Be grateful for Allah’s favours – Tarawih reflections 24

Be grateful for Allah's favours - Tarawih reflections 24

Your heart is the receiver of signals from Allah

‘Allah has revealed to you the Book and wisdom, and has taught you what you did not know. Allah’s favour on you is great.’ [4:113]

In this ayah, Allah is addressing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, to whom He revealed the Book. In a similar ayah in Surat al-Baqarah, He says that Jibril ‘brought down the Quran into your [the Prophet’s ﷺ] heart.’ [2:97] He didn’t say he brought it to his brain or mind, but specified the heart.

This is because your heart is like the antenna that receives signals from Allah – whether that is knowledge, mercy, light, etc. If your receiver is broken, it cannot receive signals. What breaks the antenna is sins: the more sins you commit, the more your heart does not receive light from Allah.

All knowledge is from Allah

In this ayah in Surat an-Nisa, Allah says He revealed the Book and the hikmah. Scholars have different opinions about what the hikmah is. The word literally means wisdom, but many scholars have commented that when Allah talks about the Book and the hikmah together like this, He is referring to the Quran and the Sunnah. And of course, the Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺ is full of wisdom.

Then Allah says He taught the Prophet ﷺ things he hadn’t known previously. Allah deliberately made Muhammad ﷺ illiterate. He could easily have made him the most educated person in Makkah, or the top poet. But He didn’t do that for a reason.

When the Quraysh wanted to discredit Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his message, they accused him of being a poet – but because he had never written poetry, this was clearly false. If he had been a great poet before revelation, it would not have been as obvious.

In this ayah, the knowledge He is talking about is wahy, divinely-inspired knowledge. We can’t imagine the way Allah opened windows into the Unseen for the Prophet ﷺ. We can only read the words of the revelation – we can’t experience what Jibril actually brought to him. This knowledge is from Allah.

Don’t be Mr Grumpy

Everything you have is from Allah. It hasn’t come from your muscles or brain or tireless planning. Although we still need all of these things, there are still people who work ten times harder and don’t have a fraction of what we have. Allah is the one to be grateful to.

Don’t be a negative person, who is always looking at the empty half of the glass. Some people train themselves – sometimes unconsciously, sometimes deliberately – to pick out the negative points of any situation. No matter how many good things there are, they will always zoom in to the one thing that was wrong. We need to train ourselves to reverse this. Instead of looking for the one black spot, look at the vast white canvas around it.

It is the same with people’s characters. Somebody may have one characteristic that you dislike, but this doesn’t make them a bad person or negate any of their good qualities. Don’t focus on the one annoying trait to the extent you dismiss everything else.

Be conscious negativity is contagious. If you are regularly in company of those who are negative, it will rub off on you. This is why the hadith says,

‘A person follows the religion of their friend; so each one should consider whom they make their friend.’ [Abu Dawood]

Whatever your companion practices, you will practice. If they are good, you will be good – but if they are bad, you may become bad to fit in with them.

Be Miss Grateful

Although Allah is addressing the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in this ayah, he is really talking to all of us. His favours upon us are so great, we need to be grateful.

He himself has taught us how to be grateful – by reciting the Surah of Optimism, aka Surat al-Fatiha, which we recite at least seventeen times every day.

The opening is alhamdulillahi Rabbi-l ‘Aalameen, ‘All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’ You are automatically showing gratitude to Allah for everything He has created. This teaches us how to see good things and be grateful.

Don’t be Mr Grumpy. Be Mr Cheerful or Miss Grateful. We ask Allah to make us grateful for His favours upon us.

Based on the reflections of Shaykh Haytham Tamim

Transcribed by Hana Khan

Please support Utrujj with your donations and duas to enable us to continue spreading sacred knowledge

Related posts


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.