The expression “we don’t realise what we have until we lose it” has long been a bit of a cliche. Even I admit to groaning or muttering under my breath when I hear someone say it. It doesn’t change the fact though that it’s very true.
I’ve got a bit of a cold and because of the clogged up nasal passages, I’ve been unable to smell or taste. It’s been an enlightening experience. I have so much to be thankful for – all the way down to my senses of smell & taste which are by far the least needed.
Allah (SWT) says:
And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (14:7)
What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is Allah that recogniseth (all good), and knoweth all things (4:147)
This is reinforced by the traditional report, transmitted on the authority of ‘Ata’ (may Allah the Exalted bestow His mercy upon him), who said:
“I entered the presence of [the Prophet's widow] ‘A’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her), and said: ‘Tell us about the most amazing experience you ever had in the company of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace).’ She wept at first, but then she said: Was there anything at all about him that was not a marvelous wonder? He came to me one night, and snuggled up beside me in my bed [firashi] until his skin was touching my skin. But then he said: ‘O daughter of Abu Bakr, let me go, so that I may devote myself to the worship of my Lord.’
“She said: ‘So I told him: ‘I love your nearness, but I prefer to respect your dearest wish.’ I therefore allowed him (Allah bless him and give him peace) to take his leave of me. So he got up, found a skin container full of water, and performed his ritual ablution [tawadda'a], pouring a considerable amount of water in the process. Then he stood erect, and started to perform the ritual prayer [qama fa-salla]. He wept as he did so, until his tears were streaming down onto his chest. Then he adopted the bowing posture [raka'a], and shed more tears. Then he prostrated himself [sajada], and again he wept. Then he raised his head, and wept still more. He went on like this (Allah bless him and give him peace) until Bilal (may Allah be well pleased with him) arrived on the scene, and so he told him about the ritual prayer [salat].
I then said: “O Messenger of Allah, what causes you to weep, when Allah has forgiven you your earlier and later sins?” To this he replied (Allah bless him and give him peace) :
‘Should I not be a thankful servant ['abd shakur]? Why should I not do it, since Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) has sent down to me the words of revelation:
Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ship that runs upon the sea with that which is of use to human beings, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and the distribution of the winds, and the clouds set in orderly array between heaven and earth — surely there are signs for people who can understand. (2:164)’”
Be thankful, always.