If you are thankful, then assuredly I shall give you more.
(Surat Ibrahim: 7)
In one of his doas, Imam Ali Zainul Aabedeen SA offers shukr and thanks to Allah Ta’ala: “You gave me sustenance and nourishment since I was in my mother’s womb…throughout my life I have always been blessed with Your ne’mat and grace.” In another doa, Imam Zainual Abideen offers praise and thanks for, “the parts of his body that are still healthy” even during illness.
In yet another doa, Imam Zainul Abideen also says that, “every time I praise and give thanks to You, further praise and thanks is warranted [because You are the one who has taught me how to praise]” (kullama qultu lakal-hamdu wajaba lakal-hamd, kullama qultu lakash-shukru wajaba lakash-shukr).” This prayer shows us that it is Allah Ta’ala’s grace that He taught us His praise and thanks. It is also Allah Ta’ala’s grace that He has promised, “if you are thankful, then assuredly I shall give you more” (Surat Ibrahim: 7).
In the Qur’an Majeed it is stated that, “if you count the graces and blessings of Allah Ta’ala, you would not be able to count them” (Surat al-Nahl: 18). “And whatever ne’mat you have, it is from Allah Ta’ala” (Surat al-Nahl: 53). Our life is a blessing, our health is a blessing, our sustenance is a blessing, our friends and family are a blessing, and – most importantly – the guidance of our Awliyaa’ Kiraam is the greatest blessing. The Quranic ayat that was revealed on Ghadir-e-Khumm, in reference to the farizat of walaayat of Amirul Mumineen SA, declares, “it is today that I have perfected your religion and completed my ne’mat upon you” (Surat al-Maa’ida: 3). Our greatest ne’mat is our Imaan.
Syedna Qutbuddin TUS has often explained in his sabaqs that the foundation of our philosophy and belief is to spend our lives in shukur –shukur of Allah Ta’ala and shukur of His Awliyaa’. A life lead with the philosophy of shukur is a life ofcontentment and peace, sukun.
Syedna al-Qadi al-Nu’man RA said in his Kitabul-Himma that it is also important to offer thanks to those at whose hands Allah Ta’ala bestows His ne’mats and blessings. It is through Rasulullah SA that we received guidance. It is through the Imams, and in their seclusion their Dais, that we receive Rasulullah’s guidance today. They are the ones who taught us to offer shukur and for that itself shukur is due. As Imam Ali Zainul Aabedeen expressed in his doa to Allah Ta’ala, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA expressed in his qasida praise and thanks to A’immat Tahereen: I offer thanks to you and it is from you that I learned how to offer thanks / Thanks is indeed due for the lesson of thanks (wa ashkurukum wash-shukra minkum ‘alimtuhu / fa kayfa bihi wash-shukru lish-shukri laazimu)
It is our faith and belief that all the blessings that we receive in this world are due to Allah Ta’ala’s grace and His Awliyaa’ Kiraam. The universe was created for them is for them and it is because of them that we receive the bounties of Allah Ta’ala in this world, and it is only because of them that we are on the path to salvation.
In the seclusion of the Imam, this gratitude is due to the Imam’s Dai, who is our waliyyun-ne’mat, the one through whom we receive the Imam’s blessings and Allah’s ne’mats. In a qasida written by Syedna Taher Saifuddin during the era of his father, the 49th Dai, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, he says: I praise and thank you, after offering praise and thanks to Allah Ta’ala and your Maula our Imam, every night and every day (lakal hamdul ba’dal ilaahi wa mawla- * -ka mawlal-wara ghudwatan wa masaa’a).
When Syedna Taher Saifuddin wrote the abyaat in this qasida in praise of his Mansoos, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin, Syedna Burhanuddin sought Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s permission to recite abyaat in shukur. Syedna Taher Saifuddin granted raza. When Syedna Burhanuddin stood to recite the abyaat in the Majlis, he called Syedna Qutbuddin to his side to recite the abyaat with him. Though all other brothers were also present at the time Syedna Burhanuddin called Syedna Qutbuddin – an indication of Syedna Burhanuddin’s nazaraat on Syedna Qutbuddin.
Also in Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s era, Syedna Qutbuddin requested Syedna Burhanuddin to araz shukur to Syedna Taher Saifuddin on his behalf for his exceptional nazaraat and shafaqat on his daughter, Shehzadi Bazat Tahera Baisaheba. After Syedna Burhanuddin conveyed the araz, he called Syedna Qutbuddin and told him that when he did shukur araz, Syedna Taher Saifuddin was very pleased and responded by reciting this ayat, “if you are thankful, then assuredly I shall give you more” (la in shakartum la-azeedannakum). Indeed, Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s and Syedna Burahnuddin’s nazaraat continued multifold on Syedna Qutbuddin and still continue today in ruhaniyat.
We offer praise and shukur to Allah Ta’ala for His countless ne’mats. But shukur is not only offered by words, it is truly expressed by our actions and our deeds.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the tawfeeq and strength to espouse the philosophy of shukur and to live our lives in eternal gratitude to Allah Ta’ala and his Awliyaa’ Kiraam. May we always be thankful for the ne’mat of each and every breath, our health, our daily bread, our livelihood, and our loved ones. May we always be grateful for the guidance in Dunya (our values, character and mindset), guidance in Deen (our aqeeda, ma’rifat, ‘ibaadat and adherence to Shari’at) and most importantly our salvation and najaat.
Our Dai, Syedna Khuzaima Qutbuddin, was given the 53rd ayat in Surat al-Nahlas his ‘alaamat by Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA: And whatever ne’mat you have, it is from Allah Ta’ala. May we always offer thanks for the ne’mat of his walaayat, and his presence in our lives which provides us with guidance, shafaa’at, and najaat. May we sincerely thank him by living our lives according to his guidance and following in his example.
We offer thanks to Allah Ta’ala for Syedna’s health and pray on the occasion of his 79th Milad for his long life till qiyamat. By his wasila and with his doas may we live every day of our life in shukur, and in anticipation of Allah Ta’ala’s promise of blessings in this world and the Hereafter: If you are thankful, then assuredly I shall give you more (la in shakartum la-azeedannakum).
Note: This article draws from Shehzada Taher Bhaisaheb’s bayaan in Syedna Qutbuddin’s Milad Majlis in Bakersfield.