Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
One of the goals of Ramadan is developing a sense of gratitude towards Allah the Exalted, as He said,
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an …. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. [2:185]
Let us look at some of the ways of expressing gratitude and work on developing them in this blessed month.
Gratitude of the Tongue
Allah said in the Quran,
And proclaim the grace of your Lord. [93:11]
We can express gratitude by saying Alhamdulillah. In fact, that is what we say at the start of every prayer, and it is a highly recommended dhikr, to be said after prayers, after eating, after anything good happens to you, even after sneezing. It was reported that Allah’s messenger said,
What you mention of glory of Allah, of Tabsih (Subhan-Allah), Tahlil (Allahu-Akbar) and Tahmid (Al-Hamdu lillah), revolves around the Throne, buzzing like bees, reminding of the one who said it. Wouldn’t any one of you like to have, or continue to have, something that reminds of him (in the presence of Allah)? [ibn Majah]
Gratitude of the Heart
This is the amazing emotion that fills your heart when realizing the blessings of Allah on you.
Gratitude of the Limbs
Whenever Allah mentions belief in Quran, He usually mentions good deeds right after it. For example,
But they who believe and do righteous deeds – those are the companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally. [2:82]
Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds [that] for them there is forgiveness and great reward. [5:9]
Gratitude of the limbs entails showing Allah your gratefulness through obeying Him with your actions. It is the proof of gratefulness of the heart and the tongue that you actually do the things which He commanded you to do.
Showing Gratitude to Others
The Prophet (saws) said,
Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah. [Tirmidhi]
Even Musa (as) acknowledged the favours of Firaun, the great evildoer.
Making Good Use of Allah’s Favours
We show gratitude to Allah by using the favours He bestowed on us in a way that pleases Him. We acknowledge the blessing of our health and time by worshipping Allah. We show gratitude for the laptops and gadgets He has given us by using it to spread dawah. We show gratitude for the wealth He has provided us with by spending it in charity.
Benefits of Gratitude
- Safety from the Hellfire
Ingratitude is one of the qualities of the disbelievers. In fact, Allah uses the same word for disbelief as for ingratitude:
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
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.’ [14:7]
- Huge reward from Allah
Allah said in the Quran several times:
كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي مَن شَكَرَ
Thus do We reward he who is grateful. [54:35]
ۗ وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ
Allah will reward the grateful. [3:144]
ۚ وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِينَ
And we will reward the grateful. [3:145]
The Prophet (saws) said,
A grateful eater will have a reward like that of a patient fasting person. [ibn Majah]
- Feeling of Happiness and Contentment
Research in positive psychology has revealed that one of the most effective ways of attaining happiness is to express gratitude. It makes sense because when you’re grateful, you’re focusing on the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative, which automatically makes you happy and content.
- Increase in blessings
Allah promised in [14:7] that if we’re grateful, then He will increase us. He didn’t put a limit of what exactly He will increase us in, because His bounties are limitless. So if you have just had some delicious ice-cream and say ‘alhamdulillah’, Allah will give you more icecream, or perhaps He will give you something better than icecream, for example taqwa.
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