Notes on a class on SHUKR
thankfulness, gratitude. The twin of Sabr.


-As there is sabr in times of ni'mah, there is shukr as well.
- Quran: Nay, indeed it is Allah should you show ubudiyyah to, and show to Him gratitude.

- Quran: O you who believe, use of that which is good of what We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah if you are truly ibaad.

- Quran: And if you show gratefulness, I will give you more.

- Quran: (shaytan says after being granted respite by Allah) I will come to them, from in front of them and from behind them, from their right
and their left, and You will find most of them ungrateful.

- Hadeeth: O Mu'adh, I love you. Let me teach you something.. ( the duah at end of salah) Allahumma a'innee ala dhikrikah, wa shukrukah, wa hussni ibadatik.. ( Ya Allah help me to remember You, to show shukr to You, and to make the most beautiful of ibdadah)

- Rasulullah (saws) used to stand up nights in qiyamul-layl every night to the extent his feet swelled. Aisha (ra) asked him, why do you do this when Allah has already forgiven you everything before and everything after? He (saws) said: Then shall I not be a grateful 'abd (servant)?

("and we're too busy for this! Rasulullah saws was a busy man, wasn't he? Didn't he have important things to do? Yet He made qiyamul layl every night. But of course, we have school, or work, and we can't be tired for that. What are our priorities? Being strong and energetic in front of your boss, or being content and pleasing in front of Allah?)

- the more one has, the more one should fear, be scared and humble: Will I be able to show enough shukr for all that I have?

Shukr is to be shown in three ways:

(1): Shukru bil qalb: shukr of the heart. achieved by harboring and intending good for all of Allah's creation. (khayr meaning something pleasing to Allah swt)

(2): Shukru bil leesan: shukr of the tongue. celebrate with the tongue the praises of Allah (swt), Alhamdulillah = showing the world I am pleased with my Lord. Quran: As to the ni'mah of your Lord, celebrate it.

(3): Shukr bil jawaarih: shukr of the external senses. (amal, actions) everytime Allah gives us a ni'mah, we must use that ni'mah the way it was intended to be used by our Creator- and thus used in the way of His obedience, and not in the way of His disobedience.

- kuffr an- na'mah: rejection of Allah's ni'mah
"There are divine words written on the pages of every ni'mah. But those words are not deciphered by everyone."

ex. Using the tongue in a harmful way is kuffran of ni'matul leesan
ex. Using the eyes to look at things that are haraam is kuffran of the ni'mah of the eyes.
ex. dressing inappropriately is kufrran of the ni'mah of our body
ex. Using the intellect for the wrong type of knowledge, is kuffran as well.
Any ilm that does not bring us closer to Allah, is wrong. Rasulullah (saws) sought refuge in Allah from information that was not beneficial.

- Quran: If you were to count the ni'mah of Allah, you would not be able to ennumerate them. Verily Man is an ungrateful creature.

- How do we know what Allah wants us to do with this ni'mah?

Ulamah says there are two ways:
1) a. What sharh' (Islamic law) teaches of the ni'mah or action
b. seek help from the people of ilm (ijtihaad)
2) ali'tibaar- cotemplation, using the faculties we have been endowed with, with of course ilm and wisdom.

- Why does the universe exist in relation to us?
(In relationship to itself, it exists to fulfill ubudiyyah to Allah, as is everything that has been created by Allah)
No usul to Allah can exist without mahabba (love for Him), and you will not have hubb for Allah if you are not consistent in reflection of Allah
(His attributes) and how they relate to the signs of Allah in His creation and bounties. Universe is made to reflect on the ni'im of Allah to gain hub for Allah (in relation to us).

Shukr + Sabr + Tawbaah = ingredients for happiness

-showing sabr in the ni'mah of Allah is shukr (by not transgressing the bounds set down by Allah)

some duah mentioned:
- In response to 'how are you?': "I celebrate the praises of my Lord to you and the rest of creation. Surely with my Lord I am pleased."
- In mornings and evenings: "Ya Allah whatever bounty has been my share and the bounty of the rest of creation has been from You and You alone; and I celebrate Your praise."
-For morning: "Ya Allah I woke up this morning having You, and the angels who carry Your throne, and all angels, and all of Your creation, witness that You are the One and Only God, and Muhammad is your messenger."

- Ni'mah is everything we like that happens to us, but there is one real ni'mah, the ni'mah of all ni'mahs: JANNAH Every other ni'mah are means to that end.

