Gratitude in Islam: Appreciating Blessings, Others, and Allah

by 1 May 20240 comments

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Islam emphasizes gratitude and appreciation. One who appreciates and is grateful for Allah’s blessings will surely have them increased. Conversely, ingratitude leads to severe consequences, as stated by Allah:

Surah Ibrahim Verse 7

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.'” 

(Quran, Ibrahim 14:7)

Likewise, a person who is grateful to others will be liked and appreciated. However, one who lacks gratitude and thankfulness will be disliked and avoided. Every soul should live in gratitude and appreciation for what it receives. 

When we receive goodness, we should express gratitude. It is not right to compare what one receives with what others receive when given something.

When a servant is blessed by Allah, it is obligatory to be grateful for His blessings. One way to show appreciation is by increasing acts of worship and utilizing the blessings received in a manner that pleases Allah.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, demonstrated gratitude by increasing his voluntary night prayers. Aisha once asked him about this when she saw him praying until his feet were swollen. He replied, “Should I not be a grateful servant?”

This is the best example set by the Prophet for us to follow. When a servant is granted health and various other blessings, they should remember their Lord more, increase their obedience, and become more submissive to their Creator. This truly demonstrates gratitude and appreciation for the giver.

Similarly, when one does a good deed, it should be reciprocated with kindness, not with wrongdoing or harm. By appreciating others, we are actually expressing gratitude towards the ultimate source of all goodness, Allah. 

This aligns with the saying of the Prophet Muhammad: 

hadith whoever does not thank people does not thank allah

“Whoever does not thank people, does not thank Allah.” 

(Narrated by at-Tirmidhi)

Being Grateful For A Good Leader

A leader who has been served well by their people should appreciate their kindness by becoming even more diligent and committed to bringing goodness and benefit to their people. For example, a leader who is treated well by their people should reciprocate with various comforts, such as striving to improve the well-being and livelihood of the community. This may include initiatives to develop good road networks, efficient utility services like electricity and water, and addressing various local issues promptly.

Likewise, citizens who have a good leader should show appreciation by praying for their well-being, taking care of all public infrastructure responsibly, and granting them the rights deserving of a leader.

Practicing Gratitude Between Husband & Wife

A husband who has a good wife, one who prepares meals, takes care of the household and children diligently, should appreciate his wife by providing good service, assisting her at home whether in the kitchen or in household chores, co-parenting, and speaking with kindness. 

A husband’s responsibility is not merely to provide money to his wife and then delegate all household and childcare responsibilities to her, while he indulges in playing games or pursuing his hobbies without assisting his wife at home. If a husband who works outside the home feels tired from work, the wife who is at home also feels tired from household chores.

One should not take advantage of their wife’s kindness by being harsh towards her and leaving her alone to manage household affairs. Treating one’s wife well is a characteristic of a good man.

hadith The best among you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “The best among you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.” (Narrated by at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

Aisyah described the situation of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, at home when asked about it, saying: “He used to be busy with the affairs of his family. And when it was time for prayer, he would go out to pray.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

The obligation of a husband who has a good and obedient wife is not to take advantage of her kindness and to avoid finding ways to trouble her. Allah, the Exalted, says:

 Surah AN-Nisa Verse 34

“And if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.” (Quran, An-Nisa 4:34)

Similarly, a wife who has a good husband, one who helps manage household affairs and children, should appreciate her husband by speaking to him using polite and gentle words, serving him well, and obeying him in matters that are righteous.

A wife should not raise her voice harshly against her husband, taking advantage of his gentleness towards her. There is no need to complain about the lack of her husband’s salary when he has tried his best to provide and assist her at home. Financial matters can be planned together, and savings can be made together.

However, a husband who helps should be appreciated, as it may be that a husband who provides a lot of money does not help manage household matters together. Women who do not appreciate their husband’s kindness and do not express gratitude may face threats in the hereafter.

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “I was shown the Hellfire, and the majority of its inhabitants were women who are ungrateful.” He was asked: “Are they ungrateful to Allah?” He replied: “They are ungrateful to their husbands and ungrateful for the kindness shown to them. If you do good to one of them for a year, then she sees something (displeasing) from you, she will say to her husband: ‘I have never seen any good from you at all.'” (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

Women should be cautious in their speech, especially when in the company of other women; they should restrain themselves from speaking ill of their husbands.

Showing Gratitude Towards Your Parents

A child, on the other hand, should appreciate what both parents have done to raise and educate them. Parents who raise their children may face financial constraints. As a mature child, one should prioritize spending and not just focus on what they want without considering what their parents can afford.

Appreciating parents who strive to provide the best education by studying diligently is important. A child should not just attend school to play or sleep, but rather to seek knowledge and eliminate ignorance. Even if one does not achieve great success in exams, if they have made a sincere effort, they will not disappoint their parents. Let us remain as good children who appreciate both parents.

Be Kind To Everyone

Thus, everyone should appreciate those around them to the best of their ability. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Whoever is visited by someone, let them offer something. If they are unable, let them offer kind words. Whoever has been offered kind words, has indeed been thanked.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

There is also a hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, taught how to respond to kindness: “Whoever has been treated kindly and then says to the one who did the kindness: ‘May Allah reward you with goodness,’ has indeed praised him sincerely.”

Therefore, the kindness of everyone should be appreciated by reciprocating kindness. With this, may humanity live in peace and harmony by mutually respecting each other.

About The Author

Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni

Ustaz Abdul Rahman Rahuni is a Malaysian shariah advisor at Muslim Pro. He is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah, studying in the field of Islamic Sharia. Ustaz Abdul Rahman is currently a lecturer at Sekolah Menengah Agama Islamiah, Tawau, Sabah.


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