October 2013: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Zul-Hijjah  1434

Volume 29 No 10

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson


Gratitude for challenges

Thank God, we have another day to share with one another.  We know that we cannot possibly encompass God’s blessings. From the relief of taking a clear breath without congestion, to the feel of silk against our skin, to the support and presence of our community—our blessings are far and wide.

[16:18] If you count GOD's blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

We can even find gratitude in the midst of hardship, and that can help us feel more content and at peace—ultimately increasing our submission and devotion to God.

Sometimes in life, we have difficulty staying in the appreciative mode.  Solomon, a man whose faith was strong and given many blessings, prayed to stay appreciative:

[27:19] He smiled and laughed at her statement, and said, "My Lord, direct me to be appreciative of the blessings You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Admit me by Your mercy into the company of Your righteous servants."

It’s usually easier to stay appreciative when there is talk of Thanksgiving, when we inhale the mouth-watering smell of garlic mashed potatoes, or see the abundant dishes on the dinner table. But to stay appreciative in the face of hardship may take a shift in perspective.  I recently discovered a view that helped me make such shift.  I was watching TV on a Saturday morning when I flipped to a man named Joel Osteen.  He talked about being in the midst of illness, financial hardship, job difficulties, legal proceedings, family strife… hopefully not all by one person! 

However, he pointed to the fact that God relieves our hardships.  We know that God is Merciful.  We say Bismillahe Rahman ArRaheem, that God is the Most Merciful, multiple times a day and at the beginning of virtually every chapter in the Quran.  We know His Word is true, and His word about the Nature of things, is this:

[65:7] The rich husband shall provide support in accordance with his means, and the poor shall provide according to the means that GOD bestowed upon him. GOD does not impose on any

soul more than He has given it. GOD will provide ease after difficulty.

So,  Osteen suggested that we actually thank God for the abundance, the ease that is ABOUT to come, now.  Thank you, God for the illness that will be healed, the financial situation that will get better, the family situation that will be worked through, the job that will come, the economy that will get better.  It is a radical thing, and it can come from our faith in God as the Best Planner, the Most Merciful and the Truthful One.

We may need to increase our faith in God to be able to have this perspective—that the good stuff is coming.  One way to increase faith is through reading and reflection: for example reading God’s different qualities in the Quran and meditating on them.  Another is to use repetition.  For better or worse, we know that repetition sticks in the brain.  That is why healthy habits are so powerful and unhealthy habits nag us for so long.  Repetition is like a coin, let’s say a quarter, that rubs a groove in a smooth surface, say a wooden table.  Each repetition makes the groove a little deeper.  Then let’s say your thoughts are little

Cont’d on page 2

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