Mufti Taqi Usmani
Allah bestows countless boons on me on every instant; they are countless as Allah Himself says in the Qur’an:
وَإِن تَعُدُّوا۟ نِعْمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَآ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
If ye would count up the favours of Allah, never would ye be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Surah An Nahl (The Honey Bees) Ayat 18
Shaikh Sa’di has said that if one ignores other boons and mercies, life itself is a boon of highest order, in so fir as the act of breathing itself has two boons of inhalation and exhalation; if breath, goes in and does not came out it is death and if breath goes out and does not cone in it is again death. Hence every breath has two boons for which Allah must be thanked. However even if one thanks Allah once with every breath, it is still insufficient; so how can one adequately thank Allah for other boons and mercies?
Though it is impossible to thank Allah adequately, but thanking Him to the best of ones ability is a pleasing to Allah and earns countless merits, and also leads to the grant of further boons and mercies, one also get closer to Allah as he has said:
فَاذۡكُرُوۡنِىۡٓ اَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ وَاشۡکُرُوۡا لِىۡ وَلَا تَكۡفُرُوۡنِSo remember Me and I shall remember you; give thanks to Me and do not be ungrateful to Me for My favours.Surah Baqarah:152
وَسَيَجۡزِى اللّٰهُ الشّٰكِرِيۡنَAnd Allah will reward those who are grateful.Al-Imran : 144
لَـئِنۡ كَفَرۡتُمۡ اِنَّ عَذَابِىۡ لَشَدِيۡدٌif you are ungrateful for My favours, My chastisement is terribleSurah Ibrahim : 7
Allah likes a thankful bondsman and dislikes a thankless one, since thanklessness is extreme narrow mindedness. A thankless person laments even slightest troubles and ignores the countless mercies and boons; he is more aware of his troubles than of his comforts, A thankful person, on the contrary is thankful,, even in direst troubles, for the innumerable boons he enjoys, while praying, for deliverance from his troubles.
Suppose a person is sick. If he is thankless, he would ignore all other blessings, regard himself as the most troubled and aggrieved person in the world and lament his fate. But if he is a thankful man he would think of the healthful period of his life and then he would think of his treatment of and the presence of his well- wishers and friends as mercies, he would think of people more sick than himself and thank Allah for sparing him more serious sickness, He would pray for his recovery but not by way of complaint, he would pray as a besieger and pleader. He would never utter anything smacking of thanklessness.
Devil assails man by first making him ungrateful. The Qur’an tells us that when Devil was granted leave till the Day of Judgment he said that he would mislead Allah’s bondsmen in every way and he further said:
وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَAnd You shall not find a great number of them grateful.Al-A’raf (The Heights) 7:17
This shows that Devil’s greatest desire is to make Allah’s bondsmen thankless so that they may be bereft of the worship of thankfulness. But if someone is determined to be thankful, he is spared Devil’s guile and wile.
Thus thankfulness to Allah is a supreme act of worship which requires only a few moments.
He who thanks Allah after eating earns the same merit as one who fasts and desists from eating. (Bukhari and Tirmidhi)
Consequently, one must thank Allah for all his boons and mercies, whether big or small. One should thank Allah when on returning home, he finds his family safe and well, when he eats f^od when his hot brow is fanned by cool breeze, when he sees his child happily at play; in other words everything which pleases and comforts should be acknowledged with thanks to the One Allah who is the Real and the Ultimate Source and intone his thanks, he should do it in his heart.
Saints and learned ones have also instructed that upon going to bed and before falling asleep, one should think of Allah’s gifts and boons and thank Him for every one of them. For instance, one should think of the good health of his family and himself; of the house which he lives in, of the comfortable bed he sleeps in, of his own safety and that of his family and thank Allah for these Divine mercies before closing his eyes in sleep.
Real and true thankfulness to Allah implies changing ones ways to into those that please the Almighty, but if one merely expresses his thankfulness in his heart or by mouth, it too is an act of great worship. This can lead to a change for the better in other deeds.
While there are no specific wards prescribed for showing one’s gratitude to Allah and He can be thanked in any language, our exalted and eternally blessed Prophet has taught us some compressive words to express our gratitude to our Maker; these are given below.
1. Allah! I thank Thee with a thankfulness that is eternal with Thine Own Eternal Being. I thank Thee with a thankfulness that is unlimited but for Thine Will. And I thank Thee with a thankfulness the speaker of which desires naught but Thine Pleasure And I thank Thee with every batting of the eyelids and with every breath.
2. Allah! I praise Thee as many times as the number of Thine creatures, as the blackness of Thine words as the weight of Thine Throne and in accordance with Thine Pleasure.
3. It is reported from Abdullah ibn Ghannam that our exalted and eternally blessed Prophet taught the following words of thankfulness.
O Allah! Whatever boon I or anyone of Thine creatures get is from Thee only; there is none coeval with Thee hence all praise and all gratitude are for Thee alone.
The Holy Prophet may he be blessed eternally said that whosoever spoke these words in the morning would be thanking Allah for that day and if he spoke these words in the evening he would be thanking Him for that night.