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What comes into your mind once you hear the word gratitude? The majority of people might respond with the word, “thanks”. Or it’d be being grateful once someone grants you a favor or helps you get out of some quite hardship.
But, what is more important than being grateful to the Lord of the worlds, who made you and me, who made the heavens and the earth and all that is between? Who gave us infinite blessings in this world, sight, hearing, sense of smell and the ability to walk, talk and laugh? Who gave us the greatest blessing of ‘Aql, the ability to think and reason? What could be more important than thanking Allah who gave us all this?
Subhanallah, we have become so preoccupied with the worldly life that we tend to forget that we have been granted with so many blessings. We have been taking these blessings for granted that we forget that all these are enormous blessings that we have to be thankful for. What if you suddenly fall and break your hand? Then you will be wondering what a blessing that hand was. How easy life was when you had both hands, and how difficult it is to manage with one hand. Imagine that now. See how careless we have been in counting the number of blessings.
And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful. [Al-Quran: 16:78]
And it is He who has made the night and the day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude. [Al-Quran: 25:62]
Do you not see that ships sail through the sea by the favor of Allah that He may show you of His signs? Indeed in that are signs for everyone patient and grateful. [Al-Quran: 31:31]
Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned? Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful. [Al-Quran: 76:1-3]
Let us think about how many people cannot see, or walk, or have lost the ability to talk or even feel. Think and reflect upon the lives of those people and then you will indeed feel how blessed you are. Whenever you feel unlucky or think how unfortunate you are, take a piece of paper and write down the blessings that you already have. If you deeply think about it, you will not finish writing them all down in a mere piece of paper. Then write about why you feel unfortunate. Weigh both sides and you will always, ALWAYS find that the blessings that Allah has given you greatly outweigh the hardships you are facing.
When you are going through a difficult phase in life, think about the poor people around the world who don’t even get food or water for weeks or months. How many people die from famine and malnutrition? How many people have lost their homes in war and are freezing to death without having a place to lie down?
Now, compare your lives to theirs. In worldly things, always attempt to compare your life with those who are in a lower class. That can make you feel grateful for the blessings that you already have. What if you always try to compare your life with those above you, those who are richer and have everything in this world? Then you will never feel satisfied and it will leave you wanting more and more.
Allah has given us so many blessings even when we are ungrateful. Let us then see how he increases the blessings of those who are grateful to Allah.
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” [Al-Quran: 14:7]
…And we will reward the grateful. [Al-Quran: 3:145]
Mu’adh bin Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” [At-Tirmidhi].
This hadith shows us the importance of being grateful to our food too. Subhanallah, what could make us happier than knowing that all our sins have been forgiven? Learn to praise, be grateful all the time.
How to express your gratitude to Allah
Here are some simple ways that you can show gratitude to Allah at all times.
- Du’aa when waking up: Bear in mind to praise Allah as soon as you wake up, by making this du’aa.
الحَمْدُ لِلهِ الَّذِي أَحْيَانَا بَعْدَ مَا أَمَاتَنَا وَإِلَيْهِ النُّشُورُ
All praise is for Allah who gave us life after causing us to die, and unto Him is the resurrection.
- Saying Alhamdulillah after you finish eating, and also every time something good happens.
- Praising Allah even at times of difficulty. Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kulli haal.
- Do the prostration of sujood often in times of happiness.
- Keep your expectations low, so that even tiny things can cause you to feel grateful.