By Haruna Razaq
Thanking Allah is one of the many Islamic instruments of overcoming kufr (unbelief), poverty or insufficiency, punishment of Allah, and many others as stated in different parts of the Qur’an.
On kufr Allah says: “Therefore remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me, and never disbelieve Me, (i.e. ungrateful to Me)” (Q2: 152).
Kufr is one of the greatest problems that are affecting human being, and one of its causes is ungratefulness.
On poverty or insufficiency, Allah says: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My blessings); but if you are thankless, verily, My punishment is indeed severe” (Q14: 7)
According to this verse, thanking Allah for His favour, brought about increment in that favour. And for punishment of Allah, Allah says: why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-knowing. (Q4: 147)
However, Allah mentioned in another verse cited above that if we are thankless, His punishment is severe (14: 7). Thanking Allah is a commandment in the Qur’an as stated in Q 2:152; 2:172; 39:66. About 70 verses of Qur’an and Mutawatil hadiths mentioned that gratefulness to Allah is a mere indication of man’s faith and affirmation of the unity of Allah; it is one of the ways to free oneself from the trap of shaytan. (See Q 7: 17).
Allah usually saves the grateful ones from His punishment also in 54: 34-35. Therefore, according to Ibn al-Qayyim (RA), gratitude may be in the heart, in submission and humility; on the tongue, in praise and acknowledgment; and in the physical faculties, by means of obedience and submission. (Madaarij al-Saalikeen 2/246)
As a result, a Muslim is expected to show gratitude to his Lord by acknowledging in his heart that the giver of his blessings is Allah, and to acknowledge with his tongue by thanking Allah for every blessing on waking from sleep, after eating and drinking, on giving birth to new born baby among other blessings.
You can also thank Allah with your physical faculties by making sujud shukur – prostration for thanking Allah when you receive any good news or blessings. It also includes using the physical faculties to carry out all the commandments of Allah in Qur’an and Hadith.