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12 reasons for Shukr (thankfulness) to Allah

1. We can never count Allah's Blessings:

Be ever grateful to Allah for everything that you possess including your wealth,
health, status, intellectual abilities and life. Allah says:
"Is, then, He Who creates comparable to any that cannot create? Will you not, then,
take heed? For should you try to count Allah's blessings, you could never compute
them" (An-Nahl 16:17-19).

2. Shaytan's primary mission is to make human beings ungrateful:

From the very beginning of the human being's creation, the issue of gratefulness
and thankfulness to Allah has been debated. After refusing to bow to Adam, Satan
said: "Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them,
and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and You (Allah) shall not
find most of them thankful." (Al-Araf 7:17)

3- The opposite of Shukr (gratitude) is Kufr (disbelief):

In many places in the Quran, Allah compares the terms shukr and kufr. "Then
remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me" (Al-
Baqarah 2:152).

Iman (belief) implies shukr or gratefulness as opposed to kufr or ungratefulness.


A kafiror disbeliever is ungrateful to the Being Who has given him everything,
whereas a Believer is one who is ever thankful for all that Allah has given him.

4- We thank Allah for our own benefit:

If you are ungrateful, Allah is unaffected. If you become grateful, then you have
taken the first step towards becoming a true Believer. It is for this reason that the
Prophet exhorted us to "Love Allah as we benefit from His grace" (Tirmidhi).

Allah reminds us: " And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for the benefit of his
own self" (Luqman 31:12). "For surely if it was not for the grace of God on you and
His mercy, you would have been among the losers" (Al-Baqarah 2:64).

5- True worship means sincere thankfulness to Allah:

Allah explained in the Quran that the only people who truly worship Him are those
who give gratitude to Him, so those who are not among the people of gratitude are
not among the people of Ibadah (worship and obedience). "... and be grateful to
All?h, if it is Him you worship" (Al-Baqarah 2:172).

6- Shukr leads to Allah's pleasure:

Allah has told us that His pleasure may be attained through gratitude. " If you are
grateful, He is pleased with you..." (Az-Zumar 39:7).

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: "Allah is pleased with His
servant if, when he eats something, he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks
something, he thanks Allah for it" (Muslim).

7- Gratitude is a purpose of our creation:

"It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew
nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affection: that you
may give thanks (to Allah)"(An-Nahl, 16:78).

8- Shukr is a quality of success in this life and in the Hereafter:

Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet said: "There are four qualities, whoever is given
them has truly been given the best in this world and the next. They are: a grateful
heart (that is thankful to Allah), a remembering tongue (that mentions Allah often),
an enduring body (to persevere through the trials), and a faithful wife."

9- Being grateful and patient in times of difficulty:

Everything that happens to us - even events that we may consider to be personal


afflictions or natural disasters-are from Allah. Therefore, in times of calamity and
distress, there will be some good for us, provided we respond appropriately. The
Prophet said:

"How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens
to him -and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing. If he receives some bounty,
he is grateful to Allah and this bounty brings good to him. And if some adversity
befalls him, he is patient, and this affliction, too, brings good to him" (Muslim).

10- Allah's Mercy is for all, but most people will remain ungrateful:

He shows and gives mercy to all, even those who continue to be ungrateful and
rebellious towards Him: "Indeed God is the possessor of bounty for all people but
most people do not give thanks." (Al-Baqarah 2: 243).
11- Most people subconsciously thank God:

Reflect upon your own life and you will find innumerable occasions when Allah's
`hand' has been holding you and helping you. So often, believers and even atheists
subconsciously use the expression 'Thank God', without realising the full implications
of our words.

12- Shukr leads to abundance in Allah's favors:

If you appreciate Allah's favors, He has promised increased Rahma or mercy for you.
Allah's reward for your gratitude is unlimited and unconditional. "If you are grateful,
I will surely give you more and more" (Ibrahim 14:7).

Three ways to express Shukr:

The classical Muslim scholars have indicated Shukr can be shown in three ways:

- Shukr of the heart (Qalb), which is achieved by harboring and intending good for
all of Allah's creation.
- Shukr of the tongue (Lisan), which involves celebrating the praises of Allah, such
as utterance of Alhamdulillah, and expressing gratefulness to Allah with our tongue.
- Shukr of the limbs (Jawarih), which is fulfilled by using our external senses to do
good. Every time Allah gives us a blessing, we must use it in a way that benefits
humanity and that pleases Allah.

5 Verses From the Qur’an That


Remind Us to Be Thankful
As Muslims, it’s very important that we read the Qur’an as often as we can, and we often find
ourselves reading about and begging for forgiveness from Allah (SWT.) But it’s equally important
to remember that we are thankful for everything Allah (SWT) has given us, too. Here are 5 ayat
from the Qu’ran that deal with being thankful that we can all keep in our minds this holiday:

1. Surah Al-Luqman has a verse that says:

“…Anyone who is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul…” (31:12)

In other words, being grateful for your life will benefit and purify your soul.

2. “…If anyone desires a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if anyone desires a
reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that
(serve us with) gratitude.” (3:145)
Basically, if you are truly grateful for what you have, Allah will reward you for showing Him this
gratefulness.

3. “If you are grateful, I would certainly give you more; and if you are ungrateful, My
chastisement is truly severe.” (14:7)

This is the same concept as the ayat above – being filled with gratitude for the life you were
given is something that will be rewarded, while being ungrateful will result in the opposite.

4. Surah An-Nisa states:

“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked Him and have believed in Him. And Allah is
Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.” (4:147)

Allah will not punish you if you show that you are grateful for what you have, because Allah does
not want to punish you if you worship Him and remember Him and all He has given you.

5. “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah.” (16:53)

At the end of the day, just make sure you remember the meaning behind Thanksgiving, and
when someone asks you what truly happened, try to educate them to the best of your ability. And
as a Muslim, remember Allah at the end of the day, in addition to all He has blessed you with. I
hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving.

