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The Gratefulness of the Holy Prophetsaw towards Allah and his Companions

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

April 1st, 2005

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Huzuraba commenced this Friday sermon by saying that the personality of the Holy Prophetsaw encompassed all the qualities that were present in any prophets of Allah. One of these qualities is gratitude towards Allah. The Holy Quran records the gratefulness expressed by Hazrat Ibrahimas and Hazrat Nuhas in the following verses respectively:

“ Grateful for His favors” (16:122)
“ He was indeed a grateful servant” (17:3)

These verses however do not signify that only these two prophets were thankful to Allah for His favors. Allah says that all qualities of all prophets were encompassed in the person of the Holy Prophetsaw as he was the best of all prophets. In fact, all qualities reached their zenith in the person of the Holy Prophetsaw: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; (33:41).” Huzuraba explained that this Seal has been designated for the role model presented by the Holy Prophetsaw for all times to come.

Huzuraba elucidated that the Holy Prophetsaw was always grateful to Allah Almighty for His blessings and to his companions as well. He was always on the lookout for opportunities to be grateful to Allah, and would never miss out on any such opportunity where he could express his utmost gratitude to Him. He was a complete “Abd Shukoor” i.e. a man of gratitude.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbasra is reported to have said that the Holy Prophetsaw used to pray: “O Allah, make me one who is grateful to you and remembers you.”

The extent of the gratitude of the Holy Prophetsaw towards Allah was such that it would include thankfulness for even the smallest of things that benefited him. It is reported in certain traditions that the Holy Prophetsaw would praise the Lord when it would rain: at some occasions, he is reported to have removed his head-gear to let the raindrops fall on him, whereas at others, he is reported to have taken the raindrops in his mouth, to signify rain as a divine blessing.

Hadrat Abu Sa'id al-Khudrira reports that the Holy Prophetsaw after finishing the meal, used to recite the following prayer: "Al-Hamdu Lillahilladhi at'amana wa saqana waja'alana min al-Muslimin" i.e. "All praise is for Allah Who fed us, provided us to drink, and made us Muslims” (Muslim). He saw used to eat very simple meals. Some traditions report that he would eat bread with date or vinegar or even plain water, yet he was always grateful to Allah for His blessings.

When the Prophetsaw wore something new he would recite “Bismillah” and would supplicate: ‘O Allah, Yours is the praise that You have given it (new article of clothing) to me to wear. I beg of You its good and the good of the purpose for which it has been made, and seek Your protection against its evil and the evil of the purpose for which it has been made.’(Abu Daud and Tirmidhi reported by Hazrat Abu Sa'id Khudrira). The evil of new garment could be the allergic reaction it may cause in certain people. It could also be the sense of pride it may cause in others. So this supplication protects us from all such evils that may be caused by wearing new clothes.

Narrated Hadrat Juhayfara: When Prophet Muhammad saw went to bed, he used to say, "Allahumma bismika ahya wa amutu" i.e. "O Allah, in Your Name I live and die!". And when he woke up in the mornings, he used to say, "Alhamdu Lillahilladhi ahyana ba'da ma amatana wa ilayhi’n-nushur" i.e. "All praise be to Allah Who has given us life after He caused us to die; and unto Him is the Resurrection” (Bukhari).

There was no aspect of life that was neglected by the Holy Prophetsaw in terms of gratitude towards Allah. He supplicated to Allah also for going to the bathroom: “Al-hamdu lillahilladhi adh-haba ‘annil adha wa 'afani” i.e. "Praise be to Allah Who has removed harm from me and kept me in good health" (Ibn Majah). Doctors agree that many illnesses arise due to problems related to the digestive system, therefore we should indeed be grateful that Allah has kept us from such troubles.

Hazrat Aishara narrated that the Prophet used to offer prayer at night (for such a long time) that his feet used to crack. I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Why do you do it since Allah has forgiven you your faults of the past and those to follow?" He said, "Shouldn't I love to be a thankful slave (of Allah)?" (Bukhari)

Hazrat Sa'd ibn AbuWaqqasra narrates: “We went out with the Apostle of Allah saw from Mecca making for Medina. When we were near Azwara', he alighted, then raised his hands, and made supplication to Allah for a time, after which he prostrated himself, remaining a long time in prostration. Then he stood up and raised his hands for a time, after which he prostrated himself, remaining a long time in prostration. He then stood up and raised his hands for a time, after which he prostrated himself. Ahmad mentioned it three times. He then said: I begged my Lord and made intercession for my people, and He gave me a third of my people, so I prostrated myself in gratitude to my Lord. Then I raised my head and begged my Lord for my people, and He gave me a third of my people, so I prostrated myself in gratitude to my Lord. Then I raised my head and begged my Lord for my people and He gave me the remaining third, so I prostrated myself in gratitude to my Lord. (Abu Dawood).

Hazrat AbdurRahman ibn Awfra narrated that Allah's Messenger saw came out and then entered (the cluster of) the date-palm trees and fell in prostration. He prolonged his prostration so much that I feared that Allah might have taken his (worldly) life. I went nearby to assure myself. He raised his head and said: What is the matter with you? I mentioned (my fear) to him and he said: Gabriel said to me: May I not give you the glad tidings that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, says about you that he who invokes blessings upon you (the Prophet), I shall send blessings upon him and he who sends you the greetings of peace, I shall send greetings of peace to him (Tirmidhi).

