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March 24, 2012

16

“Nobody appreciates me”

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

Ah yes.

We try, try and try, yet nobody seems to appreciate us.

However, that’s not the real problem.

“Oh, so what’s the real problem?”

The real problem is we want them to appreciate us.

And that’s the dangerous part.

[For the purpose of this post, I’m assuming that we actually deserve their appreciation and that they really don’t appreciate us.]

See, if we strive for someone else’s pleasure, that means we’ll be doing things for them, and not for Allah.

And if we get their appreciation, we’ll be happy, thinking that we’ve achieved our goal.

And if we don’t get their appreciation, we’ll be depressed, thinking that this is the end.

Yet, just because someone appreciates us, it does not necessarily mean that we’ve earned the pleasure of Allah.

And just because someone does not appreciate us, it doesn’t mean that we’ve earned Allah’s wrath.

We need to be careful with this. Why?

Because we might be doing good deeds for the sake of someone other than Allah.

Allah says:

مَن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا نُوَفِّ إِلَيْهِمْ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فِيهَا وَهُمْ فِيهَا لَا يُبْخَسُونَ

أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ إِلَّا النَّارُ‌ ۖ وَحَبِطَ مَا صَنَعُوا فِيهَا وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

“Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do.” [Surah Hud (11) : 15-16]

And He says:

مَن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ حَرْ‌ثَ الْآخِرَ‌ةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْ‌ثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ حَرْ‌ثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَ‌ةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ

“Whosoever desires (with his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (with his deeds), We give him thereof (what is written for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 20]

Now, one should understand that wanting appreciation is a human trait. We all want it.

However, many times, people go into extremes with regards to this, so much so that their whole life starts to revolve around this person and gaining his/her appreciation. [Or in some cases, it could be wanting appreciation from a group of people.]

And that just robs them of their sincerity to Allah.

One of my friends once read out this message to me:

“Whoever wants to earn the pleasure of the people will never be able to do so, but whoever wants to earn the pleasure of Allah will be able to do so.”

[I mentioned this on my other blog once.]

She was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t make pleasing people my aim, because then I would never achieve it, but rather that I should make pleasing Allah my aim, because this is something that every one of us can achieve.

One of my teachers once mentioned something amazing to us whilst we were reciting Surah Al-Insan.

The righteous people say:

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّـهِ لَا نُرِ‌يدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورً‌ا

إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّ‌بِّنَا يَوْمًا عَبُوسًا قَمْطَرِ‌يرً‌ا

“We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you. Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day, hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible (from extreme dislikeness to it).” [Surah Al-Insan (76) : 9-10]

The ayaat (verses) after this mention Paradise.

And then the description of Paradise ends with this ayah:

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا كَانَ لَكُمْ جَزَاءً وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُورً‌ا

(And it will be said to them): “Verily, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.” [Surah Al-Insan (76) : 22]

She then pointed out to us that this is what the righteous people get. They don’t do anything for anybody except Allah. This is when they get to have their actions appreciated.

So she advised us to continue our good efforts and to wait for the Day when we hear this being said to us.

Subhan Allah, that was an eye-opener.

So, here’s what you (and I) should remember the next time we moan and groan about the lack of appreciation from the people around us:

1) Gaining their appreciation will not necessarily get us Paradise.

2) Losing their appreciation will not necessarily mean that we’ll go to Hell.

However, if one feels that this lack of appreciation is a punishment from Allah, one should repent and start fresh. No one should EVER give up because of this.

One needs to renew his/her intentions and remember all the good stuff that’s still to come.

Allah says regarding the people who do things seeking His Face:

فَوَقَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ شَرَّ‌ ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمِ وَلَقَّاهُمْ نَضْرَ‌ةً وَسُرُ‌ورً‌ا

“So Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadratan (a light of beauty) and joy.”

وَجَزَاهُم بِمَا صَبَرُ‌وا جَنَّةً وَحَرِ‌يرً‌ا

“And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.”

مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الْأَرَ‌ائِكِ ۖ لَا يَرَ‌وْنَ فِيهَا شَمْسًا وَلَا زَمْهَرِ‌يرً‌ا

“Reclining therein on raised thrones, they will see there neither the excessive heat of the sun, nor the excessive bitter cold, (as in Paradise there is no sun and no moon).

وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَالُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلًا

“And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.”

وَيُطَافُ عَلَيْهِم بِآنِيَةٍ مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَأَكْوَابٍ كَانَتْ قَوَارِ‌يرَ‌ا

“And amongst them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal,”

قَوَارِ‌يرَ‌ مِن فِضَّةٍ قَدَّرُ‌وهَا تَقْدِيرً‌ا

“Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof according to their wishes.”

وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْسًا كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلًا

“And they will be given to drink there a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabeel (ginger, etc.),”

عَيْنًا فِيهَا تُسَمَّىٰ سَلْسَبِيلًا

“A spring there, called Salsabeel.”

وَيَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ إِذَا رَ‌أَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤًا مَّنثُورً‌ا

“And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.”

وَإِذَا رَ‌أَيْتَ ثَمَّ رَ‌أَيْتَ نَعِيمًا وَمُلْكًا كَبِيرً‌ا

“And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion.”

عَالِيَهُمْ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضْرٌ‌ وَإِسْتَبْرَ‌قٌ ۖ وَحُلُّوا أَسَاوِرَ‌ مِن فِضَّةٍ وَسَقَاهُمْ رَ‌بُّهُمْ شَرَ‌ابًا طَهُورً‌ا

“Their garments will be of fine green silk, and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink.” [Al-Insan (76) : 11-21]

So, whenever you’re feeling depressed that nobody appreciates you despite all that you may do for them, remember Paradise and imagine that you are the one to whom is being said:

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا كَانَ لَكُمْ جَزَاءً وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُورً‌ا

(And it will be said to them): “Verily, this is for you a reward, and your effort has been appreciated.” [Surah Al-Insan (76) : 22]

And remember, Allah will never be displeased with those who enter Paradise:

إن الله تبارك وتعالى يقول لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة ؟ فيقولون : لبيك ربنا وسعديك ، فيقول : هل رضيتم ؟ فيقولون : وما لنا لا نرضى وقد أعطيتنا ما لم تعط أحدا من خلقك ، فيقول : أنا أعطيكم أفضل من ذلك ، قالوا : يا رب ، وأي شيء أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقول : أحل عليكم رضواني ، فلا أسخط عليكم بعده أبدا

Narrated by Abu Said Al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Allah will say to the people of Paradise, ‘O people of Paradise!’ They will say: ‘Labbaik, O Our Lord, and Sadaik!’.

Allah will say, ‘Are you pleased?” They will say, ‘Why should we not be pleased since You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creation?’

Allah will say, ‘I will give you something better than that.’ They will reply, ‘O our Lord! And what is better than that?’

Allah will say, ‘I will bestow my pleasure  upon you so that I will never be angry with you after that. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 557]

Oh and that’s not even the best part. There’s more to come.

لِّلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا الْحُسْنَىٰ وَزِيَادَةٌ

“For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more. [Surah Yunus (10) : 26]

“Oh really??”

Yep.

“What’s the “more”?”

It’s the greatest pleasure that the people of Paradise will have:

Suhaib (radiallahu anhu) narrated concerning His Statement:

لِّلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا الْحُسْنَىٰ وَزِيَادَةٌ

“For those who have done good is the best (reward, i.e. Paradise) and even more.” [Surah Yunus (10) : 26]

قال : إذا دخل أهل الجنة الجنة ، ، نادى مناد : إن لكم عند الله موعدا ، قالوا : ألم يبيض وجوهنا ، وينجنا من النار ويدخلنا الجنة ؟ قالوا : بلى ، فيكشف الحجاب ، قال : فوالله ما أعطاهم شيئا أحب إليهم من النظر إليه

The Prophet (salalahu alaihi wasallam said): When the people of Paradise enter Paradise, a caller shall call out: ‘Indeed you have a promise from Allah.’ They will say: ‘Did He not whiten our faces, s’ave us from the Fire, and admit us into Paradise?’ They will say: ‘Indeed.’ Then the Veil shall be lifted.’ He said: “So, by Allah, He did not grant them anything more beloved to them than looking at Him.” [Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2552. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadeeth No. 2552]

So, think about this Day and do loads of dua.

