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.
“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, :152).
Imaan (belief) implies Shukr or gratefulness as opposed to Kufr or ungratefulness. A kafir or 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” (Luqmaan, : 012). “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 ‘Ibaadah (worship and obedience). “… and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship” (Al-Baqarah, :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, : 007).
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, : 78).
8. Shukr is a quality of success in this life and in the Hereafter: Ibn ‘Abbaas [r] narrated that the Prophet [p] 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.” (Saheeh 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, : 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 Rahmah 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.” (Ibraaheem, : 007)
13. 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 (Lisaan), which involves celebrating the praises of Allah, such as utterance of “Alhamdulillah”, and expressing gratefulness to Allah with our tongue.
– Shukr of the limbs (Jawaarih), 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.
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