Gratitude Strengthens Faith
August 17, 2009
Islamic Religious Council of Singapore
14 August 2009 / 23 Syaaban 1430
Gratitude (Syukr) Strengthens Faith (Iman)
Dear blessed congregation,
I remind myself and all of us here to be truly conscious of Allah through taqwa. Know that none is more valuable in the sight of Allah than us increasing our taqwa to Him. May we gain success in this world and the hereafter Amin.
Dear brothers in Islam,
Last Friday, we all heard the saying of the Prophet s.a.w regarding the special status of the month of Syabaan. This is the month in which our deeds are presented before Allah s.w.t.
Alhamdulillah, this is one of the blessings of Allah for us, the ummah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. This is a blessing which provides us with an opportunity to come closer to Allah s.w.t.
Hence, we must increase our thanks and gratitude (syukr) to Allah s.w.t, because with gratitude, our faith in Him will strengthen. This is further underlined by the fact that we live in a peaceful and prosperous nation, which allows us to continuously worship Allah s.w.t. in peace and harmony. As such, we must increase our syukr to Him, and improve on our commitment and dedication to Allah s.w.t.
Dear blessed congregation,
But we are considered to be thankful to Allah s.w.t when the blessings of Allah s.w.t. are used to benefit ourselves, our community and our environment.
As Imam al-Qurtubi puts it, “Syukr means to appreciate the gift of Allah the All-Giving, and not to use it to disobey Him.” This means that a sign of sincere gratitude is to use all of Allah’s blessings to obey Him and to do good, not to disobey Him nor spread mischief. There are two types of blessings (nikmat) from Allah s.w.t. to mankind:
First : “Blessings of this world” which refer to those that allow us to continue enjoying our lives, such as food and water, wealth, peace, health, human relationships and others.
Second : “Blessings of the hereafter” which refer to Islam and Iman, those priceless blessings that do not only ensure our happiness in this world alone, but also in the hereafter.
The question before us is, are we truly thankful to Allah s.w.t. for these two blessings?
If we are, we will never stop at what we have done and achieved. Instead, we will worry because Allah s.w.t. has graciously blessed us with so many blessings that we have enjoyed and benefitted from, in this world.
Those who are grateful and thankful, and appreciate God’s blessings, will certainly be rewarded amply. On the contrary, those who are ungrateful to Him will receive their due punishment according to their act.
As Allah s.w.t. says in surah Ibrahim verse 7 :
“And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; But if you show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.”
My dear brothers,
Indeed, Allah’s gifts and blessings to us, mankind, are countless, in making our lives complete.
After iman, the next biggest blessing to us is good health. When our bodies and minds are healthy, our lives will also be better. With good health, we are able to work and strive with full of energy, and we can be competitive and produce the best.
Our personality and spirituality should be undergirded with a firm and strong belief in Allah s.w.t. It should also be strengthened with noble virtues and good character, such as patience, redha, humility and satisfaction, among others.
Let us look at the personality of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. as described by Allah in surah al-Nahl verses 120-121 :
“Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way.”
Dear blessed brothers,
We must be reminded, that when we use the blessings of Allah s.w.t. in the wrong way, by doing things which go against the teachings of Allah, and by doing evil, we are truly ungrateful to His blessings.
For this, it is clear that gratitude (syukr) and iman cannot be separated.
Apart from being thankful to Allah, we are also reminded to thank our fellow human beings and be grateful to them, because we cannot live on our own in this world. We need each other’s help. On this, the Holy Prophet s.a.w. said:
“Those who do not thank others (who have helped him) are not grateful to Allah s.w.t.”
(Hadis narrated by Ibnu Hibban)
In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that syukr is an important and noble virtue that we must inculcate in us. It is with syukr that we are able to know ourselves and where we stand, we will be appreciative and we will be grateful for every blessing bestowed upon us.
Let us maximise the opportunities presented to us in this glorious month, by doing good, so as to show our gratitude to Allah. Appreciate the blessings of the coming month of Ramadan which has been bestowed especially to us, the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.
Let us start by doing good from now on, to prepare ourselves for Ramadan. May we be among those who always do good as a sign of our gratitude and syukr to Allah s.w.t.
Posted by mazda113
Filed in Friday Khutbah, Islam, self
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