Gratitude! At the mention of this word, all of us think of many incidents in our life where we have been grateful to someone for their help or even their presence in our life. Gratitude is one of the main factors in the life of a Muslim. Islam speaks highly of practising gratitude. Gratitude to Allah holds high in its pedestal. There are simple things we can do to show our gratitude to our Creator for all that He has given us and continues to give us. Subhan Allah!
1. Make a habit of saying “Alhamdulillah”(all praise be to Allah) at every ease and hardship:
Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger said:
“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks Allah, thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (endures into patiently), there is good for him in it.” [Sahih Muslim]
It is as simple as making dua to Allah for things to go the right in your life. The only thing that Allah asks in return is your gratitude to Him. Make it a habit to say “Alhamdulillah” at every good news or at every good turn in your life. Not to forget, be thankful to Allah for saving you from any calamity also.
In seeking to thank Allah , not only do you please Him, but you are sure to receive success in return – in abundance. Do not forget, Allah loves those who thank Him. Be grateful throughout your day. When you wake up in the morning, when you eat or drink, when you give charity and more so when you listen to the Holy Quran, always say ‘Alhamdulillah’.
As the Quran says,
“And remember when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour. But if you deny indeed, my punishment is severe.” [Quran: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Prayers are the best form of showing your gratitude to Allah . Remembrance of Allah at all times, especially during your prayers, is a form of showing gratitude. Pray on time, do not forget your obligatory prayers and if possible, make sunnah prayers as well. Remember to make dua in remembrance of Allah and thank Him for all that he has bestowed upon you. Making dua for oneself and for others is characteristic of a true Muslim. A trait that Allah himself loves to see in believers!
Try to develop traits of kindness, hospitality, lowering your tone of voice and personal hygiene. Mostly, He loves to see those who supplicate to him, not only at times of need, but also just because they remembered him. Only through steadfast prayer is it possible for a Muslim to be a true believer. Without prayer, he will find himself in a state of loss.
As Allah says in the Holy Quran, ‘”Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer-we will surely cause him to live a good life, and we will surely give them their reward (in the hereafter) according to the best of what they used to do.” [Quran: Chapter 16, Verse 97]
The reward for prayers is immense. Jannah becomes closer to you and all for just showing your sign of gratitude to Allah for what he has done for you throughout your life.
3. Helping oneself through helping others:
Helping another person is a sign of a true Muslim. In this busy world, all of us get caught up in our daily activities that we tend to forget what we have and what others need. For example, when you see your classmate short of money to buy lunch, offer him/her to share your lunch or provide them with lunch for a day. You will not be at any loss! Allah has a list of all your deeds and is waiting to reward you.
The Holy Quran says: “As for those who believed and did righteous deeds, for them will be the Gardens of refuge, as accommodation for what they used to do.” [Quran: Chapter 32, Verse 19]
There are many ways of helping others and doing good deeds.
Show your gratitude through charity. Allah loves those believers who spend for His cause. Any form of spending for His cause, for Allah’s pleasure alone, and you will surely be rewarded in abundance!
Carrying books for your professor, cleaning the house for your mother, opting to help someone cross the road, all these are small acts that you could start with.
4. Being good to others the same way you want them to be good to you:
We always complain of how some people mistreat us or bully us. But no matter what situation you are in, you should never forget to treat others with respect, dignity and equality. The more they mistreat you, chances are that you will want to react furiously to them. But remember Allah in such situations. Is it worthy that a believer of Allah fights with others? Is that what Ar-Rahman expects from us? The person on the other side might not worry about all this. But you will be answerable to the Almighty on the Day of Judgment and there won’t be a third person as a witness to support your argument. You will be answerable for your own actions.
It is reported on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger observed, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day does not harm his neighbor, and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day shows hospitality to his guest and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day speaks good or remains silent.” [Sahih Muslim]
So the more you stay away from such actions and thoughts, the more you are respecting Allah’s words and that in turn is a form of showing gratitude to Our Lord for all that he has done for you. So think twice before you react. In fact, think thrice before you react.
5. Think good things, say good things:
The fact that we can think and speak is indeed a gift from Allah . Are you aware of the angels that guard you throughout your lives? The angels who are appointed by Allah to write down your good and bad deeds?
“When the two receivers receive, seated on the right and on the left. Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared [to record].” [Quran: Chapter 50, Verse 17-18]
Be wary of what you say. Every thought, every word you speak, is written down and is presented on the Day of Judgement.
So try to bring yourself to think good thoughts, think good for others. Start with small thoughts. For example, when your friend receives some form of accolade, show appreciation for it. Try not to bicker about it. Try to be happy for the person and if possible, make a dua for success for the person in the future as well. If that is too hard, start with small steps, appreciate him/her and control your thought from being jealous of the other person. Try to make changes in your life by other small activities like cooking for your family, thanking your parents for all that they have given you, taking care of your younger siblings so your mother can rest for a while, cleaning the house, spending time with your grandparents etc.
These are all small acts we all could start within our lives, and it could benefit us in the long run through good practice of it in our daily life.
I’ll leave with a thought for all of you to ponder upon: if Allah can give us everything we ask for, why is it so hard for us to be grateful. If not for Allah, who else do we do all this for?
About the Author:
Aeesha is from India and a revert into Islam. She holds a BA in Communication, Journalism and Media, and is currently reading a postgraduate in Mass Communication.