Blessings and Gratitude (Part 2)

Commentary on the Holy Quran

Blessings and gratitude

(Part 2)

Mufti Muhammad Qasim Attari

Allah Almighty states:

وَ مَنْ شَكَرَ فَاِنَّمَا یَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهٖۚ-وَ مَنْ كَفَرَ فَاِنَّ رَبِّیْ غَنِیٌّ كَرِیْمٌ(۴۰)

And whosoever gives thanks, so, he only gives thanks for his own good; and whoever is ungrateful, so, my Lord is Ever Independent, Possessor of all excellences.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 19, Surah Al-Naml, Verse 40)


Being grateful to Allah Almighty for His bounties, and fulfilling this duty is liked by Allah Almighty, whereas, ungratefulness is disliked by Him. Yet, we only benefit ourselves by thanking Him and harm only ourselves through ingratitude towards Him. Allah Almighty is the Independent and does not need anything; a person’s gratitude or lack thereof does not affect Him in the slightest. Hence, it is stated in the Quran:

اِنْ تَكْفُرُوْا فَاِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَنِیٌّ عَنْكُمْ- وَ لَا یَرْضٰى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَۚ-

If you become ungrateful, then (know that) indeed Allah is Independent of you, and He does not like the ungratefulness of His bondsmen.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 23, Surah Al-Zumar, Verse 7)


Ingratitude is condemnable from the Quran and Hadith as well as from logical point of view. The Quran echoes this:

وَ لَىٕنْ كَفَرْتُمْ اِنَّ عَذَابِیْ لَشَدِیْدٌ(۷)

{And if you are ungrateful, My punishment is henceforth severe.}

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 13, Surah Al-Ibraheem, Verse 7)

The severity of the punishment for ungratefulness increases with the seriousness of ungratefulness. For example, denying the existence of Allah Almighty, i.e. atheism, associating partners with Him, i.e. polytheism, and rejecting a command of His, i.e. blasphemy, are the worst realisations of ungratefulness, hence, their punishment is the most severe. Whereas, the ingratitude of using Allah’s blessings to disobey Him is not as severe as the previous instances, so affords less severe requital.

Every human being understands that someone who benefits you is deserving of gratitude. If a person shows ungratefulness to his benefactor, it is considered unfitting and socially unacceptable. All cultures and faith traditions share this value and with time, have developed a myriad of ways to thank people.

Islam also recognises and validates this aspect of the human psyche. Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ relates that the Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘لَايَشْكُرُ اللهَ مَنْ لَايَشْكُرُ النَّاس’ ‘Whosoever is not grateful to people, he is not grateful to Allah Almighty also.(Sunan Abi Dawood, vol. 4, p. 335, Hadith 4811)

If being grateful to people for their favours is a social duty, then being grateful to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is an even greater duty because He the Creator of the Universe, the Lord of the Worlds, and the Most Merciful whose unparallel bounties are beyond measure and the source of our very existence. Allah Almighty states:

وَ اِنْ تَعُدُّوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ لَا تُحْصُوْهَاؕ-

And if you count the Favours of Allah, you will therefore never be able to count them.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 14, Surah Al-Nahl, Verse 18)

He عَزَّوَجَلَّ further states:

وَ مَا بِكُمْ مِّنْ نِّعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللّٰهِ

And whatever bounty you have; all is from Allah

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 14, Surah Al-Nahl, Verse 53)

Moreover, He عَزَّوَجَلَّ said:

وَ اَسْبَغَ عَلَیْكُمْ نِعَمَهٗ ظَاهِرَةً وَّ بَاطِنَةًؕ-

And bestowed His Favours upon you in full; visible and hidden

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 21, Surah Luqmaan, Verse 20)

The directive and merits of being grateful are emphasised in the Quran.

Gratitude for sustenance:

یٰۤاَیُّهَا الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا كُلُوْا مِنْ طَیِّبٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنٰكُمْ وَ اشْكُرُوْا لِلّٰهِ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ اِیَّاهُ تَعْبُدُوْنَ(۱۷۲)

O believers! Eat the good things that We have provided, and acknowledge the favour of Allah if you (really) worship only Him.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 172)

Gratitude for the senses of hearing and vision and the intellect:

وَّ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَ الْاَبْصَارَ وَ الْاَفْـٕدَةَۙ-لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُوْنَ(۷۸)

And gave you ears and eyes and hearts; that you may give thanks.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 14, Surah Al-Nahl, Verse 78)

The salvation of the grateful person:

مَا یَفْعَلُ اللّٰهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ اِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَ اٰمَنْتُمْؕ-وَ كَانَ اللّٰهُ شَاكِرًا عَلِیْمًا(۱۴۷)

And what will Allah do (i.e. gain) by punishing you, if you become grateful and accept faith? And Allah is All-Rewarding, All-Knowing.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 5, Surah Al-Nisa, Verse 147)

Divine recompense for being grateful:


وَ  سَنَجْزِی  الشّٰكِرِیْنَ(۱۴۵)

And We shall soon recompense the thankful ones.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 4, Surah Aal-e-Imraan, Verse 145)

Remembering Allah Almighty and being grateful to Him:

فَاذْكُرُوْنِیْۤ اَذْكُرْكُمْ وَ اشْكُرُوْا لِیْ وَ لَا تَكْفُرُوْنِ۠(۱۵۲)

So, remember Me, I shall publicise you, and acknowledge My right, and do not be ungrateful.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 2, Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 152)

Gratefulness is a source of further bounties:

لَىٕنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَاَزِیْدَنَّكُمْ

If you are grateful, I will henceforth give you more.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 13, Surah Al-Ibraheem, Verse 7)

Attaining Allah’s pleasure by being grateful:

وَ اِنْ تَشْكُرُوْا یَرْضَهُ لَكُمْؕ-

And if you give thanks, so He likes it for you.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 23, Surah Al-Zumar, Verse 7)

Being grateful is such a beautiful action that it will continue to be performed in Paradise. When people enter Paradise, they will be expressing their thanks and gratitude to Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ:

وَ سِیْقَ الَّذِیْنَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ اِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًاؕ-حَتّٰۤى اِذَا جَآءُوْهَا وَ فُتِحَتْ اَبْوَابُهَا وَ قَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلٰمٌ عَلَیْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوْهَا خٰلِدِیْنَ(۷۳) وَ قَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ الَّذِیْ صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهٗ وَ اَوْرَثَنَا الْاَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّاُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَیْثُ نَشَآءُۚ-فَنِعْمَ اَجْرُ الْعٰمِلِیْنَ(۷۴)

And the conveyances of those who feared their Lord will be led towards Paradise, in groups; until when they will reach it, its gates will be kept open and its guards will say to them, ‘Salaam to you, you have done well. Therefore, enter Paradise to abide forever.’ And they will say, ‘All praise is due to Allah Who has made His promise with us come true, and has made us inheritors of this land, to stay in Paradise wherever we wish.’ So, what an excellent reward for the doers (of pious deeds).

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 24, Surah Al-Zumar, Verses 73-74)

Gratefulness is commanded by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. The grateful person will be protected from punishment, valued in the Divine Court, and given a superior reward. Now, you may be thinking, how do I practically express my gratitude? This question will be explored in the next issue, اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.

(To be continued in the next issue)




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