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by Raiiq Ridwan

If there was ever an ayah in the Quran that was heart-breaking and should make us feel ashamed of ourselves it is where Allah subhana wa ta’ala says

And very few of My slaves are grateful. [1]

The blessings of Allah are so many that it is impossible to count them all. He blesses us in the day and in the night. He protects us from harm, and He has given us so much! Allah further says, “If you tried to count God’s favours you could never calculate them: man is truly unjust and ungrateful.” [2]

And for those of us who, by the permission of Allah, are indeed thankful, we usually thank Allah for some things while taking most of His blessings for granted. Who remembers to thank Allah for having good skin? It is something we have taken granted. Who thanks Allah for having good hair? Who thanks Allah for the clothing that we have in our closet? Who remembers to thank Allah for our teeth? Yet, when we have a painful tooth, the dentist pulls it out. We thank him for removing the pain, but we fail to thank Allah for allowing us the use of that teeth for years upon years. When did we last thank Allah for the blessing of eyesight? This is when we finally get to understand the words of Allah when He said, “And very few of My slaves are grateful”.

It is Allah who distributes His Blessings between His slaves

Allah says in the Quran: Are they the ones who share out your Lord’s grace? We are the ones who give them their share of livelihood in this world and We have raised some of them above others in rank, so that some may take others into service: your Lord’s grace is better than anything they accumulate. [3]

And He also says, On that Day, you will be asked about your pleasures. [4]

Allah distributes His blessings between people, and He alone chooses who gets more and who gets less. Some people are blessed with wealth, some are blessed with a long life, some are blessed with intelligence while others maybe blessed with good family members etc. To each person different blessings, and to each person will be their own accounting on the Day of Judgement.

The wealthy maybe asked about how they spent their wealth, the strong about their strength, the intelligent about how he used his intelligence etc.

Gratitude is Part of Iman

Allah has mentioned gratitude along with Iman in the Quran. He says

What can God gain by your punishment, if you are grateful and you believe?” [5]

Allah has joined together gratefulness and belief, and in fact mentioned gratefulness first. It is as if you are not truly grateful, you cannot truly believe. And Allah says, “What can God gain by your punishment” as if, if gratefulness and iman combine, we are safe from the punishment of Allah!

Reward of gratitude is guaranteed

Gratitude is a quality that Allah loves so much that He will grant for it rewards immediately and is guaranteed. For other qualities, Allah does at times put a condition. For example for forgiveness, Allah says, “He forgives whom He wills”. [6] For rizq, Allah says “He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases.”[7] However, when it comes to gratitude, His promise is there without a question,

If you are grateful, I will give you more [of My favours]” [8]

Gratitude earns the pleasure of Allah

The ultimate aim in life for us all should be, that at the end of the day, after all we suffer and go through in this life, that Allah subhana wa ta’ala be pleased with us on the Day of Judgement. Allah says in the Quran, “if you are grateful, He is pleased with you”. [9]

Gratitude is the soul of worship, the purpose of our creation

Allah says in the Quran, “I have not created mankind or jinn for any reason except to worship Me [alone[“[10] And then Allah also mentions in another part of the Quran, “It is God who brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and minds, so that you might be thankful.” [11] In one ayah He says He created us to worship Him, and in another ayah He says He created us so that we might be thankful. Combining the meaning of both ayat it is clear that worship and gratitude are two inseparable entities. To be truly grateful, we need to worship Allah (do that which He loves and is pleased with), and to truly worship Allah, we need to be grateful. And if we take in the essence of gratitude, worship becomes easier. When we thank Allah for the 24 hours in a day, it is not implausible to spend in total of about an hour of that to pray five times a day?

Raiiq Ridwan

[1] Quran 34:13

[2] Quran 14:34

[3] Quran 43:32

[4] Quran 102:8

[5] Quran 4:147

[6] Quran 48:14

[7] Quran 42:19

[8] Quran 14:7

[9] Quran 39:7

[10] Quran 51:55

[11] Quran 16:78

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