Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving and Allah

In a previous post, I quoted a classical Islamic text that talks about the meaning of gratitude (shukr). I found another beautiful text that touches on the same theme, and as it the season of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share. It is from a section of Ibn Rajab’s (d. 1393) commentary on the Prophetic hadith that begins, “Every bone of every person owes ṣadaqah [charity] each day in which the sun rises.” He writes:

Abū ‘Amr ash-Shaybānī said, “Mūsā (upon him peace) said upon the day of at-Tur, ‘My Lord, if I pray, it comes from You. If I give ṣadaqah, it comes from You. If I convey Your message, it comes from You. How can I thank You?’ He said, ‘Now, you have thanked Me.'”

Al-Ḥasan said, “Mūsā (upon him peace) said, ‘My Lord, how could Ādam be able to show gratitude for that which You did for him? You created him with Your hand, You breathed into him Your rūḥ [spirit], You made him reside in Your Garden, and You told the angels to prostrate to him.’ He said, ‘Mūsā, he knew that that was from Me, and He praised Me for it, and that was gratitude for that which I did.'”

Abū’l-Jild said, “I read in the questions of Dāwūd (upon him peace) that he said, ‘O my Lord, how can I thank You when I can only reach to thank You through Your blessing?'” He said, “So the revelation came to him, ‘Dāwūd! do you not know that the blessings you have are from Me? He said, ‘Of course, my Lord.’ He said, ‘Then I am contented with that as thanks from you.'”

He said, “I read in the questions of Mūsā, ‘My Lord, how can I thank You when the least of Your blessings which You have placed with me would not be adequately recompensed by all of my actions?'” He said, “So the revelation came to him, ‘Mūsā, now you have thanked Me.'”

Bakr ibn ‘Abdullāh said, “A slave never says, ‘Al-ḥamdu lillāh‘ one time but that he has to receive a blessing for his saying, ‘Al-ḥamdu lillāh.’ What is the proper response to that blessing? Its response is that he say, ‘Al-ḥamdu lillāh,’ and so there will come another blessing, and so the blessings of Allah never come to an end.”

– quoted, with slight adjustments, from “The Compendium of Knowledge and Wisdom” (p. 422)


36 Ash-Shakur

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