By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS
â€œIt is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affections â€“ that you may give thanks (to ALLAH).â€
This season of Thanksgiving gives us another opportunity to show our Creator just how appreciative we are of the generous blessings He bestows on us.
The Thanksgiving holiday stirs up many different feelings in people. Native Americans (whom Christopher Columbus called Indians because when he â€œdiscoveredâ€ America, he thought he was in India) might look upon this day as a negative representation of how their land was taken from them with tricks and lies. Some African-Americans, still reeling from centuries of mistreatment from people who tout â€œourâ€ freedom as the greatest thing about this country, speak against it and donâ€™t celebrate it. And some Muslims mistakenly think Thanksgiving is a Christian religious holiday and therefore haram for Muslims.
Some of these are valid points, but I think it behooves us to focus on the positive meaning of the word Thanksgiving and apply it to the beneficence of our Lord.
Every since the creation of Father Adam, when Almighty ALLAH gave us dominion over the creation, He has been revealing the magnificence of the Seen and the Unseen of this magnificent world.
As the above ayat points out, we had nothing, before ALLAH, in His infinite Mercy, gave us life from the womb. But He didnâ€™t stop there. He didnâ€™t just create man and leave him be. He created man and gave him guidance, intelligence, and put love in his heart â€“ so that man can be grateful and show that gratitude in the best manner, which is utilizing those gifts for His service.
ALLAH gives us a parable in Qurâ€™an that
He says, â€œIf all the trees were mad into pens, and all the seas were made into ink â€“ with seven more seas to add to it â€“ and you started to write down the words of ALLAH, you would use all those trees and all the ink and you still would not exhaust the Words of ALLAH.â€
This gives us much more to be thankful for than we can even imagine because everything ALLAH permits is a positive for us IF we reflect on it with a positive attitude.
So let us keep our sights on and focus on He who gives us all. Letâ€™s make this Thanksgiving the best we have seen by focusing all our attention and giving all our gratitude to Almighty God.
ALLAH will bless us immensely for recognizing His gifts and then being thankful for them. It is said of gratitude, â€œas for those who only pay lip-service to gratitude, and do not give thanks with the rest of their faculties, they are like a man who has a garment and all he does with it is touch it, but he does not put it on: it will never protect him from heat, cold, snow, or rain. Let us wear our â€œgarmentâ€.
And He further says, â€œIf you be grateful, I will give you more.â€
As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin