Written on 5th October 2011, at 0050hrs.

 

People behave differently when they eat in a restaurant.

Some eat quietly without comments.

Some curse the cook.

 

As Muslims, we’re taught not to talk badly about food.

We’re taught to be thankful for everything that has been given and served to us.

We’re not supposed to curse or swear.

 

The other day I was having lunch with a 10 year-old child and she complained and complained and complained about her food. She said it’s not what she wanted. She wanted this sauce and the staff put another type of sauce on her sandwich. So she didn’t want to eat.

 

I really wanted to smack her. I really was tempted to. Maybe if she’s my own sister, I would have done so.

But all I said was, “just shut up and eat it. It’s your rizq.”

 

It made me think, though.

 

It’s bad to frown at food. Or at anything that’s been given to us, actually. But in her case, it’s true, the staff should have put the sauce that she asked for, not anything else. It’s HIS responsibility as a worker in that restaurant.

 

Perhaps what should have been done is finish the food, and tell the staff later that he has made a mistake. It’s ok this time around but try no to do that again.

I mean, the restaurant was very busy and it would be easier to finish the already-prepared food, rather than to kick a fuss and stand there, wait in line, just to change the sauce to the correct one. By the time we get the correct sauce, we wouldn’t have the appetite anymore.

 

It’s easier to be nice, really.

 

Which brings me to another thought.

What is the difference between being thankful, and wanting progress?

Does being thankful mean we don’t progress?

Does working for progress mean we’re not thankful?

 

I guess the same goes for anything in life. Imagine, I work as a doctor and my income is this much.

Am I thankful that I could earn this much?

Should I be working for more money?

 

Imagine, we have such and such drugs in the government hospitals, but we don’t have so and so drugs, because we can’t afford it.

Should we be thankful with what we already have?

And by being thankful, do we not want to get the ones that we don’t have?

 

As Muslims, we should strive for both.

It’s quite simple, really.

 

Allah loves those who are thankful to Him.

We believe that He has decided the amount of sustenance that we’re going to get our whole life.

We also believe that we will get them, it’s just a matter of how we get it.

We believe that being thankful will increase the blessings in our rizq, our sustenance.

Blessings means happiness.

 

At the same time, we are told to work. Work hard.

We are told to earn, to spend, on His way.

We have responsibilities; to our parents, children, spouses, our society too.

Allah SWT loves people who give a lot to the community. In this day and age, rich people could do that. They have the means to do it.

 

Being thankful and wanting progress aren’t really two separate things.

Let’s see…I’ll give you my situation.

I’m a doctor.

I should be thankful that Allah has given me the chance to study, to learn, to practice.

He has given me the strength, the health and the brains to do it.

Being thankful does not only mean saying alhamdulillah many times.

It means we need to use His gifts for the good of ourselves and other people.

 

That’s where progress comes into place.

If I’m thankful for my brains, I should study more so that I could work better, and teach others too.

If I’m thankful for my health and strength, I should work harder and help more people.

 

Being thankful doesn’t mean we stay at the same level.

In fact, staying at the same level probably means we’re not using what we’re blessed with.

 

Being thankful serves to make us happier people.

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