I was watching an international news channel the other day and was amazed to see a group of people talking about the good they’ve done for others.
I was immediately repulsed but it did make me ponder.
I know we should always acknowledge those who have helped us, right? Remembering the good done to us keeps us humble and reminds us to extend this good to others too.
In fact, a Chinese proverb says,When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.
And I totally agree with this.
This proverb clearly talks about the recipient of the good deeds, you agree? The one receiving should always remember the one giving.
This is gratitude.
It’s much like being thankful to our parents for raising us, our teachers for teaching us the basics like A B C to the wisdom of life, friends who are up all night, listening to our endless songs of joy and sorrow.
Of course we should always thank them.
In fact, Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) instructed us to thank those who help us when he said,
“He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
He (SAW) reminded us on the importance of thanking those who have helped us and conferred favours on us. We should always be grateful.
Of course, right?
Islam is a Deen that teaches excellent manners. It is always concerned with human relationships and how we interact with each other.
But then, I continue wondering…
Why is it that not being thankful to a human being equals not being thankful to Allah, our Lord? Why is thanking a person given so much importance?
This made me realise something significant …
Obviously, the only reason one is able to help another is because Allah has allowed him to. It is by His Grace, His Love, His Mercy and His Permission that we receive help, assistance and kindness from them. And the so-called favour, help, assistance etc wont happen without Allah’s Permission. Never. Ever. Ever.
And of course, that particular person was chosen by Allah to deliver His help to us!
And that is why we have to be thankful to the people who has helped us. It is all clear to me now.
So, my next question is,
What did the Prophet (SAW) mean by thanking? Is it merely saying “Thank You” or is there more?
He (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said,
Whoever does you a favour, then reciprocate, and if you cannot find anything with which to reciprocate, then pray for him until you think that you have reciprocated him.
(Narrated by Abu Dawood).
So yes, we should reciprocate equally. And if we cannot find a way to return the favour, then the Prophet (SAW) said we should pray for all that is good for this person, InshaAllah.
And how should we pray for him?
The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever has a favour done for him and says to the one who did it, ‘Jazak Allaahu khayran,’ has done enough to thank him.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi & Abu Dawood)
So by saying JazakAllah Khayran to the person for helping us, sending us gifts, showing us kindness, doing us favours, we have done enough to thank him.
SubhanAllah…how beautiful and easy Allah has made it for us to show gratitude, you agree?
By making duaa for them, by saying JazakAllah Khayran, which means “May Allah reward you with goodness”, we have done our part in reciprocating them!
And who best repays favours than The Owner and The Creator of the universe right?
Allah… But this is not the point of this story.
The point here is this – what if the ones who do good deeds are the very ones who remind us of them? What if they are the ones who constantly and repeatedly demand that we should remember their deeds? What of those who are given responsibilities and then demand we thank them for carrying out what was only their duty? What about them who voluntarily give us gifts, then remind us that we should not only be thankful but we should repay them?
This made me question their sincerity and honesty.
I could not help but wonder if they knew the consequences of their actions.
A hadeeth from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) crossed my mind, There are three people that Allaah will not speak to on the Day of Judgement, will not look at them, will not purify them; and for them is a painful punishment: one who lets his Izar hang below his ankles, the Mannan with what he gives, and the Munffiq who does his business with false oaths. (Muslim)
(A mannan is one who always reminds others of the favours and good that he has done for them)
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said that Allaah will not speak to 3 types of people on the Day of Judgement.
He, the Al Mighty will not speak, will not look, will not purify and will punish these 3 types of people on the Day of Judgement.
And among these 3 are the people who always speak about the favours and good they do for others.
Astaghfirullaah, this very statement made my tummy squirm.
Just ponder over this.
Isn’t it scary when the only One who can help us on that Day refuses to not only speak but even to look at us?
Imagine Allaah turning away His face from us. Na’uzubillaah….
It would be bad enough if our parents, friends or even strangers turn away from us right?
But Allaah our Creator?
Ya Allaah, I beg and seek Your protection from such a catastrophe.
I feel sad thinking of the deed-reminders. Are they aware of the severity of their acts?
Do they know that they are only able to do all that good because Allaah has allowed them to? Don’t they realise that they are able to be the upper hand simply because Allaah has blessed them with the ability to be that? Do they actually think they could have done it all without Allaah’s permission? Can’t they feel that far from asking us to thank them, they should be thanking Allaah instead?
Instead of amplifying themselves, they should be humble in admitting Allaah’s favours on them and make sincere prayers that their deeds be accepted in the Hereafter. Instead of glorifying themselves, they should be glorifying Allaah.
I wonder what do they look for when doing good to others. Name? Fame? Or honour and respect? Or do they want recognition, credit and admiration? Could they be looking for appreciation and acknowledgement? Or possibly they want influence, control and power?
Astaghfirullaah, astaghfirullaah, astaghfirullaah…
I am reminded of a powerful quote by Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak.
Let us think, reflect and ponder over it…
Shouldn’t we, my brothers and sisters? More importantly, shouldn’t they too?
Think about it…
Copyright© Sis Zabrina 2013
Dr Zabrina A. Bakar or better known as Sis Zabrina by her readers is the creator and author of Bestselling Motivational Book Series ‘Life is an Open Secret’. She has authored 3 books and written hundreds of inspirational and motivational stories. All her stories are grounded in spirituality and are based on true life daily happenings. She blogs at www.wisdomthruwords.blogspot.com.
Life is an Open Secret Islamic Motivational Book Series- -18 Inspirational Stories from Ordinary Life Experiences-