People in general turn to God in humility, expressing obeisance only when they feel to do so that is mainly during an occasion when it brings good news to them, or so.
The question is however do we require a particular occasion to thank Allah Almighty? Haven’t then we reduces this whole relationship with God to a mere ritual? We need to answer this and look into reasons behind this religious observance that God commanded to His servants? How is it described in the Qur’an?
Giving thanks to God, which can be described as feeling grateful at every moment and expressing it verbally and through one’s demeanor, is a very important religious observance frequently mentioned in the Qur’an and it has to be done all throughout one’s life.
However, a great many people have different ideas about this practice and believe that it needs to be done only when something they want happens or when they receive new blessings.
Yet giving thanks means feeling grateful to God unconditionally, and in every waking moment of one’s life, regardless of the circumstances being positive or negative. It means considering everything from God as beautiful, knowing that there is a great wisdom behind everything created by God and surrendering to destiny fully and submitting to God completely and earnestly.
At this point one might ask: It is quite expected for one to give thanks when something good happens but why should he give thanks when things go awry and how he should do it?
In order for a person to be able to give thanks to God no matter what the circumstances are, he has to have a very deep and unconditional love towards God. He also has to comprehend the astonishing qualities of God.
A person who knows God, who loves God very much and attached to God with a very deep love, will want to express his love for Him at every opportunity. For this reason, giving thanks is one of the ways of showing his admiration, his love for God, both verbally and through his demeanor.
He will want to express and show this deep and intense love in his heart all the time. Just like he cannot live comfortably without breathing, he cannot live without remembering, talking about and thanking his Love. With his soul, his heart and all his being, he feels God at every moment and comprehends the infinite evidence and manifestation of God’s existence everywhere.
In every direction he looks, he will see God and will want to talk about His infinite art, power and will wish to express it every waking moment. This desire will naturally make him give thanks for everything that comes from God.
A lover of God is also aware of the fact that he is surrounded by blessings from God and that he cannot have slightest control over any of them and that he has all these blessings only because God gave them to him.
He knows that the causes do not really matter, and that every blessing and everything that happens comes from God only. He will never get tired of giving thanks to God as his love God is never tired of giving him blessings. He will never get tired of loving God as his love as God is never tired of loving him.
One aspect of giving thanks is being content with whatever God gives him. He will always be content with his situation no matter what happens. He continuously remembers and praises his love God.
There are some people who say that they love God and that they are happy with everything that He creates. Yet when things don’t go according to their plans or when they don’t get what they wanted, when a person they love doesn’t reciprocate their love, when they think that they are not appreciated, or perhaps they cannot go on that vacation they have been planning, or when they lose money, health, or success, their attitudes might suddenly change.
Overwhelmed by feelings of defiance and pessimism, such a person’s thoughts suddenly take a turn for the worst. He continually asks himself ‘Why did I get sick when everyone else is healthy? Why am I struggling so much when everyone else is living so comfortably? Why am I not appreciated although I’m working so much?’
Such thoughts put him in a vicious circle. Because he gives in to these negative thoughts and after a while he becomes incapable of segregating right from wrong. Such people have one problem: Not knowing God enough; not understanding that He can do anything, not grasping His love and compassion.
A person who knows God with all His names, who knows that He does everything with a perfect reason and wisdom and that He loves His servants very much, will not be disheartened no matter what happens and will not lose his hope in God. He has one answer to such negative thoughts, in other words, the whispering of the satan: ‘Whatever my Lord does, He does it with a perfect reason. There is definitely a beauty, a blessing in this for me.’
This is not a consolation, but a fact. God creates everything with a perfect reason. Nothing He does is to make His servants suffer or to upset them. Since this world is a place of testing, it is necessary for people to be trained and achieve the morality that will be worthy of Paradise.
To be able to achieve that morality, it is important that people are sometimes tested with difficulties, diseases, problems and poverty. For this reason every person is tested with different things.
A lover of God knows this and patiently goes through everything that happens. He always gives thanks, no matter what happens and continues to watch his destiny unfold and even if he cannot understand the wisdom of the things that happens, he says, ‘My Lord, you created this with a perfect reason. I’m happy with everything you give to me, and need every good deed you give to me.’ He always prays to God continuously and expresses his gratitude.
It is important to understand the times of testing and to these opportunities to prove oneself, to give thanks and to show happiness with everything God created.
It is also very important to avoid becoming one of the ungrateful when things go bad. If one cannot see the beauties behind the difficulties, then he is not able to appreciate God and is not giving thanks to God the way he should.