Article Page Number: 18-36 in the book and is the first chapter of the book
In the Name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum) is the principal of the world-renowned Darul Uloom Azaadville, South Africa (Madrasah Arabia Islamia), and senior Khalifa of Hadhrat Moulana Shah Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh), with thousands of students and Mureedeen throughout the WORLD.
This book ‘journey towards Allah’ is extracts from the islaahi discourse of Moulana who is known for his deep understanding of Dien, commitment to and sacrifices for the work of Dien.
This extracts consists of 20 contents and i am going to critically view of content 6 that is ‘RECOGNISING, ACKNOWLEDGING AND BEING THANKFUL
The Ni`mats (bounties) of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu upon us are innumerable. Countless reach us, without any effort or exertion from our side. …And whilst we see different bounties, with our physical eyes, , there are billions and billions more which are not even known to us.
The oxygen we breathe, the water we have on tap, our ability to see, hear, speak and move, are bounties we use all the time, but without thought or even appreciation – until the bounty is no more (May Allah Ta’ala protect us). …It is a fact, that generally a bounty is recognized as a bounty when it is lost. So we find Allah Ta’ala’s bounties are all around us, in every way. On the highest level, are our Imaan and Islam, which are the greatest gifts. As Believers in Allah Ta’ala, there are certain requirements in fulfilling Shukr (gratitude) to Allah Ta’ala.
1.) MA`RIFAT (RECOGNITION):
To recognize these bounties as bounties and not take them for granted, heedlessly. For example: To recognize that our homes, which offer us protection from the rain and cold, which offer us privacy, comfort and so much else, are great bounties – even if that home is not a palace or not located in a plush suburb. Many complain about their homes, yet they do not look at the thousands living in shacks, on the streets or in refugee camps. …There is no recognition and no understanding that even a one bedroom flat or a little cottage is, in fact, a great, great bounty.
2.) I’TIRAAF/IQRAAR (ACKNOWLEDGEMENT):
There are two sides to recognition and acknowledgement: a.) TO CONSCIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGE ALLAH TA’ALA’S FAVOURS. As an example: We will not just say: ‘What wonderful weather today!’ We would say: ‘Ma’shaAllah, Allah Ta’ala has blessed us with this wonderful weather.’ We should bring Allah Ta’ala consciously into the equation! We must know and keep before us the source of bounties, and attribute it rightfully to Allah Ta’ala. b.) TO RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE ARE NOT DESERVING OF THESE BOUNTIES. Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb had taught us that Allah Ta’ala’s Sifat of Kareem, alludes to The One Who Gives without the recipient deserving. So bounties are not given based on us deserving them. Bounties are given out of Allah Ta’ala’s Infinite Generosity and kindness.
3.) SHUKR (APPRECIATION AND GRATITUDE):
Shukr is the condition of that heart which has recognized and acknowledged. The tongue then automatically expresses appreciation. For example: The person will then say, ‘Alhamdulillah14, Allah Ta’ala has granted me cure from this ailment.’ Or: ‘Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has blessed me with a pious spouse,’ (or whatever the bounty may be).
4.) AMAL (ACTION):
This is using the bounties of Allah Ta’ala to earn His Pleasure; utilizing them in His Obedience. For example: We will utilize our faculty of speech in noble deeds, such as Tilawat (recitation of Qur`aan Sharief), Zikrullah, enjoining good and forbidding evil, speaking to others amicably and politely. We will not use this priceless bounty of speech in sinful deeds, such as engaging in nonsensical or shameless talk, swearing, speaking lies, gossiping about others, taking false oaths or spreading mischief. Even in this effort to render Shukr and fulfil the Right of Allah Ta’ala, a person will not be able to do so adequately and completely. Despite this shortcoming, we do as is within our capacity.
