Gratitude is saying Alhamdulilaah, and counting your blessings. It’s about appreciating and thanking others for what they have done for you. It also encompasses being content, looking on the bright side of things, and not taking anything for granted.
In Islam the one who is most deserving of thanks and praise from the people is Allah, our Creator and Sustainer. Allah is Al- Shakoor (the Appreciative, Grateful). Al-Shakoor accepts little and gives a lot. Allah has called Himself Al-Shakoor in order to tell us that He rewards His servants for thanking Him; hence, the reward for such gratitude is called shukr and the opposite is Kufr. Allah has bestowed upon us many blessings in both spiritual and worldly matters. Allah has commanded us to give thanks to Him and not to deny his blessings and favors upon us.
“And if you would count the favors of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Quran 16:18)
From the pillars of gratitude is that we recognize and acknowledge our blessings in our hearts, Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi salaam) said: “…Who created me, and He [who] guides me. And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink and when I am ill, it is He who cures me and who will cause me to die and then bring me to life and who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgment.” (Quran 26:78-85).
And through our actions, narrated by Aa’ishah (Radiyallahu ‘Anha): “When the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alayhi wasalam) prayed the night prayers, he would stand for so long that his feet would become swollen. ‘Aa’ishah said: O Messenger of Allah, why 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).
One of the gifts Allah has granted mankind is the ability to feel and express gratitude, but it is also a test, a test that separates the grateful from the ungrateful. Prophet Sulaiman (Alaihi salaam) 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)
Allah calls mankind “ungrateful” in many ayats of the Qur’an, and He says that only a few of His slaves are grateful. Man is deficient and thus it is easier for us to be heedless of His blessings, than it is to show gratitude.
Why we should be grateful?
• Maintain our blessings
Al-Hasan Al-Basri (Allah have mercy on him) said:
It has reached me that when Allah the Mighty and Majestic blesses a people and gives them some good he asks them to be grateful. If they are grateful, He is all-able to give them more. But if they are ungrateful, He is all-able to turn His blessings into a punishment. (Al-Bayhaqi, Shu’ab Al-Iman article 4536).
• For our blessings not to turn into a punishment (this world or the hereafter)
“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshiping 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” (Quran 14:7)
• Appreciate people around us
Abu Huraira reported: “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4811)
• We will be questioned about our blessing on the Day of Judgment “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight (You indulged in, in this world). ” ( Surat Al-Takathir, Verse 8)
• It helps us remember Allah
“Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me” (Quran 2:152)
We ask Allah to help us remember Him, to thank Him and to worship Him properly, Ameen.
A Question to ponder over:
Gratitude In Islam
How to Align your Life
How to Talk yourself out of Everything you want to do.
To New Beginnings (A Fresh Start)
A Productive Day of Arafah
Ted Talks that Inspire Change
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
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