Blessings are commensurate with our gratitude. If you thank Allah for His favours, Allah will increase and bless them. Muslims often respond with, “Alhamdulillah.” Similarly, Islam teaches us to be thankful throughout the day: for waking up from sleep, after eating our meals, drinking water, etc. In this way, one’s entire life revolves around gratitude to God. Allah says:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
“And when proclaimed your Lord, “If you are thankful, surely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful indeed, My punishment (is) surely severe.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:7)
Allah blesses that person with barakah and even more bounties in life. Our gratitude is beneficial for us alone, and our ingratitude is harmful to us alone. Gratitude is not only the heart and essence of Islam; it is also the key to attracting abundance, prosperity, peace, and success in one’s life. We don’t know what Allah is saving us from when we perceive something as “bad” or when things don’t go our way. Allah says:
ثُمَّ لَآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَائِلِهِمْ وَلَا تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ
“Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from the right-hand side and the left-hand side, and You (Allah) shall not find most of them thankful.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:17)
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 says:
ثُمَّ تَوَلَّيْتُم مِّن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنتُم مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“For surely if it was not for the grace of God on you and His mercy, you would have been among the losers.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:64)
If we are thankful to him then it means we are believers and if not then disbelievers. We have to be grateful for everything that we have in which health, wealth, breath, family, friends and for all other things whether it’s too small or big and most importantly for being a Muslim. Allah has commanded us to give thanks to Him for those blessings, and not to deny them. Allah says:
فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِي وَلَا تَكْفُرُونِ
“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.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:152)
We as Muslims should always be thankful to Almighty Allah for all the blessings given by Him. He is the Creator of this world alone and also He is The Most Merciful for all His humankind. If we are thankful to him then it means we are believers and if not then disbelievers. Be conscious and deliberate in thanking Allah, Islam is a religion where the intention is important.
Reasons for Shukr (thankfulness) to Allah:
- 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.
- 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.
- The opposite of Shukr (gratitude) is Kufr (disbelief): In many places in the Quran, Allah compares the terms shukr and kufr.
- We thank Allah for our benefit: If you are ungrateful, Allah is unaffected. If you become grateful, then you have taken the first step towards becoming a true Believer.
- True worship means sincere thankfulness to Allah
- 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).
- Gratitude is the purpose of our creation
- Shukr is a quality of success in this life and the Hereafter
- 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.
- Allah’s Mercy is for all, but most people will remain ungrateful: “Indeed God is the possessor of bounty for all people but most people do not give thanks.” (Al-Baqarah 2: 243)
- 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.
- Shukr leads to abundance in Allah’s favours:
- Peace of mind:
- Better personal relationships and a healthier society: A habit of thankfulness helps us appreciate the good things that others do for us
- Closeness to Allah:
- Multiplication of blessings: The more one is thankful, the more Allah blesses him. It is His promise.
- Rewards in the hereafter: Allah rewards those who thank Him for the blessings and remain patient when the times are tough.
Gratitude (Shukr) is the path to loving Allah. Shukr is the only argument one needs against disbelief. It is the cure for sadness and materialism as well and is the motivation to do better tomorrow. 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:
اتَّبِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
“Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, and (do) not follow besides Him any allies. Little (is) what you remember.” (Surah Al-Araf 7:3)
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 kindest One is the Almighty Allah so we should always be thankful to Him for everything.
Allah Almighty says in The Holy Quran:
- “… and be grateful to Alla h, if it is Him you worship.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:172)
- “And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.” (An-Nahl 16:19)
- “What can Allah gain by your punishment, if ye are grateful and ye believe? Nay, it is Allah that recognised (all good), and knoweth all things.” (Surah An-Nisa, 147)
- “Allah had helped you at Badr when ye were a contemptible little force; then fear Allah. thus May ye show your gratitude.” (Surah Al-Imran, 123)
- “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)
- “Indeed God is the possessor of bounty for all people but most people do not give thanks.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2: 243)
- “Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and reject not Faith.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 152)
- ” And whoever is grateful, he is only grateful for the benefit of his himself.” (Surah Luqman 31:12)
Thanks and gratitude to someone are repay the kindness and giving praise to the one who has done good and kind things to us. The very fact that Allah has guided us to Islam and the Sunnah of His Prophet, Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam, in itself should be a source of continual praise. Allah says:
إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا
“Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (Surah Al-Insan 76:3)
Allah also says that only a 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. When we do not know the importance of something, we can never be appreciative of its existence for us. Allah says:
وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعْلِنُونَ
“And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:19)
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. If we can evaluate at night what we have achieved during the day, then we should also think about how many times we are blessed with Allah`s favours in that period. Allah says:
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ اللَّهِ بَاقٍ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Whatever (is) with you will be exhausted, and whatever (is) with Allah (will) be remaining. And surely We will pay those who (are) patient their reward to (the) best (of) what they used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:96)
The very first step that one can take to be among gratified people is by reminding oneself of all the favours of God Almighty. It is similar to the idea that without first understanding the value of something that we use, we cannot judge its worth. It’s a simple act that is required when things tend to go our way, to show gratitude to him. In a way, this also keeps your ego controlled and allows you to remain humble.