One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when he [Sulaiman (Solomon)] saw it placed before him, he 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 ownself; and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly my Lord is Rich (Free of all needs), Bountiful.”
Narrated Al-Mughira: The Prophet (PBUH) used to offer night prayers till his feet became swollen. Somebody said to him, “Allah has forgiven you, your faults of the past and those to follow.” On that, he said, “Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave of Allah)?”
Sahih al-Bukhari: Volume 3 – Hadith #4836
Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RA) said: Sabr is the half of ‘Iman. Based on a narration of Sayyidna Suhayb (RA) appearing in the Sahih of Muslim and the Musnad of Ahmad, the Holy Prophet (RA) has been reported to have said: Every state of affairs for a true believer is nothing but good. This is a quality of life no one else has been blessed with. This is because a true believer, if he finds comfort, blessing, honor or recognition, shows his gratitude before Allah Ta’ala for these which then be- comes a source of good for him both physically and spiritually (in the material world, the blessings Divinely promised increase, and abide, while in the world to come, the Hereafter, one receives the greatest of rewards for his or her gratitude). And, if a true believer is hit by pain or hard- ship, he observes patience against it. Because of his patience, that hard- ship turns into ease and comfort for him.
What is True Gratitude ?
The substance of the reality of gratitude (shukr) is that one should not spend out the blessings given by Allah Ta’ala in what is Haram, in things which are not permitted, and in being disobedient to Him. One should also show gratitude by saying so as well, and by modeling and channelizing one’s deeds in a manner that they would go on to become ac- cording to His good pleasure.
The sense is that these open signs and proofs, though they are for the guidance of every observer, but certainly unfortunate are the disbelievers who just do not care to ponder over them and, as a result, remain deprived of the benefit they would have derived from them. People who really benefit from these signs and proofs are those who have combined in their person the best of patience and gratitude. The reference here is to true believers – as it appears in a narration of Sayyidna Anas carried by al-Baihaqi where the Holy Prophet (SAW) has been reported to have said: ‘Iman is composed of two parts, half of it is patience and the other half, gratitude.’ (Mazhari)
[Above sections taken from Maarif ul Quran]
The Virtue of Showing Gratitude
Sayyidna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RA) said: Sabr is the half of ‘Iman. Based on a narration of Sayyidna Suhayb (RA) appearing in the Sahih of Muslim and the Musnad of Ahmad, the Holy Prophet (SAW) has been reported to have said: Every state of affairs for a true believer is nothing but good. This is a quality of life no one else has been blessed with. This is because a true believer, if he finds comfort, blessing, honor or recognition, shows his gratitude before Allah Ta’ala for these which then be- comes a source of good for him both physically and spiritually (in the material world, the blessings Divinely promised increase, and abide, while in the world to come, the Hereafter, one receives the greatest of rewards for his or her gratitude). And, if a true believer is hit by pain or hardship, he observes patience against it. Because of his patience, that hardship turns into ease and comfort for him.
‘Iman is a priceless asset which transforms even shocks of hardship into drafts of comfort. Sayyidina Abu Al-Darda (RA) said that he had heard the Holy Prophet (SAW) say: Allah Ta’ala told Sayyidina ‘Isa (AS) I am going to create a community after you who are such that if they have what they desire and things turn out the way they want them to, then, they would be grateful, and if they have to face an unpleasant situation, against their wish and pleasure, then, they would accept it as a source of reward from Allah, and would observe patience. And this wisdom and forbearance demonstrated by them would not be the outcome of their own personal wisdom and forbearance, rather, We shall be bestowing upon them a certain part of Our Own Wisdom and Forbearance. (Mazhari)
[Above sections taken from Maarif ul Quran]
Every one of us are always enjoying bounties of Allah (SWT) every single day, from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep and every second in between. When we do not see them as bounties and privileges and we take them for granted, our level of gratitude decreases. When our gratitude decreases, it eventually turns into ingratitude, and when there is ingratitude to the favors of Allah (SWT), he takes them away, and he inflicts his own punishment on those that show ingratitude. Just like how, if you gave someone a gift and they turned around and insulted you, you would not reward ingratitude. When we show ingratitude to something, because everything comes from Allah (SWT), we are actually being ungrateful to Allah (SWT), and then we have to deal with him and his displeasure. No one can deal with the displeasure of Allah (SWT).
We should always have this state of mind that we are enjoying so many bounties of Allah (SWT) and there are many things that people around us do not have. We should show gratitude for what we have and use the favors and bounties for Allah (SWT), whether it is time, youth, health, wealth or all of these things. If we have these and misuse them or use them in a way that displeases Allah (SWT), it is also a sign of ingratitude. There is a lot of thinking that has to take place here. We are all responsible for what we have and we will be questioned about every single favor of Allah (SWT). In one hadith, it explains that this is the case so much so that a cold glass of water on a hot day is also something from Allah (SWT) that we have to give an answer about. Are we prepared to answer for all of these bounties we are enjoying? It is a very difficult thing. We should at least walk on the path of gratitude. When a person walks on the path of gratitude, their outlook on life becomes very bright and positive. They overlook the small difficulties and inconveniences and say, “I have so much to be happy and grateful about.” These people become a positive force for others. An ungrateful mindset does the exact opposite and become a negative force for others as well. May Allah (SWT) fill our hearts with shukr and make it a means of his pleasure and a means of increasing our favors, and may Allah (SWT) save us from ingratitude and becoming one of those who lose the favors of Allah (SWT) because of not being grateful.
Dawud (AS) was given great bounties by Allah (SWT). He was given great speech, a beautiful voice and the power of wisdom. When he used to recite the Zabur, the mountains would recite it with him and so would the birds. Birds would start reciting, mountains would start reciting, and Allah (SWT) made iron soften for him. He would not need to heat metal in a furnace nor would he need tools like hammers – he would bend the metals as he wanted with his fingers, just like how one could tie a string and turn it into any shape they want. He used this skill to create chainmail armor. Every single link in that mail would be perfect. Allah (SWT) said, “Do good deeds. I watch closely what you are doing.”
His son, Sulayman (AS), had power over the wind and was able to cover the distance that would usually take one month in one morning or evening. Allah (SWT) gave him a stream of molten copper for the people to use as they please, and Allah (SWT) gave him an army of Jinns that would be under his control that were able to create buildings and monuments. At the end of this, Allah (SWT) says, “Make sure you are grateful to Allah (SWT). There are very few of my slaves who are very grateful.” Sometimes, people can be very grateful in a moment when they get something new or something that they wanted, but eventually, the gratitude dissipates, and sometimes, the gratitude is replaced by greed and ingratitude. They might say, “I do not want this. It does not interest me anymore.” Or “Yes, this is good, but another person has something better.” Gratitude comes inside everyone to some extent, but it does not always say.
[Adapted from a lecture given by Mufti Aasim Rashid]
YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF
Gratitude in Times of Hardship
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
We were by the Prophet of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) while `Umar was in his presence. The Prophet was lying on a bed made of palm leaves, and beneath his head was a pillow; there wasn’t a barrier between his side and the palm leaves. When he made a slight movement, it was evident that the palm affected his sides.
So, `Umar began to weep, and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) inquired, “Why do you weep?” He said:
“How can I not weep when I know that you are dearer to Allah than Kaiser and the Caesar. Yet, they are living such lavish lives in this world”.
So the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“O `Umar wouldn’t you be pleased if the hereafter is ours and this life is for them?”
[From Akhlaqun-Nabi wa ādābuhu ]
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah will be pleased with His slave who praises Him (i.e., says Al-hamdu lillah) when he eats and praises Him when he drinks”.
“My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”
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