Don’t give up just because nobody appreciates you, because that’s not the point.

Allah says:

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَن تَمُوتَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّـهِ كِتَابًا مُّؤَجَّلًا ۗ وَمَن يُرِ‌دْ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَن يُرِ‌دْ ثَوَابَ الْآخِرَ‌ةِ نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا ۚ وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِ‌ينَ

“And no person can ever die except by Allah’s Leave and at an appointed term. And whoever desires a reward in (this) world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof. And We shall reward the grateful.” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 145]

So the question is: Whose appreciation do you really want?

__________________________________________________________

PS. Yes, I’m back.

No, I wasn’t stricken by any calamity. I’m doing fine, alhamdulillah. I just had too many things to focus on so I took a long break (and my blogging skills have totally dried up as a result).

Insha-Allah, I’ll (slowly) get around to replying to your comments and also writing the pending promised articles.

Barakallahu feekum.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Umm Musa
    Mar 24 2012

    Walaikum assalaam warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,
    Alhamdulillah you’re back. Was waiting for this.
    I ask Allah to give you ikhlaas in everything you do.
    Jazakillahu khayr

    Umm Musa

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      How are you?

      Sorry, I missed your call. When I called back, I think you must have been on the plane, because the phone was switched off.

      I kept on meaning to email you but me being me….

      I think I would slightly change the dua to “We ask Allah to give us ikhlaas in everything we do”

      What do you think?

      Wa iyyaaki.

      PS. How’s little Musa?

      Reply
  2. islamic solace
    Mar 25 2012

    Jazakillah khair sis. May Allah grant us sincerity in all we do and make our intention to please Him alone.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum Sister.

      How are you?

      Wa iyyaaki.

      Ameen to your dua.

      Reply
  3. faizalovesfood
    Mar 25 2012

    Sooo good to have you back, missed you and your posts. I woke up to your beautiful blog, and Allah’s Rahma in the form of rain

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      How are you?

      Alhamdulillah, I’m glad that you had a good day.

      Barakallahu feek.

      Reply
  4. faizalovesfood
    Mar 25 2012

    Sooo glad you are back, have missed you and your blog. Great post and a wonderful reminder for all that we do as women, wives and mothers.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Assalamu Alaikum.

      Hmmm…the reminder was for both genders. I don’t discriminate, especially considering the fact that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam) said that the WOMEN would be very ungrateful to their husbands.

      So…..

      Reply
  5. jasmina
    Mar 25 2012

    Assalamu alaikum sister, May Allah rewards you with all good. Welcome back, i was really missing your posts. May Allah gives your strength to continue (slowly) with your blog(s).

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      How are you?

      [A Belated Congratulations.]

      Ameen to your dua and may Allah grant you the same.

      Barakallahu feek.

      Reply
  6. Umm Zakariyya
    Mar 25 2012

    As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    Welcome back. It’s been a long time…

    Jazaaki Allaahu khayran for the post. May Allaah purify our intentions, instill ikhlaas in us. May we seek His pleasure always. Aameen.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuh.

      How are you?

      Yes, seven months.

      Wa iyyaaki and ameen to your dua.

      Barakallahu feek.

      Reply
  7. aliya123
    Mar 25 2012

    Asalaamu alaikum

    Welcome back. Great post. Looking forward to the rest, inshaAllah.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Wa Alaikum Assalam.

      How are you?

      Jazakillahu kheira.

      When I read your comment, my first thought was “The rest? There’s no part 2!” Then I realised you might have meant any future posts….

      Barakallahu feek.

      Reply
  8. R.A.
    Mar 26 2012

    asalam alaikum!!
    i was so happy when i saw your email in my inbox, i actually re-read it… “Ramadan: the greatest…” and then i knew that u must have been back from your break!
    may Allah give you barakah in your productivity and time so you can keep writing these beautiful articles.

    Reply
    • Umm Muawiyah
      Mar 28 2012

      Wa Alaikum Assalam Sister.

      How are you?

      Jazakillahu kheira for your encouragement.

      Ameen to your dua.

      Reply

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