Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. How should we be grateful to Allah SWT?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Gratefulness is an act of acknowledging the blessings of Allah SWT by praising Him. The feeling of gratitude is shown through one’s actions; through his tongue, heart and body parts by following His commandments. (See Madarij al-Salikin, 2/244)
The term grateful is used for a slave who are grateful and thankful for the blessings of Allah SWT by obeying him. (See Hasyiyah al-Syabramalisi, 1/22)
Being grateful is a commandment of Allah SWT. Allah SWT state:
وَاشْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ
“And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.”
Surah al-Nahl (114)
In answering the above question, we state the following:
- By praising Allah SWT for all His blessings. This is as stated by the Prophet Suleiman AS:
هَـٰذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ
This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful.
Surah al-Naml (40)
Allah SWT state in surah al-Dhuha:
وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ
“But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].”
Surah al-Dhuha (11)
Imam al-Qurtubi commented on the above verse saying: Distribute of what Allah SWT has blessed you with gratefulness and praises to Allah SWT. Expressing the uncountable blessings of Allah SWT and acknowledging them is included as one being grateful. (See al-Jami' li Ahkam al-Quran, 20/102)
- Perform worship as a form of gratefulness. Allah SWT state:
اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا
"Work, O family of David, in gratitude."
Surah Saba’ (13)
Ibnu Kathir said: Then, We said to them: “You should perform worship as a sign of your gratitude for the blessings given to you in religion and worldly matters. The words ‘شُكْرًا’ is masdar and not fi’il (اعْمَلُوا) or in the form of maf’ul lahu (مفعول له). Based on both taqdir, it shows that gratefulness may be in the form of actions, words and intention.
Abu Abd al-Rahman al-Hubuli said: “Prayer is an act of gratefulness, so is fasting, and every good deed done for the sake of Allah SWT. The prioritized form of gratefulness is in the form of praises.”
He and Ibnu Abi Hatim narrated from Muhammad bin Ka’ab al-Qurazhi said: “Gratefulness is consciousness of Allah SWT (taqwa) and acts of worship.” This is also applicable for those who try their best in their actions. The same as the family of the Prophet David AS, they show their gratefulness to Allah SWT through words and actions. (See Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Azim, 6/500)
The Prophet PBUH said:
أَحَبُّ الصَّلاَةِ إِلَى اللَّهِ صَلاَةُ دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ ، وَأَحَبُّ الصِّيَامِ إِلَى اللَّهِ صِيَامُ دَاوُدَ، وَكَانَ يَنَامُ نِصْفَ اللَّيْلِ وَيَقُومُ ثُلُثَهُ وَيَنَامُ سُدُسَهُ ، وَيَصُومُ يَوْمًا وَيُفْطِرُ يَوْمًا
"The most beloved fasting to Allah was the fasting of (the Prophet) David who used to fast on alternate days. And the most beloved prayer to Allah was the prayer of David who used to sleep for (the first) half of the night and pray for 1/3 of it and (again) sleep for a sixth of it."
Sahih al-Bukhari (1131) and Sahih Muslim (1159)
- Wake up and perform night prayers (qiamullail)
In a hadith narrated from Aisyah R.Anha, The Prophet (ﷺ) used to offer prayer at night (for such a long time) that he has cracked feet. I said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Why do you do it since Allah has forgiven you your faults of the past and those to follow?" He said,
يَا عَائِشَةُ أَفَلاَ أَكُونُ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا
"Shouldn't I love to be a thankful slave (of Allah)?”
Sahih al-Bukhari (4837)
Lastly, we should supplicate with the supplication of the Prophet Suleiman AS:
رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ
"My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants."
Surah al-Naml (19)
May Allah SWT make us be from among the servants of Allah SWT who are grateful. Amin.