Allah (S.W.T) in this verse, which is verse number 18 in Surat Al-Nahl, tells us that if you enumerate Allah’s grace and bounties, Allah’s blessings, you will not be able to count them. All of us are immersed in the bounties that Allah (S.W.T) fills every corner of our life. Allah enabled us to have a brain by which we can analyse and weigh things, comprehend and try to deal logically with issues in front of us. Allah provided us with the ability to see, and this sight is one of the great bounties of Allah. We are able to enjoy looking at the pleasing sights, everything which brings joy to our souls, by looking at them. The ability to hear, the ability to comprehend, the ability to function, the ability to learn and go higher and higher up the ladder of education, business and every aspect of life.
So, if we try to enumerate or only spend time in mentioning Allah’s bounties and grace, try to thank Him for those as we read in another verse that (لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ), when you appreciate and show gratitude to those bounties of Allah (S.W.T). Allah will increase them, will top up what He has awarded and has given you.
Let’s talk today about the bounties that Allah bestows upon us. First of all, He in another verse, Surat Loqman, in Aya number 20 says (وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً). Allah tells us here that He has bestowed upon us the blessings both those who are outward and inward, external and internal. You course, the ability to enjoy the life, to function, to use whatever Allah provided us with. In having a better life, in advancing our situation, whether it is business or education or any manufacturing. So, all these are part of blessings of Allah. But these are outwardly rewards, or the bounties from Allah. What are the inwardly rewards or the bounties from Allah? First of all, to be guided to the right path. We did not decide to be in the path of Ahlulbayt (A.S). We did not choose to be members of the Muslim community. Because most of us, we are born into families who were Muslims and from them we inherited and got this type of belief and the path in life. When we love Ahlulbayt (A.S), the progeny of the Prophet (S.A.W.W), and we consider ourselves as followers of Ahlulbayt, and we say (الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلَا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ) We praise Allah that he guided us to this right path. Of course, it is a bounty and grace of Allah that granted us this ability and comprehension.
Brothers and sisters let us remember that on 18th of Thil Hijja, and Eid Al-Ghadeer, when the Prophet (S.A.W.W) managed to take the allegiance from all those who were around him, about the divine authority of Imam Ali (A.S) and after he prayed to Allah, “Oh, Allah help those who help him, and don’t make those who act as enemies successful in their missions”. When the Prophet managed to do this allegiance with Imam Ali (A.S) Jibrael came down to bring this revelation from Allah, that “today I completed the religion for you, and I made my bounties and grace complete and perfect for you”. So here it is not outwardly grace or bounty, it is inwardly. It is something in your spirit, in your soul, and your characteristics, and your psyche. This is the belief this is to recognise the path of guidance and you act upon it. So, we have to thank Allah for this grace only. So, when we read (وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً), so there are bounties that in every minute we are in need of them. Brothers and sisters, if you have sharp memory, if you have good ability to learn, if you have good brain to create or introduce something new to science, if you are brilliant in all these achievements, it is not you. The believer says that this is the grace of Allah that honoured me to be in this way, to have a good memory, to be ready to invent things which other people never had any idea about them and the same applies to business. If you are successful in your business, whatever you sell, or whatever product you offer to the market is agreed and people love it and buy it and advise everybody to buy it from you, don’t think that this is because your clever enough to gain that publicity. Again, it is a bounty and grace from Allah.
Look, when you pray you are standing you bow down for Ruku, prostrate for Sujood, what you say? You say (بحول الله وقوّته أقوم وأقعد). It is by Allah’s power, Allah’s granting me this ability to stand up, to sit down and to function. So again, I have to thank Allah for that.
We read in Aya number 35 of Surat Al-Nahl (وَمَا بِكُم مِّن نِّعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ). Whatever blessing, bounty you have whatever merit you have got it is from Allah. And that’s why in the Ta’qeeb after each Salat, we say (اللهم مابنا من نعمة فمنك) so we admit that. And this brothers and sisters is a way that we confirm the strength of our Iman and faith in Allah and knowing that He is the source of every goodness and all these blessings come from Him. But there are two things we have to remember. The first one, is that sometimes Allah changes, which means that there were people successful in the past and now they are a failure. Someone whose business was blooming but now it is going down, and the answer to that, or the change of circumstances, we find it in one Aya again in Surat Al-Anfal, Aya 53, Allah says that (ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِّعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ). This Aya tells us Allah never changes the blessing that He had bestowed upon people unless they change or what was in their souls. So, when people lose faith in Allah, lose reliance on Allah, they think that they are so clever to function and to be successful, forgetting that the blessing of Allah, and Allah says, here I will show you. I tell you now because you changed, you did not continue in your faith as it was expected, Allah is not going to change unless you change. And of course, we read in Dua Kumayl every Thursday evening (اللّهم اغفرلی الذّنوب التی تغیّر النّعم) “O Allah pardon me, forgive me about those sins which will change the bounties and graces of yours”. So, there are certain sins, disobedience to Allah that change all the circumstances and that blessing is reduced or totally gone. And the last point here is that for wealth there is Zakat. But for every success in your life, again there is Zakat. And Imam Ali here says that (من كثرت نعم الله عليه , كثرت حوائج الناس إليه) “He upon whom at Allah bestowed the bounties and made them plenty, of course people will seek his assistance more”. When you have plenty of knowledge, the best Zakat for that is to assist others with that knowledge. When you have wealth, again to share with others their needs and the way to thank Allah, gratitude to the blessings of Allah is to spend what you got in order to assist others and remove any type of restriction of poverty of others.
May Allah enable us to be among those who show their gratitude to His blessings and asking Him for increasing His bounties upon us.