It was Friday night and my ten year-old son invited one of his best friends over for his first sleepover. Naturally, the boys were excited and I let them stay up late. I, on the other hand, was ready to sleep at 8:30. I was very tired from a long week of not getting enough shut-eye and it had caught up to me. I struggled to stay awake until the boys finally settled into bed.
As I was saying goodnight and looking forward to crawling into my own bed, I heard a very loud crash coming from the kitchen. I rushed downstairs quite alarmed and my heart sank when I saw the kitchen floor. Crushed glass was splattered; hundreds, perhaps thousands of tiny pieces. Where did this come from? I kept wondering until I finally remembered that I had washed a large glass cutting board among other things and put them in the dish rack. The board must have slid and tumbled onto the floor. The sight of broken glass always distresses me and I could feel the anxiety kicking in.
And then I started to worry about how long this would take to clean up, just when I wanted to get to bed! I frowned and complained to myself and then quickly said, Alhamdulillah it is not worse. Alhamdulillah the boys are safe upstairs. Alhamdulillah no one got hurt. Alhamdulillah it is this and not something else that would send us to the ER. Then I couldn’t help but smile to myself as I remembered the countless times I said this to my boys when they were younger and they would get hurt. Alhamdulillah it’s only a scrape and nothing bigger needing stitches. Alhamdulillah it’s a sprain and not a broken bone. How true this is and how grateful we must be!
The brother who delivered the Jumuah khutba (Friday sermon) last week mentioned the importance of feeling thanks in one’s heart and not merely uttering the words repeatedly. He went further to urge everyone to go home that night and try to write down on paper the blessings one has. But as Allah (SWT) states in the Qur’an (Surah Ibrahim, verse 34): “…But if you count the favours of Allah, never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.” The imam stated further that truly feeling thanks is a way to gain freedom from the negative thoughts that can weigh us down and place us in the mindset of victimhood. This was not the first time I had heard such advice but reminders can be especially powerful when they are timely.
Two days later I got stung by what I think was a wasp upon leaving the soccer field where my son’s team had just won the semi-final. Subhan Allah, one minute I was feeling joy and the next minute pain, but alhamdulillah it was only a sting and not worse.
Mayce Ibraheem lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two sons.