The root of gratitude to Allaah is radical self-acceptance of everything you are – flaws and all. This is because your soul is a unique creation bestowed to you by the Creator and it’s one of the most majestic of blessings. You contain miracles that defy imagination or comprehension, so taking yourself for granted is taking Allaah for granted.
This self-acceptance can’t occur unless you’re completely vulnerable. Many a times, we approach God like a parent we have to impress to gain their approval. Our egos are tied to evading our weaknesses and flaws, but by doing so we put up a wall between us and the Divine, between us and our soul.
So, self-acceptance can’t happen without humility. Being aware and cognizant of your human abilities and limitations. Changing from a goal oriented mindset to a process oriented mindset. From a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. From perfectionism to mindfulness.
Amongst His names are ar-Ra’uoof , the Gentle and al-Ghafoor, the concealer of faults
He won’t use your weakness against you. He won’t punish you for it. It’s what makes you a marvel, how despite your flaws you are wholesome and transcendent. That makes you more noble than angels, you know that? Because angels have no free will in the sense that we do, faced with temptations and impulses. When we overcome our innate evil, we are more noble than had we not had that struggle to begin with.
There are a lot of things in you that would amaze you, if you only were more forgiving of yourself, the way Allaah is. He knows who you are deep down, you can’t hide that. The pinnacle of gratitude would be to focus on living in a way where you’re more cognizant of your true nature even if it means others would deride you for it.
Ihsaan. To worship Allaah as if you were seeing Him, for even if you don’t see Him, He sees you.
Ibadah. Literally means yielding, surrendering. That’s what the essence of worship is; surrendering control and image. An act of worship devoid of surrender and vulnerability is void of substance because you have not been transformed. You’ve kept the unknown, the powerful energies at bay by operating on autopilot mode, a mindless facade. You’re not there until you’ve been through thick and thin with your connection to Him, preferring to die a thousand deaths before you let go of faith.
The point of worship isn’t to sing God’s praises because He’s absolutely not in need of that. But it’s to allow you to flourish and transcend your ego under Divine support. Self-actualization can be extremely distressful and threatening if we don’t tread carefully. Like opening an aircraft door mid-flight .
Faith allows us to fall off cliffs, trusting His promise to give us wings. Faith allows us to face doubts about Allaah’s existence without caving under the weight of the opposites because faith without doubt is not faith. It’s dogma, certainty, arrogance.
No, it’s to feel the doubt and trust anyway. It’s to know that your faith isn’t a way to escape life or difficulties. It’s the only way to immerse yourself fully in it because you go in blind in situations and face things that scare the living daylights out of you, all because you trust Allaah has your back. Like He did Musa before the sea was split and they were caught between the vast ocean and pharaoh’s army closing in on them.
So, don’t fear going astray or being annihilated. If you seek the truth in yourself, you’ll always find your way back home. Find your true north beneath all those lies you’ve been telling yourself and disguises you’ve been hiding behind. Remove everything that would make you deviate from your true north.