Allah Ta’ala’s Sifat is ‘Shakoor’ – The One who Appreciates the efforts and good deeds of His Servants – efforts and deeds, which we have to acknowledge, are full of weaknesses and deficiencies. Yet, we fail to be ‘shaakir’ (appreciative and grateful) to Allah Ta’ala, for His Bounties, which have no weakness and no deficiency. …Just pondering on the contrast between the two and we would realize how deficient we are of Shukr. Yes, from our side, complaints are all too common. When we imbibe these aspects of gratitude, the noble quality of humility will be nurtured within our hearts and souls. We will become humble. And the Hadith makes mention : “WHOEVER HUMBLES HIMSELF FOR THE SAKE OF ALLAH, ALLAH ELEVATES HIM.”15 The one who has recognised his Rabb, recognises his nafs. The one who recognises the favours and greatness of Allah Ta’ala, recognises his lowliness and humbleness. He who humbles himself, Allah Ta’ala elevates him. Whom Allah Ta’ala elevates, Allah also protects. Humility is the crown of Abdiyyat (servitude) which then becomes a means by which the person becomes beloved to Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala imbibe within us, these beautiful qualities of true appreciation, gratefulness, humility and servitude.
One of our foremost duties is to be grateful to God for all of His blessings. We can describe three levels of thankfulness:
1. To realize and appreciate all blessings by and within the heart.( Shukr bil qalb)
2. To say thanks with the tongue. ( Shukr bil lisaan)
3. To express gratitude by doing righteous deeds. ( Skukr bil jawarah)
In other words, the first level is the appreciativeness and gratefulness that we feel in our hearts. Then we fortify that thankfulness through our speech. And the third level is when we prove by our deeds that we are truly thankful to God.
The say thanks with the tongue is not enough because if you are doing wrong deed with saying thanks to Allah does not make sense. The real concept for thankfulness is’ to utilization of all blessings that Allah gave us. For example use your hands in right deed mean real thankfulness of ALLLAH.
Naturally, at times we may wonder who the real beneficiary of the gratitude we show to Allah (SWT) is.
In Surah Ibrahim, Allah (SWT) answers, “If you are thankful I will add more (favors) unto you but if you show ingratitude then my punishment is terrible indeed” (14:7).
This verse proves that our shukr is beneficial for us alone, and our ingratitude is harmful to us alone. The intelligent individuals who comprehend this basic teaching of Islam are referred to as ulul albab (those who are wise, who possess a mature and comprehending intellect).
The Quran is full of verses which invite us to follow the straight path, distinguishing between truth and falsehood. There are rewards for the grateful servants, and punishments for the ungrateful human beings. Allah (SWT) and His messengers show us the way of Ar-Rahman (The All-Merciful) and warn us to avoid the way of Shaitaan. He has given us the ability to discern right from wrong; therefore, the choice is ours! Do we want to be part of the righteous or the misguided people?
research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly .
it is proved scientifically that gratitude can change your life. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. And gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for momentous occasions.
I was inspired by the example of a Pakistani couple I once knew whose only child had a serious genetic disease. The parents were young, far from their family, and faced the trial of their newborn baby dying in front of their eyes over the course of a few months. They spent many sleepless nights attending to him at home and in the hospital. No one would have faulted them for voicing their frustration and suffering as they dealt with the heartbreak of caring for their terminally ill baby. Despite the hardships they faced, their emotions were tempered by their trust in God and their belief that there is always reason and benevolence in God’s will. Whenever the parents were asked how they were doing, they would sincerely respond, ‘’Alhamdulillah.’’ Every time. In every condition. This phrase expressed their gratitude to God for his help and support in their time of trial and for giving them the strength to deal with each challenge they faced. Even in their grief after the death of their child, they remained thankful for the short time they had had with him. Being grateful to God is essential to our well-being in life. A heart filled with thankfulness has no room for self-pity or despair. With the understanding that praise and thankfulness is due to God in every circumstance, souls find contentment and hearts find peace.
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Critical Review of the Book Journey Towards Allah. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/critical-review-of-the-book-journey-towards-allah-essay