What really is a blessing?

Sunlight in background young muslim praying in the forefront
Kid praying in Mosque in concentration © Allies Interactive Services Private Limited | Dreamstime.com

Often, our definition of a blessing may be influenced by what we see around us in the world and in the media. We must remember that in Islam blessings take many forms and this concept is crucial for a believer to remember in order to have strength and patience throughout life, not becoming distracted by what is around us. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” (Qur’an 2:216)

We should remember that there is a blessing in our hardships. We often find that it is in our times of hardship that we remember Allah more and are more sincere in our prayers to Him. When we are feeling more positive, we may become distracted and not spend as much time in worship. Our hardships require us to have patience and put our complete reliance and trust in our Lord.

We must remind ourselves that although some people may define a blessing by the amount of wealth a person has, the price of their clothes, or the size of their house, this is not the attitude we should have. It may sometimes be difficult for us to realise this because of the way society is in general (materialism is widespread), but these kind of possessions are not always blessings and sources of happiness.

For example, having many materialistic possessions can cause us to forget our Lord and make us feel as though this life is eternal, when it is obviously not. We will not be taking anything of this life with us to the Aakhirah (Hereafter).

We ought to keep in mind that even those amongst us who live in poverty do have blessings in their lives as a result of their poverty. For example, they may not be tested through their wealth and how they spend it, as they may not have any wealth. They will be given a great reward by Allah for their struggle and patience in this world. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.” (Qur’an 2:155)

Furthermore, we must remember that the struggles of those in poverty are temporary, as this life is of course temporary. Poverty, sadness or happiness – none of it is everlasting. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“The life of this world compared to the hereafter is as if one of you were to put his finger in the ocean and take it out again then compare the water that remains on his finger to the water that remains in the ocean.” (Muslim)

Therefore, we should not overlook the fact that the real blessings in this life are the things that make us improve our connection with our Lord, please Him, and better ourselves as believers.