Shukr and Sabr

“Failure to do shukr in the majority of the time, removes the ability to do sabr in the minority of the time” ~ Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed

For the most part, we are in a state of shukr (gratitude to Allah Ta’aala). Each and every such moment is a GIFT from Allah Ta’aala and an opportunity for us to do shukr. For example: you slept indoors, in a warm bed, woke up in the morning, had breakfast, dressed yourself, walked, drove, talked, worked, laughed… each and every single instance was a gift and an opportunity to do shukr… “alhamdulillah for the house” “alhamdulillah for the warm bed” “alhamdulillah for another day” “alhamdulillah for the breakfast” “alhamdulillah for the clothes” “alhamdulillah…. alhamdulillah…. alhamdulillah…” For a human being who went from being completely naked and vulnerable as a baby – lacking in every material way, lacking in communication and motor skills,  lacking everything we need to survive on our own – to one who is sleeping in a warm house, belly full, fully clothed… how? All thanks to Allah Ta’aala! Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah…

We neglect shukr because we are too busy comparing ourselves to those who we feel are in a better state than us in this world. We look to Joe with the job of his dreams, and Jane with the brand new house… and think about what we don’t have. Instead, we should look to refugee Abdul stuck in a tent in the cold of winter, and Aisha who is so happy to have found a stale piece of bread on the sidewalk and be grateful for the gifts we do have.

If we can be steadfast and truly feel shukr during the good times (and if we think about it, we have more good times than bad), then it will be easier for us to have sabr (patience, fortitude, perseverance, endurance, steadfastness) in bad times. Instead, if we don’t do shukr in the good times, we find that when the bad times come upon us, we aren’t able to do sabr – we fall into anxiety and depression instead.

(Source: personal notes from Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed’s one day course on How to Be a True Muslim – the Way of the Siddiqeen – January 26, 2013)