Expressing gratitude to Allah Almighty by


deeds action
GRATITUDE to Allah is defined as devoting all that Allah has bestowed upon you
to that for which He has created you. Hence, gratitude transcends speech to a
state of being that manifests in one’s character. Allah Almighty clarifies that this
rare quality of spiritual devotion is not at all limited to speech: “Work, O family of
David, in gratitude. And few of my servants are grateful.” (Qur’an, 34:13)
Gratitude has been mentioned on over 70 different occasions in the Qur’an as it
praises its beholders, promises them a pleasant reward, prohibits us of its
opposite and commands us to internalize it. This emphasis on gratitude brings to
light its crucial significance. (Akhlaq an-Nabi fil Kitab was-sunnah) It is a quality
that Allah mentioned to distinguish His prophets (peace be upon them) and
favored servants. Allah said of Noah (peace be upon him): “O descendants of
those We carried [in the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a grateful (shakur)
servant.” (Qur’an, 17: 3)
The verse uses the form “shakur” to indicate affirmed emphasis of this quality in
Prophet Noah (peace be upon him). He described Ibrahim (peace be upon him):
“[He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight
path” (An-Nahl 16: 121) He says of Luqman: “And We had certainly given Luqman
wisdom [and said], "Be grateful to Allah." And whoever is grateful is grateful for
[the benefit of] himself.” (Qur’an, 31: 12)
Imam ibn Kathir interpreted: “That is, we commanded him to be grateful for the
grace that We bestowed upon him that distinguished him from the people of his
time.” (Ibn Kathir, Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-Azeem) Hence, these examples indicate
that gratitude is a primary quality conveyed and enacted by all Prophets,
especially the beloved seal of Prophets, Muhammad (peace be upon him), who
said: “Indeed, I was sent to perfect the honorable manners” (Ahmad).
“As for the believers, they are at varying degrees in fulfilling their duty of
expressing gratitude. This variance in degree correlates with their awareness of
these blessings and their actualization of the essence of servitude to Allah. Thus,
whosoever performed this quality in a fashion that is pleasing to Allah has
achieved the honor of falling under the general divine praise. “And few of my
servants are grateful.” (Akhlaq An-Nabi fil Kitab w-as-sunnah)
The entire life of our dearly beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) can be viewed
as a manifestation of utmost gratitude. One who observes his character, his
sayings, his actions and his entire lifestyle will be obliged to concur that he was a
truly grateful servant of his Creator.
Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: The household of Muhammad
(peace be upon him) never filled their stomachs of wheat bread two consecutive
days to the day he passed away.” (Shama’il At-Tarmidhi) Ibn Abbas (may Allah be
pleased with him) said: “The Prophet of Allah (peace be upon him) passed away
without leaving a dinar (gold coin) or a dirham (silver coin)…
By Allah, nights would pass in the household of Muhammad (peace be upon him),
and they would not find dinner.” (Ahmad)
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: We were by the Prophet of Allah
(peace be upon him) while Umar was in his presence. The Prophet (peace be upon
him) was lying on a bed made of palm leaves, and beneath his head was a pillow;
there wasn’t a barrier between his side and the palm leaves. When he made a
slight movement, it was evident that the palm affected his sides.
So, Umar began to weep, and the Prophet (peace be upon him) inquired, “Why do
you weep?” He said: "How can I not weep when I know that you are dearer to
Allah than Kaiser and the Caesar, and they are living such lavish lives in this
world.”
So the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “O Umar wouldn’t you be pleased if the
hereafter is ours and this life is for them?” (Al-Hafiz Al-Asbahani, Akhlaq An-Nabi
wa Adabuh. The last excerpt of the Hadith is also found in Sahih Muslim
The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed utmost gratitude in his worship to
Allah. He would pray a large part of the night throughout the year, and his
gratitude would even increase in times of special divine bounty. Ayesha reported:
“When the last ten nights of Ramadan entered, the Prophet (peace be upon him)
would revive the night in worship and awake his family…” (Al-Bukhari and
Muslim)
Ayesha also reported: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed (the night
prayers: Qiyam-Al-Layl), he would stand until (the skin of) his feet swelled. So, I
said: “O Prophet of Allah, do you do as such while Allah has forgiven you all
mistakes?” He responded: "Should not I be a grateful servant of Allah?" (Muslim)
Imam ibn Hajar commented on the Hadith: “The meaning is that since I have been
forgiven all of my mistakes, this is a reason for night prayers being a form of
gratitude towards Allah, so how can I abandon it? Imam Al-Qurtubi clarified:
Those who asked him this question assumed that he withstands such burdens in
worship to Allah from fear of sins and hope of forgiveness. So, he clarified to them
that there is another path of worship, which is to express gratitude for
forgiveness. The scholars said: The prophets have maintained such deep fear of
Allah because of their knowledge of His immense blessings upon them.” (Ibn
Hajar, Fath El-Bari)
Ibn Battal said: “This Hadith is indicative that the individual should take upon
himself a stricter path in servitude, even if that may take a toll on his body
because if the Prophet (peace be upon him) did that while being certain of having
been forgiven, what should be the condition of one who does not have that
certainty, let alone one who is insecure of deserving hellfire.” (Ibid)
However, it should be noted that Imam Ibn Hajar modified the understanding of
the statement of Ibn Battal: “This mindset should be in a case that it will not lead
the individual to boredom and retreat from worship because the condition of the
Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was most complete, and he never
retreated from worshipping his Lord. So, if one fears boredom and retreat, he
should not force himself upon such acts. Hence the Prophet (peace be upon him)
said “Take of the actions that which you can withstand…” (Ibid. With a slight
abridgment of the original quote)
Another example of the Prophet’s gratitude is that he would seek forgiveness of
Allah after performing the five daily prayers: “Some have raised a query as to how
he seeks forgiveness while being forgiven, and Imam ibn Sayyid An-Nas
responded: “This displays his loyalty to the duties of servitude and his practice of
gratitude, and so that he may clarify his Sunnah by action just as he has done so in
speech.” (Al-Mubarkaafuri, Tuhfat Al-Ahwazi Sharh Sunan At-Tirmizi) Similarly, it
was reported that he sought refuge in Allah from the punishment of the grave. If
the query is raised as to why he would seek refuge while he is already assured
protection, the response is: “He did so to display his need of Allah, to
acknowledge His blessings and to express his gratitude for continually renewed
blessings.
One who has immense blessings from Allah Almighty must receive such blessings
with immense gratitude. The subservience of individuals to Allah is in accordance
with their knowledge of Him.” (Ibn Battal, Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, with a slight
abridgement)
Gratitude was not just something our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him)
practiced and professed; rather, it was a quality he instilled within his
companions.
Our gratitude may be enhanced by building our awareness of Allah and His
sovereignty over our affairs. The fruits of such esteemed realization should
become apparent in one’s personal and social life as it was evident in the life of
Allah’s favored servants. Allah says: “And [remember] when your Lord
proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you
deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'“ (Qur’an, 14: 7)

Courtesy of onislam.net

Thanking Allah for His Many Blessings

What are the best ways a Muslim can thank Allah for all the blessings He has

bestowed on us.

