Happy Thanksgiving

Surah Rahman, then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny

 

On this Thanksgiving day (it was yesterday), I want to talk about this one verse from the Quran, that comes from a chapter called ‘Ar-Rahman’, which means merciful. The surah is an iconic one with a very distinct manner of writing and recitation. After the 12th verse of the surah, this particular verse is repeated after every other verse, 31 times in total.

The fashion in which this surah was revealed is very different from the others. It came down to prophet Mohammad, around his tenth year of prophethood and describes the world, hell and heaven – before and after constantly asking how many favors of God are we to deny.

Indeed the things I have to thank God for, are plenty. There are things I am aware of… and there are things I probably have no idea of. To start with, I am thankful for this life. Thankful for my parents, family, my husband and my friends. But there are more things than just personal to be thankful for…

Let us instead, be thankful for the sun that shines through the day, the moon that borrows light to give us some, the stars that have always been a traveler’s companion, the wind that brings scent and vegetation with, and the rains that bring forth lush green from beneath the ground.

Let us also be thankful for our ability to emote – joy, sorrow, anger and fear. For without these, we would not feel love. Let us be thankful for love – the warm feeling that we crave so much – be it of any kind.

Let us also be thankful for fear – for it keeps us on the right path. Let us be thankful for our shortcomings – for they keep us modest.

Our blessings and advantages are innumerable, and for that, we give thanks. And in our thanks, let us promise to be good to ourselves, and thank ourselves to be able to thank God. For indeed we, are a people of free will.

 

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