When Istikhara pray and recitation, a Muslim should be sincere whatever God will guide to decide

Being Grateful To Allah

Always remember to say “Alhamdulillah” when you see something that you feel grateful for. After each prayer, spend a few minutes thanking Allah (glory be to Him) for some of the little and big things you have in your life. Acknowledge that Allah (Glory be to Him) has created and sustains us, then give thanks for being chosen to be a Muslim, for giving us our faith and for keeping Shaitaan away. Allah says:

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ

“Your Lord has proclaimed: If you are grateful I will increase you, but if you are ungrateful then My punishment is severe.” (Surat Ibrahim 14:7)

Expressing gratitude to Allah is of the greatest deeds and one of the salient characteristics of the Prophets of Allah. 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. Allah says:

دَعْوَاهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَامٌ وَآخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Their call therein will be Glory to you, O Allah. And their greeting therein will be peace. The close of their request will be: Allah praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” (Surat Yunus 10:10)

Being aware of the fact that it is Allah only who has helped us in our life will make us appreciate His blessings more. There is a link between practising gratitude and feeling happy. 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 favoured servants. Allah says:

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

“Say: All praise is due to Allah, who was not taken a son, nor does He have a partner in the dominion, and who needs no protection from weakness, so glorify Him greatly.” (Surat Al-Isra 17:111)

Besides, one can also practice Quran reading regularly, where there is a whole Surah called “Rahman”, which reminds of Allah being The Most Beneficent. Last but not least, one should pray to 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. Allah says:

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ

“So remember Me, I will remember you. Be thankful to Me and do not be ungrateful.” (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:152)

Here are some best ways to express our gratitude to Allah Almighty:

  1. Being Grateful for Allah’s unaccountable blessings
  2. Being Grateful is a quality of success in this life
  3. Being grateful and patient in times of difficulty
  4. Being Grateful for the purpose of our creation
  5. Being Grateful to relieve anxiety and stress
  6. Being Grateful to reflect upon your own life
  7. Being Grateful for your intellectual abilities
  8. Being Grateful, for removing from my grief
  9. Being Grateful for your comfort and status
  10. Being Grateful for everything you possess
  11. Being Grateful for your wealth and health
  12. Being Grateful for giving all the facilities
  13. Being Grateful leads to Allah’s pleasure
  14. Being Grateful for removing from worry
  15. Being Grateful for your peaceful life
  16. Being Grateful for placing faith
  17. Being Grateful for peace of mind
  18. Being Grateful for enriching my life
  19. Being Grateful for the guidance of Allah
  20. Gratitude is the purpose of our creation
  21. Most people subconsciously thank God
  22. Being Grateful to Allah to attain Tauheed
  23. Appreciating the little thing other people do
  24. Shukr leads to abundance in Allah’s favours
  25. Gratitude is a quality that will lead to success
  26. Gratitude is the beloved characteristic of Allah
  27. Thanks are full of majesty, bounty, and honour
  28. Thankful is a quality of success in the Hereafter
  29. Thankful given the best in this world and the next
  30. True worship means sincere thankfulness to Allah

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:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَيَرْضَى عَنْ الْعَبْدِ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ الْأَكْلَةَ فَيَحْمَدَهُ عَلَيْهَا أَوْ يَشْرَبَ الشَّرْبَةَ فَيَحْمَدَهُ عَلَيْهَا

“Verily, Allah is pleased with the servant who praises Him when he eats and he praises Him when he drinks.” (Sahih Muslim 2734)

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. One who has immense blessings from Allah Almighty must receive such blessings with immense gratitude. People in general turn to God in humility, expressing obeisance only when they feel to do so that is mainly during an occasion when it brings good news to them, or so. Allah says:

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعًا وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

“Remember your Lord in yourselves with humility and in private without announcing it in the mornings and evenings, and do not be among the heedless.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:205)

A person who knows God, who loves God very much and is attached to God with very deep love, will want to express his love for Him at every opportunity. For this reason, giving thanks is one of the ways of showing his admiration, his love for God, both verbally and through his demeanour. It is important to understand the times of testing and to these opportunities to prove oneself, to give thanks and to show happiness with everything God created. Allah says:

اتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ

“Recite what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish prayer. Verily, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, but the remembrance of Allah is greater.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:45)

When our attitudes change and we become thankful for every small or big thing in life we will see the world in a different way. When expressing thanks we should not only look at the past but Allah tells us to look at the present as well. Look at the small things as well as the big things. Look at yourself and look at nature. Allah’s blessings are everywhere.

Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:

  • “Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be Grateful.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 52)
  • “Then We raised you up after your death: Ye had the chance to be Grateful.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 56)
  • “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself.” (Qur’an, 31: 12)
  • “If it is His Will He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.” (Surah Ash-Shura, 33)
  • We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will). (Surah Al-Insan, 3)
  • “It is out of His Mercy that He has made for you Night and Day,- that ye may rest therein, and that ye may seek of his Grace;- and in order that ye may be grateful.” (Surah Al-Qasas, 73)
  • “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Qur’an, 14: 7)
  • “What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is Allah that recognized (all good), and knoweth all things.” (Surah An-Nisa, 147)
  • “O ye who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him ye worship.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 172)
  • “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Surah İbrahim, 7)
  • “O ye that is sprung from those whom We carried (in the Ark) with Noah! Verily he was a devotee most grateful.” (Surah Al-Isra, 3)

Happiness is a state of mind. You can be a millionaire and get anything you want in this world but still, end up as unhappy. The trick of nurturing your own soul is to give thanks. The important points are to look at your past and give thanks for the many favours that Allah has already bestowed upon you. Allah says:

وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ النَّاسُ فَآوَاكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And remember when you (were) few (and) deemed weak in the earth fearing that might do away with you the men, then He sheltered you, and strengthened you with His help, and provided you of the good things so that you may (be) thankful.” (Surah Al-Anfal, 8:26)

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 favoured servants. Allah says:

وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَائِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ذَٰلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ

“And I follow (the) religion (of) my forefathers, Ibrahim, and Ishaq and Yaqub. It was not for us that we associate with Allah anything. That (is) from (the) Grace (of) Allah upon us, and upon the mankind but most (of) the men (are) not grateful.” (Surah Yusuf, 12:38)

Allah left the door of repentance open for us for as long as we are alive. When we sincerely repent, Allah promises us in the Qur’an that all our previous sins are changed into good deeds. What gift repentance is. We are grateful.  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!