Being grateful is something we can all work on. Allah has blessed us in ways so numerous we couldn’t begin to count them; He says in the Quran:
“And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful” [16:18]
However, many of us do not recognise or reflect on these blessings, or even if we do, we don’t express this gratitude to Allah.
How many of us would wake up with nothing, if all that we were left with were the things we thanked Allah for the day before?
One small way we can start to work on practising gratitude is to take a quiet moment, perhaps after prayer, to sit and reflect. In these moments we can begin by identifying 3 (or more) particular blessings Allah has bestowed on us (nothing is too small) and that we are grateful for – it’s important to choose things we feel grateful for – and then raise our hands and praise Allah and thank Him for these blessings; the simplest way we can do this is by repeating alhamdulilah.
By repeating this daily or more, we’ll begin to develop the mindset of seeing and focusing on the blessings Allah has surrounded us with, and bi’thnillah begin to learn how to be truly grateful to Allah.
Another way in which we can show gratitude to Allah is by obeying His commands – this is the physical manifestation of the gratitude we feel in our hearts and express on our tongues.
We should also make plenty of dua to Allah to allow us to be grateful and call upon Him by His beautiful names – for example, ash-Shakoor (the most appreciative) and al-Hameed (the praiseworthy).
رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِىٓ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَٰلِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَـٰلِحًا تَرْضَىٰهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
“My Lord! Inspire me to ˹always˺ be thankful for Your favours which You have blessed me and my parents with, and to do good deeds that please you. Admit me, by Your mercy, into ˹the company of˺ Your righteous servants.”
In his dua, Sulaiman (A.S) acknowledges and thanks Allah for the favours bestowed upon his parents as well as on him. We should do the same, as our blessings are an extension of those Allah granted to our parents. We should also realise our ability to express gratitude to Allah is only by His mercy, so we should be grateful for being able to be grateful!