By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com
“Five minutes of health comfort the ill one.” – Bengali proverb.
In other words, a person who is ill would get comfort and relief from just five minutes of health.
This reminds me of my friend Hisham, who has an autoimmune disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair for many years. He is the same age as me, and we grew up riding our bicycles together. He was an avid cyclist and even participated in a ride all the way across the United States and back. In his twenties he was diagnosed with MS, and his health began to go downhill.
Recently a physical therapist has been working with him, and last week he stood on his feet and took five steps for the first time in three years, Alhamdulillah! He said he felt very tall, being on his feet again. It was an inspiring moment for him… SubhanAllah. He literally got comfort from “five minutes of health.”
That’s really something to think about, for those of us who have our health and fitness and take them for granted as if they were nothing. We moan and complain about small things, while ignoring the huge blessings in our lives. “Then which of the favors of your Lord will you deny?” – Surat Ar-Rahman. Allah has given us so much, so much.
And let me add that although I used my friend Hisham as an illustration of the proverb, that does not mean that I pity him. He also has many gifts, for example he is highly intelligent and articulate, and he has accomplished a lot in his life. I am overjoyed for him that he was able to stand again. Allahu Akbar!
Of course we must be grateful for every blessing, and thank Allah from the bottom of our hearts. But it’s important to understand that gratitude is not just a feeling in the heart. It is expressed through action.
- Are you grateful for your healthy body? Then use it to bow down in prayer.
- Are you grateful for the ability to see? Then look at that which is beautiful and halal.
- Grateful for the ability to speak? Then praise Allah, recite Quran and spread the message of Islam.
- Grateful that you are mentally and emotionally healthy? Then use your gifts to do good in the world. Show love to those who are grief stricken, and kindness to those in pain. Spend your money in Allah’s cause, don’t hold on it it until it can do you no good!
That’s why the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, in the famous hadith that we have all heard:
“Take benefit of five before five:
your youth before your old age,
your health before your sickness,
your wealth before your poverty,
your free-time before your preoccupation,
and your life before your death.”
(Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)
Right? He didn’t only say, “be grateful,” he said, “take benefit”! That means USE what you have been given, while you still can, before the end of this brief life that is but a moment between a sleep and a sleep, or a desert flower blooming and then fading away.
Glory to Allah the Most High.