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Stairs of Bounties

A generous person sees a wretched and penniless man and takes him to the top of a tower. With no exception, on every step of the ladder, he gives him various gifts and different bounties. Right at the top of the tower, the generous man gives him the largest present.

While his was to expect gratitude or at least a simple “Thank you” in return for all those various gifts, he finds the poor man in an arrogant and disrespectful manner. The previously poor and now peevish man forgets the presents he has received on each of the stairs, or considers them to be of no importance, and offers no thanks.

As he looks above him and starts to complain, saying, “I wish this tower was higher so that I could have climbed even further. Why isn’t mine as tall as this or that tower?”

Imagine, if this desperate man begins to complain like this, what great ingratitude it would be, what a wrong manner it could be!

In just the same way, we ,mankind, were brought into existence from nothing. We have been given millions of bounties day in day out, every step of life… Life, time, opportunities, family, wealth, health and friends and so on and so forth… Not as a rock or a tree or an animal, but we were created as a human, and now we are a Muslim, thus all those bounties require a high level of thanksgiving. (Hamd and shukr).

Despite all those bounties, to complain and display impatience would imply that we do not value them as if they are not worthy. It may cause us to lose them through wrong choice or abuse, or because we could not obtain them, and to criticize Divine dominicality always saying “What have I done that this has happened to me?”

Immaterial sickness is more calamitous than the physical one. Like fighting with a broken hand,
complaint makes his illness worse. Sensible is the one who behaves in accordance with the meaning of the verse (2:156): "Who say, when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return" and submit to God's mercy and help. We should be patient so that the illness may complete its duty, then depart.

Remember the parable, you do not have right to complain about your health seeing those healthier people. You are supposed to thank God seeing less healthy people. Otherwise your end will be worse than the current situation. If your hand is broken, see those who do not have hands. If your eye has been afflicted with an illness, look at those blind people who have no eyes. And extend your thanks to God.

Noone has right to complain looking higher than what he has. If there is a calamity, you can look above in suffering and see how many people suffer worse than you do. Read the parable and behave accordingly…


* The verse is from the surat ul-Baqara(2:156)
اَلَّذِينَ اِذَآ اَصَابَتْهُمْ مُصِيبَةٌ قَالُوۤا اِنَّا ِللهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ

This excerpt has been translated and arranged from the famous work of Imam al-Nursi's Lama'at (Flashes, Twenty Fifth Flash, Remedies for the Sick)


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