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35 - الشَّكُورُ

Bint e Aisha

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الشَّكُورُ  is translated as The Most Grateful and The Most Appreciative. 

It comes from Shukr, to be grateful or appreciative. It is strange why Allah ta’ala is called الشَّكُورُ when He wants people to show gratitude. It is because He is appreciative what human beings do for His sake.



It is that Being Who in return for a little obedience, gives multifold and for deeds of a meager lifetime, He gives unlimited and multiple levels of Ni’mah in this world as well as eternal Ni’mah i.e. Jannah. So He gives more reward than what we deserve and overlooks deficiency in quality and also sins. 


No Good deed is too Small

We do not know what level of reward Allah ta’ala will grant us for a seemingly small good deed done with sincerity. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

“Do not regard any good deed as insignificant, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face.” [Muslim]


In another Hadith the story of a woman of bad character is narrated,

“A prostitute had once been forgiven. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Thirst had nearly killed him, so she took off her sock, tied it to her veil, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.”
[Bukhari & Muslim]


Allah ta’ala appreciated her gesture i.e. He was الشَّكُورُ when He forgave her sins and gave her Jannah. 


Shukr (Gratitude)

There are different levels/stations (Maqaam) in our spiritual journey which a person should reach and become firm on. Of these Maqaam, one is of Sabr (Patience) and one of Shukr (Gratitude). They go together and both are Waajib (Necessary). 


There are three elements in Shukr:

1.    Iqraar (admission) – to realise and acknowledge that everything Allah ta’ala has granted you is through His grace and bounty. 

2.    To have love for Allah ta’ala when we make Iqraar. 

3.    Then when that loves comes, it leads to obedience.


When these three emotions become deeply embedded in the heart then in the terminology of the Ulama, that person has obtained Maqaami Shukr and the base of it is Iqraar – to realise and acknowledge. Without the base the other two steps will not develop in the heart. Iqraar can only come from one’s own self as one can look at situations in a positive way or a negative way. When something bad happens, to look at all the good in one’s life and say, “Alhamdulillah” is positive i.e. to think that Allah ta’ala is Kind even when one is going through difficulty when Shukr is hard to do and it is painful. For example when losing a loved one, to say Alhmdulillah for the opportunity to know, live and love that person. When we see things in this positive way and we make Iqraar then the other two steps become easy i.e. love and obedience to Allah ta’ala will get stronger. 


Tarbiyat of Children

Children often question things like asking why we need to pray. The answer is that Allah ta’ala has given us everything we have and all He wants from us is to pray a little bit during the day. This will lead them to understand and obey Allah ta’ala.


True Shukr

The way of obedience is to use all the blessings Allah ta’ala has granted us for His pleasure and not to misuse them in disobedience.  



“True Shukr of a Ni’mah is to look at The Giver and not at what is given.” – So to be grateful and not become infatuated with the Niʼmah. 


Junaid Baghdaadi (rahimahullah) said, “Shukr is when you don’t regard yourself worthy of the Ni’mah” 


Abdullah bin Mas’ood RA said, “Shukr is half of Imaan.”


In the Qur’an Allah ta’ala says,
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ - If you are grateful, I will bestow abundance upon you [Surah Ibraheem: 7]


Therefore if we show gratitude for the Imaan (or whatever other Ni’mah) Allah ta’ala granted us then Allah ta’ala will increase that Ni’mah.


Shukr is not just a passive activity. It is a very active thing mentally and emotionally when you live a life of Shukr. In the USA there is something called “The attitude of gratitude” i.e. developing an attitude of gratitude in people so that they are better people. To be people of Shukr is embedded in our Deen. This is a trait all the Prophets 'Alaihimus Salam had. In Surah Bani Isra’eel, Allah ta’ala says regarding Nooh AS, 


إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا - and he was indeed a grateful devotee. [Surah Israa: 3]


Showing gratitude is part of wisdom. In Surah Luqmaan (verse 12) Allah ta’ala says, 


وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا لُقْمَانَ الْحِكْمَةَ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِلَّهِ ۚ وَمَنْ يَشْكُرْ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ

We gave wisdom to Luqman so that he may be grateful to Allah. The one who pay thanks, does so for his own good; and the one who denies His favors, should know that Allah is certainly free of all wants, worthy of all praise


Shukr in Difficult times – Story of Urwah bin Zubayr RA

‘Urwah bin Zubair (rahimahullah) was the brother of ‘Abdullah bin Zubair (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) and among the leading Taabi‘een and ‘Ulama of Madeenah Munawwarah. He would recite one quarter of the Quraan Majeed every day while looking into the mushaf. He would then repeat that same quarter by reciting it in tahajjud salaah during the night.

‘Urwah bin Zubair (rahimahullah) was once on a journey to meet Waleed bin ‘Abdul Malik when a sore developed on his leg. After some time, the sore spread, leading to his leg becoming infected. When ‘Urwah (rahimahullah) eventually reached Waleed, he asked him to have his infected leg amputated. Waleed thus summoned the doctor who instructed ‘Urwah (rahimahullah) to take a sedative so that he would be able to amputate the leg while ‘Urwah (rahimahullah) was asleep. ‘Urwah (rahimahullah), however, refused to take the sedative saying, “Go ahead and amputate. I cannot imagine how a person can ever consume something which will cause him to be negligent and unaware of Allah Ta‘ala.” The doctor therefore placed the blade on his left knee and began to amputate. Such was the patience and tolerance of ‘Urwah (rahimahullah) that those who were around him at the time later mentioned that he did not utter even one remark of complaint! Rather, the most they heard from him was an occasional hiss of pain. During the course of the same journey, the son of ‘Urwah (rahimahullah), Muhammad, fell from the roof of a home and was trampled to death by animals.


