PRAYERS FOR AMERICA: An Expression of Gratitude
One of the easiest ways to come in proximity to our Divine Creator, is through His remembrance with gratitude. In the holy Quran God says, “Then remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me. (Al-Baqarah 2:152) “If you are grateful, I will surely give you more and more.” (Ibrahim 14:7).
Gratitude is the water that keeps our gardens green. But sadly many of us are living unhappy lives because our focus is so profound on what we don’t have that we become unmindful of what we have. It is only when we practice present-moment gratitude by being constantly aware of our blessings, we start to live in a joyful state of mind in the moment.
Being in the United States of America in itself is a huge blessing. The land is blessed with abundance where dreams are manifested by common men who work hard and believe in their aspirations.
Friends, there is no country on this planet with a heart for humanity as big as the United States of America. Every year one million legal immigrants are welcomed to live in the country where they are free to soar the sky to the limit of their vision and have the freedom to practice their religious beliefs and rituals without fear of persecution or intolerance.
Imagine the goodness of the American people, the moment your old parents walk into the country from strangers they become family. They receive the same care and comfort Americans provide to their elderly parents, your children get the same schooling they give to their children so that no child is left behind from the possibilities of the future. You get the opportunity and support to ascend to the apex of your ability.
According to the teaching of our prophet (PBUH), “He has not thanked God who has not thanked the people” (Abu Dawood 4811). He also said, “Whoever does a favor, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him” (Abu Dawood 1672). Hence, as Muslims immigrants shouldn’t we be more vocal than others in expressing our gratitude to the country that has welcomed us to be a part of the American Dream.
I would like to impart a thought with the leadership of Islamic Organizations in America to consider announcing a day and time in the holy month of Ramadan as the Moment of Patriotic Invocation. In that particular time we offer special prayers for the prosperity and well-being of our country and its people at all the major Islamic community centers throughout the country. We would invite community members and our neighbors not only to join us in this special moment of invocation but also to break the fast with us and to accompany us for the evening dinner. This would give us a unique opportunity to spread peace, goodwill, and to share the true Islamic hospitality with these well-integrated gatherings. This cohesive approach would also help negate the negative influences of anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobia.