Gratitude Brings Increase

Gratitude Brings Increase

Every person is in need of Almighty Allah at every instant of life. From the air they breathe to the food they eat, from the ability to use their hands to the faculty of speech, from being sheltered to being in a joyful spirit, people live completely in need of what Allah creates and grants them. Yet still a vast majority of people do not perceive that they are weak and in need of their Lord. They suppose that things develop spontaneously or that they acquire everything by their own efforts. This is a grave error and a serious ingratitude toward Allah. Ironically, people who render their thanks to a person for even an insignificant gift spend all their lives ignoring the countless blessings that are ceaselessly given to them by Allah. However, so great are the blessings granted to a person that he or she could never count them. Almighty Allah relates this fact in a Qur’anic verse as follows:

[If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.] (An-Nahl 16:18)

Despite this fact, most people fail to give thanks for any of the blessings they have. The reason for this is related in the Qur’an: Satan, who pledged to misguide people from the way of Allah, said that his ultimate aim is to make people be ungrateful to their Lord. Satan’s defiant statements to Almighty Allah emphasize the importance of giving thanks to our Lord. This is revealed in the Qur’an as follows:

[”Then I will come at them, from in front of them, from behind them, from their right and from their left. You will not find most of them thankful.” He (Allah) said, “Get out of it, reviled and driven out. As for those of them (humankind) who follow you, I, will fill up Hell with every one of you.”] (Al-A`raaf 7:17-18)

Aware of their weaknesses and in humility before their Lord, the believers, on the other hand, render their thanks to Him for every blessing granted. Wealth and possessions are not the only blessings for which believers render their thanks to Allah. Knowing that Allah is the Owner and Possessor of everything, believers express their inner gratefulness for good health, beauty, knowledge, wisdom, love of faith and hatred for disbelief, understanding, insight, foresight and power. They are thankful for being rightly guided and for being in the company of believers.

A beautiful landscape, easy handling of their affairs, fulfillment of their wishes, tidings of great joy, respectful conduct or any other blessings make believers immediately turn to Allah, express their gratefulness to Him and reflect on His mercy and compassion.

Gratitude and Reward

In return for the good morals they display, a reward awaits the believers. This is another of the secrets revealed in the Qur’an: Allah increases His blessings on those who are grateful. For example, Almighty Allah grants even more health and power to those who render their thanks to Him for the good health and strength they have. And Allah bestows even more knowledge and property to those who are grateful for their knowledge or wealth. This is because they are sincere people who are contented with what Allah gives and are pleased with His blessings. This secret is revealed in the Qur’an as follows:

[And when your Lord announced: “If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase, but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe.”] (Ibrahim 14:7)

Being grateful is also a sign of one’s closeness to Allah and love of Him. People who give thanks have the insight and capability to perceive the beauties and blessings that Allah creates. This is also referred to in a hadith in which Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “When Allah gives you property, let the sign of His blessing and offering be seen.” (Abu Dawud)

However, a disbelieving or ungrateful person will only see the imperfections and faults even in the most beautiful environment and thus will be unhappy and discontented. Indeed, as a divine purpose in Allah’s creation, such people always come across seemingly unfavorable events and unpleasant scenes. On the other hand, Almighty Allah displays more of His bounties and blessings to those who have a grateful heart and a sincere and insightful outlook. Indeed, this is one of the secrets revealed in the Qur’an.

However, one needs to keep in mind that sincerity is a prerequisite for being truly grateful. No doubt, people’s way of showing their gratitude without turning sincerely to their Lord and feeling the inner peace of His infinite mercy and compassion —intending solely to impress others— would be sheer insincerity. Surely Allah knows what the hearts harbor, and He will expose such insincerity on the Day of Judgment. Those who have insincere inner intentions may conceal it from other people, but not from Allah. Such people may render their thanks with affected manners when there is no affliction, but at times of hardship, it is possible that they may readily lapse into ungratefulness.

It should be also noted that true believers remain grateful to their Lord even under the harshest conditions. Someone looking from outside may see that some of the blessings enjoyed by the believers are diminishing. However, the believers, who are able to perceive the good aspect of every event and situation, see goodness in this too. For example, Almighty Allah states that He will test people with fear, hunger and loss of wealth and life; in such a situation, the believers rejoice and feel grateful, hoping that Allah will reward them with the gifts of Paradise in return for the steadfastness they displayed during this test.

The believers know that Almighty Allah does not impose on anyone more than they can bear. The steadfastness and submission stemming from such awareness lead them to patience and gratitude. Therefore, it is an obvious attribute of the believers to show unwavering dedication, submission and gratitude; and Allah promises to expand His blessings on His grateful servants both in the life of this world and in the hereafter.

This article has been taken with modifications and with kind permission from the author’s website
Harun Yahya was born in Ankara in 1956. He studied fine arts at Istanbul’s Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, faith-related, and scientific issues.

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