Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
Gratitude Towards Allah s.w.t.
Blessed Friday congregation,
Let us instil within ourselves taqwa of Allah s.w.t. over His innumerable blessings. Within every hardship we endure are blessings we can be grateful for. How can we show our gratitude towards Allah s.w.t. in our daily lives?
Imam Nawawi rahimahullah said that there are three categories of people in their worship of Allah. The first category is those who worship Allah s.w.t. because they fear Him. This is a worship of a slave; a slave who fears his master.
The second category is those who worship Allah s.w.t. in return for rewards from Him. This is the worship of a tradesman who spends and invests in hope of a bountiful return.
The third category is those who worship Allah s.w.t. out of sheer gratitude towards Him. He realizes that his many good deeds will never repay Allah’s blessings. He is embarrassed and thus, only hopes that Allah will be pleased with his feeling of gratitude towards Him. This, my brothers, is the highest form of worship. It is the worship of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. His wife, Aishah r.a., once asked him the reason behind his extensive praying till his feet became swollen when Allah s.w.t. had already granted him forgiveness for his past and future sins, he s.a.w. replied:
Meaning: “Shall I not be a grateful servant?” (Hadith narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari)
How do we express gratitude to Allah s.w.t.? There are three ways we can do so:
The first is to express our gratitude outwardly – through our daily zikr, supplications, and saying Alhamdulillah in our daily affairs. Profess this gratitude verbally, regardless of whether we are faced with blessings or hardship. The Prophet s.a.w. said: “Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if hardship befalls him, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.” (Hadith narrated by Imam Muslim)
The second is to express our gratitude by committing more acts of good deeds - be they obligatory or voluntary. Let us humble ourselves before Allah s.w.t. and repent to Him. Our good deeds can never repay the countless blessings that Allah has granted us but we believe in the grace and mercy of Allah s.w.t. And we perform our good deeds out of sincerity to Him.
The third is to proclaim and propagate these blessings. Allah s.w.t. says:
Meaning: “But as for the favour of your Lord, report (it).” (Surah Al-Dhuha, verse 11)
The Prophet’s grandson, Al-Hasan Ibn Ali r.a. reported regarding the meaning of this verse: “Whatever deeds you do which are good, pass them on to others”.
This does not, by any measure, means that we should boast our good deeds or show them off. Rather, it means that we should be a good example and encourage others to perform good deeds. This will allow others to feel inspired and motivated. It also reflects the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us.
The COVID-19 situation has been a grueling test for all of us, yet behind it lies His wisdom. We are still grateful to Him, and our perseverance is a sign of our gratitude to Allah. We worship Allah by humbling ourselves before Him, repenting to Him and seeking His assistance in overcoming this test.
The preventive measures we have taken form part of our good deeds, as Allah s.w.t. has commanded us to take precautions in avoiding harm. Furthermore, we must support and help one another in preventing harm and ask Allah s.w.t. to ease our difficulties. This is the meaning of our gratitude to Him.
With Ramadhan approaching, this is the time to strengthen our ties with Allah s.w.t. and His creation. This is the time to express our gratitude to Allah as mentioned earlier, no matter the circumstances. While our worship activities may be restricted in the month of Ramadan, this does not mean we should stop devoting ourselves to Allah or expressing our gratitude to Him. For Allah is always close to his servants, and our relationship with Him will never be restricted, regardless of the circumstances.
Let us all be grateful to Allah s.w.t. and manifest this feeling of gratitude towards Him.