Gratitude in Islam is one of the most fundamental aspects of this religion. A Muslim is not merely one cognisant of the fact that the creator of the Universe is one and is responsible for everything he has in this life i.e. his consciousness, his health, his family, his sanity and his wealth but also realises that it is his obligation to express gratitude to his Lord.
Why is life so difficult?
Many of us focus on our problems and difficulties and say in despair “why is life so difficult?” This is natural, but it is not something a Muslim should do as he should be stronger in character. There are different reasons why people say “why is life so difficult?”
Someone may have all the basic necessities of life but desires something else. This may be caused by different reasons. It may just be caused by pure greed, a desire for sensual fulfilment or by the sort of people they mix with. A rich kid may want a Ferrari for his 18th birthday and fails to get it, and is then filled with frustration and anger. The question we have to ask ourselves is do we really want and need the the thing which we desire and cannot attain. If we do really need it can’t we wait for it a little longer? If we can’t wait and we are irritated, this highlights the fact that we are impatient. Patience is something key to the Muslim character and is something developed upon during the month of Ramadan when we fast from dawn to dusk.
We should realise the favours bestowed upon us and have it present in our minds constantly, because this leads us to remember the giver of favours and therefore being grateful to and loving Allah, who is of course the Bestower of favours. This would therefore make one exert more effort in worshipping Allaah.
5 WAYS TO SHOW GRATITUDE
1. PRAY YOUR SALAH – This is the most important obligation as a Muslim. Allah (swt) has given us so much and in return he commands that we pray at least at the minimum of 5 times a day. If you happen to miss any Salah’s, make sure you make them up.
2. GIVE SADAQA – There are people in the world who have far less than they need. One of the ways to thank Allah (swt) is to share the blessings he’s given you with other people such as orphans, homeless, etc.
3.DU’A - There is a du’a for just about everything in life. Whether it’s putting on new clothes or waking up from sleep, the ability to remember Allah (swt) throughout the day shows that Allah (swt) is at the center of your life.
4. THANK OTHERS – No one is completely independent in life. We seek help from others and in return Allah (swt) enables them to do so. It is important you thank anyone that offers assistance and help because Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” (Sunan, Abu Dawud)
5. LIVE FOR ALLAH (swt) – It’s difficult in a world where there are constant tribulations and fitnah, but as long as you cling to the Deen, Qur’an and Sunnah you will always find your relationship with Allah (swt) constantly improving or renewed.
The Arabic word for gratitude is “shukr” and the opposite of gratitude is “kufr”, which also happens to be the word for disbelief. So rejection of Allah and his religion is intimately connected to ungratefulness. We have so many beautiful blessings around us and in us.
Author: Moulana Ilyas