By Amina Salau
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Have you ever wondered how showing gratitude to Allah enriches your faith? Allah mentions in the Qur’an:
“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.” (14:7)
We know that Allah gives us more if we are grateful, but what may forget is that being thankful also has a positive impact on us. Aside from increased bounties from Him, there are other ways in which thanking our Creator improves us as Muslims.
Brings about obedience
When we ask something from Allah and He answers us, we are filled with gratitude. Being grateful for Allah’s favours is an act of obedience on its own, because when we are thankful, we fulfil one of the duties that Allah has enjoined on us. Gratitude also brings about obedience. The more we feel grateful for what He has provided for us, the more we want to please Him and the more we stay on the path of obedience by doing what He has obligated on us.
Increases appreciation for Allah
Our Creator is the Lord of Majesty and Bounty. He has the power to hear us even when we don’t know how to express ourselves. A lot of gratitude entails appreciating when something good has been done to us. Gratitude also increases our appreciation of His majesty. If we do not appreciate His mercies upon us, we can never be thankful for them.
Brings us closer to our Creator
A person who spends a lot of time thanking Allah will definitely move closer to Him. When He provides for us in any form, we are bound to spend time supplicating to Him, reciting words of remembrance (Adkhaar), reading the Qur’an, or giving to other people some of what He has bestowed upon us. These are some of the deeds that move us closer to our Creator, and since we are likely to do more of these things, it also means that we spend more time and energy to have a deeper relationship with him.
Brings accountability in our deeds
How does being grateful help us be more accountable for our deeds? It helps us be mindful of the deeds that could earn us rewards and those that could displease our Creator and cause punishment. When people do something good to us, don’t we feel so grateful that we can’t even entertain the thought of offending them?
It is the same way with Allah. We are grateful for anything that He has done for us or granted us. Naturally, we don’t want to offend Him. So we start checking ourselves before performing any deed, to ensure that it will meet His pleasure.
Protects the heart from envy
Gratitude is the antidote for envy and jealousy, and a thankful heart is one of the best wealth to acquire. (Ibn Majah; sound) Everyone is blessed with good health, comfort, shelter, food, a job, wealth, family, friends, and/or good weather. If we take out time to reflect, we will see His blessings in our lives, even if we are in the middle of a storm. Those who are grateful acknowledge these blessings, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
If we constantly thank Allah for what we have, there won’t be any room for longing in our hearts for what another person has.
Gratitude is an excellent habit for a Muslim to master, not only because it earns us reward, but also because in numerous ways, it enables us to improve ourselves and to become better Muslims.
Amina Salau is a freelance writer who is passionate about women’s issues in Islam.
© IIPH 2016