FOOD (Literally) For Thought

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It’s a wonderful sunny day, the air smells great, the grass is deliciously green, the birds are chirping, the wind is soothing– Can you imagine this?

Do you tire of this?

These things are especially appreciated here because in Canada we are faced with so much rain and cold, that when refreshing summer days (that actually look like summer) occur, we actually take notice.

It’s a blessing, a gift, a mere sprinkle of His Mercy on us. We notice.

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But the question isn’t to only notice what’s rare or uncommon. What about the blessings we get on a daily basis multiple times a day? It’s fascinating to note that even a grateful person won’t notice how ingrateful they’ve been until they realize something else that is worth noticing. Like myself here.

Here I am eating a normal plate of food, very simply made–

A plate of rice, with vegetables heated up from a bag bought from a grocery store already containing corn, carrots and green peas. It’s not very difficult to make; make some rice and heat up some vegetables; mix them together; add some olive oil for extra flavour.

I often say “bismilleh” (in the name of God) before I eat. I thank Him for giving me food to eat. But I never deeply wondered about how the food came to me from Him.

Looking at my plate, it struck me: how long did it take for hard-working farmers to grow my rice? How long did it take for the bag of vegetables to be prepared? I thought of the corn that was planted, cooked, removed from the cob… I thought of the peas that grew from nothing but a seed… I thought of all the carrots and wondered who took the time to patiently cut them up into such neat tiny squares… how many olives were squeezed to allow this plate of healthy food to taste so delicious…

All praise is due to God; but as our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ told us: “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.”

And it made me think that we don’t usually thank those who brought the food together for us. It’s easy to buy a bag of frozen vegetables at your local grocery store but who thanks those that put the frozen vegetables together? We may not be able to personally thank them but why not do that via a prayer? So many people need pure souls to pray for them, often times especially those working in the fields under difficult conditions. (Yes, I know your soul and mine isn’t the purest but we’re trying, we’re trying… inshallah with sincere intentions.)

Let’s make duaa for all those who make our life comfortable possible. They don’t have to be Muslim to be eligible to receive such prayers like “May God make their lives easy”, “May God reward them” or “May God bring light in their lives”.

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Next time you have a plate of food, or a sandwich in hand– stop and think about it.

Let’s turn food for eating into something more profound– food for thought.

May Allah bless whoever is reading this and bring sakeena (serene tranquility) in your hearts.

Peace,

–A.S.

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