Islamic Date28 Jumada al-ula
English Date23 January
If You Look Above Then Look Below
Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“When one of you looks at one who stands at a higher level than you in regard to wealth and physical structure he should also see one who stands at a lower level than you in regard to these things.” [Muslim]
Comparing ourselves to people whom Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has given better looks to, more money to, nicer possessions to, better education to, higher status to, etc., is a common cause for our showing ingratitude to Allah. We then automatically discard the blessings that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has bestowed on us and can think of only that which we are lacking and someone else has. There will always be something more that we could have.
However, Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) is the Originator of all Good/Khair. Nothing comes from Him that is not good. Therefore, we should not have the attitude, that when we see ourselves having the blessings of this world we say, "Rabbi akraman" (Allah has blessed/honoured me) and when we face anything lacking in our lives we say, "Rabbi ahanun" (Allah has humiliated me). A believer always says "Rabbi akraman" only, since in his or her every affair Allah is honouring them.
Human beings are greedy and ungrateful by nature. Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told us that even if we were given two valleys full of gold we would wish for a third and there would be no end to our greed till we died. Therefore, the advice of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) makes perfect sense that whenever we get to see people who have more or better than what we have, we should immediately look at those people too who have less or worse than what we have. Only then will we be able to remain thankful to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala).