In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
أَفَمَن يَخۡلُقُ كَمَن لَّا يَخۡلُقُۗ أَفَلَا تَذَڪَّرُونَ
وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬
وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعۡلِنُونَ
وَٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَا يَخۡلُقُونَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ
أَمۡوَٲتٌ غَيۡرُ أَحۡيَآءٍ۬ۖ وَمَا يَشۡعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبۡعَثُونَ
إِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬ۚ فَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ قُلُوبُہُم مُّنكِرَةٌ۬ وَهُم مُّسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُونَۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُسۡتَكۡبِرِينَ
Is then He, Who creates like one who creates not? So, will you not then remember? And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Those whom they (polytheists) invoke besides Allah have not created anything, but are themselves created. (They are) dead, lifeless, and they know not when they will be raised up. Your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God Allah, none has the right to be worshipped but He). But for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts deny (the faith in the Oneness of Allah), and they are proud. Certainly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Truly, He likes not the proud.
[Surah An-Nahl. Aayaat 17-23]
After Allaah [The Exalted] mentioned that which He created of mighty beings and the great blessings He has bestowed on the creation, He then mentioned that neither is there anyone who resembles or is similar to Him, nor does He have a partner [or co-equal]. He said: [أَفَمَن يَخۡلُقُ – Is then He (Allaah), Who creates]- Meaning, created all beings [when they were non-existent] and He does what He wills [based on perfect Justice, Knowledge and Wisdom]; [كَمَن لَّا يَخۡلُقُ – like one who creates not] –Meaning, created nothing – neither little nor a lot?! [أَفَلَا تَذَڪَّرُونَ – So, will you not then remember?] – Meaning, so you know that the One alone Who created everything is the One worthy of all worship. And just as He alone is the Creator and the One Who controls all the affairs of the creation, then likewise He alone is the only true deity and the One worthy of worship. And just as He had no partner when He brought them and others into existence, then do not associate partners to Him in worship; rather perform all acts of worship sincerely for Him alone.
[وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعۡمَةَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَآۗ – And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them]- Meaning, you are unable to thank Allaah for the number of blessings He has bestowed on you, let alone being able to thank Him truly in the way He deserves, because Allaah’s Apparent Blessings [i.e. Islamic Monotheism, and the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc (ref 1)] and Hidden Blessings [i.e. One’s Faith in Allah (of Islamic Monotheism) knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc. (ref 2)] bestowed upon His servants are more than the breaths they take and the time that passes, and this includes all types of blessings- the ones known and unknown to the servants, and that which He repels from them of harm is more than what they can count.
[إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ – Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful]- Meaning, He is pleased with LITTLE GRATITUDE FROM YOU, DESPITE THE FACT THAT HIS BLESSINGS ARE NUMEROUS. [End of quote from Tafseer As-Sadi]
A Brief Discussion Regarding Gratitude
The Imaam [rahimahullaah] stated in Al-Fataawaa As-Sa’diyyah:
Allaah [The Most High] said:
لِتَسْتَوُوا عَلَىٰ ظُهُورِهِ ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَتَقُولُوا سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ
وَإِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ
In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the Favour of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: “Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!” [43:13-14]
Mentioned [in the above ayah] are the three pillars of gratitude, and they are: – To acknowledge Allaah’s blessings; – To Proclaim Allaah’s Blessings, speak about them and Praise Allah for it. to Submit to Allah and utilise these blessings to carry out acts of worship for the sake of Allaah (alone). That is because the intent behind the statement of Allah:
[وَإِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا لَمُنقَلِبُونَ – And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return] is an acknowledgement of recompense and make preparations for it. The objective behind these favours is that they are an aid by way of which the slave (seeks) to fulfil that which Allah has commanded him (i.e. acts of worship and obedience etc)
And regarding Allaah’s saying: [ثُمَّ تَذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ رَبِّكُمْ إِذَا اسْتَوَيْتُمْ – And then may remember the favour of your Lord when you mount thereon]; this is a specific mention of the (favour) in that instance (i.e. at the time in which the person enjoys those favours) because blessings intoxicates many amongst the creation, makes them heedless, evil and ungrateful. Therefore, this state in which Allah commanded (a person to remember Allah for His Favours) is a medication for this destructive ailment.