Huzuraba said that the Holy Prophetsaw adopted occasions of gratitude to God even from other religions. Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrated: “When the Prophet came to Medina, he found (the Jews) fasting on the day of 'Ashura' (i.e. 10th of Muharram). They used to say: "This is a great day on which Allah saved Moses and drowned the folk of Pharaoh. Moses observed the fast on this day, as a sign of gratitude to Allah." The Prophet said, "I am closer to Moses than they." So, he observed the fast (on that day) and ordered the Muslims to fast on it. (Bukhari)

Another time of deep gratitude towards Allah is witnessed at the time of the conquest of Makkah. Generally, the conquering army displays great arrogance at their achievement, but when the Holy Prophetsaw entered Makkah, his head was bowed so low on his stride, with gratitude and humility, that it almost touched the camel’s neck.

The Holy Prophetsaw was grateful to his companions for their support and help also. Hazrat Abu Bakrra was the oldest companion of the Prophetsaw. The Prophetsaw was highly sensitive and would not tolerate any negative comments for him because he saw was so grateful to him for his sacrifices he presented in the way of Islam and for the Prophet’s support. At one occasion, a companion treated Hazrat Abu Bakrra a bit harshly and the Prophetsaw admonished him, saying that it was Abu Bakrra who believed in him when no one else did and presented financial and personal sacrifices when no one else did. At the time of the death of the Holy Prophetsaw, he asked all the windows to his house be closed except that which opens into the house of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.

Hazrat Aishara says that the Prophetsaw often talked about Hazrat Khadijara and that made her jealous. One day she said to the Prophet that Khadija was old and had lost all her looks; why does he still talk about her when Allah has given him better wives. The Prophetsaw said that Allah has not given him one better than Khadija; she was his only friend and believer when the whole world was against him. She was a loyal wife, who made many sacrifices for him and for that, the Prophetsaw was forever indebted and grateful to her.

The Holy Prophetsaw always remembered the favor of Negus, when he granted asylum to those Muslims who had migrated to his land, Abyssinia, at the time of intense persecution against Muslims in Makkah. At one occasion, the Holy Prophetsaw himself stood up in reception of one of Negus’ messenger despite the presence of his companions, who asked the Prophet why he did so. The Prophetsaw said that he would like to return the favor of this great King himself by receiving well his messenger.

At the time of the Battle of Badr, one of the captives brought back by the Muslims was Abbas, who did not have a shirt on his body. The Holy Prophetsaw looked for a shirt for this captive despite the fact that he was a great opponent of Islam. Hazrat Abdullah bin Abi Al Salool was the one whose shirt would adequately fit this captive. At the time of this companion of the Prophetsaw, he saw lowered himself into his grave and gave the deceased his own shirt in recompense of this companion’s favor.

When the Prophetsaw was married to Hazrat Safiyara, one of his companions, Hazrat Abu Ayubra watched over the lodging of the Prophetsaw all night. In the morning, when the Holy Prophetsaw inquired what he was doing there, the companion replied that he had given guard all night as he was afraid that the newly wedded wife might cause any harm to the Prophet since her relatives had been slain at the hands of the Prophet in one of the battles. The Prophetsaw was moved by this act so much that he prayed to Allah for his companion in these words: “O Allah, safeguard Abu Ayub as he has safeguarded me all night.”

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra narrates that once the Prophet entered a lavatory and I placed water for his ablution. He asked, "Who placed it?" He was informed accordingly and so he said, "O Allah! Make him (Ibn 'Abbas) a learned scholar in religion (Islam)" (Bukhari)

The Holy Prophetsaw would often return money that he had borrowed to the lender and would pay him an extra amount. The Holy Prophetsaw wanted to inculcate in his Ummah the habit of being grateful to Allah for all things in their life and to remember God much. He saw would be thankful to Allah and praise Him for every small favor bestowed upon him, whether it be a morsel of food, a mouthful of water or any other tiny blessing.

At one occasion, the Holy Prophetsaw asked one of his companions how he was doing. He replied that he was well. The Holy Prophetsaw asked him again and he replied with the same answer. The third time the Prophetsaw asked him again, and the companion replied: “I am well, all praise belongs to Allah and I am grateful to Him.” The Holy Prophetsaw was happy with this reply. Such was the teaching of the Prophet, who wanted to see gratitude of Allah instilled in every Muslim.

The Holy Prophetsaw taught the following prayer to one of his companions to be recited once the Salat is over: “Allahumma a'inni 'ala Thikrika wa husni 'ibadatik” i.e. “O my Lord, help me so that I can properly perform Thy remembrance and Thy thanksgiving, and that I may worship Thee in the best possible manner.

The Holy Prophetsaw advised that one should always look towards those who are less privileged than oneself, because that makes one thankful and grateful, instead of looking at those who are more privileged, because that makes one resentful.

The Promised Messiahas said that it is an exceptional favor of Allah that He has shown us the path of the Holy Prophetsaw whereas others are deprived of this blessing. We should be grateful to Allah and the truest form of gratitude is to perform good and righteous deeds and to be steadfast in performing these good deeds.

In the end, Huzuraba prayed for the community that may Allah enable us to follow the path towards which the Holy Prophetsaw has guided us and he reminded us the words of the Promised Messiahas that we should be continually supplicating to Allah for help, because it is only with recourse to prayer that we can perform good deeds.

[During the proceedings of the sermon, Huzuraba advised that cell phones should be turned off.]