The Blessings of Gratitude and Shukr | According to Quran and Sunnah
Gratitude is not only the heart and essence of Islam; it is also the key to attracting abundance, prosperity, peace, and success in one’s life. We can say that Gratitude and Shukr are the most important aspects of Islam. We as a Muslims should always thankful to Almighty Allah for all the blessings that given by Him. He is the Creator of this world alone and also He is The Most Merciful for all His humankind. If we thankful to him then it means we are believers and if not then disbelievers. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared: If ye are grateful, I will add more unto you” (Quran, 14:5-7).
From the verses of Holy Quran, we came to know that gratitude is essential to Islamic character and that practicing gratitude in Islam is the means to greater prosperity. We have to be grateful for everything that we have in which health, wealth, breath, family, friends and for all other things whether it’s too small or big and most importantly for being a Muslim and from the Ummah of Prophet (SAW).Allah loves those who are being grateful to Him for everything that they have.
Gratitude (Shukr) is the path to loving Allah. Shukr is the only argument one needs against disbelief. It is the cure for sadness and materialism as well and is the motivation to do better tomorrow. Thanks and gratitude to someone are basically repay the kindness and giving praise to the one who has done good and kind things to us. The kindest One is the Almighty Allah so we should always be thankful to Him for everything.
Allah Almighty commanded us to be grateful to Him for all His blessings and try to do Shukr all time for what He has provided us. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless favors on you) and never be ungrateful to Me” (Quran, 2:152).
Allah has granted us the nature to be grateful and we should, therefore, Gratitude (Shukr) to Allah Almighty. There are many benefits of Gratitude that we will get from Allah; below we will discuss some of them.
Benefits of Gratitude (Shukr)
Gratitude cultivates happiness and wellbeing. Some of the benefits of Gratitude are listed below that we should know so that if anyone is there who is not thanking Allah should start Shukr.
- Better Relationship with Allah: Gratitude is one of the most beloved characteristics of Allah Almighty. Being thankful is the best way to get closer to Allah (SWT). By Shukr we invoke His mercy and love upon us. Gratitude is the key to Allah’s reward and pleasure. When we thankful to Him we try getting better our relationship with Allah Almighty. In Holy Quran, Allah stated in a way: “…And whoever desires the reward of this world – We will give him thereof, and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter – We will give him thereof. And We will reward the grateful” (Quran, 3:145).
- Prosperity in Life: Gratitude (Shukr), or thankfulness, is a quality that will lead to success both in this life and in the next that will never be going to an end. Allah (SWT) promises us mercy and an increase in His favors upon us if we are grateful. In Holy Quran Allah says: “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” (Quran, 14:7). From this verse, we can conclude that if we grateful to Allah Almighty for His blessing then He will give us abundantly in return.
- Prevents Punishment from Allah: In Holy Quran Allah says: “If Allah took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a living creature on the surface of the earth; but He grants them reprieve unto an appointed term, and when their term comes – then verily Allah is Ever All-Seer of His slaves”(Quran, 35:45). Allah will grant us blessings when we Gratitude Him and also He is justified to punish us for our negligence. So from gratitude, we can get His blessings and if we don’t do it then He will punish us. Gratitude prevents punishment from Allah Almighty.
- Seeking Pleasure of Allah: We (Muslims) spend all our lives to get the pleasure of Allah and gratitude is one way to do so not only in this life but also in the hereafter when we will express it to Him for His blessings. Shukr is the best mean to attain the pleasure of Allah.
- Reduce Materialism and Boosts Sympathy: Ultimate happiness does not rely upon worldly possessions. Gratitude has actually been shown to reduce feelings of materialism and its consequential negative effects. Greater expressions of gratitude were associated with lower materialism and a higher life satisfaction. If you want a satisfied life then always thankful to Allah Almighty.
Ways to Practice Gratitude in Islam
There are some ways of following which we should gratitude Allah Almighty.
- Say Al-Hamdulillah Regularly: A constant assertion of this phrase reminds us of the source of all blessings and happiness in this life. This practice of attributing all good actions to Allah keeps us humble. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “Allah is pleased with His servant if when he eats something he thanks Allah for it, and when he drinks something he thanks Allah for it”(Muslim). So we should always be thankful to Allah Almighty by saying Al-Hamdulillah.
- Be Patient and Thankful for Difficult Time: The strength of our gratitude is tested in difficulties when we have to face a difficult time. Allah wants to see how thankful we truly are when we lose our job or a loved one, or when we feel ill and or get injured. The Prophet (SAW) said, “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.”(Muslim). This means after every difficulty there comes an ease and who stay patient and thankful to Allah in difficult times will get a great reward.
- Fall in Prostration when receiving blessings from Allah: We should fall in prostrate (Sajdah) when we receive any kind of blessings from Almighty Allah. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) also used to prostrate when He receives something pleasant to thanks, Allah Almighty.
- Keep your Expectations Below: Always admire those who are below than you means who don’t have enough like you and instead of comparing oneself with others always Shukr to Allah for what you have. We should be thankful to Allah for all his blessings because there are many people who don’t have that much. Gratitude is the best way to please Allah and thanks to Allah. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) said: “Look at those people who have less than you and never look at those who have more grants than you, this will ensure that you will not depreciate Allah’s favors” (Muslim).
- Don’t be too picky and entertain others: Insensitivity to other people’s preferences and inability to accommodate others is a sign of selfishness, arrogance, and ungratefulness. Be comfortable in every situation and you will become grateful.
Developing the attitude of Gratitude towards Allah will change your life. One will enjoy the blessings of his Lord, thanking his Lord for those blessings and praising Him for helping him to be among those who give thanks. So always Shukr to Allah Almighty for His blessings and be humble.