I am grateful to Allah, my Creator and the Creator of all things, that He granted me a home in a small market town in a steep-sided valley. I am grateful to my Lord for granting me this humble dwelling on one side of the valley, overlooking the fields of cows on the other side and the woodland beyond. I am grateful that He enables to buy fresh vegetables from the market in the centre of town every Saturday and that He provides fresh free-range eggs from a local farm via a shop five minutes away from the market stalls. I am grateful that He granted us a home we could afford, protecting us from the interest-based economy. I am grateful to Allah for granting me my loving, caring parents and I am grateful to them – although they may not think so given that I chose to walk this path, not theirs. But I am grateful. I am grateful for their unerring provision, the clothing they provided me in my youth, the education they furnished me with and the meals they prepared for me day after day. I am grateful that they sent me to Sunday School and took me to church, and instilled in me my moral compass. I am grateful for Stepping Stones when I was a child. I am grateful for all these things, and I thank Allah for granting them to me. I am grateful to Allah for granting me my wife, who supports me and encourages me, and cooks delicious Turkish tucker and doesn’t do a bad Englishi either. I am grateful to my Lord for granting me someone who understands me, who comforts me when I’m down and kicks me when I’m lazy, and I’m grateful to her too. I’m grateful to my Creator that He enabled me to make seven delicious scones this morning and I’m grateful that he decreed that my wife would not be angry with me about the burnt shortbread biscuits. I am grateful that Allah granted me the friendship of Abdul Haq who has recently moved to Bahrain; he is a great support to me always and a true friend indeed. I am grateful that He granted me the wise counsel of Abdul Baasit who has never over the seven years I have known him failed to ask after my parents, about their health and welbeing. I am grateful that Allah has granted me the ability to write and I am grateful that He has given me a creative nature. I am grateful that He granted me the opportunity to work on numerous books even as I tried to get out of each of them as they came along. I am grateful that God has granted me employment in an extremely pleasant country town, even though I often moan about my work ungratefully. I am grateful that I am able to walk past the ancient houses every day from my car to my desk and that in the summer I can ascend the hill between fields of barley to walk beneath the leafy canopy above in the forest at the top, or stroll beside the river running behind the highstreet. I am grateful that I can sit it the park amidst the scented flowers in my lunch hour and munch on my sandwiches. I am grateful that I am near enough to home to be able to pray in my local mosque at lunchtime in these winter months. I am grateful to my Lord for decreeing that my sister visits me in my little house on the hill whenever she is in the county. I am grateful that Allah has granted me good health. I am grateful that my Lord has granted me the companionship of fellow Englishmen also following this path, who smooth the way before me. I am grateful that Allah granted me the friendship of my older Somali companion Abdi, who has a special place in my heart although I have not seen him in almost four years. I am grateful that he studied Development Studies and Geography at the same time as me, sharing his expertise in the field of practical development. I am grateful that He granted me the friendship of my older Turkish companion too, who invited me to his home when I studied in Stirling and inspired me with his culture so that I prayed to Allah that He would be grant me a life like his, and lo He granted me a wife from that same land who prepares Turkish breakfast just like the one I tasted in that house in Scotland. And I am grateful to Allah for his immense signs, for although my friend had never met my wife, when he visited us in Ankara we discovered that he was a close friend of my wife’s closest friend. I am grateful to Allah for granting me bounties greater than I can measure. I am grateful that He granted me so many friendships throughout my years and throughout this land and others. I am grateful to my Lord for granting me the gift of faith. I am grateful to the Most Merciful for making me shy throughout my youth. I am grateful that He protected me from bringing harm upon myself. I am grateful that He placed in my heart the fear of my parents. I am grateful that He granted me warmth and gave me food. I am grateful that protected me from harm and has sustained my life long enough for me to begin to correct my conduct and start to purify my heart. I am grateful for the Letter of James. I am grateful to Allah that He inspired me to walk, walk, walk. I am grateful that He granted me my garden and the fruit trees within it. I am grateful for all these things and for so much more. I am grateful that He has granted me what wealth I have. I am grateful for the cheerful greeting of an old man I encountered in the street one morning. I am grateful for laughter and I am grateful for tears. I am grateful that Allah tested me in a way which made me appreciate his bounty. I am grateful that He makes my heart ache whenever I do wrong and that He causes tears to well up in my eyes when I stumble into sin. I am grateful that He sends critics to me who remind me of my shortcomings. I am grateful that I have a bowl of carrot and courgette soup waiting for me downstairs. I am grateful that He decrees that we receive two fresh trout and two bottles of milk every Monday, delivered straight to our door. I am grateful that blessing after blessing is bestowed on me despite myself and that Allah sends sign after sign, from the beauty of the dawn across the hill in the morning to the bright moon above us on a cloudless night. There is so much to be grateful for. I am grateful that Allah sent anonymous with his posting, which made me go off on a great tangent, giving thought to the beautiful chaffinch of all things, which made me think of the beauty of Allah’s creation, which made me think of his vast Mercy and Blessings bestowed upon us. I am grateful indeed. May Allah t’ala forgive me for every moment of sadness, for every moment spent with ingratitude. There is so much that Allah has poured upon me. I am truly grateful.