When we are given favors by someone, we always show our appreciation for it. This sense of acknowledgement shows how we humans are dependent on help of one another. Every now and then, we encounter some problem, and look for assistance, e.g. if someone`s car just broke down the road in the middle of nowhere, and one cannot bring in a mechanic to repair its car, nor there is a gas station nearby, but all of a sudden, a passing by vehicle stops and the driver offers a lift. One can imagine the state of that person, who has been lent a hand that how indebted it would feel to be towards the collaborator.
If we admit that we are inter-reliant on each other and feel obliged to those who facilitate us, then how can we not be appreciative of the Lord, who is the ultimate facilitator? He is the One, Who gives away His blessings to all of us irrespective of our cast, creed, religion, and color etc, and does not do it for the sake of any return. Islam has put great emphasis on sense of gratitude and this topic is repeated many times in the Holy Quran:
“If you disbelieve – indeed, Allah is Free from need of you. And He does not approve for His servants disbelief. And if you are grateful, He approves it for you; and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return and He will inform you about what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the chests.” [Quran, 39: 7]
It means that it is not only a moral duty to be thankful to fellow human but is also our religious obligation to realize and express thanks to Allah Almighty for all we have in our lives.
Let us discuss some of the ways in which one can become among true Muslims and be more admiring towards the Ar-Rahmân:
Thinking about His Blessings
If we can evaluate at night what we have achieved during day, then we should also think about how many times we are blessed with Allah`s favors in that period of time. The very first step that one can take to be among gratified people is by reminding oneself of all the favors of God Almighty. It is similar to the idea that without first understanding the value of something that we use, we cannot judge the worth of it, and when we do not know the importance of something, we can never be appreciative of its existence for us. The blessings of Allah SWT are so abundant and frequent, that most of us normally use them without taking notice of where they came from. According to the Holy Quran:
“And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran, 16: 18]
The above mentioned Quranic verse tells us that God`s kindness and compassion for us is so enormous that He grants us with a myriad of beneficial things. But one should try its best to reflect on them regularly to grasp their value in one`s life.
Appreciating by tongue
After having a complete conviction in Allah`s offerings, the second step is to be pleased about them through one`s speech. That is why all Muslims say “Al-Hamdolillah” (thanking God for His blessings) after using His favor even when it is the smallest one. Thanking Him for the miniature of blessing purifies one`s heart and shows the way of righteousness. Mu’adh ibn Jabal has reported the Prophet (PBUH) saying as:
“The last thing upon which I parted from the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah is that I said to him, ‘Which actions are better and closer to Allah?’ He answered, ‘That you die while your tongue is moist with the remembrance of Allah, mighty is He and majestic.’”(Ibn Hibban)
As we know that Allah Almighty not only listens to our prayers but also gives Ajar (return) either in this world or hereafter. The remembrance of the Gracious God here is taken in the sense of praising and glorifying Him.
Spending in the way of Allah
Zakah (charity) is one of the five pillars of Islam which not only makes a person lose crave for worldly and materialistic wealth, but is also a way to thank the Creator of the universe. When someone does donations, it purifies its wealth and brings humbleness and gratitude by acknowledging that one is given enough from Allah Almighty to fulfill its needs. This protection from desire for more wealth is a justification for being satisfied with what one has and showing one`s thankfulness to Allah SWT through action.
Seeking help through patience
The firm belief that Mo`min (a true Muslim) is always grateful to his Lord in any condition, whether its life is full of happiness or time is tough, which is elaborated in the following Hadith:
“How wonderful is the case of a Believer! There is good for him in whatever happens to him -and none, apart from him, enjoys this blessing. If he receives some bounty, he is grateful to Allah and this bounty brings good to him. And if some adversity befalls him, he is patient, and this affliction, too, brings good to him.” (Muslim)
The Prophet, Muhammad (PBUH) has indicated towards two of the characteristics of a staunch devotee of Islam, that he is the one who is not only thankful to his God in case of contentment, but also remains patient in hardship. It means that the lack of complaint during sufferings is another method towards increase in faith. So, before anyone grumble on miseries, one should remind itself that it cannot become among truthful Muslims, as gratitude and patience go side by side in their character.
Some of the other ways in which one can reach the level of gratitude towards The Gracious God is by looking at those people who are having lesser as compared to oneself. This would guide one towards the realization of its blissful life, which would ultimately lead to appreciating Allah for His blessings. Besides, one can also practice Quran reading regularly, where there is whole Surah called “Rahman”, which reminds of Allah SWT being as The Most Beneficent. Last but not least, one should pray The Almighty to protect from the evil of Satan, because It has enough powers to put wickedness and immorality in one`s mind and always leads one astray of the right path, including thanking The Lord. After refusing to bow down in front of Adam, Shaitan said:
“Then, I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” [Quran, 7: 17]
So, we should all try our best to act upon these methods, so that we may realize the blessings we are enjoying, and be gratifying to The Supreme Power. May Allah Almighty grant us all the strength and desire to be always grateful to Him! Aameen!