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Becoming more Grateful Part 2 B

As we open the Quran, the first chapter starts with ‘Alhamdulillah’ which is generally translated as “all praise is due to Allah.” In reality, the word Alhamdulillah signifies gratitude in our everyday lives. Hence, when someone asks how we are, a Muslim often responds with, “Alhamdulillah.” Similarly, Islam teaches us to be thankful throughout the day: for waking up from sleep, after eating our meals, drinking water, etc. In this way, one’s entire life revolves around gratitude to Allah.

In the beautiful chapter of the Quran, titled “Ar Rahman” Allah asks the same question thirty-one times,
فَبِأَىِّ ءَالَآءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ
“Which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?”

Allah has created us and then made this world for us. We are getting numerous benefits from all of His creations such as the sun, moon, clouds, rain, air, grasslands, animals, plants, rivers, oceans and countless other bounties of the natural world! After realizing all this abundance, how can a sensible person be anything but thankful to Allah?

Allah reminds us,
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتُ ٱلسَّبْعُ وَٱلْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَىْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِۦ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
“The seven heavens and the earth and all who dwell in them give glory to Him. There is not a single thing that is not chanting His praise yet you cannot understand their praise. He is ever forbearing, forgiving” (Quran, 17:44).

Ironically, we humans are the only ones who forget to be grateful to Him. Allah ends the above verse by emphasizing that He is forgiving. It’s for this reason that we are not punished right away. Rather He gives us time to realize our mistakes and make amends.

Naturally, at times we may wonder whether it is truly beneficial to be grateful to Allah. In the Quran, Allah answers this question,

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِى لَشَدِيدٌ
“If you are thankful, I will add more (favours) unto you but if you show ingratitude then my punishment is terrible indeed” (Quran 14:7)

This verse proves that our gratitude is beneficial for us alone, and our ingratitude is harmful to us alone. The intelligent individuals who comprehend this basic teaching of Islam are referred to as those who are wise, who possess a mature and comprehending intellect.

Allah gives us an example of this as well in the Holy Quran,

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا لُقْمَـٰنَ ٱلْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ ٱشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ
“We endowed Luqman with wisdom: ‘Be thankful to Allah” (Quran 31:12).

Luqman is recognized with the title of “The wise” just because he is thankful to Allah.
May Allah give us wisdom to give thanks for all blessings by which we survive and thrive day after day.

 

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