Published Date: 2009-02-14


Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

Thanks or gratitude means reciprocating kindness and giving praise to the one who

has done good and kind things. The one who is most deserving of thanks and praise

from people is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because of the great favours

and blessings that He has bestowed upon His slaves in both spiritual and worldly

terms. Allah has commanded us to give thanks to Him for those blessings, and not to

deny them. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be

grateful to Me (for My countless favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me”

[2:152]

Secondly:

The greatest ones who obeyed this command, and gave thanks to their Lord until

they deserved to be described as shaakir and shakoor (thankful) are the Prophets

and Messengers (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or

a nation, obedient to Allah, Haneef (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not

one of those who were Al-Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the

Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah).

121. (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) favours. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate

friend) and guided him to a Straight Path (Islamic Monotheism — neither Judaism

nor Christianity)” [16:120, 121]

“O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nûh (Noah)! Verily, he was

a grateful slave” [17:3]


Thirdly:

Allah has mentioned some of the blessings that He has bestowed upon His slaves,

and has commanded them to be grateful for them, and has told us that few of His

slaves give thanks to Him:

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

1.

“O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah — Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the

lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed

He Whom you worship” [2:172]

2.

“And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein

provisions (for your life). Little thanks do you give”[7:10]

3.

“And among His Signs is this, that He sends the winds as glad tidings, giving you a

taste of His Mercy (i.e. rain), and that the ships may sail at His Command, and that

you may seek of His Bounty, in order that you may be thankful” [31:46]

4.

Among spiritual blessings, He mentions (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salah (the prayer), wash your faces

and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your

heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles. If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e.

after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body). But if you are

ill or on a journey, or any of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you

have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse), and you find no water,
then perform Tayammum (dry ablution) with clean earth and rub therewith your

faces and hands. Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify

you, and to complete His favour to you that you may be thankful” [5:6]

and there are many other blessings. We have only mentioned some of these

blessings here; listing all of them is impossible, as Allah says (interpretation of the

meaning):

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah,

never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed an extreme wrongdoer, a

disbeliever (an extreme ingrate who denies Allah’s blessings by disbelief, and by

worshipping others besides Allah, and by disobeying Allah and His Prophet

Muhammad” [14:34]

Then Allah blessed us and forgave us our shortcomings in giving thanks for these

blessings. He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if you would count the favours of Allah, never could you be able to count them.

Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” [16:18]

The Muslim is always asking his Lord to help him to give thanks to Him, because

were it not for Allah’s helping His slave, he would not be able to give thanks. Hence it

is prescribed in the saheeh Sunnah (authentic prophetic teachings) to ask for help

from Allah to give thanks to Him.

It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and

peace of Allah be upon him) took his hand and said: “O Mu’aadh, by Allah I love you,

by Allah I love you.” Then he said, “I advise you, O Mu’aadh, do not fail following

every prayer to say: O Allah help me to remember You, thank You and worship You

properly.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i .


Gratitude for blessings is a cause of them being increased, as Allah says

(interpretation of the meaning):

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting faith

and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you

are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily, My punishment is indeed severe’” [14:7]

Fourthly:

How can a person thank his Lord for His great blessings? His gratitude should fulfil

all the necessary conditions, which are gratitude of the heart, gratitude of the tongue

and gratitude of the physical faculties.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Gratitude may be in the heart, in submission and humility; on the tongue, in praise

and acknowledgement; and in the physical faculties, by means of obedience and

submission.

Madaarij al-Saalikeen (2/246)

The details of that:

1.

Gratitude of the heart: what is meant is that the heart senses the value of the

blessings that Allah has bestowed upon His slave, and fully acknowledges that the

one who has bestowed these great blessings is Allah alone, with no partner or

associate. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah”[16:53].

This acknowledgement is not mustahabb (recommended), rather it is obligatory.

Whoever attributes these blessings to anyone other than Allah has disbelieved.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
What man should do is attribute blessings to Allah and acknowledge them fully. Thus

he will attain complete Tawheed. Whoever denies the blessings of Allah in his heart

or on his tongue, is a kafir (disbeliever) and has nothing to do with Islam.

Whoever affirms in his heart that all blessings come from Allah alone, but verbally he

sometimes attributes them to Allah and sometimes attributes them to himself, or his

actions, or the efforts of someone else -- as happens on the lips of many people --

this is something that the person must repent from, and he should not attribute

blessings to anyone except their Creator, and he must strive to make himself do that,

because faith and Tawheed cannot be attained except by attributing blessings to

Allah.

The gratitude which is the head of faith is based on three pillars: acknowledgement

of the heart of all the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him, and upon others,

and talking about them; praising Allah for them; and using them to obey the One

Who bestowed the blessings and to worship Him.

Al-Qawl al-Sadeed fi Maqaasid al-Tawheed (p. 140)

Allah says, describing the situation of one who denies attribution of blessings to

Allah (interpretation of the meaning):

“They recognise the Grace of Allah, yet they deny it (by worshipping others besides

Allah) and most of them are disbelievers (deny the Prophethood of

Muhammad)”[16:83].

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

i.e., they acknowledge that Allah is the One Who grants them that, and He is the One

Who bestows that favour upon them, yet despite that they deny it, and worship

others alongside Him, and attribute victory and provision to someone other than

Him.
Tafseer Ibn Katheer (4/592).

