Gratitude or lack thereof is an attitude. And this attitude plays a vital role in the making or marring of one’s personality. God blesses every individual with innumerable bounties and blessings. Those who realise the bounties and blessings as gifts from God, always stand in gratitude to God. And it is here that the power of gratitude starts working. For, it is the Way of God that if you are grateful to Him, He blesses you more and more. And we know that God’s will and power are not limited to what is normal or familiar to humans; He can bless you from where you cannot reach nor can you ever imagine. So the mantra is: the more you pay thanks to God, the more you will be blessed. Contrary to it, whoever is ungrateful to God for His blessings, tells God, as if to say that he is not worthy of those blessings, and as a result the blessings are withdrawn and he stands devoid of them.
Children are also great blessings of God. Those who are grateful to God welcome children as Gifts of God. But those who are ungrateful to God stoop to unnatural ways to stop child birth. To such ungrateful persons, children are unwelcome and unfortunately killed in the womb. For us to take lessons from, the Qur’ān presents stories of some ungrateful nations. The Qur’ān (34:19) says: “But they said: ‘Lord, make the stages of our journeys longer’.” A reputed exegetist is of the view that the words in the text of this ayah seem to suggest that “the Sabaeans perhaps regarded their large population as a calamity for themselves, and they also wanted like the other foolish people that their population should fall.”
This attitude of the Sabaeans was unbecoming, the least to say. The Qur’ān testifies it: “They wronged their own selves so We reduced them to bygone tales, and utterly tore them to pieces.” In response of their prayer, ‘Lord, make the stages of our journeys longer’, God subjected them to unending travel. When God caused His blessings to be withdrawn from them, the various tribes of the Sabaeans started leaving their homes and migrating to other parts of Arabia. Thus, the Sabaeans ceased to exist as a nation and became a mere legend.
The attitude of a grateful person is that he does not lose his balance after he has received blessings from God, nor exults at his own intellect, labour and prosperity, nor becomes heedless of God Who has blessed him with qualities of head and heart. He cares to learn great lessons from the history of the people who adopted the way of ingratitude and disobedience after attaining opportunities for progress and prosperity and ultimately met with their doom. Such lessons help him keep from the mistakes of the ungrateful, mend his ways and make efforts to reap ultimate success.