Thankfulness towards Allâh

“That is because Allâh will never change the grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls” {Sûrah al-Anfal (8):53}

This is one of the ways in which Allâh deals with His servants, for He made the condition of people directly related to their belief. If they change their belief, Allâh will change their condition. Allâh will replace their security with fear, and their sustenance. And security and sustenance are two Allâh’s greatest graces. Allâh says in the Qur’ân:

“So let them worship Allâh the Lord of this House (the Kâba) Who provides them with food against hunger and with security against fear (of danger)” {Sûrah Quraish (106:3-4)}

Suhaib ibn Sinan narrated that the Prophet said:

“How remarkable is the case of the believer! There is good for him in everything, but this is not the case for anyone except for the believer. When the believer receives any good, he is thankful to Allâh, and gets a reward. And when some misfortune befalls him, he endures it patiently, for which he is (also) rewarded.” {Fiqh as-Sunnah, vol.4, p.1.}

What is Thankfulness?

In Islamic terminology, Thankfulness is the acknowledgment of the fact that Allâh is the only Grantor of graces, and full submission to Allâh in a way that assures that acknowledgment. The graces (favors) of Allâh are endless and countless. Allâh says in His Book:

“And if you were to count the blessings of Allâh, you will never be able to count them.” {Sûrah Ibraîim (14): 34}

He, the All Mighty also says:

“And whatever blessings and good you have, it is from Allâh ..” {Sûrah an-Nahl, (16): 53}

How can a servant (Abd) thank Allâh?

{The word ‘slaves’ represents mankind, for all of mankind are expected to totally submit to the will of Allâh}The servant can thank Allâh in many ways. These include:

    1. Prostrating to Allâh, when the servant receives a blessing from Allâh or when Allâh saves him from a disaster. The Messenger of Allâh (salAllâhu alaihi wasallam) used to prostrate to Allâh whenever he received a pleasant thing or was told good news. This prostration is conducted for the sole purpose of giving thanks to Allâh, the Granter of the grace and benefit that the servant received. [see Fiqh as-Sunnah by Sayyid Sabiq (English trans.) vol.2, p.45]Abdur-Rahmân ibn ‘Auf relates that the Messenger of Allâh (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) went out once and he followed him until he entered a grove of palm trees and prostrated. His prostration was so long that ‘Abdur-Rahmân feared that Allâh had taken his soul. ‘Abdur-Rahmân came to look at him and he raised his head and said: “What is wrong, Abdur-Rahmân’?” Abdur Rahmân mentioned what had happened, and he (sallAllâhu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Gibra’el came to me and said: ‘Shall I not give you glad tidings’? Allâh says to you, Whoever prays upon you, I pray upon him. Whoever salutes you, I salute him.’ Therefore, I prostrated to Allâh in thanks.” {This is related by Ahmad and by Al-Hâkim who says: “It is sahih according to the criterion of al-Bukhâri and Muslim}
    2. Thanking Allâh in words: The majority of the scholars agreed that if the servant does not thank Allâh for the grace he has, then that grace will go away and may never come back. Allâh’s Messenger (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said: “It is a fine thing when a believer praises and thanks Allâh if good comes to him, and praises Allâh and shows endurance if smitten by affliction. The believer is rewarded for everything, even for the morsel he raises to his wife’s mouth.” {Bayhaqi transmitted it in Shu’ab al-Iman. Sunan at-Tirmidhî no.1733 See also Sahîh Muslim (7138)}
    1. Talking about the benefits Allâh has granted him. This is because concealing the benefits of Allâh is ungrateful. Allâh says in the Qur’ân: “Do they believe in the false deities and deny the favor of Allâh.” {Sûrah an-Nahl (16):72} Ibn Kathîr commented that denying the favors of Allâh means hiding his grants and/or relating them to others than Allâh.Narrated by Zaid bin Khâlid Al Juhani : The Prophet led us in the Fajr prayer at Hudaibiya after a rainy night. On completion of the prayer, he faced the people and said, “Do you know what your Lord has said (revealed)?” The people replied, “Allâh and His Apostle know better.” He said, “Allâh has said, ‘In this morning some of my slaves remained as true believers and some became non-believers; whoever said that the rain was due to the Blessings and the Mercy of Allâh had belief in Me and he disbelieves in the stars, and whoever said that it rained because of a particular star had no belief in Me but believes in that star.” {Sahîh al-Bukhâri (1:807)}
    2. Helping people in need. It was mentioned in a Hadîth of Prophet Muhammad (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) that: “As the grants from Allâh to a servant increase, so will the people’s needs of that blessed servant’s services. If the servant ignores their needs, it will cause those grants to be removed” (lbn Hibban) The Prophet (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “If anyone strokes an orphan’s head, doing so only for Allâh’s sake, he will have blessings for every hair over which his hand passes; and if anyone treats well an orphan girl or boy under his care, he and I shall be like these two in Paradise,” putting two of his fingers together.” {Sunan at-Tirmidhî no.4974}

Why does the servant not thank Allâh?