2.

As for gratitude of the tongue, it means acknowledging verbally - after believing in

the heart- that the One Who grants blessing is indeed Allah, and keeping the tongue

busy with praise of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.

Allah says, explaining His blessings to His slave Muhammad (blessings and peace of

Allah be upon him): “And He found you poor and made you rich (self-sufficient with

self-contentment)?” [93:8]. Then He reminded him in return for that: “And proclaim

the grace of your Lord (i.e. the Prophethood and all other graces)” [al-Duha 93:11].

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

i.e., as you were poor and in need, then Allah made you rich and independent of

means: then speak of the blessing of Allah bestowed upon you.

Tafseer Ibn Katheer (8/427).

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik said: the Messenger of Allah (blessings and

peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah is pleased with a person who eats some food

and then praises Him for it, or who drinks some drink and then praises Him for it.”

Narrated by Muslim

Abu’l-‘Abbas al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Praise here means gratitude, and we have seen above that praise may take the place

of gratitude but gratitude may not take the place of praise. This indicates that

gratitude for blessings -- even if they are few -- is a means of attaining the pleasure

of Allah, may He be exalted, which is the noblest situation of the people of Paradise.

When the people of Paradise say, “You have given to us what You have not given to

anyone among Your creation,” Allah will say to them: “ Shall I not give you

something better than that?” They will say, “What is it? Have You not brightened our
faces, and admitted us to Paradise and saved us from Hell?” He will say, “I bestow

My pleasure upon you, and I will never be angry with you after that.”

Gratitude is a means of attaining that great honour because it implies

acknowledgement of the Bestower of blessings and acknowledging Him alone as the

Creator of that blessing and the One Who caused it to reach the recipient of the

blessing, as an honour and favour from the Bestower, and that the recipient of the

blessing is poor and is in need of that blessing, and cannot do without it. So this is an

acknowledgement of the rights and bounty of Allah, and the duty and need of the

slave. So Allah has caused the reward for that acknowledgement to be this great

honour.

Al-Mufhim lima ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim (7/60, 61).

Hence some of the salaf (righteous predecessors) said: Whoever conceals a blessing

has denied it, but whoever manifests it and spreads it has given thanks for it.

Ibn al-Qayyim said, commenting on that:

This is based on the words: “When Allah bestows a blessing upon a person, He loves

the effect of His blessing to be seen on His slave.”

Madaarij al-Saalikeen (2/246).

It was narrated from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (may Allah have mercy on him) that he

said: Remind one another of blessings, for mentioning them is gratitude.

3.

Gratitude of the physical faculties means using one's physical faculties in obedience

of Allah and keeping them from committing sins and acts of disobedience that Allah

has forbidden.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):


“ ‘Work you, O family of Dawood (David), with thanks!”” [34:13]

It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace

of Allah be upon him) prayed, he would stand for so long that his feet became

swollen. ‘Aishah said: O Messenger of Allah, are you doing this when Allah has

forgiven your past and future sins? He said: “O ‘Aishah, should I not be a thankful

slave?”

Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Ibn Battaal (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

Al-Tabari said: the correct view concerning that is that the person’s gratitude is

affirming that this is from Allah and no one else, and affirmation of this fact is action,

and it is confirmed by action. As for the affirmation which is contradicted by action,

the one who does that does not deserve to be called grateful at all. But it may be

called gratitude of the tongue. The evidence that this is true is the words of Allah

(interpretation of the meaning): “ ‘Work you, O family of Dawood (David), with

thanks!’”[ 34:13]. It is well known that He did not order them, when He said that to

them, to affirm His blessings, because they did not deny that this was a favour from

Him to them. Rather He commanded them to give thanks for His blessings by

obeying Him in their actions. Similarly, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be

upon him), when his feet swelled up as he was praying at night, said: “Should I not

be a thankful slave?”

Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari.

Abu Haroon said: I entered upon Abu Hazim, and said to him: May Allah have mercy

on you, what is the gratitude of the eyes? He said: If you see something good with

them, you mention it, and if you see something bad with them, you conceal it. I said:

What is the gratitude of the ears? He said: If you hear something good with them,

you remember it, and if you hear something bad with them, you forget it.
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Gratitude is of two degrees, one of which is obligatory, which is doing obligatory

actions and avoiding haram (unlawful) things. This is essential and is sufficient as

gratitude for these blessings.

Hence one of the salaf said:

Gratitude means giving up sin.

And one of them said: Gratitude means not using any blessing to help one to disobey

Him.

Abu Hazim al-Zahid mentioned gratitude of all the physical faculties: (It means)

refraining from sin, and using them to help one to do acts of obedience. Then he said:

As for the one who gives thanks with his tongue but does not give thanks with all of

his physical faculties, his likeness is that of a man who has a cloak and takes hold of

the edge of it, but does not put it on, so it is of no benefit to him against cold or heat

or snow or rain.

The second degree of gratitude is that which is mustahabb, which is when, after

doing obligatory actions and avoiding haram things, a person does supererogatory

acts of worship. This is the degree of those who have gone ahead and closer to

Allah.

Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam (p. 245, 246)

Summary:

In order to be grateful to your Lord for the blessings that He has bestowed upon you,

you must acknowledge in your heart that the giver of these blessings and the

Bestower is Allah, may He be exalted, so you venerate Him, attribute it to Him, and

you acknowledge that with your tongue, so you give thanks to Him after waking

from sleep for having given new life, and after eating and drinking for having
provided you with them and bestowed them upon you, and so on with every blessing

that you see in your life.

You give thanks with your physical faculties by not letting them see or hear any sin

or evil, such as singing or gossip; you do not walk with your feet to haram places;

you do not use your hands to commit evil, such as haram writing in a relationship

with non-mahram women (one whom you can marry according to Islamic law), or

writing haram contracts, or making or doing anything haram. Giving thanks with the

physical faculties for blessings also includes using them to obey Allah, by reading

Quran and books of knowledge, listening to beneficial and useful things, and so on

with all the faculties which you should use in various kinds of obedience and

worship.

