Yasmin Mogahed once shared a story of a lady who has a type of genetic disease where every time she gives birth, her babies would slowly lose their physical senses (sight, hearing, taste etc) one by one after a few months.
At the time, she had 3 children and all three of her children would go through the same deterioration in their physical senses. But the remarkable part is, this lady continued to think good of Allah and give thanks to Him for whatever befalls her.
How did she do it?
I suppose with a high level of iman, it is definitely possible. After all, we are all slaves of Allah. So, what right do we have to question Allah’s decree? But Allah knows best. He would not test us with calamities we couldn’t handle. The best we can do as His best slaves is to continue to give thanks for everything He has given us.
The best part about being grateful to Allah is that Allah appreciates it!
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “While a man was on the way, he found a thorny branch of a tree there on the way and removed it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him.”
Even just removing a branch on the road is acknowledged by Allah, what more if we love others sincerely and continue to do good deeds every day to gain His pleasure? It is priceless to Him.
I’d like to share with you 8 ways you can show gratefulness to Allah
1) Always remember to say “Alhamdulillah” when you see something that you feel grateful for.
After each prayer, spend a few minutes thanking Allah (glory be to Him) for some of the little and big things you have in your life. Acknowledge that Allah (glory be to Him) has created and sustains us, then give thanks for being chosen to be a Muslim, for giving us our faith and for keeping Shaitaan away.
- Remember that Allah (glory be to Him) is always deserving of our thanks and feels displeasure when we are ungrateful.
- Allah’s displeasure (glory be to Him) with our ingratitude is not because He needs our thanks, but simply because He knows that a state of grateful servitude is best for us.
- Allah (glory be to Him) may decide to punish our ingratitude, either in this world by sending hardship, or in the next world by sending us to Jahannam (Hellfire), or both.
- The feeling of gratitude comes from the heart and helps us to recognise just how completely dependent we all are upon Allah (glory be to Him).
- Reflect on your own life and you will soon come to appreciate the many blessings that Allah (glory be to Him) has bestowed upon you.
2) Prostrate to Allah
It was narrated from Abu Bakrah that when the Prophet (ﷺ) heard news that made him happy, or for which one should be happy, he would fall down prostrate in gratitude to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.
We call this ‘Syukr Sujood – grateful prostration’. Whenever you receive good news or anything that pleases you, make a quick prostration at that moment.
If you’re at home, this would be easier to do but if you’re in public, you can ‘postpone’ that prostration and do it during prayer time. InsyaAllah.
3) Contemplate His blessings in your life
Begin by reflecting upon all that is worthwhile in your life. Recount all the good things in your mind or jot them down – including your relationships, abilities, possessions, and achievements. If you are not consciously aware of what there is to be thankful for, then you simply cannot be thankful for it. Also think about what could have been worse in your life: imagine being deprived of something valuable or picture yourself living in a homeless shelter. These scenarios, disconcerting as they may seem, allow you to appreciate your situation in life, and not take things for granted.
4) Thank Allah (glory be to Him) that you’re in good health, wealth and state of being. Use the blessings that Allah (glory be to Him) has conferred upon you to do good deeds that will please Him. Thanking Allah (glory be to Him) will only increase your blessings.
- Thank Allah (glory be to Him) every day for making you a Muslim and ask Him to guide you to strengthen your faith and increase you in religious knowledge.
- Our record of gratitude throughout our life will be carefully examined on the Day of Judgement and will play a significant part in determining our fate in the hereafter.
- Ingratitude is symptomatic of being too concerned with worldly affairs and will count heavily against us when the weight of our good and bad deeds are examined.
- If you do recognize that you have been ungrateful, pray to Allah (glory be to Him) for forgiveness. Acknowledge your ingratitude, express regret, promise not to repeat it and ask for forgiveness. Try to offset your ingratitude with a good deed, such as extra prayers or a day of fasting.
5) Be content at heart
Do not yearn for what others have; rather, be content with what you can acquire, without overworking yourself or trampling upon someone else to get there. If you constantly compare your financial status or perceived well-being with anyone else, you are not going to achieve peace of mind. And without peace of mind, there is no contentment of heart. So, when you see someone living in luxury or doing great in life, just be happy for them instead of feeling envious. Try to give your best at everything, and know that whatever befalls you is by the will of Allah.
6) Express gratitude with words
Call upon Allah each day to express how grateful you are for His favors. Begin your daily supplication of gratitude with the words, “O Allah, I am thankful to You for giving me all these blessings,” and then recount them individually – as many as you can. Alternatively, reflect on one blessing each day that you are grateful for. Praise Allah by saying “Alhamdulillah” every time you eat or drink something, and whenever something good comes your way. Remember Allah frequently, call upon Him without any intermediary, and praise Him for His beneficence and generosity.
7) Obey the commands of Allah
Obedience to the commands of Allah is the most practical form of gratitude. By obeying Allah, you are acknowledging His supremacy over you, and His many favors upon you. Therefore, make every effort to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. Strive for the truth even if it goes against you or those close to you. On the other hand, placing your personal interests above the commands of Allah is sheer ingratitude which hampers your spiritual growth.
8) Feel motivated and set your intention to be grateful. Gratitude is a beautiful way of acknowledging and obeying Allah (glory be to Him) and provides a wonderful opportunity to earn rewards in this life and the next.
- Remember that worshiping Allah (glory be to Him) is the greatest way of expressing our gratitude to Him and obedience is a great form of worship.
- Try to establish as strong daily routine of worship including regular prayers (salah), remembrance of Allah (glory be to Him) through repeating phrases glorifying Allah (glory be to Him) (dhikr), asking Allah (glory be to Him) for help (dua), Qur’an study and trying to follow the Shariah.
- Regular fasting is a great way of reminding ourselves of Allah’s generosity (glory be to Him) and keeping gratitude uppermost in our minds.
- Surround yourself with friends that are naturally grateful, who will encourage you to towards the obedience of Allah (glory be to Him).
- Closely following the Islamic dress code is another good way of expressing gratitude to Allah (glory be to Him).
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