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Islamic Education- Knowledge of the Hearts- Lesson (04-54): Thankfulness
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Allah has subjected the universe to man:

 Dear brother, one of the comprehensive ayat in the Islamic creed is Allah‘s saying;

{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.}

(Al-Nissa, 4:147)

 It seems that when man believes in Allah and thanks Him he achieves the aim of his existence, why?
 Because originally his existence is beneficence and favors from Almighty Allah, Allah grants him the blessing of existence, you exist.
 So this is a big blessing for you, Allah grants you the blessing of existence, the blessing of bestowal and the blessing of guidance, you are the trace of the grace and the blessing of Almighty Allah
 Almighty Allah subjected the universe to introduce Himself to you and to honor you
 Consider the following example: If a friend of your is a specialist in electronics to a high level and he has invented a device and has given it to you as a gift, you appreciate, esteem and admire this device which offers a great service and you feel grateful to the one who has given you this device as a present, the universe is subjected to you
 The prophet Mohammad, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, indicated that when he saw the crescent he used to say;

(A crescent of goodness, orientation and guidance)

[Reported by Abu Dawood from Qutadah]

 You can compare everything to this hadith; for example: (the creation of )your son leads you to Allah, how he was a drop of liquid then he becomes a very complicated creature. Also, the fresh water leads you to Allah and you benefit from it, and the food leads you to Allah and you benefit from it.

If you believe and thank, you achieve the purpose of your existence:

 Everything Almighty Allah creates has two tasks, beneficial task and guiding task. In fact, the guiding task is bigger and more important than the beneficial task, because the beneficial task ends when human dies but the guiding task expands after death forever and ever.
 When human thinks about something and gets to know Allah through it he achieves the aim of its existence, but if he benefits from it only he would achieve nothing. Actually, the whole west world benefit from the grace of Allah to a high level, but they don’t know Allah, consequently, the have not achieved the main purpose of it.
 Dear brother, consider this Noble ayah bellow;

(("If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings))

(Ibrahim, 14:7)

 When you thank Allah you achieve the aim behind your existence, because originally your existence is a blessing and grace from Almighty Allah.
 Sometimes a person buys a house and pays its price, the owner of the house who sales you the house can’t say that he has grace and favor upon you, because he takes the price of the house in cash, but if someone offers you a house as a present and the house is very expensive, it differs.
 So you are in front of giving and granting from Almighty Allah, like your existence and the blessing of guidance. Moreover, you, as a whole, are in a blessing from Allah and what around you is a blessing too, and the whole universe is subjected to you according to the following Noble ayah;

[And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who think deeply.}

[Al-Jathiyah, 45:13

 In a reaction to the fact that the whole universe is subjected to you, the guiding task is to believe in Allah and the beneficial task is to thank Allah, if you thanked Allah and believed in him so you achieved the aim behind your existence.

Knowing Allah is what distinguishes between believers:

 This means that thanking Allah is not something extraordinary because the origin of your existence is a blessing, you are created for happiness, and you should thank Who deserves that.

{And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing}

(Al-Nisaa, 4:147)

 I will put forth the case of a person who may give a sick person a present and he leaves a note in the gift refers that this gift is from him, how the patient would thank that person if he does not know that he is the one who offers him the gift? Look at the correlation between thanks and knowledge, so if ten people visited him and only one had the gift but he didn’t leave a note in the gift, how would the patient know who offered the gift? While if the person left a note in the gift the patient would thank him if he met him again.
 Pay attention to this precise point, Allah the Almighty says:

(("If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings),

[ Ibrahim, 14:7]

