By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, TMO
When you do kind actions for other people, do you do it so they will be pleased and appreciative? If you think a person would like a gift from you, do you rush to buy it in hopes you will see them happy and they will be grateful? If you do you are a good and generous person and I pray ALLAH will reward you immensely.
But on the other hand, you may be setting yourself up to be hurt and disappointed by the response you may get. If the person is not as responsive as you think they should be, does that make you feel unappreciated? This is not unusual because we as human beings naturally want to have our good actions to others recognized with acknowledgement and gratitude.
But there is a way to be certain of feeling wanted, needed, and appreciated by everyone. And that is to do everything with the thought in mind of pleasing ALLAH. You see, when you think and act fi sabillilah, the admiration of mankind is secondary. When you consciously strive to please ALLAH first, then the human recipient of your goodness should be happy too. If not, it is no matter because they are simply the fringe benefit of your desire to please ALLAH.
This is also true, and especially important if you are being wronged by someone. It might be your husband or wife who belittles you or abuses you. If you go about trying to do things to please them so they will learn to love you or treat you better, youâ€™re going about it in the wrong way. It will probably be worse and have an adverse effect because they will feel they have all the power over you, and will continue being mean.
But if you treat them as a human being, FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH, it doesnâ€™t matter if they appreciate it or not. I have seen people, women especially, try extra hard to win a manâ€˜s affection only to have it backfire. After a time they end up in my office frustrated because their offers are rejected.
Men, as well, will attempt to throw lavish gifts on women in an attempt to win their affections. Sometimes it worksâ€¦and sometimes it doesnâ€™t. You might be giving too much, whereas if you did it with the intention to please ALLAH, it will be just right.
ALLAH made us all equal human beings, both men and women. And the only superiority of one person over another is directly related to the amount of God-consciousness he or she possesses in their heart. So if you approach everybody and everything with the expressed intention of pleasing ALLAH, you are instantly elevated above those who do not. And if they donâ€™t appreciate your benevolence, it wonâ€™t matter. It wasnâ€™t for them anywayâ€¦it was for ALLAH.
So the next time you think of doing something good to anybody, for any reason, think of ALLAH first. Ask yourself if this action would be pleasing to ALLAH, and if the answer is yes, then go to it. You will be happier and give yourself less chance to be hurt. Isnâ€™t ALLAH wonderful?
As Salaam alaikum
(Al Hajj) Imam Abdullah El-Amin