The cause of persistence of blessings - Part III
The advantage of thanksgiving
The thanksgiving has many advantages, and there're many citations in the Qur'ân and Sunnah illustrating them to motivate the hearts to be thankful and obedient to Allah, and these are some of these advantages:
1- The thanksgiving forms half of the faith:
This was said by several scholars of our righteous ancestors, such as Abd Allah bin Mas'oud (May Allah be pleased with him) who said:" The faith has two halves: the patience and the thanksgiving" So, Allah combined between them in His Saying:
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ
“Truly, therein are evidences, proofs and signs for every patient, thankful (person)." at different verses in His Book (Ibrahim: 5, Luqman: 31, Saba': 19, and Ash-Shurah: 33)
And Imam Ibn El-Qayyim (May Allah have mercy on him) wrote his valuable book " Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin" addressing this meaning, and said:"The grade of thanksgiving is of the highest grades, and it's superior to the grade of pleasure, as the pleasure is included in the thanksgiving, and the thanksgiving forms half of the faith, as the faith has two halves: the patience and the thanksgiving"
2- The thanksgiving is the way to the pleasure of Allah:
If the slave persists in the thanksgiving to Allah, He'll be pleased with his thanksgiving and accept it, as the Pleasure of Allah with His slave follows the slave's thanksgiving, as He (Exalted is He) said:
(وَإِنْ تَشْكُرُوا يَرْضَهُ لَكُمْ)
"And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you." (Az-Zumar: 7)
3- The thanksgiving is the companion of the worship: so they are usually mentioned together, as He (Exalted is He) said:
(وَقَلِيلٌ مِنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ)
"But few of My slaves are grateful." (Saba': 13)
(وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ)
"and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship"(Al-Baqarah: 172)
وَاعْبُدُوهُ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ)
“And worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back." (Al-Ankabut :17)
So, He informed us that he who worships Him is he who thanks Him, and vice versa
4- The thanksgiving is a character of the Prophets (Peace be upon them): Verily, Allah has mentioned that the thanksgiving was one of the greatest forms of worship, in which the leader of the Monotheists, Ibrahim, was interested, and praised him for it, as He (Exalted is He) said:
(إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ (120) شَاكِرًا لِأَنْعُمِهِ...)
"Verily, Ibrâhim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allah, Hanif (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah). (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) Graces." (An-Nahl: 120-121)
So, Allah described him as: - an Ummah, who is a leader having all the good righteous qualities.
- obedient to Allah.
- Hanif, who worships none but Allah.
- Thankful for His Graces.
So, He made the thanksgiving the goal of His beloved slave.
And He said that Ibrâhim said:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismâ'il (Ishmael) and Ishâque (Isaac). Verily! My Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations." (Ibrahim: 39)
And Dawûd and Sulaimân (Peace be upon them) said:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي فَضَّلَنَا عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing slaves!" (An-Naml: 15)
And Sulaimân (Peace be upon him) said when Allah bestowed on him:
هَذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
"This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself, and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful." (An-Naml: 40)
And He commanded His slave Mûsa to receive what He gave him of the Prophethood, Message, and Talking by the gratitude, as He said:
قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالَاتِي وَبِكَلَامِي فَخُذْ مَا آتَيْتُكَ وَكُنْ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
"(Allah) said: "O Mûsa (Moses) I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful." (Al-A'raf: 144)
And when Allah drowned Nûh's people, and saved him and the believers with him in the ship, He commanded him to praise Him, as He said:
فَإِذَا اسْتَوَيْتَ أَنْتَ وَمَنْ مَعَكَ عَلَى الْفُلْكِ فَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي نَجَّانَا مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
"And when you have embarked on the ship, you and whoever is with you, then say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has saved us from the people who are Zâlimûn (i.e. oppressors, wrong-doers, polytheists, those who join others in worship with Allah, etc.)" (Al-Mu'minun: 28)
So, he (Peace be upon him) was a thankful slave, and when the slaves come to him on the Day of Resurrection, they'll say to him:" Allah named you a thankful slave" referring to His Saying:
ذُرِّيَّةَ مَنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا
"O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nûh (Noah)! Verily, he was a grateful slave." (Al-Isra': 3 )
Imam Ibn El-Qayyim (May Allah have mercy on him) said: “And Allah’s mention of Nûh specifically here, and calling the slaves as his progeny refers to the importance of following him, as he is their Second Father, as Allah hasn't given the creatures any progeny but from his progeny, as He said:
وَجَعَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُ هُمُ الْبَاقِينَ
"And, his progeny, them We made the survivors (i.e. Shem, Ham and Japheth)" (As-Saffaat: 77)
So, He commanded the progeny to imitate their Father, as he was a grateful slave."
And the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to pray at night until his feet swelled, He was asked: "Why do you do this while your past and future sins have been forgiven?'' and he said, "should I not be a thankful slave"
And so, he singled out his beloved companions to recieve a great piece of advice, as in the tradition narrated by Mu`adh bin Gabal (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet said, "O Mu`adh, By Allah, I love you and advise you not to miss supplicating after every Salat (prayer) saying: `Allahumma a`inni `ala dhikrika wa shukrika, wa husni `ibadatika,' (O Allah, help me remember You, express gratitude to You and worship You in the best manner)".