After undergoing all this difficulty, ‘Urwah (rahimahullah) addressed Allah Ta‘ala and thanked Him saying, 

“O Allah! I had seven sons. You took only one and left me with six! O Allah! I had four limbs. You took only one and left me with three! I take an oath in Your name! If You take something away from a person, You also leave with him (that which will suffice him), and if You test a person, You also grant him comfort.” 


Furthermore, some narrations have mentioned that ‘Urwah (rahimahullah), despite undergoing the amputation, did not leave out his recitation of one quarter of the Quraan Majeed in tahajjud salaah that night! However, other narrations have mentioned that on account of the pain, this was the first night in which he ever left out his recitation of the Quraan Majeed. Nevertheless, he ensured that he compensated for missing it by reciting that portion the following night.


(Reference: Tahzeebul Kamaal vol. 20 pg. 19-21 and Taareekhul Islam pg. 427)

Taken from uswatulmuslimah.co.za


This is the true spirit of Shukr, not to look at what you have lost but to look at what you still have. The true test of Shukr is in an extremely difficult time when a person still does Shukr. 


Shukr to Parents

Shukr to parents is mentioned in the Qur’an,


أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ 

Give thanks to Me and to your parents, and keep in mind that, to Me is your final goal. [Surah Luqmaan; 14]

Allah ta’ala is commanding us to do Shukr of Allah ta’ala for all the Ni’mat and to show gratitude to parents. 


The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, 

“He has not thanked Allah who has not thanked people.” [Abu Dawood]


Therefore both are important. 


Another point made in the commentary is that Tawheed is the biggest Shukr of Allah ta’ala because we regard Allah ta’ala as the owner of everything and we do ‘Ibaadah only for Him and we make Du’a only to Him so this is the biggest way of showing Shukr.


Consequences of Ingratitude

The story of the people of Saba’ mentioned in Surah Saba’ (verse 15-19) illustrates how people can lose all the blessings given to them by Allah ta’ala when they turn away from Him. They had everything in abundance and lived in peace with no fear. Then they became ungrateful and disobedient and Allah ta’ala changed their condition. Allah ta’ala says, 


ذَٰلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَفَرُوا ۖ وَهَلْ نُجَازِي إِلَّا الْكَفُورَ

Thus did We requite them for their disbelief; and never do We punish any but the ungrateful! [Surah Saba: 17]


كَفَرُوا  - can mean lack of gratitude and disbelief

Kufr literally means to cover something up so when a person does Kufr, they hide the belief in Allah ta’ala, the Ni’mat of Allah ta’ala.  Therefore ingratitude can lead to punishment of being deprived of the Ni’mah.


In the Qur’an

It is used 4 times in the Qur’an in different ways. Paired with غَفُور the connection is that when a person shows Shukr, Allah ta’ala is forgiving.


لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُمْ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

That He may pay them back their full reward and give them even more out of His grace; surely He is Forgiving and Appreciative of His devotees. [Surah Faatir: 30]


Du’a for Istiqaamat, Dhikr and Shukr

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhiw asallam told Mu’adh bin Jabal RA
“O Mu’aadh, by Allah indeed I love you, and I advise you, O Mu’aadh, do not forget at the end of every prayer to say:


اللهم أعني على ذكرك، وشكرك، وحسن عبادتك‏

Allaahumma a’inni ‘ala dhikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibaaditika

O Allah, help me to remember You, give thanks to You and worship You in the best way.”


In this Du’a we are asking to be people of Shukr. 


Shukr can also be made many times during the day through reciting the Masnoon Du’a i.e. when awakening, after eating etc. 


In Jannah there will be no ‘Ibaadah except Shukr

It is mentioned in a Hadith that Shukr will flow from the mouths of the people of Jannah continuously. Like in this world breathing takes place without being conscious of it, in a like manner will the people of Jannah be praising Allah (continuously and without being mindful of it) so only Shukr will be ‘Ibaadah. 


A True Shaakir

A person who habitually sins cannot be a true Shaakir because Shukr is being obedient to Allah ta’ala. 


People of Shukr deal with Difficulties better

When a person does not have Maqaami Shukr then they will be very sensitive to even small difficulties which everyone goes through. They forget all the blessings and focus on the difficulty. People who show gratitude deal with problems better. They focus on the blessings and say Alhamdulillah even in difficulty. 


There is a story regarding Raabi’ah Basriyyah where she saw a young man who had a cloth tied on his head. She asked him about it and he said he had never had a headache in his life and now he had the worst headache ever. She said to him that in all the years when he did not have a headache he did not tie something on his head to announce that he was well and now that Allah ta’ala gave one headache, he was making an announcement and complaining about it. 


To be a person of Shukr one has to actively work on it. One cannot be passive and say this is the way I am. 


Benefits of showing Shukr

•    Allah ta’ala increases the blessing (Surah Ibraheem: verse 7 mentioned previously)

•    Glad tidings of attaining Allah ta’ala’s love and closeness. Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah) says through Shukr love for Allah ta’ala increases and you say, “Allah love me” and you love Him back. The result is that you attain His Qurb. 

•    Allah ta’ala protects from punishment. Surah Nisaa’: verse 147 

مَا يَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنْتُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ شَاكِرًا عَلِيمًا

Why should Allah punish you if you are grateful and a true believer? Allah knows the grateful.

•    Allah ta’ala forgives (Surah Faatir: 30 mentioned previously)


Psychological research shows gratitude is a trait of happy and successful people and increases motivation.


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