Thursday, 5 February 2015

A for Alhamdulillah

Alhamdulillah :- (Arabic) Translation: Praise be to Allah (God)

For those of you who don't know, Muslims say alhamdulillah when something happens that makes us glad. We thank God for letting it happen.

The word 'Alhamdulillah' means two things. One, thanks or gratitude to Allah for doing what He did. Two, praise or appreciation for what He did. 

There is a difference between these two things.

There are many instances where we praise people, but we don't thank them. We see a beautiful building, we praise it. But we don't thank it. We witness an award-winning goal, we praise the athlete who scored it. We don't thank him.

There are also instances where the opposite happens: we thank people, but we don't praise them. Allah has commanded the Muslim to be grateful to his parents, even if they are disbelievers. Even if they want him to do shirk, he should still thank them, but he doesn't praise them for what they are doing. Fir'aun brought up Musa عليه السلام (peace be upon him) in his castle, whether he liked it or not. Years later, Musa عليه السلام came back, and Fir'aun reminded him that he was taken care of in his house when he was a newborn. And Musa عليه السلام was grateful to him for that, because when someone does you a favour, you naturally owe him thanks. He acknowledged that favour, but he never praised him. 

So you see, sometimes in life, you have thanks without praise, and sometimes in life, you have praise without thanks.

When we say Alhamdulillah, we praise Allah for whatever He's doing. It's perfect, and we praise him for it. And after we praise Him, we thank Him for doing it. We appreciate what He did. 

For example, you're in a place where the air conditioning is not so good, and you're feeling very hot. The first thing that should come to the Muslim's mind, is Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah that it's hot. And that means that you're thanking Allah that it's just hot and not something worse. And you're appreciating it in the process. 

That's the meaning of Alhamdulillah. Sometimes we Muslims don't really know what we mean when we say it. 

'How's your job?'

'I'm not really being paid that well, but alhamdulillah.'

That's not how it's supposed to be. You're complaining, and saying alhamdulillah at the same time. What you should do instead is just say alhamdulillah, and be grateful that they're at least paying you something, even if it's little. 

So let's take this moment to say alhamdulillah for everything that's going right in our lives, and because we appreciate that the wrong things could have been worse but aren't, from the core of our hearts.


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