Sheikh ibn Baaz
Blessings are commensurate with our gratitude. If you thank Allah for His favors, Allah will increase and bless them. But if you are ungrateful, favors will disappear and immediate punishments may follow in this life before the Hereafter.
Blessings are of various types. They include having good health, a sound body, hearing, seeing, intellect, and organs. The greatest favor is Islam, holding fast to, caring for, and comprehending it. Allah (Exalted be He) states: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Qur’an, 5:3)
The greatest favor is deen (religion). Allah sent messengers and books to clarify His great deen to His slaves and then He guided you, Muslims, to embrace it.
This is the greatest favor for which we should thank Allah immensely.
Its value and greatness should be recognized by whomever sees the condition of the world with its Kufr (disbelief), Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), delusion, and prevailing corruption which favors this worldly life with indifference to the Hereafter.
Moreover, the harms of communism and secularism are clear and their ideas embody disbelieving in Allah, all messengers and revealed books.
Other people are afflicted with the worship of graves and idols, and devotion of Allah’s sole Right for others than Him.
Many others are afflicted with different kinds of bidah (innovation in Islam), superstitions, and sins.
Appreciation for Allah’s Blessings is truly realized and estimated when someone compares their opposites and their evil consequences.
The outcome of the favor of Islam is Jannah (paradise), honor, and reaching the eternal Abode of Bliss close to the Noble Lord, where people will never die and their clothing and youthfulness will never fade.
They will be in eternal blessing, unfailing health, continuous youthfulness, and peace of mind. They will be in the company of the Noble Lord. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states: “Verily, the Muttaqun (the pious. See V.2:2), will be in place of Security (Paradise).” “Among Gardens and Springs,” “Dressed in fine silk and (also) in thick silk, facing each other,” “So (it will be). And We shall marry them to Hur (fair female) with wide, lovely eyes.”
“They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security;” “They will never taste death therein except the first death (of this world), and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire,” “As a Bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success!” (Qur’an, 44: 51-57) There are so many ayahs (Qur’anic verses) describing this.
As for the people of Kufr and aberrance, they will end up in the abode of humiliation where there will be severe punishment, Hellfire, and Zaqqum (a horrible tree in Hell) in an everlasting abode where torment never ends and its inhabitants never die. Allah (Glorified be He) states: “But those who disbelieve (in the Oneness of Allah (Islamic monotheism), for them will be the Fire of Hell.
Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die, nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever!” (Qur’an, 35: 36)
Whoever ponders this matter and recognizes the favor of Allah should be thankful for this favor by keen observance of this blessing and asking Allah to help him keep on it till death. He should continue obeying Allah, abandon sin, and seek refuge in Allah from aberrance, fitan (trials), and causes that remove Allah’s favors.
One should also thank Allah for all favors besides Islam, such as health, safety, and other blessings, such as secure homeland, family, property, etc.
Having Allah’s Favors may be a means to accepting Islam and believing in Allah. However, it may be a trial for one’s disbelief and deviation. It may be a trial to be secure, healthy, safe, and wealthy, while one is astray from obeying Allah. This kind of trial and affliction will be an argument against you and will increase your torment on the Day of Resurrection, if you die in this condition.
Gratitude, in fact, is to repay Allah’s Favors upon you by believing in Him and in His Messengers, loving Him and confessing His Favors.
You should thank Allah by good words and praises along with loving the Grantor, fearing Him, hoping for and looking forward to seeing Him, inviting to His Way and fulfilling His Rights. Believing in Allah and His Messengers entails believing in the best of them, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and adhering to his Shariah.
It is an expression of gratitude to believe that Allah is the only God Who is worthy of worship and that He is the Creator, the Provider, and the All-Knower. He Alone is worthy of worship and the Lord of the worlds. There is no other God and no deity is truly worthy of worship except Allah. Thanking Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) involves also believing in His Names and Attributes, and that He is Perfect in His Essence, Names, and Attributes. He has no partner or equal and can never be compared with His Creatures. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states: “There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Qur’an, 42: 11)
He (the Exalted) also states: “Say (O Muhammad): “He is Allah, (the) One.” “Allah the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].” He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.” Qur’an, 112:1-4)
It is necessary for having true faith to believe that Allah Alone is worthy of ‘Ibadah (worship).
In this respect, Allah (Exalted be He) states: “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him.” (Qur’an, 17:23); and, “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).” (Qur’an, 1:5); and: “So, call you (O Muhammad and the believers) upon (or invoke) Allah making (your) worship pure for Him (Alone) (by worshipping none but Him and by doing religious deeds sincerely for Allah’s sake only and not to show off and not to set up rivals with Him in worship), however much the disbelievers (in the Oneness of Allah) may hate (it).” (Qur’an, 40:14); and, “O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you.” (Qur’an, 2:21); and, “And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (Qur’an, 51:56); and, “And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him).” (Qur’an, 98:5)
— The article is based on a lecture, “Thankfulness and signs of Allah’s grace,” delivered by Sheikh ibn Baaz in Riyadh on 29/Safar/1400 AH