The Blessing of Gratitude

A person who has worked many, great deeds must not become complacent; rather he must busy himself with showing gratitude. The ability to be grateful is one of Allฤhโ€™s greatest blessings that He confers on His servant. It is obligatory upon him to return the deeds he has done with gratitude and realise his deficiency in displaying due gratitude.

Wahb b. al-Ward, when asked about the reward of a particular deed, said, โ€˜Ask not about its reward, but ask about the gratitude due upon a person who was guided to it.โ€™1

Abลซ Sulaymฤn would say, โ€˜How can an intelligent person be impressed with his deeds? Deeds are one of Allฤhโ€™s blessings, as such it is upon him to show gratitude and humility. It is only the Qadariyyah who are impressed with their deeds!โ€™2 i.e. those who do not believe that the actions of the servant are created by Allฤh, Mighty and Magnificent.

How excellent is the saying of Abลซ Bakr al-Nahshalฤซ on the day that Dฤwลซd al-แนฌฤสพฤซ died. After his burial, ibn al-Sammฤk3 stood and praised him for his good deeds and wept, causing all present to weep as well and testify to the truth of what he saidโ€ฆ Abลซ Bakr al-Nahshalฤซ stood and said, โ€˜O Allฤh, forgive him and show mercy to him, and do not leave him to his deeds!โ€™4

Abลซ Dฤwลซd records on the authority of Zayd b. Thฤbit (RA) that Allฤhโ€™s Messenger (SAW) said, โ€œWere Allฤh to punish the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, He could do so without having oppressed them in any way. Were He to show them mercy, His mercy would be better for them than their deeds.โ€5

แธคฤkim records on the authority of Jฤbir (RA) that a man came to the Prophet (SAW) and said, โ€˜Sins, sins!โ€™ repeating this two or three times. The Messenger of Allฤh (SAW) said, โ€œSay: O Allฤh, Your forgiveness is vaster than my sins and I have more hope in it than I do my deeds.โ€ He said this and the Messenger of Allฤh (SAW) ordered him to repeat it. He did so and was ordered to repeat it again which he did. Then he (SAW) said, โ€œStand for you have been forgiven.โ€6

My sins, were I but to ponder them, are copious.

But greater yet is my Lord's forgiveness:

In my righteous deeds lies not my expectation,

But in the mercy of Allฤh have I anticipation.

1 Abลซ Nuสฟaym, vol. 8, p. 155.

2 Ibid., vol. 9, p. 276 #13896.

3 Ibid., vol. 8, p. 223 #11949, records that he used to say, โ€˜Astounding it is that the eye can take delight in sleep when the Angel of Death is standing by oneโ€™s pillow!โ€™

4 Ibid., vol. 7, p. 396 #10977.

5 Abลซ Dawลซd #4699 and ibn Mฤjah #77. It was declared แนฃaแธฅฤซแธฅ by ibn แธคibbฤn #727 and Albฤnฤซ, แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ al-Jฤmiสฟ #5244 Allฤh, Most High, says, โ€œIf Allฤh took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a living creature on the surface of the earth; but He grants them reprieve unto an appointed term, and when their term comes - then verily Allah is ever Seer of His bondsmen.โ€ (Q35:45) Ibn แธคibbฤn #659 records on the authority of Abลซ Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allฤh (SAW) said, "Were Allฤh to take me and สฟฤชsฤ to account for our sins, He could punish us without wronging us in the least!" It was declared แนฃaแธฅฤซแธฅ by ibn แธคibbฤn and Albฤnฤซ, แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ al-Targhฤซb #2475

6 แธคฤkim #1994. It was declared แธaสฟฤซf by Albฤnฤซ, แธŒaสฟฤซf al-Jฤmiสฟ #4101.

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