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Islam and Spiritualism ( 25 Nov 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Blessings of Gratitude

By Farzana Qamar

A pious believer is required to aim for three main targets continuously, when performing the righteous deeds. The first one is to attain Allah’s pleasure, the second is to long for paradise and the third one is to desire to stay away from hell-fire.

One who aims for the first target continuously will automatically attain the second and the third. Insha Allah. A believer who achieves these three targets will be awarded with the bounties of patience and gratitude and much more. These two bounties are deeply inter-connected. The gratitude for ongoing blessings is given by acts of worship, submission and complete obedience. Worship and obedience needs enormous patience, especially submitting oneself to the pre-decree. When gratitude is instilled in the hearts, patience follows it. Gratitude must be presented with the heart, tongue and limbs.

In the Noble Qur’an, wherever Allah the Almighty mentions His divine bounties, He says “that you may give thanks” or “only few of you give thanks”. Some of the bounties that He mentions are forgiveness for His slaves, guidance, ease, ordering of expiation of sins and the changing of the day and the night etc.

Allah says:

“And out of His mercy He has made for you the night and the day, that you may rest therein, and that you may seek of His grace, and that you may give thanks.” – 28:73

“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers-- you did not know anything-- and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.” – 16:78

“Then He made him complete and breathed into him of His spirit, and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts; little is it that you give thanks.” – 32:9

From the above related verses the people of knowledge come to the conclusion that righteous worship is the core of gratitude. Gratitude teaches us to get ourselves out of this limited world of diseases to the wide world of blissful hereafter. The bounties of hearing and seeing are the best receptors for gaining knowledge of the signs of Allah Ta’ala. Misuse of these will result in obstruction of blessings in the world of trails and in the world of ultimate reward.

“Someone who turns away in prayer, either with his eyes or his heart, is like a man whom the king summons and seats before him: just when the king starts to call out his name and addresses him, the man turns from him right and left, and his heart turns away.” [Ibn al Qayyim Jawziyyah]

There is a multiple blessing for one who renders his gratitude to Allah, and great misfortune for those who do not pay their gratitude. This is clear from the verse below:

“And when your Lord made it known: If you are grateful, I would certainly give to you more, and if you are ungrateful, My chastisement is truly severe.” – 14:7

If we pay our gratitude sincerely He will surely provide us with more of wealth, provision, forgiveness, repentance, guidance and acceptance of our Du’a.

One of the beautiful names of Allah is Ash-Shakoor which means The Appreciator. One Who recognizes and appreciates the efforts of a believer, and gives rewards in abundance even for the smallest acts of goodness or for few good works. It also means the One Who approves rewards or forgives without measure.

In conclusion, let us all recall the example of Prophet Abraham (pbuh).

“Surely Abraham was a model of virtue, obedient to Allah, upright, and he was not of the polytheists. Grateful for his favors. He chose him and guided him on the right path. And We give him good in this world; and in the Hereafter he is surely among the righteous” – 16:120-122.

The Noble Qur’an relates that Ayub (pbuh) said:

“Truly adversity has afflicted me and You are Most Merciful of all who show mercy.” – 21:83

He was afflicted with a skin disease. He wept bitterly at the time asking for His mercy. When he was cured of the disease, he wept in a like manner, out of gratefulness to Allah as he was cured by Him.

All the prophets had an excellent blend of these two traits, patience and gratitude, may Allah enable us to follow their examples. Ameen!

Source: The Saudi Gazette