Ghazali on shukr (gratitude)

Ghazali lived in 5th century Hijri and his book, Kitaab Al-Arba’in Fi Usul ad-Din, ‘The Forty Principles of the Religion,’ which he wrote before his death, is a summary of Ihya Ulumuddin (Revival of the Sciences of the Religion), and his life’s works and thoughts. In the last ten principles of the forty, he looks at good traits that we should adopt and nurture within ourselves. The first is tawbah (repentance); the second is khawf (fear) and the third is zuhd (asceticism), the fourth quality is sabr (patience). The fifth quality is shukr.   Ghazali mentions shukr after sabr. There are plenty of books on the combination of shukr and sabr. The great scholar, Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyya (may Allah be pleased with him) has a book called ‘Patience and Gratitude’, which is very good and comprehensive. Ibn Masood said very famously: Imaan is of two halves; half is patience (sabr) and half is being thankful (shukr). Ghazali begins his exploration of gratitude by first looking at the verses of the Quran and then the narrations in the Sunnah, as is the usual practice of scholars. Shukr is mentioned in over 150 verses of the Quran. In the Quran, Allah Almighty says that very few of His servants (qalil ibadi) are grateful (shakur). وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِىَ ٱلشَّكُورُ ˹Only˺ a few of My servants are ˹truly˺ grateful. (34:13) The reality is that the majority of people are ungrateful – oblivious to the vast amount of favours they are enjoying. Though there are people who express gratitude, but deep down most are unappreciative of what they have, and though their lives are overflowing with blessings, they are too busy moaning and complaining to notice.   If you are grateful your blessings increase  Allah Almighty said: وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ ۖ … Continue reading Ghazali on shukr (gratitude)