Thankfulness for the Bounties
Source: Ain-al-Hayat, By: Allama Muhammad Baqir Majlisi
Among the human virtues, one prominent virtue is gratitude for the bounties received. The opposite of this virtue is ingratitude and thanklessness. Gratitude for the Bounties can be the forerunner of more Bounties coming the person’s way.
Ingratitude or taking the Bounties for granted might be the cause of reduction in the Bounties bestowed on the person.
The Prophet (S) has said, “Offering thanks to Allah after a meal has the same reward as for having fasted during the month of Ramadhan.”
A person expressing his thanks to Allah for a comfortable life is the same as another person thanking the Creator after relief from his difficulties! A rich person expressing gratitude to Allah is the same as a poor, contented person thanking Allah for the square meal he has received!
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) says that one must say ‘Alhamdulillah’ for every good thing he experiences. Thankfulness to Allah on acquisition of wealth is giving a part of it to the needy and the deserving. Thankfulness to Allah for endowing the power of speech is expressing His Praise (Hamd) and Encomium (Sana). Similarly, thanking Allah for endowing other senses and making their use in furthering the causes dear to Him.
The biggest Bounty Allah has bestowed on humanity is the Delegation of Muhammad (S) as the Prophet and his Holy Progeny (as) as the Vicegerents to guide the humanity on the Right Path. The only way for expressing gratefulness in this regard is to implicitly follow the norms of do’s-and-don’ts laid down by them. When a person thinks of the uncountable Bounties of Allah, he spontaneously utters,’ Alhamdu lillahi Rab il Aalameen- Praise be to the Creator Lord of the worlds.’ If one thinks over a morsel of food he is in the process of eating, he will realize that Allah has, in the creation of that small morsel, bestowed so much care.
Imagine the steps involved in the production of the insignificant morsel of food! The ironsmith and the carpenter made the plough, the farmer and the draft animals ploughed the land, sowed the seed, watered the seedlings, the rain spurred up the growth of the plants, the sun provided light and warmth to the crop, the crop matured and was harvested. The produce went through the process of conversion to flour in the mill. The flour was made into dough and then it was made into bread on the oven. At last the morsel, in the hand of the person, was about to enter his mouth!
It is a matter for conjecture that when the morsel went into the mouth, what all processes took place thereafter. The hands, mouth, teeth, tongue, intestines, the faculty of digestion, the power of retaining food in the body played their part to convert the morsel into energy and blood to circulate in the system to provide him life and sustenance. Does the person have the faculty and capability to thank Allah for designing such a wonderful cycle of production for sustaining and prolonging the human existence on the earth!
Imam Muhammad Taqi (as) narrates that one day Salman Farsi invited Abu Dharr Ghiffari over a meal. He put dried bread dipped in water before Abu Dharr. Abu Dharr said, “Subhan Allah, such good bread! How much I wish if there was some salt too!” Salman mortgaged his piece of cloth and fetched some salt. Abu Dharr ate the bread with the salt and thanked Allah for bestowing on him the trait of contentment. Salman Farsi said, “If you had practiced contentment, my piece of cloth wouldn’t have been mortgaged!”
Imam Ja’far As-Sadiq (as) has said, “Allah has exhorted Prophet Musa (as) to Thank Him, that thanking Him is the right thing by Him.” Prophet Musa (as) said, “O Creator! How could I fulfill the duty of thanking and praising you that the faculty of doing it has also been endowed to me by you!”