PROPHET, SALLALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM, TEACHES WORLD TO THANK PEOPLE
It is fair to say that, like a lot of other good things in the world, we invented the practice of thanking people.
God Almighty in the Qur’an did and Prophet Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did through his teachings and practice. That is what I usually mean when I say “we” did.
A Hadith (statement or saying) of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam, puts it starkly: You cannot thank God unless you thank people.
Hadith: Man lam yashkurinnas, lam yashkurillah.
Paraphrase: If you don’t thank people, forget about thanking God.
Au kamaa qaala Rasulullahi, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
That is often what Muslims say when they are not 100 percent sure about the words of a certain Hadith.
Paraphrase: Or whatever were the exact words of Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
What the Hadith means – as if I have any inkling of what Allah’s Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, said or meant – is this: You want to thank God, start by thanking people.
What a wonderful way to build a better world, which is what Islam is all about: Building a Better World.
THE PASHA CHALLENGE: BRING IT ON!
That brings us to yet another Pasha challenge.
I am not saying it is not out there. I am not even saying you cannot do it. All I am saying is this: If you got something better, or if you can say it better than that Hadith does, then the Pasha Challenge to you is this: Bring It On!
Put it on the table and let us discuss it. Let us then learn from one another. Let the better man win, as they say, even though I consider myself the worst of all Muslims and all human beings.
Let truth prevail.
For, when truth wins, we all win. And when truth is buried under a debris of falsehood and make-believe, we all lose. The world comes out a loser.
So, Bring It On! and let us talk about it.
WHY THANK GOD AND ALSO HUMAN BEINGS?
Why should we thank God in the first place, you might ask.
What do you want me to say? Where do you want me to start? What about a lungful of air?
What about a millimeter or two of a capillary? How about a pore or two on your skin?
The sun, the moon, the earth, all have to be in position and in orbit so that we in this beautiful place of Trinidad and Tobago, or in a desert in Arabia, can take a simple breath of fresh air: inhale and/or exhale it.
We are indebted to God, and to a motley collection of human beings, for being who we are and for being where we are in our journey of life. That is why God Almighty and his Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, want us not to forget to thank people.
We are so much in debt, to God and to our fellow human beings, that we should be thanking God every second of the day. And also thanking our fellow humans at every opportunity we get.
That means we should be thanking everyone everywhere: the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, as they say – and everyone else. That is what Islam wants us to do.
Another miracle, if you want to call it that. Another proof that this Islam could only have come from God.
A MATHEMATICAL EQUATION FOR THANKING GOD
I don’t know if there is a mathematical equation for giving thanks to God. If there isn’t one, I submit the math wizards among us construct one. It would be nice to attach all kinds of weights to all kinds of things, as the statisticians would say.
As for as a simple country or village fellow like me is concerned, the matter is most simple: how can we walk this earth, or how can we look left or right, without giving thanks, knowing that someone was responsible for pulling us out of our mother’s womb; for washing our clothes; for cooking our meals; for taking us to school; and for educating us?
So, can we then come up with a formula please – a simple mathematical equation of some kind – for how many times we must give thanks?
To God and to people?
For, everything we have we seem to owe to God and to people – if we really and actually owe anything to anyone other than God. For, God is the Almighty who owns everything; controls everything; and does everything.
He in fact is the one to whom everyone owes everything, whereas he owes nothing to anyone. That by the way is the definition of God for you – in the Qur’an, if you will. If you ever wanted to know who God is, that is who God is.
Qura’an refers to that quality or attribute of God as As-Samad.
If we succeeded in evolving such an equation, we would be spending every second of our life doing nothing but thanking God and thanking people.
It will be a full-time job and we won’t have time or energy left to do anything else.
If we are serious, here is the question all of us should be asking: Do we have any other business in this world than thanking God Almighty, thanking people and thanking the rest of God’s creation?
So, when we thank them, we live; when we thank them, we grow; and when we thank them, we get a new lease on life, a new rationale for being.
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This Thanksgiving — And Every Other Thanksgiving!
Filled with Men and Women Without Character.