Don’t you want to live life of bliss? Then be grateful because living a life of gratitude brings you contentment, happiness, abundance, and prosperity. And, how it can it not, when Allaah makes a direct connection between His pleasure and your thankfulness!? “If you are grateful, He is pleased with you” (az-Zumar 39:7).
As mentioned in the previous post, gratitude is why you were placed on earth in the first place. Of course then, that is the key to Allaah’s pleasure and abundance in life!
Gratitude is not a mere act of appreciation and acknowledgment of Allaah’s favour’s upon you. What is required from us are actions! Real measurable actions that act as proof to our thankfulness. As believing women, and especially mothers who act as role models for the next generation, we need to practice gratitude daily until it becomes a fact of our character!!
1. Simple statements of praise
Get into the habit of saying Alhamdulillaah (All praise and thanks are for Allaah) constantly and for everything, big and small. Say it when you eat. Say it when you drink. Say it when your child reaches a developmental milestone. Say it when you watch those emotional videos of Muslim children around the world. Say it all the time because it is sure to earn you Allaah’s pleasure.
2. Remember the small things in life
The Messenger of Allaah said, “The one who does not give thanks for a small blessing will not give thanks for a great blessing.” Don’t take the little things and moments in life for granted.
3. Thank people
As the Messenger of Allaah said, “The one who does not give thanks to people will not give thanks to Allaah”. Thanking people for favours they’ve done for you goes a long way. It pleases Allaah, as you indirectly thank Him; and it also brings the believers’ hearts closer. The sister who brought you a gift, or helped you with the kids one day, reach out to her with a personalized thank you. Allaah will bring more people like her into your life inshaAllah.
4. Look to those who have less
You have a lot to be grateful for, but there are millions of people who don’t have a fraction of what you have. Allaah has favoured you over them, so say Alhamdulillah that you’re more fortunate. Sure there are many who have way more than you, and it’s ok if you desire some of what that glitter. But contentment, conscious gratitude, and in turn real happiness is found in reflecting on what you do have and looking to those who don’t have. So when your kids drive you mad, think of those who can’t have kids.
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet said: “If any of you would like to see the great blessing of Allah on him, then let him look at those who are less fortunate than him, not those who appear better off than him.”
5. Do what you’re supposed to do
Fulfill your Islamic obligations of prayer, fasting, zakat, and performing Hajj once its feasible. Being obedient to Allaah and staying away from His prohibitions is the best way to show gratitude to His Majesty. It may not be the easiest, but its definitely the dividing line between shukr(gratitude) and kufr (ingratitude). Always choose pleasing Allaah over your children and desires as its easy to fall into disobedience for the little dunya we live in.
6. Do more
In this, we have the Prophet as our best example. He would stand in prayer for so long that his feet would swell up, yet all of his past and future sins had already been forgiven. His place in paradise, the highest station might I add, already garunteed. But when asked about this what was his reply? He responded with, “Should I not be a grateful servant?” You and I don’t have this jannah pass, so let’s increase our voluntary acts of worship to get closer to Allaah and show our appreciation and thankfulness for the countless blessing we enjoy. Pray your sunnah and nafil prayers. Fast the extra days. Give charity. Go out of your way to help others. Use what Allaah has given you to help others. If you own a car give someone a lift. If you have a skill teach it to someone. All of these kind acts that you may already be doing are acts of gratitude that will bring you closer to Allaah and in turn closer to paradise!
7. Say this dua after every salah
Although, gratitude is an obligation, and is part of the purpose behind why Allaah created us, it doesn’t come naturally. You have to make a conscious effort to be a grateful servant of Allaah. Ask Allaah to help you live a life of gratitude by taking the advice of Prophet Muhammad to Muaad ibn Jabal when he said to him: “ O Muaad, Wallahi, I love you! So never leave this dua after every prayer: Oh Allah help me in remembering You, in offering gratitude to You, and in worshiping You beautifully.”
اللهم أعني على ذكرك وشكرك وحسن عبادتك
Allahumma a’innee ‘ala thikrika wa shukrika wa husni ‘ibaadatik
Oh Allah help me in remembering You, in offering gratitude to You, and in worshiping You beautifully [Abu Dawood]
Start implementing these tips today to begin your life of true servanthood. May Allaah make you and me from His grateful servants! Feel free to share more practical tips on how we can practice gratitude in our everyday lives.