The Obligation of Gratitude
Allah the Exalted says:
"Therefore, remember Me (by praying, glorifying). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.'' (2:152)
"If you give thanks (by accepting Faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings).'' (14:7)
"And say: `All the praises and thanks be to Allah.''' (17:111)
"And the close of their request will be: `Al-hamdu lillahi Rabbil-`alamin [All the praise is due to Allah, the Rubb of `Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)].''' (10:10)
1393. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: On the Night of Al-Isra (the Night of Ascension) the Prophet (PBUH) was presented with two drinking vessels: one full of wine and the other one full of milk. He looked at them. Then he took the vessel which was full of milk. Thereupon Jibril (Gabriel) said: "Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) Who has guided you to that, which is in accord with Fitrah (i.e., Islamic Monotheism; pure nature of Islam). Had you selected wine, your people would have gone astray.''
Commentary: This Hadith highlights the following points:
1. Islam is a religion which matches with the pure nature. Every sensible person accepts it instinctively.
2. One who is endowed with the capacity and aptitude to do good should praise Allah.
3. Wine is the root of all evils and for this reason has been regarded the "Mother of Vices''.
4. To take good omen from agreeable signs is Mustahabb (desirable).
1394. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Any matter of importance which is not begun with Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah) remains defective.''
Commentary: There is another Hadith to the effect that every important work which is not started with the invocation "Bismillah'' is devoid of Allah's Grace. Sheikh Al-Albani's opinion about these two Ahadith is that their text is confused and its authority is weak. He has, however, regarded it as acceptable "Mursal'' (Ahadith narrated by a student of a Companion deleting the Companion's name). (For details please see Irwa-ul-Ghalil, vol. I, 1,2). In any case, it is desirable to begin every good work with the Glorious Name of Allah and His Praise.
1395. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When a slave's child dies, Allah the Most High asks His angels, `Have you taken out the life of the child of My slave?" They reply in the affirmative. He then asks, `Have you taken the fruit of his heart?' They reply in the affirmative. Thereupon he asks, `What has My slave said?' They say: `He has praised You and said: Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji`un (We belong to Allah and to Him we shall be returned). Allah says: `Build a house for My slave in Jannah and name it as Bait-ul-Hamd (the House of Praise).'''
Commentary: This Hadith points out the eminence of patience and the merit of praising Allah in the event of a calamity, especially on the death of one's own child. Rather than weeping and wailing, one should submit himself to the Will of Allah and show perseverance. Such attitude of patience and resignation is highly meritorious and has great reward.
1396. Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Allah is pleased with His slave who says: `Al-hamdu lillah (praise be to Allah)' when he takes a morsel of food and drinks a draught of water.''
Commentary: This Hadith has already been mentioned. "Aklah'' means to take a meal at one time, whether in the morning, the evening or at any other time. Similarly "Sharba'' means to drink water at any time. What the Hadith means is that to praise Allah on eating and drinking every time is a source of Allah's Pleasure, no matter whether the quantity one consumes is small or large.