- Why is Jannah the only true, real ni'mah?
Because of 4 things (all other ni'mah violate one of them):
1) eternal life without death - every other ni'mah is mortal
2) immortality with happiness - every happiness of dunyaa has moments of displeasure, grief, consequences.
3) ni'mah of knowlege - everyone, no matter how knowledgeable, has moments of ignorance, happiness of akhirah is ilm without jahil
4) wealth never tainted by moments of poverty and need.

- There are 4 types of ni'mah:

1) things that happen to us (nafiyyah) that are beneficial in the short term and the long: The pure ni'mah, beneficial in dunyaa and akhirah.
ex. ilm in quran and sunnah, hussnul akhlaaq (good conduct)..
These lead to pleasure in dunyaa and akhirah.
2) something harmful in both dunyaa and akhirah. ex. nifaaq
3) something beneficial to us now (dunyaa) but harmful to us in akhirah, considered a blessing by the ignorant, a calamity by the believers, a harm in disguise of benefit.
4) something harmful in the immediate future, but in the long run beneficial

-Before shukr, we need to know how to use Allah's ni'mah in the way He loves, by revealation, shari' ilm, sunnah, quran..

- People lack shukr for mainly two reasons, jahil (ignorance), and ghaffil (heedlesness, carelesness, also a form of jahil).

-kuffrun-na'mah - rejection of Allah's ni'mah. To prevent this: reflect on this world, ilm, amal, isit the hospitals to see Allah's nimah on you, visit the prisons, visit the graveyards.

The dead WISH for two rakah.

-If we are not thankful to Allah for a ni'mah, it will be taken away from us, if taken away, it is rarely returned.

- al-balaa: the opposite of ni'mah, a hardship, something we don't like.
For ni'mah we show shukr, for balaa we show sabr. but a balaa to others might be a ni'mah to me. ex. jahil of how when and where we die- in this case it is a good thing because if we knew anxiety would be too much, so its a balaah of which I should show shukr. another ex. not knowing what other creatures are harboring of hate, conspiracies, and intent to harm, we would be concerned with these people everyday. ex. we don't know when duah is accepted on yawmul jummah (therefore we make duah throughout, a good thing)
Every balaah should be looked at as a na'mah. It's all relative!

Umar (ra): There are four balaah for which I must be shakir:
1- the calamity is not in my deen.
(ex. a criminal breaks into your house and steals your stuff. say alhamdulillah, because you should be thankful that shatan did not enter
your heart and steal your eman.)
2- It could have been worse, bigger, and Allah has power over all things.
3- I am pleased with what Allah (swt) wanted to afflict me with. In my heart I am still satisfied, I am not stricken with discontent.
4- Every affliction is atonement for my sins.

"Let us embark together on this journey of knowledge.." (he just _says_ stuff like that, naturally)

- A recipe for disaster: Of the reasons of taking the avenues of destruction in this life and the hereafter: to love life, the heart feels serene and at ease in dunyaa.

- A recipe for success: Of the reasons of happiness in dunyaa and akhirah: the heart is restless and uneasy in dunyaa ( balaa' helps this)

- Then should we pray for balaa'?
NO! Rasulullah (saws) found someone doing that and said "Do not do that, do not do that, do not do that!"
Hadeeth: Seek refuge in Allah from 4 things: from the exertion and affront of affliction, that one lives to reach a life of misery, from the harmful decree of affliction, and from the deceptive ways of the clans of the enemy. (ie we seek refuge in Allah from balaah, we do not ask him for it)

- Which is better, shukr or sabr?
We can't say, it is dependant upon what level of shukr or sabr it is. (ex. a man indulges in everything that is halaal, or one who uses that wealth in every way to get closer to Allah, the second is a higher level than the first)

- These are the keys to the treasure of happiness.

- Without these two wings of shukr and sabr, we cannot fly to happiness.

- Shukr is a fruit of being aware and conscious of Allah's bounty.
- Sabr is a fruit of being away of our own weaknesses, ignorance, transgressions, inadequacies and ugliness of the self.

The shortest path to Allah is the path of an 'abd.
The thickest of veils between Allah and the 'abd is ad'daawaah (feeling of arrogance, deserving)

Ya Allah, make us of those who listen to the words of admonition and follow the best of them. Ya Allah, forgive us our sins, and grant us Your mercy.

Allahumma inne ala dhikrikah, wa shukrikah, wa hussni ibadaatik.