BEING grateful is to render one’s thanks to someone who has shown favor, to express gratitude and to appreciate.
The concept of being grateful to Allah, on the other hand, is to grasp and express that every kind of grace and favor is granted exclusively by Allah.
In the Qur’an, the opposite of being grateful is defined by the term “disbelief,” which is synonymous to being ungrateful.
Only this definition indicates the importance attached to being grateful as a worshiper and the detrimental consequences it (ungratefulness) may have for a believer.
Gratefulness to Allah is one of the concepts mostly emphasized in the Qur’an. In almost 70 verses, the importance of rendering thanks to Allah is stated, the examples of those who are grateful and ungrateful are given and the end they face is described. The reason why so much importance is given to this concept is simply because it is a mere indication of one ‘s faith and affirmation of the unity of Allah. In one of the verses “being grateful” is described as “worship only to Allah”:
O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah, if it is Him you worship. (Al-Baqarah, 172)
In another verse giving thanks to Allah is described as the opposite of idolatry:
But it has already been revealed to you, as it was to those before you , “If you were to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will be your work (in life), and you will surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good)”.
Nay, but worship Allah, and be of those who give thanks. (Qur’an, Az-Zumar, 65-66)
The following statement of The Evil One (Iblis) emphasizes the importance of giving thanks to Allah :
He (Iblis) said: “Because you have thrown me out of the way, lo! I will lie in wait for them on Your straight way: Then will I assault them from before them and behind them, from their right and their left: Nor will You find, in most of them, gratitude (for Your mercies).” (Al- Araf, 17)
As stated in the verse above, Satan devoted his life to mislead people due to his envy. His ultimate aim is to make people be ungrateful to their Creator. When this ultimate purpose of Satan is considered, it becomes more comprehensible how a man goes astray when he does not render thanks to Allah.