by Ayesha Zaka
Today’s zikr is about gratitude. We are all drowning in Allah’s favours and blessings day and night. Yet, we find that the majority of us spend more time complaining than expressing gratitude. We pity ourselves for the one thing that we haven’t been given, while we ignore and take for granted the countless hidden and apparent blessings that Allah bestows upon us. Rasulullah (sallalahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has taught us beautiful words to be said every morning and evening:
اللَّهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بِي مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَكَ، فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ
“O Allah, whatever blessing I or any of Your creation have risen upon, is from You alone, without partner, so for You is all praise and unto You all thanks.”
According to the hadith, whoever says this in the morning has indeed offered his day’s thanks and whoever says this in the evening has indeed offered his night’s thanks.
(Abu Dawud 4/318. Its chain of transmission is Hasan)
Note: for the evening, read (amsa) instead of (asbaha).
It is very beneficial to remind ourselves of these words, and acknowledge them before Allah, every morning and evening. By shifting our focus from what we don’t have to what we do have, these words put us in the right frame of mind, where we feel content and peacefully grateful.
O Allah, whatever blessing I or any of Your creation have risen upon, is from You alone, without any partner
Allah’s blessings upon us are so many that we can never ever count them. Allah says in Surah Ibrahim, ayah 34:
“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them..”
So, we acknowledge that whatever blessings of the deen and dunya Allah has favoured us with, they are from Him and Him alone. We should try and make a habit of counting and observing the blessings we have, ranging from our iman to our eyesight, from health to loving relations, from mangoes to iPads!
The true Giver is only Allah, even if the blessing apparently comes through a person or some worldly source. It is always important to look beyond the curtain and realize that everything happens with His Order. All good that reaches us through the people is also from Him. Allah Himself says in Surah an-Nahl, ayah 53:
“And whatever of blessings you have, it is from Allah”
The words also mention the blessings bestowed on ‘any of Your creation’, this cuts the root of envy and hasad. Whenever we see people blessed with something, we should realize that Allah chose to give it to them; who are we to disagree with Allah’s Decision? Instead of feeling envious of them, we should ask Allah to bless us with the same if we desire. Because after all, can not the One who blessed them bless you? Of course, He can! His Treasures are always full. They never decrease by spending. And He takes care of all His slaves, and in His Infinite Wisdom and Mercy, gives each one a different combination of blessings!
so for You is all praise and unto You all thanks
The heart of the believer should always be full of gratitude for Allah. Gratitude is like a magnetic force that attracts more blessings. It is also the best means to safeguard whatever blessings we have.
Allah says in Surah Ibrahim, ayah 7:
“And when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks, I will give you more; but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe’”
When the heart feels gratitude, it is then expressed by the tongue and manifested in the actions of the limbs, such that a person always strives to use Allah’s gifted blessings in ways that would please Him. To use His gifted blessings in sinning and rebellion against him is indeed a sign of extreme ingratitude.
May Allah fill our hearts with gratitude; may our tongues always thank and praise Him; and may our limbs act in gratitude and obedience to Him alone!