GRATITUDE AND ‘IBADAH

GRATITUDE AND ‘IBADAH
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All praises and thanks be to Allah, who explains in the Qur’an that the only people who truly worship Him are those who give thanks (gratitude) to Him, so those who are not among the people of gratitude are not among the people of ‘ibadah:

“…and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him that you worship.”

(Surah al-Baqarah 2:172)

He instructed His slave Musa, peace be upon him, to accept what he had bestowed upon him with gratitude:

“…’O Musa! I have chosen you above (other) men, by the mission I (have given you) and the words I (have spoken to you): take then the (revelation) which I give you, and be of those who give thanks.’”

(Surah al-‘Araf 7:144)

Allah has told us that His pleasure may be attained through gratitude:

“…If you are grateful, He is pleased with you…”

(Surah az-Zumar 39:7)

Allah praised Ibrahim, peace be upon him, for being grateful for His favours:

“Ibrahim was indeed a model. Devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in faith, and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, Who chose him, and guided him to a straight way.”

(Surah an-Nahl 16:120-121)

Allah has mentioned that gratitude is the purpose of creation:

“It is He Who brought you forth from the wombs of you mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing and sight and intelligence and affection: that you may give thanks (to Allah).”

(Surah an-Nahl 16:78)

Gratitude was also the purpose of sending the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him:

“Then remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject Me.”

(Surah al-Baqarah 2:152)

THE REWARDS OF GRATITUDE:

The reward for gratitude is unlimited. As Allah states in the Qu’ran:

“…If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you…”

(Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

In contrast, other rewards and divine favours are conditional upon His will, for example:

Relief from Poverty

“… but if you fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills…”

(Surah at-Tawbah 9:28)

Answering Prayers

“Nay – on Him would you call, and if it be His Will, He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him…”

(Surah al-An’am 6:41)

Rizq (sustenance, provision)

“…He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases.”

(Surah ash-Shura 42:19)

Forgiveness

“…He forgives whom He wills, and He punishes whom He wills…”

(Surah al-Fath 48:14)

Divine Mercy

“Again will Allah, after this, turn (in mercy) to whom He wills…”

(Surah at-Tawbah 9:27)

But Allah has made the reward for gratitude free from any conditions:

“…And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve Us with) gratitude”

(Surah Al ‘Imran 3:145)

GRATITUDE OF DIFFERENT FACULTIES:

A man said to Abu Hazim (r.a), “What is the gratitude of your eyes?” He said, “If you see good things, you speak about them, and if you see bad things, you keep quiet about it.”

He asked, “What is the gratitude of the ears?”

He said, “If you hear something good, you accept it, and if you hear something bad, you reject it.”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of the hands?”

He said, “Do not take that which does not belong to you, and do not hold back from paying the dues of Allah (zakat).”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of the head?”

He said, “To have knowledge in it.”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of one’s private parts?”

He quoted: “Who guard their private parts, except from those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hand possess – for (in their case) they are free from blame, but those whose desires exceed those limits are trangressors’”

(Surah al-Mu’minun 23:5-7)

As for those who pay lip-service to gratitude, and do not give thanks with the rest of their faculties, they are like a man who has a garment and all he does with it is touch it, but he does not put it on: it will never protect him from heat, cold, rain or snow.