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How being grateful and positive in the time of crisis can help you through : A promise from the Quran

While studying the story about the Prophet Moosa (May Allah be pleased with him) in our weekly halqa, I came across a beautiful lesson from the Quran giving timeless advice on being positive in the time of crisis.

The ustadh in the video I watched explained that as human beings, when we are in a difficult situation, we tend to focus on the problem. What we learn from this story that when faced with a testing scenario, if we want relief and a turnaround of things, we should stop thinking of the problem and focus on what would make us grateful to Allah. 

In the story of the Prophet Moosa (May Allah be pleased with him), he led his people who were tortured and humiliated in their homeland to escape through the split water. Whilst they were now safe from Pharaoh, on the other side, they were all alone in the burning desert- they've left their home behind and now have to face a new path and set up a new life with nothing at all. Moosa (May Allah be pleased with him), gives them a speech about how to best to deal with this crisis they were in at that time. From the Quran (14:6):

And [recall, O Children of Israel], when Moses said to his people, "Remember the favor of Allah upon you when He saved you from the people of Pharaoh, who were afflicting you with the worst torment and were slaughtering your [newborn] sons and keeping your females alive. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.

He begins by advising them not to be patient - but  to be grateful.  When you're in a crisis, all you see is the problem in front of you. Its hard to see how in the middle of a life/death situation there is any good, right? Yet Moosa (may Allah be pleased with him), reminded his people and us - that a way of being  grateful is to at least reflect on the bad things you have been saved from. 

This will shift you to a positive mindset. And where does this positivity take you? In the ayah below, we are given the promise from Allah:  "If you are grateful, I will increase you. Holy Quran (14:7)

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe'
Furthermore, how much and what exactly is being increased is not defined. As when we are in a rough, dire situation we need all kinds of help and Allah recognises this by keeping it completely opened and limitless - Subhanallah!

In the context of the pandemic this is extremely relevant. We may find it hard day to day to see the good in the  lockdown restrictions and impact on our lives - however there is always room for us to be grateful to Allah for what we could be facing. Many of us have not had to suffer through the virus, we had a lockdown in luxury, or some of us who did get sick experienced it mildly or fully recovered. If we reflect with an open mind, there is always so much to be grateful for what we have been saved from.

Oh and by the way, even if you're not appreciative and choose to complain, it takes away nothing from Allah - you only harm yourself. As is captured in this verse (Quran 14:8): 
And Moses said, 'If you should disbelieve, you and whoever is on the earth entirely - indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy'.

Lesson: Get over yourself. You're not doing it for Allah. You're doing it for yourself.

So in summary, how can being grateful and positive in the time of crisis help you ?
Allah promises in an undefined, open ended guarantee that He will "increase us". All we have to do is show one little speck of gratitude and Allah will take care of the rest. How do we do this?
1. Switch from focusing on the problem to being grateful even in the situation you're in.
2. If you cant find the good in your situation, then at least be grateful to Allah for what you have been saved from.

This also made me realise that you can't be grateful and complain at the same time. Go on, try it!
So every minute we spend complaining, is taking us away from drawing in good to change our situation. So really it's in our hands - do we choose to go down the path of being negative and moan OR the path of being positive and grateful to Allah in order to attract more good in?  

Perhaps I'll add this to the things I want to do to do better in 2021 i.e simply complain less! It's a practical way to show gratitude as well in every situation or moment.

Being grateful, one less complaint at a time,


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