I apologise for my extended absense, I have had a lot going on recently. I having also been feeling at a bit of a loss these past few months; life has a habit of turning on you quite suddenly, when you least expect it. I have found that when things happen, they happen all at once, like a domino effect. That's life I guess.
Anyway, I thought I would return with a book recommendation. I started reading this book recently and so far it is THE best book I have ever read. I'm sure a lot of you have heard of it already - "Don't Be Sad" by Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni, yes not the most imaginative of titles but that is because the translation into Arabic (which this book was originally written in) sounds much better.
Even in the English translation the book is extremely readable, eloquent and meaningful. I highly recommend it to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, whether or not you are going through a difficult time in your life.
I have not yet completed the book but there is one part that has really stuck in my mind which I would like to share with you. It is about why you should never expect gratitude from people to whom you have done something good. Here is the extract:
"Allah, the Almighty, created His slaves so that they may worship and remember Him, and He provided sustenance for them so that they may be grateful to Him. Nevertheless, many have worshipped other than Him and the masses are thankful not to Him, but to others, because the characteristic of ingratitude is widespread among human beings. So do not be dismayed when you find that others forget your favours or disregard your kind acts. Some people might even despise you and make you an enemy for no other reason than that you have shown them kindness.
And they could not find any cause to bear a grudge, except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His Bounty.
From among the ever-repeating pages of history is a story of a father and his son: the former raised him, fed him, clothed him and taught him; he would stay up nights so that his son could sleep, stay hungry so that his son could eat, and he would toil so that his son could feel comfort. And when the son became older and stronger, he rewarded his father with disobedience, disrespect, and contempt.
So be at peace if you are requited with ungratefulness for the good you have done. Rejoice in your knowledge that you will be rewarded from the One who has unlimited treasures at His disposal.
This is not to say that you should refrain from performing acts of kindness towards others: the point is that you should be mentally prepared for ingratitude.
Perform acts of charity seeking Allah's pleasure, because with this attitude you will assuredly be successful. The ungrateful person cannot really harm you: praise Allah that that person is the transgressor and that you are the obedient servant. Also, remember that the hand that gives is better than the hand that receives.
(We feed you seeking Allah's Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.)
Many people are shocked at the nature of ingratitude in others, as though they had never come across this verse and others like it:
And when harm touches man, he invokes us, lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when we have removed his harm from him, he passes on his way as K he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him.
Hence do not be in a state of agitation if you give someone a pen as a gift and he uses it to satirise you, or if you give someone a walking stick to lean upon and he strikes you with it. As I pointed out earlier, most human beings are ungrateful to their Lord, so what treatment should you and I expect?"
You can buy this book new from Amazon for around £15 or you can download it for free from many different websites like www.kalamullah.com/books.html.
If you choose to read it I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have and that you find comfort in it's message.