An important part of our recovery is to adopt an attitude of gratitude. Allah mentions many times in the Qur’an that He wants us to be grateful to Him. During our addiction, we my have fallen into self pity. The famous Alcoholics Anonymous saying; “Poor me! Poor Me! Pour me another drink” demonstrates how these self-pitying thoughts only lead us further into our addiction until we eventually begin to blame God for our misfortune. We can even begin to be angry with Allah. We fail to see the blessings He bestow upon us. We fail to see that He is trying to guide us when He gives us consequences.
As we embrace our recovery on The Straight Path we must count our blessings. On the Day of Judgement Allah will divide the people into two groups; those who are grateful, and those who are ungrateful.
Twelve-step programmes promote a ‘gratitude list’ which the recovering addict would ideally write each night. By making a short list of some things to be grateful for, the spirits are lifted and the person feels more positive about life. As Muslims, we are encouraged to be thankful to Allah as much as we can. Ideally, we may wish to reflect on our blessings after each prayer, or more realistically every night.
Hassan Al-Basri said, “When Allah bestows His favours upon a people, He asks for their gratitude. If they offer their thanks [to Him], He is able to increase their good fortune, but if they deny His favours, He is able to turn these favours of His into torment and affliction.”
It is a higher level of gratitude to be thankful to Allah during times of hardship and difficulty. This is a sign of true patience. We must also look to those below us, those suffering from far more difficult trials than we can imagine. Allah has given us so much, the least of which is a breath of air.
Being thankful to Allah is a form of relapse prevention because it instills a sense of positivity, we look for the silver lining and increase our hope. By being grateful we feel more contentment and at peace. Compare this to when we used to justify our using by ruminating over thoughts of negativity, self-hatred, anger towards God and self-pity. Gratitude is an attitude and it will help secure a more peaceful recovery journey.