Salam Aleikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakato,
I though i'd share a story from my friends experience that may provide a different perspective on the blessings from Allah and our own obligations to carry out what is commanded of us:
Ahmed narrates as follows:
During my stay in Canada, a few years back, I met a fellow Muslim brother at work, and soon enough we became friends. Once he invited me to dinner at his place. He wanted to showcase his culinary skill set with some chicken, green beans and a bottle of Ragu sauce =)
Just before we started eating, sub7anAllah, I don't know for what reason, but I went ahead and asked him: " Khalid, don't mean to be rude or anything, but is the chicken halal?". he looked at me kind of puzzled and told me he bought it for the local supermarket chain, which pretty much meant it wasn't. This is not a question I would usually ask as I'd implicitly think that If I'm dining at a fellow Muslim brother's place, then food must be halal, right?? Well, I respectfully declined eating the chicken dish and stuck to the green beans. later that evening I asked him: "Khalid, if you don't mind me asking, how come you don't buy halal meat?" His Answer was (I will give you his answer in the Egyptian dialect as it is still etched in my mind to this day, followed by the translation): "ya seedi! Rabbina 3arif adeh il 7aya sa3ba hina fil ghorba!" (dude! God knows how difficult life abroad is).
I politely thanked him for the invitation, and went on my way. While driving back home, I started reflecting upon his answer. The "dude" is working at a hotshot company with a highly paid annual salary and loads of benefits, drives a brand spanking new car just rolled out of the dealership, living in a swanky new apartment in a high rise building in downtown. That's just one teeny tiny set of blessings and gifts given to him from Allah. what about the gift of eye sight? hearing? speech? all intact limbs, ten fingers on each hand. do I need to keep track of it all? I'm pretty sure I would not come close to counting them all...
So for all the blessings that Allah has graciously, kindly and generously bestowed upon you, you can't get in your brand new car and drive an extra 10 minutes to the halal butcher shop?
This story is not meant as an attack on my dear friend, whom I pray that Allah guides him to the righteous path, but rather that whenever we start thinking about any obligation commanded of us, whether it's prayer, fasting, giving to the poor, etc... let's think of all the blessings we've already got and the least we can do is perform those duties to give thanks to Allah.
Next time you're thinking... "dang! the water's too cold in the morning for ablution" or "double dang! i'm too sleepy to pray Ishaa"
Think Again! =)