Islamic teachings place a strong emphasis on gratitude in general and encourage Muslims to thank Allah in all circumstances. One of the fundamental reasons for praying five times a day and for fasting during Ramadan is to put Muslims into a state of gratitude and thankfulness for all that they have been given.
Not surprisingly, many modern psychological studies are only now catching on to the benefits of cultivating an attitude of gratitude. In one study, they asked participants to keep a gratitude journal where they recorded three things every day that they were grateful for (Seligman et. al., 2005). The well-being and happiness of the participants increased so much that many continued to keep the journals well after the study was completed.
"If you count God's blessings, you can never encompass them all. Indeed, the human being is transgressing, unappreciative." Qur’an (14:34)
Whether espoused by philosophers such as David Hume or Cicero, studies such as the one mentioned above just demonstrate what Muslims already know and are asked to practice—-a constant remembrance of everything we have to be grateful for makes for greater happiness.
“So verily, with hardship, there is ease.” (Qur’an 94:5)
Therefore, we are beginning a series of posts where members of our staff share three things they are grateful for.
I’ll begin. I am tremendously grateful for my son Salam, my husband, and my health. What are three things you are grateful for, right now? Feel free to share in the comments section.
~Beth, Blog Admin
"Of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude, especially when it is committed against parents…" --David Hume (1711–1776), A Treatise of Human Nature, Vol. 3.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." — Cicero (106-43 BC).
McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127.
Wood, A. M., Joseph, S., & Maltby, J. (2008). PersonalPages.Manchester.ac.uk, Gratitude uniquely predicts satisfaction with life: Incremental validity above the domains and facets of the Five Factor Model. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 49-54.
Kashdan, T.B., Uswatte, G., & Julian, T. (2006). Gratitude and hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in Vietnam War veterans. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 44, 177-199.
Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N.,& Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410-421.