Remember that gratitude for blessings is a blessing which needs to be given thanks

for, so that one will continue to enjoy the blessings of his Lord, thanking his Lord for

those blessings and praising Him for helping him to be among those who give

thanks.

We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to help us and you to do that which He loves and

which pleases Him.

And Allah knows best.

The other day while watching a network news program, I saw a Muslim woman in
Kosova with her six-month-old infant, who was covered in sores and suffered from a
malady of illnesses, all because it had not had a bath since its birth.
The mother explained that because of the heavy fighting, she and her family had
been on the move constantly, and that luxurious such as decent food and clean
water were not available to them. As the mother of a six-month-old infant myself, this
struck to the very heart of me. Bath time for my son and I, is a very special time filled
with play and laughter. It's a ritual we share everyday, and the fact that I would have
clean water with which to bathe him, was something, until then, every time I bath my
son, I try to remember to thank Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala (how far from
imperfection is He and He is the Most High), for His Mercy to me. It also reminds me
to be thankful for all the other "little things," that I take for granted everyday.
From the very beginning of Man's creation, the issue of gratefulness and
thankfulness to Allah has been debated. After refusing to bow to 'Adam, Iblis (Satan)
said:
"Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind
them, and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and Thou
(Allah) shall not find most of them thankful." [Al-Qur'an 7:17]
This statement from the worst of liars has proven to be true, not only among the
disbelievers, but also among the Muslims. Unfortunately, we Muslims have fallen into
the trap of Iblees, and have gotten so caught up in our comings and goings, that we
very rarely take the time to reflect on the Favors of Allah, and to thank Him with the
thanks that is due Him. We are so busy conducting our daily lives that we forget who
is really in-charge, and from where our sustenance comes. This is not the way, for
Allah says:
"Therefore remember Me, I will remember you, And be thankful to Me, and
do not be ungrateful to Me." [Al-Qur'an 2:152]
The problem that most of us face is what I call the, "If I only…." syndrome. If I only
had a better wife, I would be grateful. If I only had sons instead of daughters, I would
be grateful. If I only had a bigger house, a better car, more money, a better job, and
the list goes on and on. We are constantly focused on the things we don't have,
instead of being grateful to Allah for the things we do have.
This is a very serious illness, for which the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (may
Allah's peace and blessing be upon him), has given the cure. He, sallallahu 'alayhi
wa sallam, admonished us, in terms of worldly things to always look to those
beneath us, for this will keep us thankful. Allah says about the Prophet, sallallahu
'alayhi wa sallam, that in him we have the best of examples. In terms of showing us
how to be thankful to Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala, he is as Allah says. It is narrated
by al-Mughira that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, used to stand in
the salah (prayer) or performed salah until both his feet or legs swelled. He was
asked why (he offered such an unbearable salah) he said, "Should I not be a
thankful slave?" [Al-Bukhari]
As the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, advised us, the best way to stay
thankful to Allah is to count His Favors in our lives everyday. For Allah says:
"And He gives you all that you ask for. But if you count the favors of Allah,
never will you be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice
and ingratitude." [Al-Qur'an 14:34]
This statement of Allah is so true, yet we put so little value on it, and do not take
heed.
The very fact that we got up this morning, that we can offer the salah that we had
breakfast, that we have clothes to wear, water to bathe ourselves, that we have
homes to shelter us from the elements, that we have our health, our families, etc.,
are all favors from Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala. We should take non of it for granted,
or become arrogant enough to believe that we attained any of it because of our own
efforts alone.
Thankfulness frees the heart from greed, jealousy and envy. When we are thankful
to Allah, we remain mindful of Him and His continuous Mercy toward us, and this in
return humbles us and improves our characters. The very fact that Allah has guided
us to Islam and the sunnahof His Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam, in itself
should be a source of continual praise. Allah says:
"Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or
unthankful." [Al-Qur'an76:3]
Allah also says that only few of His servants thank Him. Let us then strive to be
among these few by keeping our tongues wet with His remembrance and our hearts
soft with His praise.
Published by Alharamain Foundation

In common use, gratitude to Allah is defined as devoting all that Allah has bestowed
upon you to that for which He has created you. Hence, gratitude transcends speech to a
state of being that manifests in one’s character. Allah Almighty clarifies that this rare
quality of spiritual devotion is not at all limited to speech:
{Work, O family of David, in gratitude. And few of my servants are grateful} (Saba’
34: 13).
Gratitude has been mentioned on over seventy different occasions in the Quran. Allah
almighty praises thankful servants and promises them a pleasant reward. He
also prohibits us of its opposite and commands us to internalize it. This emphasis on
gratitude brings to light its crucial significance. (Akhlaq an-Nabi fil Kitab was-sunnah)
It is a quality that Allah mentioned to distinguish His prophets (peace be upon them) and
favored servants. Allah said of Noah (peace be upon him):
{O descendants of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah. Indeed, he was a
grateful (shakur) servant.} (Al-Isra’ 17: 3)
The verse uses the form “shakur” to indicate affirmed emphasis of this quality in Prophet
Noah (peace be upon him).
He also described Ibrahim (peace be upon him):
{[He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight
path} (An-Nahl 16: 121)
He also says of Luqman:
{And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.”
And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself.} (Luqman 31: 12)
Imam ibn Kathir interpreted:
“That is, we commanded him to be grateful for the grace that We bestowed upon him
that distinguished him from the people of his time” (Ibn Kathir, Tafseer Al-Qur’an Al-
Azeem).
Hence, these examples indicate that gratitude is a primary quality conveyed and
enacted by all Prophets, especially the beloved seal of Prophets, Muhammad (peace
and blessings be upon him), who said:“Indeed, I was sent to perfect the honorable
manners” (Ahmad).
“As for the believers, they are at varying degrees in fulfilling their duty of expressing
gratitude. This variance in degree correlates with their awareness of these blessings and
their actualization of the essence of servitude to Allah.
Thus, whosoever performed this quality in a fashion that is pleasing to Allah has
achieved the honor of falling under the general divine praise {And few of my servants
are grateful}.”(Akhlaq an-Nabi fil Kitab was-sunnah)
A Smile at Heaven’s Door… Poetry About Prophet’s Tears