 Some learned scholars ( who really knew Allah) explained this ayah saying: if you thanked my blessing I would give you more of My obedience, and if you thanked My obedience I would give you more of My solitude, and if you thanked My solitude I would give you more of My proximity, and if you thanked My proximity I would give you more of a self sufficiency, and if you thanked the sufficiency I would give you more of My knowledge, and if you thanked My knowledge I would give you more of My connection. So, the more you thank Allah the more He will grant you from His Bounty.
 If Someone thanks Almighty Allah because He helps him to obey Him, now in this case thanking Allah for obedience causes proximity to Him.
 This solitude, I Am the companion of those who remember Me and when My servant asks for Me he will find Me.
 If you thank Allah for the proximity between you and Him, Allah the Almighty would give you more of self sufficiency' Actually, self sufficiency is very sublime status, which means to be satisfied with Allah the Almighty and to dispense with people, because the believer is self sufficient, self-esteem and self respect, he never lowers himself to anyone because Almighty Allah makes him self – sufficient,
 If you thank sufficiency I will give you more of My Knowledge. Knowledge is a very precious thing, and the knowledge of Allah is what distinguishes between believers.

Whoever knows Allah renounces anything else:

 The prophet Mohammad, may peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, applied the doctrine of Allah perfectly (one hundred percent), and any honest believer should apply the doctrine of Allah perfectly. Nevertheless, the difference between the rank of the prophets and that of believer is related to the knowledge (of Allah), while applying the doctrine is the same.
 For example, When the doctor gives the patient injection, there are some procedures he must take before, he should disinfect the injection and disinfect the part of the body that he will inject the liquid into, that what the most qualified doctor and an ordinary nurse do but the difference between the doctor and the nurse is difference in knowledge. Similarly, the doctrine of Allah can be applied by an ordinary believer or by the greatest prophet, while the difference between them is in knowledge.
 If you give thanks to sufficiency I will give you more of My knowledge and if you give thanks to My knowledge I will give you more of My Connection (of getting closer to Allah). In fact, human has tasted everything in the worldly life but if he tastes the feeling of proximity from Almighty he will renounce everything in the worldly life, because he who knows Allah renounces everything else.
 Suppose someone is starving and he has never eaten for three days, suppose he finds a piece of bread and he starts to eat it, if he turns around and he finds food, meat and drinks he will leave the piece of bread immediately and turns to the delicious food.
 The one who hasn’t renounced the worldly life yet, We call him to get to know Allah, because if he really know Him he will renounce the worldly life pleasures.
 It was said; if you give thanks to poverty I will give more of poverty, that is impossible, if you give thanks to material poverty I will make you more in need to Me, that is very high proximity status, the more you need Almighty Allah the nearer you get to Him. So, if you give thanks to certain financial status He will give you more sufficiency and you will be more in need to Almighty Allah.

I made my poverty and need a stairway to You
I have nothing but my poverty a way to You
I have no courses but knocking on Your Door
If You turn me away, on which door should I knock?

Kinds of affliction:

 (Another explanation to the ayah mentioned previously:) If you give thanks to affliction I will give you more affliction. Some scholars said; affliction is three types, one of which is vengeance, its sign is when the breast becomes closed, constricted and straitened in distress and with complaint to people. So, affliction is vengeance from Almighty Allah and punishment accompanied with straitened breast and complaint to people (about the Divine Decree). Also, there is affliction to expiate the sins, its sign is straitened heart with no complaint to people, and there is affliction to raise up your steps in rank and degrees. It was said that this kind of affliction is not accompanied by straitened heart or complaint to people and that is an accurate sign.
 Sometimes, misfortune befalls a believer, it happened that someone sent me a message after a Friday prayer, he said in the message:, you are talking about the chronic diseases and there are believes infected by chronic diseases and they understood from your words that everyone suffers the chronic disease this means that it is a punishment from Almighty Allah, I said; I didn’t mean that at all, the illness which afflicts believer raises up his steps in rank and degrees; for example, if someone was inflicted by chronic disease, he was straitened in distress and he complained to people, then that illness is punishment to him, on the other hand, if he was straitened in distress and he did not complain to anyone about it, then that illness was expiation to his sins, while if he wasn’t straitened in distress and he did not complain to anyone then it raises him up in degrees. So, the sickness may be the same, but its reflection on people is different.
Some scholars said; if you give thanks to Islam I will give you more faith; if someone is submissive to Allah and he gives thanks to that, Almighty Allah will raise him up to the level of faith. If you give thanks to faith I will confer more favors on you. It is well known to you that we have (three levels of faith) Islam, faith and Ihsan (beneficence or perfection). Ihsan is a sincere worship of Allah, Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see him and remember that Allah sees you.
 If you give thanks to Allah that He helped you to obey Him, Almighty Allah will raise you to the level of faith, if you give thanks to faith, Almighty Allah will raise you to Ihsan, and if you give thanks to Ihsan he will give you more knowledge. Actually, the knowledge of Allah is at the highest level (of knowledge), so the thankful is in increase, the appreciative of good is in more increase and the acknowledger of thanks giving is in more and more increase

