As Muslims, we know that gratitude should be an essential aspect of our personality. But as we live busy lives in this complicated world it is easy to forget all the blessings in our lives and to focus on the negatives. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an, the habit of complaining 

Remember Me, I will remember you, and be thankful to Me, and do not be ungrateful to Me. (2:152).

There are several verses like this in the Qur’an where Allah reminds us to be grateful for our own benefit. One such poem appears in Surah Luqman (31) where Allah (SWT) says, the habit of complaining 

And certainly, We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying: Be grateful to Allah. And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for his own soul; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Praised. (31:12).

There are several gems one can extract from this single verse. Firstly, Allah has given Luqman knowledge; what was this experience? the practice of criticizing 

Being Grateful to Allah is the key :

To be grateful to Allah; that being thankful is beneficial to the individual, and that Allah does not need us to be thankful to Him. He is Self-Sufficient and is continuously praised for His creation. Allah (SWT) gives this wisdom of gratefulness to Luqman not out of His own need but because Allah knows the effect gratefulness has on an individual. Research continuously shows that gratefulness reduces stress and improves life satisfaction while complaining does the opposite. Therefore, it is a good idea to overcome the habit of complaining.

Here are a few tips to overcome complaining:

  • Realize the power and blessings of Allah (SWT) in your life

As I mentioned previously, our lives just get so busy that we forget to think of all the things we should be thankful for. The fact that we are alive is the most obvious reason to be grateful. Also, we should realize that Allah (SWT) is the Master of the universe. He controls all our affairs. Everything is written as Allah says in Surah Hadeed:

No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al Lawh Al Mahfooz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah[al-Hadeed 57:22].

Allah alone has power over everything and knows that everything Allah (SWT) allows to occur has good in it. Realizing that everything happens for a reason can help us overcome the habit of complaining.

  • Complain to the Creator and not the creation

There are times where life will really put us down. That is fine. As I said, everything happens for a reason. Trials and tribulations are a way to bring us closer to Allah (SWT). But this is only if we talk to Him. Complaining here does not mean to show impatience and yell angrily at Allah’s decree. Preferably, it means to demonstrate patience in difficult times, and to talk to Allah, ask Him for help. We see this in the Qur’an in the story of Yusuf (AS) when his father said, the habit of complaining 

I complain of my anguish and sorrow only to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know (12:86).

As we know, Yusuf’s (AS) father practiced beautiful patience in light of his son’s disappearance. the habit of complaining 

  • Make Dua

Dua is the weapon of the believer. Rasoolullah (SAW) said,

Nothing can change the Divine decree except dua (prayer) (Reported by Ahmad).

We see this in the Qur’an in the beautiful story of Zakariyyah (AS), “[This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah. When he called to his Lord a private supplication. He said,

“My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head was filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy” (19:1-4).

This is an example of how Zakariyyah (AS) never lost hope and always made due to Allah (SWT) for all his needs. Allah (SWT) was such that He accepted his dua and blessed Zakariyyah (AS) with a child in old age. So, if you are really unhappy with a situation and you have the urge to complain about it, overcome criticizing about making dua and asking Allah (SWT) to relieve your worries. the habit of complaining 

May Allah (SWT) make us grateful to Him always and forgive us for our shortcomings. Ameen.

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