This post is the second part of the series ‘Musings For The Ardent Soul’ in which I aim to radiate benevolence via these documentations.
She opens her wardrobe. An array of outfits stares at her in the face. After a halfhearted glance, she slams the door shut and *dramatically* flips herself onto the bed. “I have nothing to wear,” she whines.
Depicted above is a scenario which used to take place every day in my life.
As human beings, we often get scooped up in the winged lane and fall short to express gratitude. Rather, we direct our energy towards finding out what we lack, failing to realize that we attract what we focus on. Thus, the more we focus on scarcity, the more we tend to attract it.
Most of us associate gratitude with a mere “Thank You” or an “Alhamdulillah,” although from a psychological perspective, gratitude is not just words. Gratitude is an emotion, or a virtue which is linked with affirming the goodness that surrounds us, and our ability to return the kindness in the form of appreciation. This is considered as a core component of many religions, and the cultivation of gratitude in our hearts is not only the essence of Islam, but it is also the key to attracting serenity to one’s life. Islam is, after all, simply an expression of gratitude.
In a verse in Surah Al-Imran, Allah سبحانه و تعالى says: “If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him, and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve us with) gratitude.”
Yet, from time to time, it is okay to feel jaded as you may be unable to launch sentiments of gratefulness, especially when you are going through hardships. “Gratitude happens in quiet moments and pauses, not when you have a giant to-do list and you are racing around,” said Robin Berman. Hence, do not make ‘feeling grateful’ a chore, but start your tuning today by the simple acts of jotting down the things for which you are grateful for, focusing on your exquisite and unique beauty rather than just measuring the diameter of every pimple, seeking the positive out of every negative and by pondering over at least three lessons you learnt from the most recent painful encounter life threw at you. And most importantly, cultivate appreciation for your loved ones and let them know that you are grateful for their presence in your life.
When we start practicing the act of expressing gratitude daily, it will somewhat lessen the magnitude of our hardships as a greater part of our attention would be shifted to the blessings we have, rather than concentrating on what is beyond our reach, yet. Moreover, studies have shown that maintaining a gratitude journal in which you dutifully jot down what you are grateful for increases your happiness, and allows clarity into your day. In my gratitude journal, the first entry of appreciation I pen every day is giving thanks to Allah سبحانه و تعالى for blessing me to wake up right before dawn, and how my night merged into another day.
Our Prophet ﷺ had a routine of spending prolonged hours in meditation and prayer. Once, his wife Aa’ishah (RA) asked him, “Messenger of God, surely any mistakes you may have made are forgiven, as are any you may make, so why do you stand in prayer so much?” As a response, he simply smiled and replied, “Shall I not be a grateful servant?”
It is well known fact that prayer, one of the pillars of Islam, is incomplete without the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah. It begins with expressing our gratitude to the Creator and Cherisher of the world of being, and His endless bounties which surround us. In doing so, we acknowledge the existence of His providence, and declare our servitude to Him.
A Sufi Saint, Rabia al-Adawiya, was well known for her selflessness in committing herself to God. Her level of gratitude was illustrated in one of her most eminent poems in which she states that above all else, she worships The Almighty purely for the Beauty and Grace of His Divine Being.
“O God! If I worship You in fear of Hellfire, burn me in it. And if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from it. Yet, if I worship You purely for Your Being, do not withhold from me Your Eternal Beauty.” – Rabia al-Adawiya
I came across a quote by Einstein which said, “The most important question a person can ask is, ‘Is the Universe a friendly place?’”
Research has shown by observing the act of positive thinking, the signals we emit will attract signals of the same frequency, and vice versa. According to the concept of the Law of Attraction in Islam, Prophet ﷺ said, “Allah سبحانه و تعالى says: I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am.” Moreover, it is emphasized that it is indeed our individual choices which determines our ultimate destination and experience. Based upon the teachings of the Prophet ﷺ, this path of personal development is known as al-Tariqah, Tazkiyyat an-Nafs, or Purification of the Self. In order to put this into practice, we need to understand the significance of our beliefs and thoughts in shaping the bounty, energy and providence we attract.
“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour.” – Surah Ibrahim
Your attitude equals your altitude. A negative attitude originating from a problematic paradigm will allow the self defeating thoughts to emit all sorts of negative energy, and the mind may end up becoming a black hole of despair. Considering all this, if you want to attract more signals of what you desire to experience, then why not be more conscious of your thoughts? Once thus purified, you will slowly overcome the gravity of the ego self, and familiarize with the buoyancy and the grace of life Allah سبحانه و تعالى has bestowed upon us.
الحَمْد لله ♡