If a sighted person goes blind, and then recovers, he/she would eagerly become thankful and would regard it as a blessing. However, if one never goes blind and remains sighted, it rarely happens that he/she thanks God. This stems from the humans’ negligence. For that in this situation, gratefulness only depends upon loosing and regaining a blessing. However, being thankful for a blessing which is always at hand is more necessary.
The importance of being grateful is to an extent that the Holy Quran and the narrations regard it not only the factor in the durability of the blessings, but also the factor of their increase. For example Imam Jawad (PBUH) has said, “The increasing of the blessing does not stop, unless that thankfulness comes to a halt by the people.” (1)
Now that based on the advice of Imam Jawad (PBUH) gratefulness is important to such an extent, the question comes to mind that “how should we be attentive to this important matter?”
We can instill the positive trait of gratefulness with practicing some tips.
First, knowing Allah (SWT) and awareness and pondering in His evident, inner, general, and exclusive blessings.
Second, reminding to ourselves that the greatest longing of the dead is to be returned to the world for doing good deeds (2) in order to be exempted from the hardships of the afterworld, or their status gets elevated. Therefore by visiting the graveyards and thinking in this longing of the dead, we can become notified.
By being thankful for being alive, we can imagine ourselves as one of them whose wish has come true, and we are allowed to return to the world for doing good deeds, and that we have the opportunity to spend our time on matters that those who have passed away wish to return to the world for them.
Third, remembering some tough times that we had faced distresses and fatal diseases, and remember our deliverances. To be grateful for our life and other blessings, and thank God for them, and do not become saddened when things happen that are not in accordance with our wishes.
Fourth, in every distress and suffering thanking God that a bigger disaster specially the calamity in faith (which might cause our Faith to be stricken) has not stricken us.(3) That is why Prophet Jesus (PBUH) said, “O My Lord, do not put my calamity in my religion.”
Fifth, because some distresses are the results of some of our sins, when these distresses afflict us in the world we get exempted from the hardships of the afterworld, which is much harder according to the Holy Quran.(4) The Great Prophet (PBUH&HP) has said, “Truly, when a person sins and gets afflicted in the world, God is kind enough to punish him/her only once.” Therefore, we should thank God for the decrease in punishment.
If we are thankful for the blessings, and based on the saying of Imam Jawad (PBUH) have faith in gratefulness, by being grateful of the blessings of God, even in hard situation we would try to not only maintain the blessings, but also provide for their increase by being thankful.
(The above is selected from “Jami’ Al-Sa’adat” by Allamah Mulla Mahdi Naraqi translated to Farsi by Karim Feizi (with some changes))
The Roshd website offers congratulates all the Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the 10th of Rajab, the birthday anniversary of the 9th Imam and deputy of Allah and the eleventh Infallible, Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Jawad (PBUH).
1. Tuhaf al-Uqul, p. 457
2. The Holy Quran, (23:99, 100)
3. One might put his footsteps in a hard path, but eventually the path leads to a correct destination. However if a path whether easy or difficult is false and does not lead to the destination, the hardship is much higher. If one day we find that the path we have selected in the life and the beliefs we have held, has not guided us to the correct destination, and even has made us far from it, is the bitterness of the feeling of this state comparable to any other thing?
4. The Holy Quran, (13:34)