The servant may not thank Allâh for several reasons:

  1. The servant may be unaware of the general grants that were bestowed by Allâh on the creatures. Many people wrongly think that money is the only thing to be considered and ignore the other general grants such as hearing, vision, sanity and health. The Prophet (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” {Sahîh al-Bukhâri vol 8: 421}آishah, the Prophet’s wife said: ” Whenever a servant drinks a drop of water which gets into his body and leaves it with no harm, then a thanks is due.”

    A man came to a good Muslim and complained that Allâh made him very poor. The good man said: “Would you like to have ten thousand dinars and be insane?” The Complainer answered: “No.” The good man said: “Would you like to have ten thousand dinars but have your legs chopped off” The complainer answered: “No.” The good man then said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself complaining about your Lord while all of these grants which are His; have been bestowed on you?”

  2. The servant may not give thanks to his Lord because he is unaware of the people who have less bounties than him. . This is mentioned in a Hadîth in Sahîh Muslim, that: Allâh’s Messenger (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “Look at those people who have less than you and never look at those who have more grants than you, this will ensure that you will not depreciate Allâh’s grants.” {Sahîh Muslim no.1530}At times of hardship, one should turn his eyes towards a person who owns less worldly things than him. He will then be calmed and his ungratefulness will disappear. One will then thank his Lord and say: “Thanks to Allâh who has guarded me against the harm which He has afflicted others, and who has chosen not to afflict me” {Sunan at-Tirmidhî }
  3. The servant may not give thanks to his Lord because he is unaware of Allâh’s names, attributes and laws. The real ignorant person is the one who gets deceived by the amount of money he has or by his position or his power. He forgets the fact that as Allâh has granted, He may also take the blessings away. Allâh says in His Book, “Say, O Allâh! Lord of Power (and Rule) You give Power to whom You will and You take away power from whom You will, and you endue with honor whom you will, and humiliate who you will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” {Sûrah al-Imrân (3):26}

When does Allâh take His grants away from His servants?

  1. When one commits sins: The Messenger of Allâh (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “The servant will be deprived a provision because he committed a sin” (Musnad Ahmed)On the other hand, fearing Allâh causes His provisions to come forth, Allâh says in the Qur’ân: “And whoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, Allâh will make way for him out of every difficulty, And He will provide for him from sources he never imagined” {Sûrah at-Talaq (65):2-3}
  2. When the servant relates the grants to himself and does not acknowledge that Allâh is their Grantor as Qaroon (a tyrannical king mentioned in the Qur’aan al-Qasas (28): 78 ) said: “This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.”Consequently. his punishment was, “So We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group or party to help him against Allâh.” {Sûrah al-Qasas (28): 81}
  3. When the servant does not give Zakaat. The Messenger of Allâh (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “Indeed Allâh the Most High said, ‘We have sent down the wealth for the prayer to be established and that Zakât be given; and if the son of آdam had a valley, he would love to have a second; if he had two valleys, he would love to have a third, and nothing will fill the belly of the son of آdam except dust …” {Musnad Ahmed & at-Tabarânî. Sahîh al-Jâmi, no.1777}So the money is actually Allâh’s money, and we have been entrusted with it. And he (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) said, “Do not shut your money bag; otherwise Allâh too will withhold His blessings from you. Spend (in Allâh’s cause) as much as you can afford. ” {Sahîh al-Bukhâri 2/515}

    The Prophet of Allâh (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) also said, “Do not withhold your money by counting it (i.e. hoarding it), (for if you did so), Allâh would also withhold His blessings from you.” {Sahîh al-Bukhâri vol.2: 514}

  4. When the servant of Allâh becomes arrogant due to the large amount of money he has. If the person feels superior to other people, and his wealth becomes his only business, if he talks about it and only about it wherever he goes, and forgets to remember Allâh and praise Him; if he starts evaluating people based on their wealth, then Allâh will remove his grants. Allâh says in the Qur’ân: “Woe to every slanderer and back biter. Who has gathered wealth and counted it. He thinks that his wealth will make last forever. Nay! Verily, he will be thrown into the crushing fire.” {Sûrah al-Humazah (104):1-4}And finally there is no better example for us than the Messenger of Allâh (sAllâhu alayhi wasallam) who used to offer night prayers till his feet became swollen. Somebody said to him, “Allâh has forgiven you, your faults of the past and those to follow.” On that, he said, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave (of Allâh)?” {Sahîh al-Bukhâri vol.6: 360}
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One Response to Thankfulness towards Allâh

  1. amatullah1 says:

    Maashaa allaah, this was extremely informative!
    Jazaakallaahu khairan katheera

    Amatullah @ http://stop0think.wordpress.com

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