Discourse 19: Showing Thanks For The Divine Blessings
عَنِ الصَّادِقِ مَكْتُوبٌ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ: لاَزَوَالَ لِلْنَعَمَآءِ إِذَا شُكِرَتْ وَلاَ بَقَآءِ لَـهَا إِذَا كُفِرَتْ.
It has been narrated from [Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad] as-Sadiq (as) that, “It has been written in the Tawrah [Thus, in reality this is what is known as a hadith-e-Qudsi] that, 'There is no end to the Divine blessings if thanks are given (for that blessing) and there is no longevity for it (that blessing) if ingratitude is shown (to it).'”1
Many of the Divine bounties that a person has at his disposal actually go from hand to hand through a complex series of intermediaries and agents until it reaches the person. Therefore, in reality, we only see the outcome of all of these agents and what part of the Divine plan they are responsible for!
For example, the shirt which a person wears is a blessing from the many (combined) blessings of Allah (SwT). Many people and various items have been put together so that this blessing would reach the person. There is a person who plows the land and grows the cotton; another harvests the cotton; a factory processes the cotton and makes thread and yarn from it; yet another factory takes the thread and makes the cloth; others extract iron from the ground and make the machinery needed to make the shirt and…
Thus, there are thousands and thousands of people who were responsible for making one shirt! In addition to this, there is also the knowledge and experience which has gone in to making all of these factories which has come about through thousands of years of human trial and experiment.
The Theological Seminaries (hawzatul ‘Ilmiyyah) which the Muslims have access to is also the result of the struggles of countless people. Many people became martyrs (Shahid) so that this blessing would reach us. If we were to sit and calculate the time it took those who laid the foundation stones for the hawzah and the great scholars who went through great difficulties to expand and develop the hawzah to where it is today, we would see that it is the outcome of more than a thousand years of hard work!
If we think upon this issue mentioned, then the inner feeling of showing thanks would definitely be stimulated within us and we will arrive to the station of being able to thank Him. At the same time, we also ask Allah (SwT) for the Divine success to be conferred upon us. However it must be noted that the preliminary steps to achieving Divinely granted success are in our hands.
Showing thanks is not merely a verbal declaration - rather we must show thanks through our actions and the way to do this is to use the bounties given to us in the correct way.
Throughout history, we see people who were not thankful for the blessings which they were given and ended up wasting away their life. In the end, the Divinely granted blessings was taken away from them and they were plagued with problems, not being able to reach to any station in life.
Therefore, we must show thanks for the Divine blessings such that we can be considered as soldiers of Imam al-Zaman (as) and be defenders of Islam!
- 1. al-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 94