Alhamdulillah – a word we are all too familiar with. It stands as a simple utterance but is entrenched in profound meaning and divine devotion. In literal terms, it means “Praise Be to Allah”. As Muslims, we have all grown up hearing the use of the word “Alhamdulillah” in our daily lives, but do we truly understand the significance of the word?
It is the first phrase of the first verse of Surah Fatiha which is the first Surah of the Holy Quran. We recite Surah Fatiha and hence, Alhamdulillah in every single Raka’ah! We often tend to utter words in an automatic fashion but sometimes we forget the deep implications of those words. Alhamdulillah is a form of high praise of Allah and it is very much loved by Him. Saying Alhamdulillah is an expression of high praise and utter gratitude before Allah, the most Gracious, the ever Merciful, for bestowing us with His endless blessings – spiritually, materialistically etc. – which he continues to give us. Being grateful is one of the main attributes of a Muslim and is an integral part of being a good believer.
“And if you would count the favours of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Quran 16:18)
We need to remind ourselves that if it were not for Allah, we would have nothing and we would be lost. As a Muslim, one should consciously make it a habit to say “Alhamdulillah” at every stage in life – be it ease or hardship. The real test of a believer is when Allah bestows him/her with a hardship and the believer, despite his/her tough circumstances, has Sabr (patience) and says “Alhamdulillah”, surrendering himself/herself to the perfect Will of Allah. Reported by Suhaib, the Holy Prophet said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” (Muslim, 2999)
Allah asks His slaves to turn to Him and to ask Him for anything they want. Allah awaits His slave to call on Him so He may grant his wishes. However, the one thing Allah asks for in return is for His slave to be grateful for the blessings bestowed upon Him. As humans, when we want something we pray to Allah day and night, asking Him to grant it to us and if we end up getting it, we forget the one who granted it to us in the first place. Amidst our happiness, we forget Allah We should consciously thank Allah from the smallest of things to the biggest of things – we should always say “Alhamdulillah” and praise the one who made it possible for us. It is Allah’s mercy if we find ourselves being saved from calamities and difficulties in life, it is not our own doing. Allah loves those who turn to Him and praise him and in turn, Allah gives them even more.
“And remember when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favor. But if you deny indeed, my punishment is severe.” (Quran, 14:7)
Be mindful of Allah’s (SWT) blessings and look at those who are not as fortunate as yourself, it puts things into perspective and helps one realize how merciful and kind Allah (SWT) has been to us and how ungrateful we can be. Say Alhamdulillah for it is an excellent expression of sincerest praise to the Almighty. Even if we spend all day, every day in praise and gratitude, it would still not be enough.
Alhamdulillah teaches a believer to be grateful in all turns and phases of life, be it good or bad. Gratitude is the foundation of a life of contentment and happiness. If you are grateful to Allah (SWT), He will increase your blessings and rewards and give you even more than what you ask for, that is the beauty of our Lord.