We often become thankless to our Creator even though His favours abound. Even a very partial list of these favours would outdo a loss or deprivation we may be experiencing. It is just a question of opening our eyes to the world around us. We need to look at the shimmering sun whose warmth is so vital for life, the glittering stars which light up the heavens to show us the way, the towering mountains which maintain the balance of this earth, the rain which enlivens desolate terrains; the bustling day which dawns to herald new opportunities in life, the serene night which alights to provide us with peaceful slumber, and still closer … the selfless mother who is an embodiment of affection for her children, the tireless father who sweats for the family and dutiful children who are a bliss for their parents … and the list is unending!

And if this is not enough, we need to think of the mishaps we have been shielded from; tales of sorrow and sadness are writ large in our surroundings: every now and then we hear of a young lady becoming a widow, a child being born handicapped, robbers looting the dowry of a poor girl, a sole bread runner of a family being murdered on a trivial issue … and the list is unending!

Our souls should thus be drenched with gratitude and return favours we must in whatever form we can: remembering God in solitude to thank Him for His blessings, being kind to parents for love which is matchless and which cannot be repaid, spending on the indigent who are too shy to ask, bearing ourselves with humility which is not pretentious, controlling anger over the subservient who are too weak to speak out and … and … and even meeting others with a smiling face … and, of course, the list is unending!

(Dr Shehzad Saleem)