When the slave recalls that he is completely surrounded by the blessings of Allah and that nothing is from him (or herself), but rather blessings are (from Allah) -its means are facilitated and its obtainment made easy (by Allaah)- he (she) submits to Allah, humbles him (or herself), thanks and Praises Allaah. And by way of this he (or she) is given continuous blessings.
[An Excerpt from Fataawa Sa’diyyah page: 61]
Continuation with Tafseer As-Sadi…
The Imaam [rahimahullaah] said: Just as Alaah’s Mercy is vast, His generosity reaches everyone and His forgiveness is guaranteed to all [who seek forgiveness], likewise His knowledge completely surrounds all of them, [as He said in another Aayah: [يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّونَ وَمَا تُعۡلِنُونَ – He knows what you conceal and what you reveal], unlike those who are worshipped besides Him, because indeed they create nothing- neither little nor a lot; rather they are created. How can they create anything when it is the fact they are completely in need of Allaah to bring them into existence?!! And in addition to this, they do not have any perfection in their attributes, be it related to knowledge or something else; (rather) [أَمۡوَٲتٌ غَيۡرُ أَحۡيَآءٍ۬ – (They are) dead, lifeless]- Meaning, neither possess hearing nor sight, nor can they comprehend anything; therefore would you take these things as deities instead of the Lord of the heavens, the earth and all that exists? Depraved is the intellects of the polytheists, how misguided and corrupt can it be, because they strayed in the most corrupt manner regarding an affair that is very clear and equated one who is deficient in every way – neither has any perfect attribute nor actions – to one Who is perfect in every way- The One (Allaah) Who possess all attributes of perfection, and possesses the greatest and most perfect of every attribute, such as knowledge that encompassing everything, all-encompassing power, vast mercy that fills the entire universe; owner of all praise, glory, majesty and greatness, which cannot be fully comprehended by any of His servants, and this is why He said:
[إِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬ۚ – Your Ilaah (God) is One Ilaah]- Meaning, He is Allaah, the One [who has no partner in His Lordship, Names and Attributes, and none else deserves to be worshipped besides Him], The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him; so the hearts of the people of Eemaan and those who possess uncorrupted intellects exalt and declare His Greatness; have the greatest love for Him, devote all acts of physical worship to Him, and worship connected to one’s wealth, the heart and limbs; praise Him by His Perfect Names and Attributes; and His Actions [of which are based on perfection, perfect Justice, Knowledge and Wisdom].
[فَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ قُلُوبُہُم مُّنكِرَةٌ۬ – But for those who believe not in the Hereafter, their hearts deny]- Meaning, they deny Tawheed, this great affair, which is not rejected except by those amongst the creation who are upon the greatest ignorance and obstinacy; [وَهُم مُّسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ – and they are proud]- Meaning, turn away from worshipping Him out of pride.
[لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُونَۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُسۡتَكۡبِرِينَ – Certainly, Allah knows what they conceal and what they reveal. Truly, He likes not the proud]- Meaning, definitely knows what they conceal and what they reveal of their repugnant deeds, and verily Allaah likes not the proud; rather He has a severe hatred for them and will recompense them according to their deeds [as Allaah said in another Aayah]:
[إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدۡخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ- Verily! Those who scorn My worship [i.e. do not invoke Me, and do not believe in My Oneness, (Islamic Monotheism)] they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!]
An Excerpt from Tafseer as-Sadi. slightly paraphrased. To be continued InShaaAllaah
Refs 1 and 2: See Noble Qur’aan Surah Luqmaan, Aayah 20