Saturday 12 January 2013

Recognising, Acknowledging and being Thankful

By Hazrat Maulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)

 Bismihi Ta’ala

The ni`mats (bounties) of Allah (Jalla Jalaaluhu) upon us are innumerable. Countless reach us, without any effort or exertion from our side. …And whilst we see, with our physical eye, different bounties, there are billions and billions more which are not even known to us.

The oxygen we breath, the water we have on tap, our ability to see, hear, speak, and move are bounties we use all the time, but without thought or even appreciation – until the bounty is no more (Allah Ta’ala protect us). It is a fact, that generally when a bounty is lost, it is then recognized as a bounty.

On the highest level, our Imaan and Islam are the greatest gifts.

So we find Allah Ta’ala’s bounties are all around us, in every way. As Believers in Allah Ta’ala, there are certain requirements in fulfilling the Shukr of Allah Ta’ala. These are :

1.)   MA`RIFAT (RECOGNITION): To recognize these bounties as bounties and  not take them for granted, heedlessly.

For example: To recognize that our homes, which offer us protection from rain and cold, which offer us privacy, comfort and so much else, are great bounties – even if that home is not a palace or not located in the upper-crust areas of society.

Many complain about their homes, yet they do not look at the thousands living in shacks, on the streets or in refugee camps, and recognize and understand that that one bedroom flat or that little cottage is, in fact, a great, great bounty.  


There are two sides to recognition and acknowledgement:

a.)   To consciously acknowledge Allah Ta’ala’s favours.

As an example:  We will not just say: ‘What wonderful weather today!’

We would say: ‘Ma'shaAllah, Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu has blessed us with this wonderful weather.’  

We bring Allah Jalla Jalaalu consciously into the equation! We must know the source of bounties and attribute it rightfully to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu.

b.)    To recognize and acknowledge that we were not deserving of these bounties.

Our Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (DB) has taught us that Allah Ta’ala’s sifat of Kareem, alludes to The One Who Gives without the recipient deserving. So bounties are not given based on us deserving them. Bounties are given out of Allah Ta’ala’s Infinite Generosity and Kindness.

3.)   SHUKR (APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE):  This is the condition of that heart which has recognized and acknowledged. The tongue then automatically expresses that appreciation.

The person will then say, for example: Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has granted me cure from this ailment.’

Or: Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has blessed me with a pious spouse.’

4.)    AML (ACTION): To use the bounties of Allah Ta’ala to earn His Pleasure, utilizing them in His Obedience.

For example: We will utilize our faculty of speech in noble deeds, such as Tilawat (Recitation of Qur`aan Shareef), Zikrullah, Enjoining good and forbidding evil, speaking to others amicably and politely.

We will not utilize this priceless bounty of speech in sinful deeds, such as engaging in nonsensical or shameless talk, swearing, speaking lies, gossiping about others, taking false oaths or spreading mischief.

Even in this effort to render Shukr and to fulfil the Right of Allah Ta’ala, a person will not be able to do so adequately and completely.

Despite this shortcoming, we do as is within our capacity.

Allah Ta’ala’s Sifat is ‘Shakoor’ – The One who Appreciates the efforts and good deeds of His Servants - efforts and deeds, which we acknowledge are full of weakness and deficiency. Yet, we fail to be ‘shaakir’ (appreciative and grateful) to Allah Ta’ala for His Bounties which have no weakness and deficiency.

…Just ponder on the contrast between the two and we would realize how empty and void we are of shukr. Yes, from our side, complaints are all too common.   

When we imbibe these aspects in expressing gratitude to Allah Ta’ala, the noble quality of humility will be nurtured within our hearts and souls. We will become humble. And the Hadeeth makes mention :


The one who recognises His Creator, recognises himself; the one who recognises the favours and greatness of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu, recognises his lowliness and humbleness. He who humbles himself, Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu elevates him. Whom Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu elevates, Allah also protects.

Humility is the crown of Abdiyyat (servitude) which then becomes the means by which the person becomes beloved to Allah Ta’ala.

May Allah Ta’ala imbibe within us, these beautiful qualities of true Shukr, humility and Abdiyyat.