Thanks Giving 2009

November 20, 2009

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

Thanksgiving is almost here in the US, and with Eid al-Adha the next day it will soon be a time of giving thanks, of gratitude to the Creator. Before every meal, Sufis say “Bismillah!” This is their way of saying Grace, of being grateful. Yet every human being who follows a spiritual path has their own way of being gracious, whose origin is Grace; the giving of thanks to God.

Thanksgiving is sweeter than bounty itself.

One who cherishes gratitude does not cling to the gift!

Thanksgiving is the true meat of God’s bounty;

The bounty is its shell,

For thanksgiving carries you to the hearth of the Beloved.

Abundance alone brings heedlessness,

Thanksgiving gives birth to alertness.

The bounty of thanksgiving will satisfy and elevate you,

And you will bestow a hundred bounties in return.

Eat your fill of God’s delicacies,

And you will be freed from hunger and begging.

- Rumi

“With mealtime prayer we offer thanksgiving to the Source of all sustenance. Prayer is a means by which the reins of hunger and the senses are taken by the spirit and intellect. The offering of a mealtime blessing elevates eating from a mechanical activity to conscious participation in the chain of being. It is an acknowledgment of the fact that in eating any organism, we are sharing in the sacrifice it has made to sustain us.”

Gratitude is an eagle, blessings a fine plump partridge
only gratitude wins the reward of blessing.
Give thanks to Him alone who buys
your words in the bazaar of Paradise.

- Nasir-i Khusraw

Excerpt from Serving the Guest – A Sufi Cookbook

Ya Haqq!

 

 


Thanks Giving and Forgiveness

November 25, 2008

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

“Be reconciled with the one who has broken with you, pardon the one who has been unjust to you, and forgive the one who denies you.”

- A saying of the Prophet (pbuh)

How many of us live up to this blessed tradition, instead of carrying around past resentments, slights, hurts, angers, injustices, and injuries, like chains weighing down our lives, and veils over our heart. I know I have been guilty of this, may Allah forgive me. And we still find it hard to let go and forgive, even though we pray and hope and beg and plead for Allah forgiveness for ourselves.

Alhamdulillah! How great is God’s bounty that we will soon celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, and give thanks for all that He has bestowed upon us. But what thanks are accepted by Him when we are thankless to those that grieved us by not also forgiving them?

In the words of Sa’di from the Gulistan (The Rose Garden):

When you are mistreated, put up with it;
Forgiving purifies you from sin.
As you will turn to dust in the end,
Become dust before you reach that end.

Ya Haqq!

Note: This post is edited and updated from a previous one written two years ago.


Thanksgiving Prayer

November 21, 2007

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

O Lord, we humbly thank Thee for the bounty of our table, when so many in the world go hungry. And we thank Thee for our family and friends, when so many in the world walk alone.

O God, grant that we who are filled with good things from Your open hand, may never close our hearts to the hungry, the homeless, and the poor.

Ameen! Amen!

Ya Haqq!


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