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The ungrateful man
MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN  24th Nov 2012

To an astonishing degree, the present world bears witness to the presence of God. His will is immanent in the abundant provision to man of earthly resources and in His gift to man of the capacity to harness those resources to the purposes of his daily living. God has given man power over the earth and water, over the rivers, seas and mountains. Nature responds to man's every need, providing in advance things of which we had no prior conception.

All these manifestations of God's beneficence are so incredibly wonderful that they should leave a person in awe of God and cause him to enter into lifelong servitude of his Creator. Yet this does not happen, as pointed out in this verse of the Quran: "He has given you all that you asked of Him; and if you try to reckon up God's favours, you will not be able to count them. Truly, man is very unjust, very ungrateful." (14:34)

Why is it that the concept of the Creator of the universe does not make every hair on a man's body stand on end? The reason is that he has been observing the universe from his earliest childhood. Because it appears perpetual and unchanging, it strikes him as being a normal, familiar sight. He finds nothing unique or extraordinary in the universe, not even the motion of the stars and planets in the vast, outer reaches of space.

Moreover, when man finds or receives anything in this world, it comes to him shrouded in the veil of cause and effect.

He therefore regards God's bounty as stemming from his own efforts and capacities. That is why expressions of thankfulness do not come gushing from his lips for the Giver-God. This on the part of man is the gravest kind of neglect. It is injustice coupled with ingratitude.

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