The entire life of our dearly beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) can be
viewed as a manifestation of utmost gratitude. One who observes his character, his
sayings, his actions and his entire lifestyle will be obliged to concur that he was a truly
grateful servant of his Creator.
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:
The household of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) never filled their
stomachs of wheat bread two consecutive days to the day he passed away” (Shama’il
At-Tarmidhi).
Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
“The Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) passed away without leaving
adinar (gold coin) or a dirham (silver coin)…
By Allah, nights would pass in the household of Muhammad (peace and blessings be
upon him), and they would not find dinner” (Ahmad).
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
We were by the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) while `Umar was in
his presence. The Prophet was lying on a bed made of palm leaves, and beneath his
head was a pillow; there wasn’t a barrier between his side and the palm leaves. When
he made a slight movement, it was evident that the palm affected his sides.
So, `Umar began to weep, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) inquired,
“Why do you weep?” He said:
“How can I not weep when I know that you are dearer to Allah than Kaiser and the
Caesar. Yet, they are living such lavish lives in this world”.
So the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“O `Umar wouldn’t you be pleased if the hereafter is ours and this life is for them?”
(Al-Hafiz Al-Asbahani, Akhlaq An-Nabi wa Adabuh. The last excerpt of the hadith is also
found in Sahih Muslim)

Living Like a Stranger


The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) showed utmost gratitude in his worship
to Allah. He would pray a large part of the night throughout the year, and his gratitude
would even increase in times of special divine bounty. `A’ishah reported:
When the last ten nights of Ramadan entered, the Prophet (peace and blessings be
upon him) would revive the night in worship and awake his family…” (Al-Bukhari and
Muslim)
`A’isha also reported:
When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed (the night prayers: Qiyam-
ul-layl), he would stand until (the skin of) his feet swelled. So, I said: “O Prophet of Allah,
do you do as such while Allah has forgiven you all mistakes?” He responded: “Should
not I be a grateful servant of Allah?” (Muslim)
Imam ibn Hajar commented on the hadith:
“The meaning is that since I have been forgiven all of my mistakes, this is a reason for
night prayers being a form of gratitude towards Allah, so how can I abandon it? Imam Al-
Qurtubi clarified:
Those who asked him this question assumed that he withstands such burdens in
worship to Allah from fear of sins and hope of forgiveness. So, he clarified to them that
there is another path of worship which is to express gratitude for forgiveness. The
scholars said: The prophets have maintained such deep fear of Allah because of their
knowledge of His immense blessings upon them.” (Ibn Hajar, Fath El-Bari)
Ibn Battal said:
“This hadith is indicative that the individual should take upon himself a stricter path in
servitude, even if that may take a toll on his body because if the Prophet (peace and
blessings be upon him) did that while being certain of having been forgiven, what should
be the condition of one who does not have that certainty, let alone one who is insecure
of deserving hellfire.” (Ibid)
However, it should be noted that Imam Ibn Hajar modified the understanding of the
statement of Ibn Battal:
“This mindset should be in a case that it will not lead the individual to boredom and
retreat from worship because the condition of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
him) was most complete, and he never retreated from worshipping his Lord.
So, if one fears boredom and retreat, he should not force himself upon such acts. Hence
the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said “Take of the actions that which
you can withstand…” (Ibid. With a slight abridgment of the original quote)
Another example of the Prophet’s gratitude is that he would seek forgiveness of Allah
after performing the five daily prayers:
“Some have raised a query as to how he seeks forgiveness while being forgiven, and
Imam ibn Sayyid An-Nas responded:
“This displays his loyalty to the duties of servitude and his practice of gratitude, and so
that he may clarify his Sunnah by action just as he has done so in speech.” (Al-
Mubarkaafuri, Tuhfat Al-Ahwazi Sharh Sunan At-Tirmizi)
Similarly, it was reported that he sought refuge in Allah from the punishment of the
grave. If the query is raised as to why he would seek refuge while he is already assured
protection, the response is:
“He did so to display his need of Allah, to acknowledge His blessings and to express his
gratitude for continually renewed blessings.
One who has immense blessings from Allah Almighty must receive such blessings with
immense gratitude. The subservience of individuals to Allah is in accordance with their
knowledge of Him.” (Ibn Battal, Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari, with a slight abridgement)
Gratitude was not just something our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon
him) practiced and professed; rather, it was a quality he instilled within his companions.
On one occasion, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Abu Bakr and `Umar
(may Allah be pleased with them) left their homes hungry. They were hosted by a man
from Al-Ansar whooffered them a stem of dates and they ate from it until they quenched
their hunger. At that point the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
recited:
{Then you will surely be asked that Day about pleasure} (At-Takathur 102: 8)
He said to Abu Bakr and Umar:
“This is of the blessings you will be asked about” (Al-Hafiz Al-Asbhani, Akhlaq An-
Nabi wa-adabuh)
These prophetic examples ingrained within the companions the realization of divine
blessings. Such blessings may often be overlooked as necessary or expected in the
eyes of those less spiritually conscious. But it is that realization that will facilitate the
route to higher degrees of gratitude. It will ultimately lead to the believer living a life of
excellence (ihsan). They will consistently feel that Allah is overseeing us in our affairs.
They even witness Him in His countless blessings in the creation of the heavens and the
earth.
Thus, our path to embodying the prophetic example is to first realize the comprehensive
scope of gratitude, and its merit in the eyes of Allah, and its relation to other religious
teaching.
Our gratitude may be enhanced by building our awareness of Allah and His sovereignty
over our affairs. The fruits of such esteemed realization should become apparent in
one’s personal and social life as it was evident in the life of Allah’s favored servants.
Allah says:
{And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely
increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is
severe.’} (Ibrahim 14: 7)
And He also said:
{So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny
Me} (Al-Baqarah 2:152)

When we are given favors by someone, we always show our appreciation for it. This sense of
acknowledgement shows how we humans are dependent on help of one another. Every now and
then, we encounter some problem, and look for assistance, e.g. if someone`s car just broke
down the road in the middle of nowhere, and one cannot bring in a mechanic to repair its car, nor
there is a gas station nearby, but all of a sudden, a passing by vehicle stops and the driver offers
a lift. One can imagine the state of that person, who has been lent a hand that how indebted it
would feel to be towards the collaborator.

