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GRATITUDE (SHUKR) IN THE QUR’AN AND AHADITH

GRATITUDE (SHUKR) IN THE QUR’AN AND AHADITH

All praises be to Allah who tells us:

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

(Surah al-Baqarah 2:152)

And He tolds us that only those who are grateful to Him truly worship Him:

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

(Surah al-Baqarah 2:172)

Allah has mentioned gratitude alongside iman, and has made it clear that He gains nothing from punishing His people if they give thanks to Him and believe in Him:

“What can Allah gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe?…”

(Surah an-Nisa 4:147)

In other words: if you carry out the duties for which you were created, namely gratitude and iman, why should Allah punish you?

Allah has divided people into two categories, the people of gratitude (shukr) and the people of ingratitude (kufr). The thing most disliked by Him is kufr, the thing most liked by Him is gratitude and the people of gratitude:

“We showed him (i.e. man) the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will)”

(Surah al-Insan 76:3)

According to the Qu’ran, the Prophet Sulayman, peace be upon him, said:

“…This is by the grace of my Lord! – to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is free of all needs, Supreme in honour!”

(Surah an-Naml 27:40)

And Allah said:

“And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): ‘If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you: but if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.”

(Surah Ibrahim 14:7)

“If you reject (Allah), truly Allah has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His slaves; if you are grateful, He is pleased with you.”

(Surah az-Zumar 39:7)

There are many ayat in the Qur’an where Allah makes a contrast between gratitude (shukr) and ingratitude (kufr). For example:

“Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will you then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.”

(Surah Al ‘Imran 3:144)

AHADITH ON GRATITUDE (SHUKR):

It was reported that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, stayed up all night, standing until his feet became swollen. When he was asked, “Why are you doing this when Allah has forgiven all your past and future wrong actions?”

He, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, replied:

”Should I not be a grateful slave?”

[Recorded in al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, told Muath, RadhiAllahu Anhu:

“By Allah, I love you, so do not forget to say at the end of every salah, ‘O Allah help me to remember You and to give thanks to You and to worship You well.’”

[Recorded in Ahmad and Tirmidhi]

Ibn ‘Abbas, RadhiAllahu Anhuma, narrated that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“There are four qualities, whoever is given them has truly been given the best in this world and the next. They are: a grateful heart (that is thankful to Allah), a remembering tongue (that mentions Allah often), an enduring body (to persevere through the trials which Allah may send), and a faithful wife (who does not cheat him of her body or his wealth).”

Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad reported from Aisha, RadhiAllahu Anha, that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“No blessing is bestowed on a slave and he realises that it is from Allah, but the reward of giving gratitude for it is written for him. Never does Allah know the regret of His slave for a wrong action he has committed, but Allah forgives his wrong action he has committed, but Allah forgives his wrong action before the slave seeks forgiveness. No man buys a garment with his own money then puts it on and thanks Allah, but Allah will have forgiven him all his wrong action before the garment reaches his knees.”

The Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

”Allah is pleased with His slave if, when he eats something, he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something, he thanks Allah for it.”

[Recorded in Muslim]

Abu Hurairah, RadhiAllahu Anhu, narrated that the Prophet, SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, said:

“If any of you would like to see the great blessing of Allah on him, then let him look at those who are less fortunate than him, not those who appear better off than him.”