Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and reject not Faith. (Al-Baqarah 2:152)

And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Ibrahim 14:7)

We bestowed Wisdom on Luqman: “Show (thy) gratitude to Allah.” Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise. (Luqman 31:12)

The Qur’anic word for thanks is “shukr.” It is mentioned in the Qur’an many times. It is the quality of human beings and it is also the quality of Allah. According to scholars Shukr means:

“It is the consideration of the favor and its acknowledgment. Shukr from the human means the recognition of the favor. Shukr from Allah means the reward and appreciation.”

Shukr is a very important principle in Islam. It is a quality of the believers and it is a source of all goodness. Shukr is used in the Qur’an sometimes as equivalent to faith. The faithful are thankful people and the unfaithful are ungrateful people. Allah has described His Prophets and Messengers among those who were thankful people. Prophet Noah was a grateful servant of Allah (Al-Isra’ 17:3). Prophet Abraham used to thank Allah for His many blessings (Al-Nahl 16:121). Prophet David and his family were told to be grateful to Allah (Saba’ 34:13). Allah told His Prophet Muhammad:

Nay, but worship Allah, and be of those who give thanks. (Al-Zumar 39:66)

Allah also promised:
Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that who are thankful. (Al ‘Imran 3:145)

In Islam thanksgiving is not only a particular religious act or service; it is the whole life. The whole life should be lived in obedience to our Ultimate Benefactor, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. God has been good to us and so in our thankfulness we should worship Him, obey His commands and orders. Our daily prayers, our fasting during Ramadan, our Zakat and Hajj are all our acts of thanksgiving. We should do them not only as duties that must be performed but as our gratitude to our Lord and Creator.

Furthermore we should remind ourselves that we are constantly under Allah’s favors and blessings. There are many special prayers that the Prophet taught us to keep us on the path of gratitude and thankfulness. He told us that we when we get up in the morning we should say:

When the Prophet –peace be upon him- used to go to bed, he used to say, “In your name I die and I live.” And when he used to wake up, he used to say, “Thanks be to Allah who brought us to life after he made us to die and to Him is the resurrection.” (Al-Bukhari, 5837)

When we eat, he told us that we should say:

When the Prophet – peace be upon him – used to eat or drink, he used to say, “Thanks be to Allah Who gave us food and drink and made us Muslims.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3379)

When we put on our clothes, we should say:

Whenever the Prophet – peace be upon him – put on any new dress, he would say its name ‘Amamah or shirt or shawl, then he would say, “O Allah, Thanks be to You, You gave me this to wear. I ask You to give me the good of this dress and the good for which it is made and I ask You to protect me from the evil of this dress and from the evil of that for which it is made.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1689)

When we take a ride for a journey we should say:

The Prophet – peace be upon him – when he used to mount his camel going on a journey he used to say Allah Akbar three times and then he would say, “Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use), for we could never have accomplished this (by ourselves). And to our Lord, surely, must we turn back!” (Al-Zukhuf 43:13) O Allah, we ask you this journey righteousness and piety and the deeds that are pleasing to you. O Allah, make this journey easy for us and shorten its distance. O Allah, You are the Companion in journey and You are the Guardian for the family (left behind). O Allah, We ask you to protect us from the exhaustion of journey, from bad scenes and from bad return to our property and family.” When he used to return he used to say, “Returning, repenting, worshiping and praising our Lord.” (Muslim 2392)

Islam does not only teach us to thank Allah, but we are also told to thank our parents, our spouses, our friends, neighbors and all those who do any good to us. The Prophet – peace be upon him- said:

“Those who do not thank people, they do not thank Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1878)