When Will We Be Satisfied?


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My appreciation of nature was something that came quite late in my life. As a child, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to witness places like forests, parks, ponds, and tumbling fields of grass, hay bales, and canola. I did so without ever really taking a moment to digest what I was seeing. Yes, visiting such magnificent places was fun, but playing with my family and friends on the beach while watching dragonflies dance over the chilly lake water was even more fun. Looking back, I somewhat regret not taking a moment to really enjoy those moments by marveling in the utter beauty of our Lord’s creation.

Now that I am older and more aware of my surroundings, I do my best to appreciate everything I can; I try to find beauty in everything and, amazingly, it’s not that hard. All you have to do is look around, and you’ll find it.

Something interesting—and quite disheartening—I’ve come to realize is that although we are surrounded by nature’s beauty, we fail not only to appreciate it, but we complain about it too. We reprimand its existence instead of giving our thanks to the One who has honored us with its presence. From these observations, something that I have learned is: we are never satisfied.

Have you noticed that regardless of what the weather may be—whether it be a damp spring morning, a blazing summer day, a breezy autumn evening, or a frosty winter night—we are always dissatisfied? My experience in the workplace is what really brought this to my attention. Every day, we were required to treat our customers with kindness and respect; however, I’d find that no matter what the season was and no matter how beautiful (I thought) it was outside, they would always complain. Our conversations would go along the lines of:

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”
Customer: “I’m good, but the weather is (insert complaint)”
Me: “(insert excuse on behalf of the weather)”
Customer: “(insert sarcastic remark and/or another complaint)”

I hadn’t realize that people were never satisfied with their surroundings until after working there for a few years and witnessing the many turbulent weather changes accompanied by the turbulent changes in people’s moods. Even on a day where the sun was shining, the sky was clear, and the grass was glowing green, they’d still complain—and the sadder part was that I found myself starting to do it as well! It was just too easy to fall into the pattern of complaining about things over which I had no control.

It wasn’t until I removed myself from that environment that I thought: so what if the sky is grey today? So what if lightning and thunder are making their mark alongside the clouds? So what if the sun’s rays are shining in my eyes? So what if the snow is up to my knees?” Why can’t we learn to appreciate these moments? When will we be satisfied?

SubhanAllah (glory to God), we have become so accustomed to cursing the weather that we have failed to realize just how lucky we are: at least that last rainstorm wasn’t a tsunami. At least we can shield the dirt from blowing into our eyes. At least we don’t have to worry about the destruction that follows a volcano or the feeling of helplessness that accompanies an earthquake. At least we have jackets and houses to protect us from the sting of the cold… And the list could go on. Furthermore, imagine if weather was a static, unchanging, phenomenon—something that was constant and consistent throughout the year—how boring and dull would that be? And yet, there is diversity in the phenomena that we experience daily; a diversity that is both pleasing to the eyes and comforting to the soul.

Alhamdullilah (praise be to God), I have learned that we will obtain satisfaction once we become grateful to the One who decreed the storm to pass and the water to flood. That is to say that satisfaction will come, bi’ithnillah  (by the will of God), after not only recognizing and appreciating nature’s beauty, but giving thanks to the One who willed it to be.

And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (glorified is He) knows best.

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12 Comments

  1. MG says:

    I loved this piece, beautifully written, it really touched my heart. We should be more appreciative of our surroundings and expend a larger effort to stop complaining. Thank-you.

  2. Irish Sister says:

    Ma sha’ Allah. I’m with you on this. In Ireland the weather is very rarely extreme like in the US. It RARELY goes above 23 degrees or below 2. Alhamdu Lillah. It rains frequently but RARELY heavily. Alhamdu Lillah. But some people always find something negative to say about it. My answer is usually there is not such thing as bad weather just wrong clothing. Also here very rarely are two days the same weather wise. I have lived in countries where the weather was sunny for months on end, I missed clouds and rain. Some of my friends from North Africa or other Muslim countries went home during the summer, they all sent messages that they miss the Irish weather because of the heat.

  3. Yasmin says:

    I love this post! It really inspired to take a break and just enjoy the nature around me and marvel at the beauty of Allah (swt)’s creation!

  4. Dreamlife says:

    Excellent article – JazakAllah. It’s true that we tend to complain more than we appreciate. For many of us, it takes a conscious effort to REMEMBER to be grateful…and Alhamdullilah that our deen teaches us this.

  5. Laliah says:

    Masha Allah thanks for this article , we have to appreciate and be thankfull for everything Allah our Creator has given us

  6. Jazakum Allahu khairan to SuhaibWebb.com for publishing my work and for all of your kind words. For more of my writing, please feel free to visit my blog at http://www.seekingtobetter.blogspot.com

    ~ ubah

  7. Shada says:

    Assalamualaikum brother ubah
    JazakAllah alkhairun for the article you have written. When i was working I felt similiar to how you felt. The people i worked with complained about something on a daily basis. I was unhappy there. But alhamdulillah, Allah gave me the strength to leave the job.
    The world is a beautifiul place, alhamdulillah

  8. Safaa says:

    I grew up in a place with sunny days, rainy days n snow.. After getting married i moved to a place with sun all year round n barely any winter… And it rains 3 days if the year where its barely a sprinkle or it causes floods..

    And this change has made me appreciate the weather.. The beauty of it.. Hardly having rain has made me love this beautiful phenomenon of storms n thunder n lightening n when i travel im eagerly hoping for rain.. And because of that i appreciate the sunny days as well even tho ppl are always complaining about it.. There is always something u can appreciate n be grateful for..

    N for me im grateful for the sunny days that allah has blessed me with.. For tomorrow if we dont even hav that then we will surely regret our complaining attitude..

    May allah make us all of those who are grateful for His blessings.. Big or small..

  9. Safaa says:

    sad but true…

    If ur ever in a public place.. One way to break the ice and start a conversation with a nearby stranger is to complain.. About anything thats societally relevant.. Weather.. Politics.. Traffic.. And soon both ppl will feel a comfort n start talking..

    Let us do our part to change this trend.. And make statements of gartitude where ever we tred..

  10. Rubaba says:

    Subhaanal Laah! As I read this article, it just seemed as if the author was just writing what has always been on my mind and how I feel appreciative of just about everything around me. And it is so true that most of us seem unsatisfied by what Allah swt has put around us because we do not make time to ponder on them. May Allah swt give us guidance always. Ameen and Jazaakumul Laahu khairan

  11. Ideal Muslim says:

    Islamic worships and teachings can well be learnt collectively. This is more important for Muslims living in liberal society where their surroundings are quite strange to them religion wise. In this regard a group of scholars in London have initiated Islamic Weekend School to serve the religious training needs of Muslims in London.

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