So, some scholars said: the gratitude is of two types:
1- The gratitude of the public for the food, clothes, drink, and body strength.
2- The gratitude of the chosen slaves for the faith, monotheism, and heart strength.
5- The thanksgiving is a character of the people of Paradise:
When reflecting on the people of Paradise, and what Allah bestowed on them of the pleasure, we'll find that they praise Allah (Exalted is He) at different situations:
- When Allah (Exalted is He) descends to judge between the slaves, and says:
وَامْتَازُوا الْيَوْمَ أَيُّهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ
"(It will be said): "And O you Al-Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, disbelievers in the Islâmic Monotheism, wicked evil ones, etc.)! Get you apart this Day (from the believers)." , the people of the Hell Fire will be driven to it, and the believers, after crossing As-Sirat (a bridge will be laid across the Hell) and seeing others falling down, will praise Him and may say:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي نَجَّانَا مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has saved us from the people who are Zâlimûn (i.e. oppressors, wrong-doers, polytheists, those who join others in worship with Allah, etc.)" (Al-Mu'minun: 28)
- When they take a bath in the Liver of Life, become purified from the dirts of the worldy life, and look at Paradise, they'll praise Him and may say:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلَا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!" (Al-A'raf: 43)
- When they enter Paradise, see what Allah prepared inside it for His righteous slaves, and taste its sweetness, they'll praise Him and say:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will." (Az-Zumar: 74)
- When they settle in their houses, which are full of the Houris (female, fair ones with wide lovely eyes) and delight, they'll praise Him and say:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي أَذْهَبَ عَنَّا الْحَزَنَ إِنَّ رَبَّنَا لَغَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ (34) الَّذِي أَحَلَّنَا دَارَ الْمُقَامَةِ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ لَا يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا نَصَبٌ وَلَا يَمَسُّنَا فِيهَا لُغُوبٌ
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) grief. Verily, our Lord is indeed OftForgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense). 35. Who, out of His Grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever; there, toil will touch us not, nor weariness will touch us."(Fatir: 34-35) We ask Allah for His Grace.
So, it's mandatory for every believer to praise Allah, and know that He has chosen him and made him one of the believers, and what a Great Grace!
6- The thanksgiving is the cause of persistence of the blessings, as the blessings are from Allah, and He bestowed them on His creatures to try them, so he who denies them, will be deprived of them, and they may be left with him as a trial for him, then they'll go away as if they were not present by a single dipping into the Hell Fire, May Allah protect us from it.
On the other hand, he who thanks Allah for them, He'll preserve and increase them for him, as the thanksgiving is always associated with the increase, as He said:
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِنْ كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
"If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe." (Ibrahim: 7)
"i.e. if you thank for My Favour, I'll give you more of My Grace."
So, Allah made the thanksgiving a sign for the increase, and vice versa, and this is a truthful promise from Allah, and so the thanksgiving has been named "the protector" as it preserves the present blessings, and "the fetcher" as it brings the missed blessings.
And it was narrated that Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said: “The blessing increases and becomes persistent by the thanksgiving, and the increase won't be cut until the slave stops thanksgiving."
And Omar bin Abd El-Azeez (May Allah have mercy on him) said:" The blessings of Allah come by the thanksgiving to Him."
And Ga'far bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Al-Hussein said to Sufian Ath-Thawry (May Allah have mercy on them):"If Allah gives you a blessing, and you want it to be persistent, you should increase praising and thanksgiving, as He said:
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ
"If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings)" (Ibrahim: 7)
And Al-Mugheerah bin Shou'bah said:" Thank who gives you, and give who thanks you, as there's no persistence for the blessings if they're denied, and there's no vanishing of them if they're thanked for."
And Sulaimân At-Taymy (May Allah have mercy on him) said:" Allah commanded the slaves to thank Him according to their ability, so any thanksgiving even if little, can be a cause of a blessing even if great."
And it was said: "If you can't reward, keep thanksgiving."
Verily, the souls of people become purified through directing towards Allah, become straight through thanksgiving for the good, and become calm through connecting to Him.
And it was narrated that Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) said:" Thank the Bestower on you, as the blessings don't vanish if they're thanked for, don't persist if they're denied, and the thanksgiving increases the blessings and protects from the calamities."
So, when you notice that your conditions are bad, you should adhere to the thanksgiving to see the Grace of the Generous, Allah (Exalted is He), and this is a glad tiding for the believer in this worldy life, and in the Hereafter there's " what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived."
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 88
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 96
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 97
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 96
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 96
 Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3092, Muslim, 287, on the authority of Abu Hurairah.
 Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 1062, Muslim, 5044
 Narrated by Abu Dawud, 1301, An-Nasa'I, 1286
 "Al-Jami' Leahkam Al-Quran" by Al-Qurtoby, 9/343
 Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, 98
 Ad-Dorr Almanthour (5/8)
 Madareg As-Salikeen, 2/216
 Ad-Dorr Almanthour (1/374)
 Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 3005, Muslim, 5050, on the authority of Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allah (May Allah exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said, " Allah, the Exalted, has said: `I have prepared for my righteous slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived.'
If you wish, recite:
`No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.' '' (32:17)