Your rank is according to your righteous deeds:

 You are a grant and bounty from Almighty, your existence is a blessing. Consider the case of someone who enters a palace, eats delicious food and he has been welcomed, all that is a grant from the owner of the house. Thus, the first, the last, and the comprehensive word is 'thankfulness', i.e. to thank Allah.
 Some scholars said that when Almighty Allah says that He will give you more, that could be according to conditions or morals, attributes or knowledge it could be instant or postponed, it could be in the worldly life or after life.
 Let us explain them one by one: If you give thanks I will give you more of my blessing, that giving could be conditions, this means that human feels good, comfortable, rests securely, enjoys peace and quiet, no worries, no sadness, he feels no envy or jealously, whether he is poor or rich, sick or healthy, whether he suffers from certain problems or he is content with Almighty Allah, that is when Almighty Allah honors your status
 You may find someone healthy but he is disappointed and frustrated, or a rich man has a straitened heart, however you may find someone who is poor but happy or he is sick but he is glad, So, giving more could be by means of status and conditions
 If someone enters the mosque (the house of Allah) and he prays there, there is nothing material in the mosque; there is no chairs, you sit on the floor, but if you enter a house you find a comfortable seat with a fan if the weather is hot, you can drink tea or coffee or you can eat some fruit or have a dinner there, whereas in the house of Allah there is nothing (of worldly pleasures) and you sit on the floor, where is the honoring of the status ?, the man goes out from the mosque comfortable, balanced, tranquil, content with Almighty Allah, he goes out and he feels that Almighty Allah is with him and he is in His care. So, honoring could be by means of conditions or actions

Kinds of honoring:

 Your rank and degrees in the hereafter is according to your righteous deeds, Allah the Almighty says;

{For all there will be degrees (or ranks) according to what they did. And your Lord is not unaware of what they do.}

(Al-An’am, 6:132)

 When Almighty Allah makes you able and capable to do many righteous deeds, that is honoring from Almighty. Also, sometimes honoring could be morals, Almighty makes you forbearing, as it was said: the forbearing was about to be a prophet, forbearance is the master of morals, also, He may grant you wisdom, good manners, insight and rationality
 Honoring could be by means of morals or conditions or a trait, sometimes Almighty gives you good children, also, the honoring could be the knowledge of Allah
 If Almighty Allah finds you walking uprightly on the paths of religion for materialistic gains so there is something wrong, He will postpone the honoring because He wants you to be upright not for material gains, on the other hand, if you worship Almighty Allah faithfully and sincerely, honoring will come quickly and it might be in the worldly life or after life.
 According to deep wisdom, the honoring of Man might be postponed to the Hereafter. Thus, I have mentioned some facts about thankfulness. Allah the Almighty says:

(("If you give thanks, I will give you more (of My Blessings),

[ Ibrahim, 14:7]

Conditions of thanks:

 The last point is: Giving thanks has three conditions, when you attribute the blessing to Allah the Almighty, that is a kind of gratitude, when you say Almighty Allah gives me the blessing of health this means that you attribute that blessing to Him, and when your heart is full of gratitude to Him that also is a second bless and when you thank Allah by doing a righteous deeds that is the highest kind of thanks, Allah the Almighty says:

{ They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places). "Work you, O family of Dawud (David), with thanks!" But few of My slaves are grateful.}

(SABA, 34:13)

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