Thanksgiving: The Islamic Way

Source: Germantown Patch

Thanksgiving: The Islamic Way

On Thursday as Americans all over the country come together to celebrate the most awaited annual holiday, many might be thinking how can people be thankful when they have lost their loved ones? How can one be thankful when they have lost their homes and precious belongings from hurricanes, or wildfires, or terrorist attacks? As I prepare for a Thanksgiving meal at my house I too am pondering these questions. But, as a Muslim, I know the answer.

Though Thanksgiving in the US and Canada is an annual celebration, Islam explicitly teaches that thanking God is not only a daily affair but rather it is something a Muslim does throughout his waking moments. The Qur’an, which is a book of complete guidance for how to live on this earth while preparing for the next life, tells us, “…God brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing, and gave you ears and eyes and hearts, that you might be grateful” (16:79). It is just our simple existence which compels us to be thankful to the One who gave us the gift of life. This is the reason why Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was ever mindful of being grateful to his Creator. Once when his wife Ayesha (may God be pleased with her) saw him standing in Prayer for a very long time she asked him, “God’s Messenger, you do this (in spite of the fact) that your earlier and later sins have been forgiven?” To this the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant of God?” But gratitude is not just limited to God. In another saying, the Prophet said, “One who is not grateful to others is not grateful to God.” How many times have we thanked the person even if they show a simple gesture of holding the door for us? It doesn’t take much effort to say, “Thank you”. Yet, some don’t care to utter these two simple words.

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