Did you pay your taxes?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Did you pay your taxes?

April 15th is ‘tax day’ in the USA. It is the deadline for filing forms that report on income and spending for the previous year. Procrastinators across the USA scramble to finish their forms and file them all day long today.

What if we were to look at the blessings of Allah upon us as income? And then extrapolated upon that to think about what ‘tax’ we owe upon it. What if we had a yearly deadline in which to ‘report’ on our previous year ‘blessings income’ and ‘tax payout’. What would that form look like?

There would be the general form. The one where we report on the blessings of our humanity: “And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with [definite] preference.” (al-Isrāʾ: 70) We would mention the blessing of our ability to think and reason: “And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful,” (al-Naḥl: 78) and the blessings of the environment and beauty around us: “O humankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous – [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you…” (al-Baqara: 21-22)

Then the form especially for Muslims would need filling out: The blessing of faith, and Islam: “They consider it a favor to you that they have accepted Islam. Say, ‘Do not consider your Islam a favor to me. Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.’” (al-Ḥujurāt: 17) The blessing of our sisterhood, and the support of one another, the blessing of recognizing each other at the store, and the stretched heart of love: “…and remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together, and you became, by His favor, brothers…” (Āl ʿImrān: 103) All of the blessings of certainty, spiritual peace, serendipitous events, purity of body and heart, longing and love for the Prophet ﷺ, remembrance of God – indeed every single internal blessing would have a spot on that form.

Finally our personal form, the one where we fill out our secret blessings, would need to be completed. Squares to check our full refrigerator, our new computer, and our beautiful desk, the diet that works, the husband that listens, the child that prays, and the coffee pot that fills the house with the rich smell of ‘awake’. On and on and on…

Once the forms are filled out, it is time to calculate what we owe. Have we prayed enough? Given enough ṣadaqa? Called others to Islam? Smiled and been kind? Brought joy to others? Have we done anything ‘enough’?

How much do we owe?

Form in hand, one day, we will indeed be faced with our audit. May Allah (swt) make us of those whose blessings are apparent in our state of mind, state of heart and our daily deeds. Ameen.

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