, Lord, and I thank You for giving me the strength to avoid these things. Maybe one of my parents, siblings, or friends was an addict, and I know the hardships and heartbreak loved ones go through. I thank You, Lord, for letting me live through it.
I can eat bread. I can drink milk. I can have peanut butter. Or maybe I can’t. But in Your Wisdom and Mercy, Lord, You’ve allowed me to live in a time and place where these allergies can be detected, where I can get information, where I can find cookies without gluten in them, and have soynut butter sandwiches instead, where I can get quick emergency treatment for exposures to these foods. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, my Cherisher and Sustainer.
Life with my kids can be tough. But I was able to carry them to term and bear them safely. Or perhaps I wasn’t, Lord, but as hard as it is, I know by the promise of your Beloved, Sayiduna Muhammad (aleyhi salatu wa salaam) that my little forerunners will be waiting to grab the hems of our garments, and escort my spouse and I through the Gates to Your Garden when You so Will. Thank You, Lord, for giving me sabr at the first shock, and showing me the strength I never knew I had.
When my kids were born, nurses and doctors were on hand to evaluate them, and to make sure that I didn’t hemorrhage. You’ve Allowed me to live in a time and place where childbed fever has been virtually eliminated, where top level neonatal care is readily available. Thank You, Lord, for Allowing me to live in a place where maternal death rates are relatively low. Where birth control information is available, and I can choose the option of spacing out my pregnancies for health and other reasons. Thank You, Lord, for Allowing me to live in a place where infertility information and treatment is available. Alhamdulillah. Thank You, my Cherisher and Sustainer.
Things are really hard for me right now. My marriage isn’t working. My family isn’t on speaking terms. My kids are failing at school. I’m afraid I can’t make the bills this month. But I woke up this morning, and I have another day with the people I love. Another chance for taubah, another opportunity for things to change. Thank You, Lord, for letting my eyes open to see another sunrise, and for letting my heart and brain work long enough for me to see another sunset.
Things are hard, but You Gave me hedaya to Your Path, the Diyn You’ve Chosen for mankind. Alhamdulillah ‘ala ni’matul Islam. My life is hard now, but You’ve Shown me the Path that leads to Eternal Bliss. You’ve equipped me with the tools (2) that I need to get past this. Perhaps You Have Given me a murshid, someone wiser and more knowledgable than I am, to help me down this Path. You’ve Given me the facilities to understand Your Word, to be challenged and comforted by it. To understand that You Test us “by evil and by good by way of trial,” that I should be sure that You shall test me “with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits,” but that You Promise “glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” And I have surety and comfort in Your Promise that You will never burden me with more than I can bear. Truly, You Are my Cherisher and Sustainer, the Completely Compassionate, the Completely Merciful, the Loving.