Being Thankful

Bismillah.

Being thankful to Allah is hard. It’s even harder when experiencing tough times and nothing seems to be going according to plan. In such a situation, Shaitaan makes us forget the blessings of Allah that we have, instead shifting our focus to the blessing that we are – apparently – deprived of. But thankfully, Allah has sent down the Qur’an that contains the guidance that we need to swat away Shaitaan’s feeble plans.

Allah says,

Say, He is the one who has brought you into being, and has endowed you with hearing, and sight, and hearts; Yet how seldom are you grateful!

[Surah Al-Mulk:23]


How little are we thankful indeed! The most amazing thing here is not that the three organs mentioned in the ayah are fundamental to our physical existence. No! It’s that the three organs mentioned in the ayah – hearing, sight, heart – are the three most important instruments in recognizing the favors of Allah. If these become dulled, then recognizing the favors of Allah becomes difficult.

Think about this: if the heart stops beating, the person dies. If the spiritual heart hardens and dies, the person dies a different type of death; the Qur’an makes no sense and the ahadith seem like fairy tales. This  is the ultimate consequence of being ungrateful to Allah. This is why we can never afford to be ungrateful to Allah – even in the worst of times – because we are putting our existence at risk.

But being thankful is not easy. Sometimes, it’s not even in our control. We need help. “You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help” (1:4). Divine help and guidance is needed to accomplish this task.

Some prophetic guidance to help us be thankful, because without the prophetic guidance we would be clueless:

  1. After waking up, thanking Allah.
  2. Thanking Allah after each prayer.
  3. Thanking others who make a difference in our lives.
  4. Making this dua morning and evening

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Allahumma maa asbaha bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

and for the evenings:

Allahumma maa amsaa bee min ni’matin
aw bi ahadin min khalqika
fa minka wahdaka la shareeka laka
fa lakal hamdu wa lakash shukru

The Prophet said, “Whoever says this in the morning has indeed offered his day’s thanks and whoever says this in the evening has indeed offered his night’s thanks”.

Allah says in the Qur’an, “Indeed if you are grateful and give thanks, surely, definitely I will increase you; but if you are ungrateful, then know that My punishment is indeed most severe” (14:7). So let that drive us to be thankful to Allah – for His blessings, for His favours, for the things He withheld and for the things that He facilitated.

Alhamdulillah.


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