Friday 16 September 2011

Gratefulness and Complaining

I was speaking with a colleague and a good friend this morning about our situation and being satisfied with it and it made me think of a number of things in my past which really impacted on me and my attitude.

One happened when I was eighteen and visited Pakistan. I met a girl in my grandfathers village who I became friendly with. She asked me what I studied and how I could afford it. I told her my fees were paid by the government and that I received a grant to cover my costs. She told me she wanted to study but couldn’t afford to so was waiting at home until she was married. It made me question why I deserved better than her – I didn’t, I was just very lucky to be blessed with opportunities that others would never be.

The other incident that always comes to my mind was during y third pregnancy. I was commuting into the city into work (something I don’t miss). I was nauseous, tired and fed up. I was almost in tears from self pity, asking myself why I had to struggle into work when other women sat at home with their feet up.

I opened the free paper that you get at the station and came across an article about pregnant women in South Africa that were suffering from AIDS. They were queuing up at a hospital to get drugs in the hope that they would prevent the virus passing to their child.

One women was given the drug just before she went into labour in a packed waiting room. She vomited the drug and could not get another dose in time. She was waiting to find out if her child had contracted the virus, knowing she would become too ill to look after the child anyway.

I got off the train almost in tears. I can’t tell you how ashamed I was. It was another reminder that I had the world at my feet and that I and my children had every ease and convenience thanks to the mercy of Allah (SWT). I never felt grieved about being a working mother again.

Those of us who live in the Western world, really are amongst the most lucky people in the world. Most people in the world would go to great lengths to be in our place to have a fraction of what we take for granted – enough food to get fat on, comfortable homes, healthcare when we need it, free education (okay so maybe we pay through our taxes, but if you saw how extremely bad a teacher my Aunty P in Pakistan was, you wouldn’t mind paying for what we get here).

I came across something on Umm Travis’s blog Tea Break Thoughts (can't find it now) a while back about a no complaining experiment where you try not to complains about anything for 40 days. I thought it was a great idea, but when I tried it, I lasted barely a day. I think I am going to try again and see how long I can last this time. Would you like to join me?


  1. Asalaamu Alaikum

    England has free education? Amazing. In Canada you have to pay for it (post secondary). My kids have to work part-time to pay for their education. Its hard for them but its better than getting a riba loan. If they had a free education they could just focus on their schooling and not have to worry about paying for it. In some countries its worse and you have to pay for even primary level grades so families short on money send their sons to school and not their daughters.

  2. Your blog is one of the most balanced and enlightning Muslimah blogs on the web - a balance between how a Muslim strives in this dunya, whilst trying to work for his aakhirah.
    It's one of the blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading, keep it up

    May Allah reward you abundantly in this dunya and the next,

  3. Also - my previous comment a couple of days ago didn't show - was just to say thank you for the eid gifts, and have been meaning to reply but have been procrastinating....


  4. I am so with you...don't know if I can last past half an hour though but definitely worth a try...we really should say "Alhamdulillah" for all our blessings.

    @C: Yes you're right, here in South Africa, if we don't want our kids to end up like the mother that Umm Salihah read about, then we have to pay for their education from pre-school days to post-university but Alhamdulillah!