Degrees of Gratefulness


In order to be a grateful person or to learn how to be a grateful person, keep in mind the advice of the Prophet [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] when he said:

“If any of you would like to see the great blessings of Allah on him, then let him look at those who are less fortunate than him, not those who appear better off than him.” [Agreed upon]


Abu Hurairah [radiAllahu anhu] narrated that Allah’s Messenger [sallallahu alaihi wasallam] said:

“If anyone of you looked at a person who was made superior to him in property and (in worldly rank and in good) appearance, then he should also look at the one who is inferior to him.”

[Reported by al-Bukhari]

Also remember not to be like the one in the following verse in Surat ash-Shura (42:48):
وَإنِاَّ إذَِا أذََقْناَ الْإِنسَانَ مِناَّ رَحْمَة فرَِحَ بهِاَ وَإنِ تصُِبْهمُْ سَيئِّةَ بمَِا قدََّمَتْ أيَْدِيهِمْ فإَنَِّ
الْإِنسَانَ كَفوُرٌ

“And verily, when We cause man to taste of Mercy from Us, he rejoices thereat, but when some ill befalls them because of the deeds which their hands have sent forth, then verily, man (becomes) ingrate!”


There are two degrees of gratefulness:

1- Thanking Allah for liked matters.
2- Thanking Allah for disliked matters (e.g. when calamity befalls).


Al-Harawi said:

“A person shows acceptance (satisfaction), represses anger, hides the complaint, follows the good manners, and this grateful person is the first to be called to enter Paradise.”


Ibn al-Qayyim said:

Gratefulness for disliked matters is more difficult and harder than giving thanks for liked matters, therefore, is a degree above the latter. A believer who appears normal in his state, behaviour, or attitude when a calamity befalls him, has indeed offered his thanks to Allah. The gratefulness of this person is in showing satisfaction and acceptance of Allah’s decree and this is called Maqam ar-Rida (the degree of satisfaction).

Another person dislikes that a calamity befalls him, and when it does, he appears different from his normal state and behaviour, although he thanks Allah . His thankfulness is in repressing his anger, refraining from complaining and accepting Allah’s decree. He thanks Allah because he has the knowledge that he must do so in prosperity and in adversity. However, the first person is higher in degree than the second, and this is why he is the first to be called to enter Paradise.”

[Madarij al-Salikeen 2/254]


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