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 Ingratitude for God’s Blessings

Right from a glass of water to political power, everything that people possess in this world is from God. Everything is a direct blessing of God. Whatever one finds in this world is there because of the will of God. If God does not will it, no one can have anything, no matter how hard he tries for it. This is an undeniable truth proved by the Qur’an and the Hadith.

Another thing that we learn from the Qur’an and the Hadith is that there are two forms of divine blessing. One special and the other general. Political power is a special blessing of God. We learn from the Qur’an that political power is not given to everyone. Neither can it be received through political movements or the gun culture. It is directly related with the way of God. One of the sunnah of God is that if a group proves, in the real sense of the word, to have true faith and to be virtuous in action, then God grants that group political power:

Allah has promised those of you who believe and do good works to make them masters in the land (24:55).

That is, even when power is desirable, the movement will begin from the point of character building and individual reform instead of political action.

Then God’s general gift is what is shared, more or less by everyone. In principle, it consists of two kinds of things—peaceful circumstances and the easy availability of the necessities of life. This we learn from the following verse of the Qur’an:

God has made an example of the city which was once safe and peaceful. Its provisions used to come in abundance from every quarter: but its people denied the favors of Allah. Therefore, He afflicted them with famine and fear as a punishment for what they did. (16:112)

Two things in this verse are called the blessings of God: peace and provision. It shows that from the worldly point of view these two things are essential for human beings. If a group comes to possess these two things, then it should not wage war for anything else, such as political power. Rather considering those blessings to be sufficient, believers should engage themselves in thanksgiving to God, until God himself paves the way for whatever else is to come.

What is thanksgiving to God? It is that whatever God has given us should be put to proper religious and constructive use. Remaining content with what one already has is thanksgiving, whereas regarding what one already possesses as unimportant and launching stormy movements for things not in our possession is ungratefulness.

Any Muslims in possession of both peace and provision ought to occupy themselves with spiritual matters rather than political activities. Now is the time to engage themselves in producing spiritual fervor in their people; in launching movements of moral reform; in educating their people; in planning the way to communicate God’s message to other communities; in spending their time in their places of worship, in developing their academic institutions, in setting up their settlements as a model abode of godly people, etc.

This is true thanksgiving. This is to pay the due of God’s blessings. A non-believer’s eyes are on his rights while a believer’s eyes are on his responsibilities. That is why an unbeliever is always running for what he has yet to possess, while a believer always engages himself in discharging his responsibilities within his own sphere.

Those who do not follow the path of thankfulness, launch heated movements towards political goals or revive the gun culture against their supposed enemies. Such people are undoubtedly anarchists. Their case is one of adding insult to injury, even if their movement has been launched in the name of Islam.

For such people it is the decree of God that they never reach their political goal, and whatever blessings of peace and worldly provision they have already enjoyed be denied to them. They will lose what they already possess. This is the way of God.