EXCELLENCE OF GRATITUDE TO ALLAH.
All praise is due to Allah Whom by His grace all good things are achieved. May His endless bliss be upon the best of mankind par excellence, prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.), his household,his companions and the Muslim Ummah in entirety till the Day of Reckoning.
O mankind! Gratitude to Allah is incumbent upon mankind come what may. Allah, the Most High commanded His creatures to be grateful to him. He says in His Holy Book: ’and be grateful to Me (for my countless favours on you) and never be ungrateful to me. (Q2:152)
What is gratitude: gratitude means obedience to the Benefactor (Allah) by using His blessing in things He loves and abstaining from things He abhores.
Gratitude is one of the attributes of Allah. The Qur’an says: ’and Allah is ever all- appreciative(of good), all-kowing’. (Q:4: 147)
Allah praised Himself at the inception of creating heaven and earths. He says: ‘All praise and thanks are Allah’s, Who created the heavens and earth and originated the darkness and the light; yet those who disbelieve hold others as equal with their Lord. (Q:6:1)
Allah also glorified Himself when he revealed His book on His servant ( prophet Muhammad, s.a.w.) Allah says:’All praise and thanks are Allah’s, Who has sent down to His slave (Muhammad,s.a.w.) the book (the Qur’an), and has not placed therein any croockedness. (Q: 18:1)
In the same vein, Allah extolled himself when He cleared himself of partners with regards to worship. Allah says: ‘And say: ‘All praises and thanks are to Allah, Who has not begotten a son and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is Low to have a helper. And magnify Him with all magnificence’ (Q: 17:111)
The praise of Allah for Himself continued to the point of completion of the creation. Allah says: ‘And they(all creatures) will be judged with truth. And it will be said,’All praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the universe’. (Q: 39:75)
Gratitude is a core value of the prophets of Allah. Allah says with respect to this when He qualified prophet Ibrahim. ‘(he) Ibrahim was thankful for His (Allah’s) favours.
Al-Mughira Ibn Shu’bah narrated that the prophet used to offer night prayers till his feet became swollen. Somebody said to him,’Allah has forgiven you your sins of the past and the future.’On that, he said, ‘shouldn’t I be a thankful slave of Allah. Sahih Bukhari.
REASONS FOR GRATITUDE TO ALLAH
- Allah demands gratitude from mankind for His countless blessings on them right from the womb. Allah says:’And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah). (Q:16:78)
- The blessings of Allah are too bountiful to be counted. ‘And if you would count the favours of Allah, never could you be able to count them…’ (Q:16:18)
- To prove wrong the wish of Shaytan when he vowed to mislead and cause man to be ungrateful to his Lord. Allah says: ‘ Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to you’. (Q:7:17)
- Gratitude to Allah is for the benefit of man. Allah says: ‘ … Give thanks to Allah.’And whoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good of) his ownself. And whoever is unthankful, then verily, Allah is All-Rich ( Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise’. (“31:12)
- Worship manifests through gratitude to Allah. Allah says: ‘… and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship’. (Q:2:172)
Gratitude can be expressed in three ways. i.e. heart, tongue and limbs.
- Gratitude with heart is to desire good for oneself and others.
- Gratitude with tongue is to proclaim ( Alhamdulilah) praise to Allah.
- Gratitude with limbs is expressed by using the bounties of Allah for His cause and not against it.
BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE TO ALLAH.
- Gratitude to Allah for His blessing begets another blessing. To this regard Allah says:’ And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘if you give thanks, I will give you more, but if you are thankless, verily My punishment is indeed severe’. (Q:14:7)
- Gratitude to Allah leads to Allah’s pleasure. Allah says: ‘ And if you are grateful, He is pleased therewith for you’. (Q39:7)
The prophet (S.A.W.) corroborated the theory with Hadith. He 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. Sahih Muslim.
The prophet (S.A.W.) urges Muslim to invariably adore Allah no matter the situation. Suhaib reported: The messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said:’How excellent is the affair of the believer! There is good for him in everything and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, he thanks Allah and that is good for him. If adversity befalls him, he endures and that is good for him’. Sahih Muslim.
Being grateful to Allah can be attained through supplication as demonstrated by the prophet (S.A.W.) when he admonished Mu’adh Ibn Jabal. It was narrated from Mu’adh Ibn Jabal that the messenger of Allah grabed his hand and said: ‘ O Mu’adh! By Allah I love you, by Allah I love you’. Then he said,’ I advise you o Mu’adh, do not fail following every prayer say: ‘O Allah! Help me to remember you, thank you and worship you properly’.