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In the city where I live, there would be a regular blackout every once in a while. Not too often, probably once every two months. The blackout doesn’t last too long, just for several hours, but then we always prepare for it every time we receive the blackout schedule news. We charge our phones and laptops, re-schedule our laundry time, prepare some candles if the blackouts happen at night, and some other things to make ourselves comfortable during the blackout.
However, sometimes we don’t receive the blackout news on time so we don’t prepare for the blackout properly. And it’s the time where I would go to my twitter account to contact the national electricity company asking about the blackout info while praying hard my handphone or laptop battery still last long. It’s the time where I supplicate sincerely for electricity. Yes, electricity. A blessing some of us only realized when a blackout occurs.
Electricity is basically an everyday need for most people, it’s relatively accessible in most advanced areas. While we pay for the electricity bills every month, in this modern era it is not a kind of luxury anymore. From our phones, lamps, to washing machines, so many things in our life depend on electricity. It transforms our lives to be easier, but then how many of us realize this blessing on a daily basis?
There are innumerable blessings which Allah bestow to us, every single day, most of the times without we even asking. A healthy body, fresh air, clean water, foods, drinks, safe home, electricity, access to the internet and so many things. These things are just the physical things, there are also social and psychological blessings we have such as loving parents, great spouse, kind friends, etc.
If we look at the first physical blessing only, a healthy body, there are so many blessings which comprised a healthy body: healthy respiratory system, healthy digestive system, healthy limbs, healthy skin, etc. If Allah willed to remove one of the blessings in our body, let’s just say, the removal of a healthy digestive system by having one sprue in our mouth (mouth ulcer). Just one sprue would make it hard for us to eat, a single removal of blessing could make our life feel very different and uncomfortable.
It is time for us to appreciate the everyday blessings we have. Gratitude is not only for big things like a new car, a raise in salary, or an exotic holiday trip. We need to open our eyes and heart to realize the many blessings we have right now.
Mihsan al-Ansari reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “When someone is secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as if he owned the entire world.” (Bukhari, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad/300)
The hadith above is so profound and deep. It encourages us to be focused on the ‘now’ and be content with our everyday blessings. Sometimes our mind is too focused on our memories from the past or our projections for the future. These thoughts could prevent us to really enjoy and appreciate what’s happening right now.
As humans, it’s natural for us to aspire for the bigger and better things. Not just in the material possessions, but also in terms of our academic field, work, or social life. And it’s not wrong, our desire for this betterment is exactly what we need to achieve success in this life and hereafter. But do not forget to be grateful for what we have right now.
Maybe we haven’t achieved our school or work target. Or we haven’t been able to purchase our dream car yet. Or we’re still trying to reconcile our relationship with an old friend. Some things are still in progress, it takes effort, time, and du’aa. But in the meanwhile, realize that there are so many things which have worked out perfectly right in this very second. Do not wait for our dreams to become reality before we practice gratitude. Say it right now:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى بِنِعْمَتِهِ تَتِمُّ الصَّالِحَاتُ
Alhamdulillahillathi bi ni’matihi tatimmus salihaat
“All praise and thanks are only for Allah, the One who, by His blessing and favor, perfected goodness/good works are accomplished.”
The Legacy of the Prophet by Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali