Fast approaching is a very important American tradition and holiday – “Thanksgiving”.
Without going into much of its historical background and details, I must say that we always need to be thankful and grateful for the bounties that God, the Almighty has Graciously bestowed on us.
We must also be thankful to our governments who give us this day as a holiday, an opportunity to engage and enjoy ourselves.
Now I would like to mention a few ways that we can celebrate Thanksgiving which will be more meaningful to all. By doing this we will also please the Almighty.
God says in the Holy Quran:
“Aye! Worship God and be among the thankful”, Ch: 39 Vs. 67
It means that God has given us an opportunity to worship Him on this Thanksgiving holiday, more than ever, because other days we think we are too busy and don’t find time to go to places of worship which is certainly a way to thank Him for all that He has provided us. For this, we can go to Mosque, Church, Synagogue or Temple which ever house of worship we choose.
On one hand, Islamic teachings remind us to worship and be thankful to God, on the other, it also reminds us to fulfill our obligations towards our fellow human beings. This can be accomplished in various ways during this particular time of Thanksgiving: One such avenue available to us is to visit the poor, needy and the less fortunate in our society. We can help them in many ways that we might consider small but may turn out to have a huge impact on them and the society on the whole. We all have something to offer may it be material or not. Consider this, in Islamic teachings, if we are unable to afford anything, simply saying a kind word with a smile, counts as an act of charity, which doesn’t cost us anything at all.
Another way we can fulfill this obligation is by visiting the sick in the hospitals or at their homes. This small gesture certainly has a tremendous impact on the sick people who may have not been visited by loved ones or anyone else in a long time. This simple act of kindness makes them included in this happy occasion of the Thanksgiving. This will certainly bring a smile on their face and make their day. The inner pleasure and happiness we can get from this is immeasurable.We can also visit the graveyards and pray for our loved ones who have passed away.
We should also try our best to feed the hungry and the poor, during this time of Thanksgiving. Believe me you will experience real joy by helping others on this day. Likewise we traditionally cook turkey and many other foods on this day. If we can provide the less fortunate with this thanksgiving meal, it would be source of pleasure and blessings for us.
If we cannot afford any material charity, one could always volunteer at their local food bank or soup kitchen.
I would like to quote one of the saying of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), he says:
“God has given people two favors/bounties that they don’t appreciate, one is the good health and the other leisure time”.
For all of us to whom God has given health and leisure time during this thanksgiving holiday, let us utilize it as an opportunity to fulfill the rights of God by worshiping Him and Rights of people by serving them. We can get true, meaningful and lasting pleasure by fulfilling our obligations towards God and fellow human beings. This kind of pleasure will certainly be far superior than simply eating turkey ourselves and sitting in front of the TV as most of us usually do!
We can’t do any of this by ourselves if God’s help is not with us. This is the very reason Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) has taught us to pray “Oh My Lord, help me so that I can remember you, I can be thankful to you and I can worship you in a proper and better manner” This is how we should celebrate our Thanksgiving.
God bless All.
Contact Imam Shamshad Nasir
1730 W. Auburn Rd
Rochester Hills MI 48309
Call Office: 248 293 0072 | Mobile: 909-636-8332
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