THE GRANDEUR OF GRATITUDE
Hazrat Imām Muhammad Ghazzali Sahib رحمه الله has shared the advices of Sheikh Mahmūd al-Warrāq رحمه الله who said:
“If my gratitude to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله for His bounties on me is a bounty in itself, then it is incumbent on me to express gratitude to Him. It is not possible to continue expressing gratitude except through His grace even though many days may pass and life may continue (for a long time). When He blesses me with prosperity, the happiness thereof is all pervading. When He afflicts me with a calamity, He follows it with reward. So both these (prosperity and calamity) are bounties from Him. Our thoughts, the earth and the sea are all insufficient to encompass this.”
Hazrat Imām Muhammad Ghazzali Sahib رحمه الله has then advised that when knowledge of the Divinity of Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله is established, acknowledgement of His worship is realised. When Īmān is established in the heart, obedience to our Sustainer becomes incumbent. Īmān is of two types; external and internal. External Īmān entails expressing it with the tongue. Internal Īmān entails belief with the heart. The believers are at different distances in their level of proximity to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله and they differ in their levels of obedience. Īmān brings them together according to the share that each is given. It also enables the person to gain high stages in devotion to Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله, placing trust in Him and being pleased with His decree. Devotion entails a person not seeking any reward from the Creator for what he does. Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله is the Supreme Being that has created you and whatever you do as well. Therefore, if obedience is out of hope for reward and fear of punishment, then such a person does not have perfect devotion. He actually did whatever he did for himself.
It is reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said; “You should not be like a bad dog that only does work when it fears. Nor should you be like a labourer who does not do any work when he is not given a wage.”
SOURCE: AN EXPOSITION OF THE HEARTS
(Imām Muhammad Ghazzali رحمه الله)