What is true gratitude, and how can it make a difference in our lives? In this segment, Ustadh Amjad Tarsin explains how having gratitude can positively affect our lives.
It’s important for us to understand gratitude and cultivate it into our hearts, so that we can draw closer to Allah. Imam al-Haddad said that one the main kinds of reflection that we should do, is to reflect on Allah’s blessings, and its fruit is love of Allah. Therefore, gratitude is a direct route to drawing closer to Allah.
With a lot of focus on mental health today, many psychologists are trying to see how gratitude can help us. A psychiatrist told Ustadh Amjad that most of mental illness today is a reaction to the toxicity in the world today, not a sickness.
As Muslims we have a responsibility, first to rectify our own states with Allah, and then to help others in need. Many people are searching for what we Muslims have already been taught by our Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace.
Benefits of Gratitude
One of the many benefits of gratitude, is stronger relationships. One of the largest indicators of happiness is the quality of relationships; family, friends, etc. The Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever does not thank people, has not thanked Allah.”
Grateful people are also known to have better physical and mental health. Studies have shown that grateful people had fewer aches and pains, and felt happier, had less depression and aggression, and more empathy. In fact, the Applied Psychology reported in 2012 that writing in a gratitude journal improved the quality of sleep.
A Deep Connection
More than ever, what we really need is a deep connection to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. As people, we need someone to help us make sense of everything. The world is confusing and challenging, and we need someone to trust. Sometimes we give people more trust than they deserve, and get hurt when they break our trust. But if we connect to the Prophet, he will never disappoint us. He is above and beyond any life coach, mentor or adviser. His advice will always be the best, as “His character was the Qur’an.” Connecting to him will give us the strength and meaning to continue.
Having gratitude can also lead to an increase and a protecting from deprivation. Allah says, “If you are grateful for my blessings, I will grant you increase.” (Surah Ibrahim 14.7) The scholar Habib Abu Bakr bin Salim, who used to give away a thousand loaves of bread every day in charity, was once presented with a small gift of wheat. He profusely thanked the woman who had brought it, then said, “Those who are not grateful for small things, are deprived of big things.”