"Nay! But worship Allâh (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful." [Surat Az-Zumar: 66].
It is a speech of Allah (Glory be to Him) to His beloved and chosen Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in which Allah commanded the people to worship Him alone without associating partners with Him in worship and the core of his worship to his Lord is thanking Him for his religious and worldly blessings.
As-Sa`dy (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "Devote worship to Him alone without associating a partner with Him in worship and be of the grateful for the success of Allah. As a person thanks Allah for the worldly blessings such as the health of the body and sustenance, he should thank and praise Allah for the religious blessings such as sincerity and piety, but the blessings of religion are the true blessings, ponder over these blessings, admit that they are from Allah, and thank Allah for protecting you from pride in which many people fall because of their ignorance.
This speech of Allah to the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a speech for every person. Ibn Kathir said: "Devote the worship for Allah alone without associating partners with Him in worship; you and those who follow you and believe you."
So, it has become incumbent on every Muslim to make his thanking to Allah inherent to his worship to his Lord, so he who thanks Allah will be worshipping Him but he who does not, is not worshipping Him. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And be grateful to Allâh, if it is indeed He Whom you worship." [Surat Al Baqarah: 172].
People are divided into grateful and ungrateful. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful." [Surat Al Insan: 3].
He says: "If you disbelieve, then verily, Allâh is not in need of you; He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is All-Knower of that which is in (men's) breasts." [Surat Az-Zumar: 7].
He says:"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." [Surat An-Naml: 40].
When thanking Allah was one of the greatest actions of worship, the greatest objective of Satan was to seduce the children of Adam and drive them out of the circle of gratitude. Allah (Glory be to Him) explained the plots and mockery of Satan so that the people would take it as an enemy: "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)." [Surat Al A`raf: 17].
What is the meaning of gratitude and how the servant be grateful?
Al Raghib Al Asfahany (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Gratitude is receiving the blessing then showing it, and the opposite is denial which is forgetting and concealing the blessing. The meaning of gratitude is feeling full because of the frequent blessings of the Giver. Gratitude is of three kinds: Gratitude of the heart which is conceiving the blessing. Gratitude of the tongue which is praising the Giver. Gratitude of organs which is thanking Allah for the blessing as should.
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Gratitude is based on five pillars: The submission of the grateful to the one who deserves thanks, his love to him, admitting his favors, thanking him for them, and not to use them in things which he hates.
Al Ghazaly (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Know that gratitude consists of knowledge, condition, and action: Knowledge is knowing the blessing of the Giver, condition is the joy which happens due to the giving itself, and action is fulfilling the objective of the Giver.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "You should have a grateful heart, a mentioning tongue, and a good wife who helps you for the matters of the Hereafter."
Allah (Glory be to Him) commanded His Prophet with thanking Him by saying: "And proclaim the Grace of your Lord (i.e., the Prophethood and all other Graces)." [Surat Ad-Duha: 11].
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Speaking about the blessings of Allah is a kind of gratitude and keeping silent about them is a kind of denial, and he who does not thank Allah for the little does not thank Him for the much."
Of the Prophet's supplication: "O Allah, Make me grateful to You." As for his condition and he was the master of those who are grateful, `A'ishah, the Mother of the Believers, described him as saying: "Allah's Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) occupied himself in Salah, he observed such a (long) qiyam (posture of standing in Salah) that his feet were swollen. `A'ishah said: O Allah's Messenger, you do this (in spite of the fact) that your earlier and later sins have been pardoned for you? Thereupon, he said. `A'ishah should I not prove myself to be a thanksgiving servant (of Allah)?"
Of his recommendations to Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him): "I advise you to never forget to recite after every Salah: "Allahumma a`inni ala dhikrika, wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika (O Allah, help me remember You, to be grateful to You, and to worship You in an excellent manner)." Gratitude as some scholars said is the half of faith. It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "Faith is of two halves: Patience and gratitude."
Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: Faith is a comprehensive name for saying, action, and intention which traces back to doing and leaving. Doing is obeying Allah which is the reality of gratitude and leaving is observing patience for leaving sins. The entire religion lies in these two matters: "Doing what is commanded and leaving the forbidden." He also said: "Both patience and gratitude interfer in the reality of each other and cannot exist without the other, but each one of them are expressed through its own name; indeed the reality of gratitude is composed of patience, will, and action. Gratitude is the obedience of Allah and leaving his disobedience, and patience is the origin of that because patience for both obedience and disobedience is the core of gratitude; and if the patience is commanded, the application of patience is gratitude."
Whoever ponders over Allah's Saying: "And Allâh 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 Allâh)." [Surat An-Nahl: 78], realizes that creation and command are a kind of gratitude to Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted).
Al Ghazaly (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "Know that a person will not be grateful to his Lord unless he uses His Blessings in showing love to Him i.e., in the things which He loves for His Servants, however if a person uses Allah's Blessings in the things which He hates, he shall be ungrateful to His Blessings as if a person wasted or neglected them. Showing gratitude and leaving denial are not achieved except through knowing what Allah loves and hates."
A person shall live in goodness as long as he knows the blessings of his Lord, admits His Favors and his weakness to Him, and uses His Blessings in things which please Him. Al Hasan Al Basry (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "Whoever does not see any blessing except in food and drink has short-sightedness and his punishment is inevitable."
It is better for a person whom Allah guided to be grateful to thank Him for that because Allah's Help him to a person is a blessing that needs thanking, and a person shall receive more blessings from His Lord as long as he is grateful to His Blessings: "If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allâh), I will give you more (of My Blessings)." [Surat Ibrahim: 7].
O Allah, help us to be grateful to You, and grant us more blessings until we meet You while You are pleased with us. Praise be to the Lord of the World.
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