Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
With Ramadan almost here, it will soon be a time not only of fasting, but of breaking the fast with thanksgiving. Before every meal, Sufis say, “Bismillah!” This is their way of saying Grace, for indeed they try to fast every day from what is other than God. 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.
“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