Imagine a person who every month, without fail, receives a generous gift of wealth as well as many precious gifts from a well-wisher. Furthermore, the well-wisher always fulfills his needs. When he required a house, the well-wisher was there for him. When he needed a vehicle, the well-wisher rendered assistance. When he required hospitalization, the well-wisher attended to his need. Furthermore, the unique aspect of this well-wisher is that he never expects anything in return – neither praise, nor recognition, nor any monetary compensation.

If we were that lucky person, how grateful we would be! We would always speak good of the person to others and express our appreciation to him in person as well. We would make du‘aa for him, remain faithful to him and always seek ways to repay him for his generosity and kindness in whatever way we could. In fact, it would not be farfetched to say that if our well-wisher required our help at 2am, we would immediately spring out of bed and rush off to help him, understanding his great right over us and our deep indebtedness to him.

All this on account of the dunya that we enjoy from him… However, are the bounties of the dunya more valuable, or the bounties of Deen???

In the blessed hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has explained that the entire dunya is not even worth the wing of a mosquito in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala. (Sunan Tirmizi #2320) Hence, if we are appreciative for the dunya that we enjoy from people, then how much more appreciation we should show for the Deeni benefit that we receive from people!

It is for this reason that Sallaam bin Abi Mutee’ (rahimahullah) once said, “Ensure that you are more appreciative and grateful to Allah Ta‘ala for His bounties upon you in your Deen than His bounties upon you in your dunya.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 5 pg. 105)

Thus, we must ensure that we show due appreciation to Allah Ta‘ala for His bounties upon us in Deen, such as the bounties of imaan, the ability to recite the Quraan Majeed, tawfeeq to perform salaah, the knowledge of halaal and haraam and ability to lead our lives accordingly, etc. Furthermore, the hadeeth teaches us that we should also show appreciation to those who are/were the means of us acquiring these bounties.

Therefore, our Aapas, Moulanas, parents, etc. who were responsible for teaching us Deen, imaan, salaah, the sunnah and other aspects of Islam must be respected, appreciated and valued as our greatest benefactors. Likewise, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), who brought Deen to us, and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), who preserved Deen and transmitted it to the Ummah, as well as the ‘Ulama throughout the centuries, who passed Deen to the next generation, must all be respected, valued and appreciated. We should make du‘aa for them and understand how deeply indebted we are to them.

While verbal appreciation is easily articulated, it is the appreciation expressed through our actions that truly reflect the values in our heart. Hence, if through our behaviour, we show appreciation for bounties of the dunya, more than for Deen, then it reflects that we value the dunya more than Deen and consider the bounties of Deen to be of a secondary level (Allah Ta‘ala forbid!).

For instance, if we required life-saving surgery, and the surgeon carried out the procedure – which normally costs R1 000 000 – free of charge, then how grateful would we not be? We would take presents for him, call him from time to time to enquire after his health, always speak well of him, occasionally take out the time to meet him and would always offer him our assistance.

Now, in comparison, let us reflect and ponder over whether we show the same honour, regard and appreciation for those who taught us Islam and benefited us in our Deen?

May Allah Ta‘ala instill true value and appreciation for Deen in our hearts.