Shukr - Part 2

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 2

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

Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Raheem

This is the second part of our discussion onshukr. In this part we will describe whatshukr is and how we can be counted from among the shakireen.

What is Shukr?

Shukr is to admit to and acknowledge the blessing and the Provider of the blessing with complete humility and love; always knowing that none besides Allah (subhana wa ta’alaa) can Provide. As such, you must understand the blessing, because if you do not know the blessing and its importance, you cannot know shukr. Also, if you know the blessing but not the Provider, how can you be thankful? If you know both the blessing and the Provider, but do not show humility, love and are not fully pleased with the blessing and the Provider, you will never be grateful.

Thus, we must look at the foundation ofshukr, namely, five principles:

1) Showing humility to the Provider

2) Love for the Provider and the blessing He has Provided

3) Acknowledgement of the blessing and knowing its importance

4) Praising the Provider by remembering the blessing

5) Not using the blessing given by the Provider for any purpose that He may dislike

These five principles are the foundations ofshukr; if any one of them is missing, the foundation will be weak.

Shukr is an act of the heart, the tongue and all of our organs:

The act of the heart is the most important, as its role is to show love, humility and faqr(completed dependence) towards the Provider.

The tongue’s role is to praise the Provider, speak about Him and the blessing He has given you.

The other organs are responsible for being obedient to Allah (subhana wa ta’alaa) and following Syedi (sallallahu alayhi wasalam), the Master of all of creation.

Imam ibn Abi Dunya (rehmatullah alaih) wrote a book on shukr, in which he mentioned from the saliheen a man named Abu Hazim ibn Dinar (rehmatullah alaih). Abu Hazim (rehmatullah alaih) said:

To the one who asks how can I do shukrwith my eyes, to him say shukr with one’s eyes is to spread and speak of the blessings you see and to hide and refrain from that which is not khair and not from your lot of blessings.

To the one who asks how can I do shukrwith my ears, to him say shukr with one’s ears is by reporting what one hears that is good and to remove from what you hear that which is not khair.

To the one who asks how can I do shukrwith my hands, to him say shukr with one’s hands is not to touch or take anything that does not belong to you and to give what is the right of others.

To the one who asks how can I do shukrwith my stomach, to him say shukr with one’s stomach is such that the bottom of the stomach should be filled with food, while the top be filled with knowledge.

Examples of shukr can be seen in the lives of the saliheen, which help give us the inspiration and himma to strive to achieve this lofty maqam:


The Story of Abu Qulaba (rehmatullah alaih)

Ad Dhahabi (rehmatullah alaih) narrated that once Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) was going towards the border in the direction of Egypt when he saw a small tent-like structure made out of tree leaves. From within this makeshift tent, he heard a voice. When he went closer, he saw a man that he thought had no blessings; the man had no hands, no legs, was blind and his hearing was very weak. The man was sitting there thanking Allah (subhana wa ta’alaa) for all of his blessings. He was saying, O Allah, bless me and give me the ability to thank You for all the blessings You have given me.” Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) asked him to repeat the dua and then asked the man what blessing he was referring to? The man said, “If Allah was to send fire from heaven that can take me, the mountains that can destroy me, the sea that can envelope me or the earth to swallow me, even if He was to do all of that, I would thank Him for the ability to say, ‘Alhumdulillah!”

Then the man asked Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih), “Now that you are here, I need your help.” He said, “Allah (subhana wa ta’alaa) has blessed me with a young boy who was serving me and I have not seen him for a few days, can you find him for me?” Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) accepted the request, and set off looking for the boy. He found the young boy, but he had been eaten by animals. Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) was perplexed by what he would tell the man. How could he tell him that his son, the only one who was helping him, died! He forgot about all of the possible explanations and remembered the name of Ayub (alaih salaam), who Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) tested with the death of his children and a disease which turned the people away from him, but yet Ayub (alaih salaam) never stopped thanking Allah (subhana wa ta’alaa) for all his blessings!

Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) came to the man and told him the story of Ayub (alaih salaam). The man heard the story and then asked Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) to tell him what he was really trying to say, to which Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) told him that his son had died. The man said, “Alhumdulillah! What a blessing that none of my children died with sin, as my son has died before the age of maturity!” He then said, “Ashahadhu an la illaha illlAllah,” and he died. Muhammad ibn Abdullah (rehmatullah alaih) became worried about how he would bury the man alone. It was then that four men came on horses and asked him if he needed anything. When he told them about what had happened, they asked to see the man’s face, and upon seeing it, they started kissing him. When they were asked why they were revering the man, they said that this man was the student of Abdullah ibn Abbas (radiallah anhu)! His name was Abdullah ibn Zaid (rehmatullah alaih) and his kunya was Abu Qulaba (rehmatullah alaih).

May Allah make us from the shakireen, 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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