Appreciation is one, dynamic link that connects us with our surroundings and a sign of wisdom and intelligence. It is a proof of recognition and awareness. If we are not able to value things or beings, we lose the ability to interact appropriately, or grow intellectually. Appreciation is an expression of our validation of the divine goodness around us and within us. Lack of appreciation is a trait of senseless hearts that have no connection with God. God informs us that such hearts belong to the majority and that Satan was the first to set the example of being unappreciative.
Luqmaan's Wisdom [31:12] We have endowed Luqmaan with wisdom: "You shall be appreciative of GOD." Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good. As for those who turn unappreciative, GOD is in no need, Praiseworthy.
[76:2] We created the human from a liquid mixture, from two parents, in order to test him. Thus, we made him a hearer and a seer.
[76:3] We showed him the two paths, then he is either appreciative, or unappreciative.
[27:73] Your Lord is full of grace towards the people, but most of them are unappreciative.
[38:73] The angels fell prostrate, all of them,
[38:74] except Satan; he refused, and was too arrogant, unappreciative.
Appreciation is an action. Appreciating our guidance is a constant hard work to maintain it. Following 90:4 [We created the human being to work hard (to redeem himself).*] means that we should always reevaluate our stands and decisions and implore God to increase our knowledge and keep us striving to observe Him and recognize our transgressions. This is how we progress on the path of redemption. This would be the valid proof that we are appreciative of God's guidance. Those who don't appreciate the blessing of guidance, don't work hard to maintain it - instead, they freeze it. They lose the connection with God by their unappreciative approach. They deceive nobody but themselves.
[18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?
[18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."
[18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.
Believing in the truth is only an initial step on God's path. Appreciating that truth and expressing this appreciation is what determines our true convictions. Believing in God and the Hereafter is not enough for salvation. Acting upon that belief by leading the righteous life style dictated by God is always mandatory, and is placed as a condition right next to our belief in God and the Last Day to hope for any salvation (2:62, 2:112, 5:69, 46:13, 17:19, and many more). We thus understand that when we side with, validate, observe, implement and promote the truth in Quran, without hesitance or compromise, we are expressing our appreciation to that truth. Any time we fail in doing that, we are unappreciative of the truth. God informs us that those who lead a righteous life by observing God and fulfilling their religious obligations, are the righteous and the winners. Thus, actively expressing our appreciation grants us salvation.
[3:123] GOD has granted you victory at Badr, despite your weakness. Therefore, you shall observe GOD, to show your appreciation.
Quran: Absolute Truth
[39:33] As for those who promote the truth, and believe therein, they are the righteous.
[39:34] They will get everything they wish, at their Lord. Such is the reward for the righteous. [39:35] GOD remits their sinful works, and rewards them generously for their good works.
[2:185] ..... GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.
Being unappreciative and losing our connection with our Creator means regression of individuals and communities. We then lose God's love and support in this life and the Hereafter.
[34:19] But they (turned unappreciative and) challenged: "Our Lord, we do not care if You increase the distance of our journeys (without any stations)." They thus wronged their own souls. Consequently, we made them history, and scattered them into small communities throughout the land. This should provide lessons for those who are steadfast, appreciative.
[16:112] GOD cites the example of a community that used to be secure and prosperous, with provisions coming to it from everywhere. But then, it turned unappreciative of GOD's blessings. Consequently, GOD caused them to taste the hardships of starvation and insecurity. Such is the requital for what they did.
[28:58] Many a community we annihilated for turning unappreciative of their lives. Consequently, here are their homes, nothing but uninhabited ruins after them, except a few. We were the inheritors.
[7:98] Did the people of today's communities guarantee that our retribution will not come to them in the daytime while they play?
[7:99] Have they taken GOD's plans for granted? None takes GOD's plans for granted except the losers.
[7:100] Does it ever occur to those who inherit the earth after previous generations that, if we will, we can punish them for their sins, and seal their hearts, causing them to turn deaf?
God Defends the Believers [22:38] GOD defends those who believe. GOD does not love any betrayer, unappreciative.
Appreciative vs. Unappreciative [14:7] Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me, the more I give you." But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.
In conclusion, appreciation is a dynamic act rather than just a static feeling. It ignites the true connection with God and mandates consequent choices, actions, and obligations towards the divine truth we have received. Appreciating all gifts and qualities of people and the whole world around us is a blessing that not every one of us deserves to have. It takes a tremendous effort, self discipline, and a high level of honesty and integrity to validate our appreciation.
[27:19] ... "My Lord, direct me to be appreciative of the blessings You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Admit me by Your mercy into the company of Your righteous servants."
[46:15] ... "My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Let my children be righteous as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter."
Peaceful Friday, salaam, and God bless.