If we admit that we are inter-reliant on each other and feel obliged to those who facilitate us, then
how can we not be appreciative of the Lord, who is the ultimate facilitator? He is the One, Who
gives away His blessings to all of us irrespective of our cast, creed, religion, and color etc, and
does not do it for the sake of any return. Islam has put great emphasis on sense of gratitude and
this topic is repeated many times in the Holy Quran:
“If you disbelieve – indeed, Allah is Free from need of you. And He does not approve for His
servants disbelief. And if you are grateful, He approves it for you; and no bearer of burdens
will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will inform you about
what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the chests.” [Quran, 39: 7]
It means that it is not only a moral duty to be thankful to fellow human but is also our religious
obligation to realize and express thanks to Allah Almighty for all we have in our lives.

Let us discuss some of the ways in which one can become among true Muslims and be more
admiring towards the Ar-Rahmân:

Thinking about His Blessings


If we can evaluate at night what we have achieved during day, then we should also think about
how many times we are blessed with Allah`s favors in that period of time. The very first step that
one can take to be among gratified people is by reminding oneself of all the favors of God
Almighty. It is similar to the idea that without first understanding the value of something that we
use, we cannot judge the worth of it, and when we do not know the importance of something, we
can never be appreciative of its existence for us. The blessings of Allah SWT are so abundant
and frequent, that most of us normally use them without taking notice of where they came from.
According to the Holy Quran:

“And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is
Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran, 16: 18]
The above mentioned Quranic verse tells us that God`s kindness and compassion for us is so
enormous that He grants us with a myriad of beneficial things. But one should try its best to
reflect on them regularly to grasp their value in one`s life.

Appreciating by tongue
After having a complete conviction in Allah`s offerings, the second step is to be pleased about
them through one`s speech. That is why all Muslims say “Al-Hamdolillah” (thanking God for His
blessings) after using His favor even when it is the smallest one. Thanking Him for the miniature
of blessing purifies one`s heart and shows the way of righteousness. Mu’adh ibn Jabal has
reported the Prophet (PBUH) saying as:

“The last thing upon which I parted from the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah is that I said to him,
‘Which actions are better and closer to Allah?’ He answered, ‘That you die while your tongue is
moist with the remembrance of Allah, mighty is He and majestic.’”(Ibn Hibban)
As we know that Allah Almighty not only listens to our prayers but also gives Ajar (return) either
in this world or hereafter. The remembrance of the Gracious God here is taken in the sense of
praising and glorifying Him.

Spending in the way of Allah


Zakah (charity) is one of the five pillars of Islam which not only makes a person lose crave for
worldly and materialistic wealth, but is also a way to thank the Creator of the universe. When
someone does donations, it purifies its wealth and brings humbleness and gratitude by
acknowledging that one is given enough from Allah Almighty to fulfill its needs. This protection
from desire for more wealth is a justification for being satisfied with what one has and showing
one`s thankfulness to Allah SWT through action.
Seeking help through patience
The firm belief that Mo`min (a true Muslim) is always grateful to his Lord in any condition,
whether its life is full of happiness or time is tough, which is elaborated in the following Hadith:
“How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him -and
none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing. If he receives some bounty, he is grateful to Allah and
this bounty brings good to him. And if some adversity befalls him, he is patient, and this affliction,
too, brings good to him.” (Muslim)
The Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH) has indicated towards two of the characteristics of a staunch
devotee of Islam, that he is the one who is not only thankful to his God in case of contentment,
but also remains patient in hardship. It means that the lack of complaint during sufferings is
another method towards increase in faith. So, before anyone grumble on miseries, one should
remind itself that it cannot become among truthful Muslims, as gratitude and patience go side by
side in their character.

Some of the other ways in which one can reach the level of gratitude towards The Gracious God
is by looking at those people who are having lesser as compared to oneself. This would guide
one towards the realization of its blissful life, which would ultimately lead to appreciating Allah for
His blessings. Besides, one can also practice Quran reading regularly, where there is whole
Surah called “Rahman”, which reminds of Allah SWT being as The Most Beneficent. Last but not
least, one should pray The Almighty to protect from the evil of Satan, because It has enough
powers to put wickedness and immorality in one`s mind and always leads one astray of the right
path, including thanking The Lord. After refusing to bow down in front of Adam, Shaitan said:

“Then, I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on
their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” [Quran, 7: 17]
So, we should all try our best to act upon these methods, so that we may realize the blessings
we are enjoying, and be gratifying to The Supreme Power. May Allah Almighty grant us all the
strength and desire to be always grateful to Him! Aameen!

The Blessings of Gratitude and Shukr (Thanks to Allah)


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G ratitude (shukr) is about expressing thanks and appreciation to those who do


any favor to us. Obviously, none can come close to our creator, Allah, who gave us
everything. As the Quran states: “Who created you, fashioned you perfectly, and
gave you due proportion” [Infitar 82:7]. As humans, Allah has bestowed on us the
nature to be grateful and we should thus express that gratitude not just to Allah but
to the people whom we deal with as well. In many places in the Quran, Allah divides
people as being grateful and as ungrateful to motivate us to join the camp of those
who are grateful. In one of such verses, Prophet Sulaiman said, as stated in the
Quran, “. . . then when (Sulaiman (Solomon)) saw it placed before him, he said:
“This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful!
And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his own self,
and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his own self).
Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful” [An-Naml: 40]

