Friday, March 21, 2014

DAY of GENUINE APPRECIATION

-Imam Mohamad Jebara-

MARCH 21ST, 2014 (OTTAWA): Most people are quick to communicate concerns but seldom communicate admiration, appreciation and love. If you admire, appreciate or love someone, or have been positively, or deeply touched, or influenced by someone, you should muster up the courage to communicate your feelings and tell them. Your words of encouragement may be the very thing that person gravely desires and needs. Indeed, there is not a sin greater than ingratitude! Ingratitude to God, then ingratitude to His creation

God (Most (Glorified and Praised) advises us saying:

"Publicly proclaim your gratitude for all of God's favour's upon you!"

Indeed, for public deeds of righteousness, if done with the intent of encouraging others, are greater and more esteemed than those done in private. The great Islamic Maxim, based upon the words and example of the prophet of Islam, states:

"Show gratitude to those, through whom God bestowed His favour upon you!"

When looking at the Qur`an, we see something quite remarkable; It commences with the words Al-Hamdulillah, meaning 'Be grateful to, and praise God'  its middle word is Yatalattaf, meaning 'be gentle' and concludes with the word Naas, literally meaning 'all that you can see'.    Therefore, the Qur`an can be summarized as, be grateful to God, then grateful and gentle with all creation.

Thus, it was narrated in the tradition of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny):

"One who is unappreciative and ungrateful to people is likewise ungrateful to God!" 

As such, we have declared March 21st, of every year, Universal Genuine Appreciation Day.  The purpose of this day is to allow people to communicate with genuine words and sincere appreciation, in detail, their feelings for others in their lives.  This will provide them with an opportunity to communicate their genuine appreciation for people they may know, or know of, who have been instrumental in their lives. This could be anyone. Perchance it may be the Janitor at work. Maybe it is a teacher or a boss.  Perhaps a parent or a sibling or anyone one truly appreciates, but have never told them so. Most of us, may appreciate people, in our hearts that is, but seldom do we communicate it with our words and deeds. To say thank you is not appreciation, but to communicate, I mean really communicate, through detailed expression!  Of course, it will be up to the individual how they express their appreciation, and doing so need not cost a single penny for such feeling should come from the heart and not the pocket book. Just expressing yourself with deep sincerity and meaning is all that is required.

That being said, I would like to commence with my appreciation for my beautiful home, Canada, where my flesh and bones have matured, to all my teachers, who have taught me with compassion, sincerity and mercy.  I also appreciate my respected teacher Ian Demone, for the wisdom he has imparted to me. I appreciate my dear friend Alan Dufore, for being a shining example of humility, sincerity and genuine devotion. I appreciate my student Naima Sidow, for her unrelenting devotion and sincerity over the years.  I appreciate my neighbor David Young for being there to keep my back strong with his encouraging words, when times were tough. I appreciate my dear wife Shifaa Moharram for bearing with me for the past eight years.  I appreciate my dear friend Idrees Ali for his love and for believing in me.  

I have a dream, and that is to see the multitudes rise to moisten their lips with the words "I appreciate!"      

I pray our Most Compassionate God, our Wise Lord and Benevolent Master to bless Canada, our beautiful home, protect its people from harm and guide its rulers to govern with benevolence, wisdom and justice.  I pray for our government, and prime minister to be guided by the Grace of God, and for mercy and compassion to become deeply-rooted in their hearts.  

I also pray for all my enemies, who hate and despise me, seeking God's forgiveness for them, replacing the hatred in their hearts with love and compassion.    

Amen   

God bless you!