Thursday, August 21, 2014

Gratitude (Shukr) of different faculties : Ibn Qayyim

Gratitude of different faculties

Ibn Al-Qayyim said:
“Shukr is to display  the effects of the blessings of Allah upon the tongue by way of praise and acknowledgement; in the heart by way of witnessing and love; and upon the limbs by way of submission and obedience.”
[Madaarij As-Saalikeen, 2/244]

He explained it elsewhere by quoting a dialogue that took place between the famous Taba'ee Abu Hazim (RA) and a questioner as follows: 

A man said to Abû Hâzim: “What is the gratitude of the eyes?” He said, “If you see good things, you speak about them, and if you see bad things, you keep quiet about it.”

He asked, “What is the gratitude of the ears?” He said, “If you hear something good, you accept it, and if you hear something bad, you reject it.”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of the hands?” He said, “Do not take what which does not belong to you, and do not hold back from paying the dues of Allâh (zakât).”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of the head?” He said: “To have knowledge in it.”

Then he asked, “What is the gratitude of one’s private parts?” He quoted: “‘Who guard their private parts, except from those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess – for (in their case) they are free from blame, but those whose desires exceed those limits are transgressors’” (al-Mu’minûn 23:5-7).

As for those who only pay lip-service to gratitude, and do not give thanks with the rest of their faculties, are concerned, they are like a man who has a garment and all he does with it is touch it, but he does not put it on: it will never protect him from heat, cold, snow or rain.


-Salamah Ibn Dinar al-Madani (died c. 757 or 781), also known as Abu Hazim Al-A'raj, was an ascetic, Faqeeh and Muhaddith from the taba'een generation.

-Extracts from: 'Patience and Gratitude' By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat ash-Shâkireen”

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