Knowledge of the Hearts Thankfulness: The Aim of our Existence (Part 2)

Thankfulness hardship

Assume someone is starving, and that he has not eaten for three days. If he finds a piece of bread and he starts to eat it, then he turns around and he finds food, meat and drinks he will leave the piece of bread immediately and turn to this delicious food.

The one who has not yet renounced the worldly life we call him to get to know Allah, because if he really knows Him he will renounce the pleasures of this worldly life…

Understanding Hardships

An explanation to the ayah {And when your Lord proclaimed: If ye give thanks, I will give you more; but if ye are thankless, lo! My punishment is dire} (14: 7) is if you give thanks to affliction I will give you more affliction.

Some scholars said; affliction is of three types. One of them is vengeance, its sign is when the breast becomes closed, constricted and straitened in distress and with complaint to people. In this case, affliction is vengeance from God and a punishment accompanied with a straitened breast and complaint to people (about the divine decree).

Another type of affliction is to expiate sins, and its sign is a straitened heart but with no complaint to people. And there is a third type of affliction to raise up your steps in rank and degrees. It was said that this kind of affliction is not accompanied by a straitened heart or complaint to people, and that is an accurate sign.

Sometimes, misfortune befalls a believer. Someone once sent me a message after a Friday prayer, he said in the message: “You are talking about chronic diseases and there are believes infected by chronic diseases, and they understood from your words that everyone who suffers from chronic disease this means that it is a punishment from Almighty Allah.

I said I didn’t mean that at all, as the illness which afflicts a believer raises up his steps in rank and degrees. For example, if someone was inflicted by a chronic disease, he was straitened in distress and he complained to people, then that illness is a punishment for him. On the other hand, if he was straitened in distress and he did not complain to anyone about it, then that illness was an expiation for his sins, while if he wasn’t straitened in distress and he did not complain to anyone then it raises him up in degrees. So, the illness may be the same, but its reflection on people is different.

Some scholars said that if you give thanks for Islam I will give you more faith; if someone is submissive to God and he gives thanks to that, Allah will raise him up to the level of faith. If you give thanks to faith I will confer more favors on you. We have (three levels of faith) Islam, Iman (faith) and Ihsan (beneficence or perfection). Ihsan is a sincere worship of God, as Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and always remember that God sees you.

If you give thanks to Allah because He helped you to obey Him, He will raise you to the level of faith, if you give thanks for faith, Allah will raise you to the level of Ihsan, and if you give thanks for Ihsan, He will give you more knowledge. Actually, the knowledge of Allah is at the highest level (of knowledge), so the thankful is in increase, the appreciative of good is in more increase and the acknowledger of thanks giving is in more and more increase

All is Good

You are a grant and bounty from Almighty, your existence is a blessing. Consider the case of someone who enters a palace, eats delicious food and he has been welcomed, all that is a grant from the owner of the house. Thus, the first, the last, and the comprehensive word is ‘thankfulness’, i.e. to thank Allah.

Some scholars said that when God says that He will give you more, that could be according to conditions or morals, attributes or knowledge, it could be instant or postponed, it could be in the worldly life or in the after life.

Let us explain them one by one: If you give thanks I will give you more of my blessing, that giving could be spiritual conditions, this means that the person feels good, comfortable, rests securely, enjoys peace and calmness, no worries, no sadness, he feels no envy or jealously, whether he is poor or rich, sick or healthy, whether he suffers from certain problems or he is content with God, that is when God honors your status

You may find someone healthy but he is disappointed and frustrated, or a rich man has a straitened heart, while you may find someone who is poor but happy or he is sick but he is glad, so, giving more could be by means of status and conditions.

If someone enters the mosque (the house of Allah) and he prays there, there is nothing material in the mosque; there are no chairs, and you sit on the floor. But if you enter a house you find a comfortable seat with a fan if the weather is hot, you can drink tea or coffee or you can eat some fruit or have a dinner there, whereas in the house of Allah there is nothing (of worldly pleasures) and you sit on the floor, so where is the honoring status? The man goes out from the mosque comfortable, balanced, tranquil, content with Almighty Allah, he goes out and he feels that Almighty Allah is with him and he is in His care. So, honoring could be by means of conditions or actions

For the Righteous

Your rank and degrees in the hereafter is according to your righteous deeds:

{For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do} (6:132)

When Almighty Allah makes you able and capable to do many righteous deeds, that is honoring from Him. Also, sometimes honoring could be in morals, as He makes you forbearing, and it was said the forbearing person is near to being a prophet, as forbearance is the master of morals. He may also grant you wisdom, good manners, insight and rationality

Honoring could be by means of morals or conditions or a trait, sometimes God gives you good children. Also, the honoring could be the knowledge of Allah.

If Allah finds you walking uprightly on the path of religion for materialistic gains, there is something wrong. He will postpone the honoring because He wants you to be upright not for material gains. On the other hand, if you worship Almighty Allah faithfully and sincerely, honoring will come quickly and it might be in the worldly life or in the after life.

And according to deep wisdom, the honoring of man might be postponed to the Hereafter.

Thus, I have mentioned some facts about thankfulness. Allah the Almighty says:

(If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings) (14:7)

Giving thanks has three conditions, when you attribute the blessing to Allah the Almighty, that is a kind of gratitude, when you say He gives me the blessing of health this means that you attribute that blessing to Him, and when your heart is full of gratitude to Him that also is a second blessing, and when you thank Allah by doing a righteous deeds that is the highest kind of thanks:

{They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places). “Work you, O family of Dawud (David), with thanks!” But few of My slaves are grateful} (34: 13)

By Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi

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