Having a sense of gratitude is thus a great blessing and those of us who instill that
sense within themselves not only seek Allahs pleasure but embody a sense of
happiness, relieving us of the many pressures and anxieties. Although the blessings
and benefits of gratitude are many, this post highlights certain important ones that
you should recognize and use as a means to motivate that sense within yourselves.
Gratitude is knowing that whatever we have is from Allah. Gratitude helps us
focus our minds on Allah, something that has unfortunately become so difficult today
on account of life’s distractions and attractions. Gratitude, therefore, corrects our
perceptions by reminding us that everything that happens to us doesn’t happen
because of its own volition and thus we shouldn’t take matters for “granted”. Allah
says in the Quran: “And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is
from Allah” [al-Nahl 16:53]. He also says, “And He found you poor and made
you rich (self?sufficient with self?contentment)” [al-Duha 93:8]. Let’s therefore
constantly remind ourselves of Allah’s bounties by expressing our gratitude to Him in
prayers and at other times.
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Gratitude helps in warding off punishment from Allah. Not recognizing Allah’s
blessings can prevent us from gaining His pleasure. We know that if Allah were to
punish us for our negligence, He would be justified for it. He says in the Quran: “If
Allah took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a
living creature on the surface of the earth; but He grants them reprieve unto an
appointed term, and when their term comes – then verily Allah is Ever All-Seer
of His slaves” [Fatir (35):45]. At the same time though, Allah provides us a way to
escape that punishment by being thankful to Him. He says, “Why should Allah
punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is
Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing” [(An-Nisa, Verse #147)]. Gratitude,
therefore, is not an option and we should clean our hearts to thank Allah for
everything that He has provided us.

Gratitude helps us to slow down and to enjoy what we have rather than always
waiting for the next wish to come true. Gratitude can help us recognize that we
already have enough of what many people have for long been yearning for. We must
therefore tame our Nafs to understand that if we can’t find happiness in the
blessings that we have today, then we won’t be happy with what we get tomorrow.
You see, gratitude is a sense of fulfillment that comes not from wanting more but
rather from a sense of knowing that Allah has already blessed us with what we need.
In one of the hadiths the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “…if the son of Adam
has one valley, he will wish that he had a second, and if he had two valleys, he
would wish that he had a third. The stomach of the son of Adam will be filled
only with dust (i.e., he is never satisfied)…” (Reported by Ahmad, 5/219; Saheeh
al-Jaami’, 1781). So, let’s use gratitude to learn to enjoy what we have rather than
fretting over what we don’t.
Gratitude sought by exercising patience against unlawful desires prevents us
from harmful consequences later. This was very aptly addressed by Ibn Qayyim,
who stated that “Patience in resisting desires is easier than patience in dealing with
the consequences that result from going along with desires, because it either leads
to pain and punishment or it prevents a more complete pleasure, . . . or it deprives
one of a blessing, having which is more pleasurable and better than fulfilling desires,
. . . or it cuts off an oncoming blessing, or it has a negative impact on one’s character
that will remain, because deeds have a great impact on one’s character and
behavior.” [Al-Fawaa’id (p. 139)]
Gratitude trains our minds to focus on the right things in life. It’s akin to walking
in a room filled with various colored items and focusing only on items of a specific
color. If you do so, your mind will be able to easily mask the other colors as you
focus on items of that specific color. Our life is no different. When we let our minds
look for problems, we see plenty of them. Instead, if we rather look away from
problems and focus on possibilities and go for solutions, we will get those too. Let’s,
therefore, use gratitude to motivate ourselves to find possibilities and solutions and
not the negatives associated with problems.
Gratitude helps us recognize other people’s favors to us. The Prophet through
his sayings made it quite clear that expressing our gratitude to Allah by thanking Him
also involves that we thank people who do favors for us. The Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) said as narrated by Abu Hurairah: “He who does
not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi). He also said: “Whoever
does you a favor, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to
reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him” Abu
Dawood (1672). In another hadith, he said: “Whoever has a favor done for him and
says to the one who did it, ‘Jazak Allahu khayran,’ has done enough to thank him”
[Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi]. Let’s therefore ensure that
we do our part to sincerely thank our families and those who have done good to us.
Gratitude isn’t about ignoring our problems. On the contrary, gratitude helps us
to be patient, accepting of life’s trials, and accordingly trains us to seek personal
fulfillment with less. Gratitude thus makes us “low maintenance” in our demands and
expectations. This trait reduces our burden on those around us, making our
company more pleasing to others instead of leaving us always unhappy, more
demanding, and impossible to please because of unending requirements.
Gratitude is going beyond words and instead thanking through our
actions. We see this in the example of the prophet whose sins were forgiven by
Allah although he continued to strive for His pleasure. It was narrated that Aa’ishah
said: “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prayed, he would stand for
so long that his feet would become swollen. ‘Aa’ishah said: O Messenger of Allah,
are you doing this when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins? He said: “O
‘Aa’ishah, should I not be a thankful slave?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4557) and
Muslim (2820). Let’s, therefore, pray the extra nawafil as one way to thank Allah for
His blessings.
Gratitude helps increase one’s blessings. Allah says: “And (remember) when
your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping
none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings); but if you are
thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe’” [Ibraaheem 14:7] Let’s,
therefore, make thanking Allah part of morning and evening remembrances
(adhkars) to get more of Allah’s blessings in our lives.
Gratitude helps us to get the pleasure of Allah in the hereafter when in Paradise
we express our gratitude to Allah for His blessings to enter us into paradise. Abul-
Abbaas al-Qurtubi said: “. . . gratitude for blessings – even if they are few – is a
means of attaining the pleasure of Allah, may He be exalted, which is the noblest
situation of the people of Paradise. When the people of Paradise say, “You (Allah)
have given to us what You have not given to anyone among Your creation,” Allah will
say to them: “Shall I not give you something better than that?” They will say, “What is
it? Have You not brightened our faces, and admitted us to Paradise and saved us
from Hell?” Allah will say, “I bestow My pleasure upon you, and I will never be
angry with you after that.” [Al-Mufhim lima ashkala min Talkhees Kitaab Muslim
(7/60, 61)]. What better reward can we expect? So, why not be grateful to Him
for what He has provided us day and night?

Conclusion
Gratitude’s importance was emphasized by the Prophet when he took the hand of
Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and said: “O Mu’aadh, by Allah I love you, by Allah I love you.”
Then he said, “I advise you, O Mu’aadh, do not fail to say this after every prayer: O
Allah help me to remember You, to thank You and to worship You properly.”
The Arabic version of this Hadith is the following. Let’s ensure that we memorize it
and recite it after every prayer.

Allahumma A’inni Ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ibadatika


Finally, remember that being grateful is not an option and being one brings us closer
to those whom we thank and appreciate.

— End