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85) The Philosophy of Shukur – Giving Thanks

26 September 2015

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم   

لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ

Surat Ibrahim: 7

If you offer shukur and thanks, I will give you more.

Shukur and giving thanks is one of the virtues praised in the Quran Majeed. In several ayats Allah Ta’ala instructs: “Be one of those who offer thanks” (Surat al-Zumar: 66). In another ayat Allah Ta’ala promises to reward those who offer thanks (Surat aal-‘Imran: 145). In another ayat, quoted above, Allah Ta’ala promises to increase his beneficence and favours if we offer thanks and shukur (Surat Ibrahim: 7).

In his wasila on the eve of Eid ul Adha, Syedna TUS said,“In every doa that I pray for myself, my family and I pray for mumineen, I am their father, I am the Dai, it is my duty.” Syedna added that he recites the Quranic ayat, “all your bounties are from Allah” (wa ma bikum min ni’matin fa minallah – Surat al-Nahl: 53), and prays for Allah’s bounties and ne’mat. This is the ayat that was ascribed as an Alaamat to Syedna Qutbuddin by Syedna Taher Saifuddin (See Sijill Article 53). Syedna recited another ayat, If you are grateful and offer thanks I will increase my favours to you” (Surat Ibrahim: 7). Syedna Qutbuddin recounted a time when after receiving a great ne’mat from Syedna Taher Saifuddin, Syedna Qutbuddin requested the then Mansoon and Mazoon, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, to offer shukur to Syedna Taher Saifuddin on his behalf. When Syedna Burahnuddin offered shukur on behalf of Syedna Qutbuddin to Syedna Taher Saifuddin, the 51st Dai replied by reciting this ayat, “la in shakartum la-azidannakum” (Surat Ibrahim: 7). Syedna Qutbuddin concluded that the ne’mat and offering thanks for the ne’mat, both became inextricably linked with the one at whose hands the ne’mat was received (waliyyun-ne’mat). For this reason, Syedna always recites these two ayats together and prays for continued ne’mat for mumineen and that they may have the tawfeeq and good sense to always offer thanks. 

Our Imams have said that one must always offer shukur and thanks to Allah Ta’ala. They add that shukur and thanks is also due and waajib for the one at whose hands ne’mat was received. 

In the qasida that Syedna Qutbuddin composed on the occasion of Eid ul Fitar this year, after remembering Syedna Taher Saifuddin, he states that “his successor Syedna Burhanuddin is my benefactor, I am grateful for the ne’mat he has bestowed.” 

Offering thanks is the secret to acquiring contentment. It is the key to realizing how blessed we are despite the inevitable troubles of this world. It is for this reason that the custom of our hudaat is to respond with the phrase alhamdolillah when asked how we are. 

We offer thanks for the bounties and ne’mats of Allah Ta’ala, especially the ne’mat of imaan and guidance to the right path. We offer thanks to Syedna for always inculcating in us the Quranic virtue of gratitude. We offer thanks for his prayers and doa’s. 

Syedna Taher Saifuddin states in a qasidas he composed in the praise of A’immat Tahereen: “I offer you thanks, and it is you who has taught me to offer thanks. Thanks is then due for this lesson of offering thanks.” 

واشكركم والشكر منكم علمته
 فكيف به والشكر للشكر لازم