Shukr - Part 1

Written by: Shaykh Faid Mohammed Said

"Whoever builds a Masjid, desiring Allah SWT pleasure, Allah SWT builds for him the like of it in Paradise"
(Hadith Al-Bukhari)

Shukr - Part 1

"Allah guides to His Light whom He wills." (Surah Nur)

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem

Our beloved Omar asked us about the maqam of shukr, and its mention in the Qur’an, and about the people of shukr and how we can be counted from among them.

To all my beloved brothers and sisters, may Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) cover us with His Mercy, we must be aware of the greatness of shukr, and its lofty maqam, which the Qur’an repeatedly mentions and describes as the highest of maqams. We are grateful to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for His endless blessings and never ending Generosity; a blessing that started before we were aware and a blessing that does not end when we leave this dunya!

In the Qur’an, Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) commands us to be grateful, and admonishes those who are not. He advises us that His closest slaves are those from the shakireen. Not only this, but Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) made our purpose of creation shukr! Shukr carries with it the greatest of rewards, opens the door of more blessing and is what protects and defends the blessings given to us by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala).

Those who benefit from the ayat of Allah (swt) are the grateful ones!

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) mentions shukrmany times in the Qur’an, in particular as a command to shukr, relating iman with shukrand with regards to the maqam of shukr.

Command to shukr

“Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favor of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” (Surah Nahl, 114)

“So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (Surah Baqarah, 152)

“You only worship, besides Allah, idols, and you produce a falsehood. Indeed, those you worship besides Allah do not possess for you [the power of] provision. So seek from Allah provision and worship Him and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be returned.” (Surah Ankabut, 17)

Shukr and Iman

“What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Most Grateful and Knowing.” (Surah Nisa, 147)

 

In this ayat, Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) mentions the maqam of shukr before iman! Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) does not punish those who are grateful, but rather punishment is saved for the ungrateful. At the end of the ayat, Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) says He is the Most Grateful, which means that He is Grateful for our gratefulness to Him, but does He need our gratefulness? What a Mercy from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala)!

The Maqam of Shukr

“And thus We have tried some of them through others that the disbelievers might say, "Is it these whom Allah has favored among us?" Is not Allah most knowing of those who are grateful?” (Surah Anam, 53)

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has connected increasing in baraka with shukr:

And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe." (Surah Ibrahim, 7)

And the increase from Allah has no limit!

Allah has divided man into two groups, grateful and ungrateful. The grateful ones are those whom Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) loves, and the ungrateful ones are the ones absent from the love of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala); and Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) is in no need of our gratefulness, rather it is for ourselves:

“Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.” (Surah Insan, 3)

“If you disbelieve - indeed, Allah is Free from need of you. And He does not approve for His servants disbelief. And if you are grateful, He approves it for you; and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you about what you used to do. Indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts.” (Surah Zumar, 7)

“And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], "Be grateful to Allah ." And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] - then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.” (Surah Luqman, 12)

“Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, "I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you." And when [Sulaiman] saw it placed before him, he said, "This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful - his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful - then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.” (Surah Naml, 40)

The grateful ones to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) are the elite and the chosen ones, and are few in number:

“Then I will come to them from before them and from behind them and on their right and on their left, and You will not find most of them grateful [to You].” (Surah Araf, 17)

“They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], "Work, O family of Daud, in gratitude." And few of My servants are grateful.” (Surah Saba, 13)

“Have you not considered those who left their homes in many thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them, "Die"; then He restored them to life. And Allah is full of bounty to the people, but most of the people do not show gratitude.” (Surah Baqarah, 243)

We then must draw our attention to the fact that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has removed us from the wombs of our mothers and blessed us with senses and intellect, with the only purpose being that we be grateful; in fact, the only purpose of our creation is to be grateful:

“And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful.” (Surah Nahl, 78)

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) even created night and day and gave us sustenance, which are vital for us, so that we may be grateful. If we do not realize that the purpose of our creation is to be grateful, perhaps through looking at what is around us and our sustenance will cause us to be grateful:

“And out of His mercy He made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and [by day] seek from His bounty and [that] perhaps you will be grateful.” (Surah Qasas, 73)

“And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Surah Nahl, 14)

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has also shown us the examples of gratefulness through His Prophets:

“O descendants of those We carried [in the ship] with Nuh. Indeed, he was a grateful servant.” (Surah Isra, 3)

“Indeed, Ibrahim was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah , inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. [He was] grateful for His favors. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path.” (Surah Nahl, 120-1)

“[ Allah ] said, "O Musa, I have chosen you over the people with My messages and My words [to you]. So take what I have given you and be among the grateful.” (Surah Araf, 144)

Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) blessed us with the best of examples in the Best of Creation, which we ought to be grateful for:

In Sahih Bukhari, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) mentioned in a hadith that he is the most pious and knows Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) the most (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

Saying this, we find in another hadith narrated by Mughira ibn Shu’ba, that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) used to stand in prayer for such long hours that his feet became swollen. The Sahaba (radiallah anhum) asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) why he stood in prayer, since Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has forgiven for what has past and for what is to come, and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) responded, ”Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala)?” Ya Syedi (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) Ya Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam)!

What we have spoken about in this part is the maqam of shukr, and how Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) describes the people ofshukr in the Qur’an. In the next part, we will discuss what shukr is and how we can be grateful.

May Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) make us from among the grateful ones, and may He gather us with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasalam).

Allahumma salli alaa Syedina Muhammad wa alaa Ahli Syedina Muhammad, fi kulli lamhatin wa nafasin ‘adada maa wa see-a-hu ‘il-muLLAH



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