O sick person who gives up offering thanks and takes up complaining! Complaint arises from a right. None of your rights have been lost that you should complain. Indeed, there are numerous rights upon you to offer thanks (shukr) which you have not performed. Without fulfilling your rights to Almighty Allah, you complain as though demanding some right in an undeserved way. You are not entitled to complain by looking at others at higher levels of health. Rather, what is incumbent upon you is to look at those who are helpless and sick at lower levels than you in terms of health, and to offer thanks (shukr). If your hand is broken, look at amputated hands! If you have only one eye, look at the blind, who lack both eyes! And offer thanks to Allah.
Yes, no one has any right to look to those superior to themselves in regard to bounties and complain. And in times of calamity, everyone’s right is to look those above themselves in terms of calamity in order to offer thanks (shukr). This mystery has been explained in some risales with a representation; a summary of it is as follows:
A person takes a destitute man to the top of a minaret. On every step of the minaret he gives the man different favours and different gifts. And right at the top of the minaret he gives the greatest present. Although the person asks for thanks and gratitude in return for all those various gifts, the peevish man forgets the presents he has received on each of the steps, or considers them to be of no importance, and offering no thanks, looks above him. He starts to complain, saying, “If only this minaret had been higher, I could have climbed even further; why isn’t it as tall as that mountain over there or that other minaret?” If he begins to complain like this; what great ingratitude it would be, what a wrong!
In just the same way, a person comes into existence from nothing; not as a rock or a tree or an animal, but as a human being and as a Muslim, and, for most of the time, lives in good health and receives a high degree of bounty. Despite all this, to complain and display impatience due to lacking worthiness for the bounties of good health and wellness, or for losing them due to wrong choice or abuse, or for not being able to obtain them; and to criticise Divine lordship (rububiyyah) saying, “What have I done that this has happened to me?” is a condition and spiritual sickness more calamitous than the physical one. Like fighting with a broken hand, a person only worsens the illness by complaining.
The wise person is one who submits with patience in accordance with the mystery of
لِكُلِّ مُصٖيبَةٍ اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّٓا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
so that the illness serves its purpose and leaves.