All Praise is Due to God

One of the important teachings of Islam is that on receiving anything, we should be grateful to God in acknowledgment of His bounty, and utter these words ‘All praise and thankfulness is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds.’ Praise of God, in its true spirit, is the essence of the Qur’an. After having accepted Islam, a believer’s inmost feelings find expression in these words of praise.

Man’s existence is a blessing of God. Man’s extremely balanced body is a blessing of God. The entire world created so favorably for man is a blessing of God.

When this reality dawns on man and he realizes God’s immeasurable blessings upon him, his soul is filled with a feeling of gratefulness to God. His heart and mind are overawed by His greatness. At that moment words of acknowledgment of God—‘Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds’ spontaneously come to his lips.

God the Almighty is too great for man to give Him anything. The only thing man can offer in His presence is acknowledgment. The moment of man's greatest worship of God is when his soul is pervaded by God’s glory and greatness; when he recognizes God’s divinity as compared to man's servitude; when, in full awareness of his own helplessness, he comes to acknowledge God’s bounties in the true sense of the word.

When man discovers God with all His attributes, his soul lies prostrate before Him. His whole being turns towards God. The feelings inspired in him by God’s bounties surge within him like the waves of the ocean.

When all these feelings find verbal form, they are called praise and gratefulness to God.

God is the greatest being of the universe. Yet, in a universe visible to all, God’s supreme glory remains invisible. Realization of God is to discover this hidden greatness. This realization finds expression in words such as ‘Praise be to God—Lord of the Worlds.’

May God Reward You

One of the teachings of Islam is that on receiving some gift or benefit from another, one should pray that God may reward the giver handsomely. Acknowledging a gift with the words: "May God reward you," not only expresses a high form of regard for the giver, but also testifies to the fact that God alone has it in His power to give rewards. When the recipient of a favor says to God on behalf of his benefactor: "O God, help him as he has helped me, and give him more than he has given me," this demonstrates an even higher form of regard.

The phrase 'May God reward you,’ is expressive of two virtues, one being gratitude and the other being the willingness to give as well as to take. Its utterance emphasizes the principle that one should be a giver as well as a taker. A man should always be at pains to benefit those who have benefited him. He should be so thankful to his benefactor that he starts praying for them. A genuinely heart-felt prayer is the best gift that a man can give to his fellow-men.

Insha Allah (God Willing)

One of the teachings of Islam is that when we undertake a task, we should start by saying, ‘Insha Allah,’—God willing. According to the Qur’an, the owners of a certain orchard made it known that they intended to pluck its fruits as soon as they were ripe. But they added no reservation such as: ‘If it be God’s will.’ When they reached their orchard the next morning, they found that a God-sent calamity had destroyed their entire crop. This was the result of their having omitted to say ‘God willing’ (68:18).

God willing (Insha Allah) is a phrase of great significance. Islam teaches us that whenever a man is going to embark upon any venture, he should say, ‘if God wills’ before he begins. This is to acknowledge the reality that God alone is the Doer in this world. A person can achieve his ends successfully only when God’s blessings are with him. God alone has the power to make things happen, as everything functions according to His will. Man can only wish for certain happenings, but occurrence rests with God alone.

When man thinks seriously of God’s all-powerfulness and his own total helplessness, such feelings find expression in the words, ‘Insha Allah.’ In this way he acknowledges that he can only make a beginning. So far as the completion of the task is concerned, it lies entirely in God’s hands.

The phrase Insha Allah in its essence is a form of prayer. Beginning one’s work with Insha Allah is like seeking God’s company and when God, the Lord of the universe, accompanies us on our journey, who can stop us from reaching our destination?


To facilitate travel in this world, we have to use transport of one kind or another. Islam teaches us that when we make use of these different means of transport, we must remember God and say: ‘Glory to Him who has subjected these to us. But for Him we could never have accomplished this. To our Lord we shall return.’ (43:13-14)

One of God’s countless bounties to man is His provision of suitable conveyances. To meet different requirements man has to travel from one place to another. But he cannot traverse long distances on foot. God has therefore come to his aid and made certain things subject to him in order that he may utilize them as transport.

Initially, animals alone were the means of conveyance. Then man crossed the seas, making ships for travelling long distances. Investigations revealed that God had endowed matter with such properties that it could be fashioned into much more rapid forms of transport. Hence the motor car and the airplane came into existence.

All means of transportation, right from the horse to the airplanes, are blessings of God. If they were brought into being, it was entirely due to God having harnessed the potential of nature to human use. When man thinks of all these bounties showered upon him by God he spontaneously calls out: ‘O God, It is You who has subjected everything to us. It would not otherwise have been possible for us to make use of things as we have.’

Blessings are of benefit to the thankful person in this world as well

as in the next. All that a thankless person will receive is temporary provision in this world and eternal chastisement in the next.

Inna Lillah

It often happens in this world that man loses something, or suffers some calamity. On such occasions, Islam teaches us to willingly resign ourselves to our misfortune, taking that to be God’s decree. On all such occasions the sufferer should utter the words: ‘We belong to God and we shall return to Him.’

God has made this world for the purpose of putting mankind to the test. Here, receiving and losing are both designed as a trial for man. Therefore, when man receives something, he should prove himself to be a thankful servant of God. And when he loses something he should adopt the attitude of patience. Only one who can do so will pass God’s test.In this world man cannot save himself from experiencing unpleasant things. Sometimes he will suffer from the pangs of hunger and thirst, at others, a life very dear to him will pass away or he will incur a loss of wealth. On all such occasions these words must come to his lips...‘We belong to God and we shall all return to Him.’

Through these words man acknowledges his status of servitude vis à vis God’s all-powerfulness. He expresses himself in words such as these: O God, You are the giver. If You have taken something out of what You have given me, You had the right to do so.

Saying Inna Lillah is a form of worship. This is to adopt the attitude of surrendering to God’s will instead of complaining against fate. It is to convert the loss into a new discovery.

This phrase, ‘We are from God and to God we shall return’ is, in short, an acknowledgment of God's godhead on the part of His servants.

After Eating and Drinking

One of the teachings of Islam is to praise God, after satisfying one’s hunger and thirst, in words such as these: All praise is due to God who provided me with food and water, and who made me one of the believers.Man cannot survive without food and water. He requires these things continuously throughout his entire life. For man's requirements God has made perfect arrangements. On the one hand, He has provided water in abundance on the earth, on the other, He has provided ample nourishment which man can obtain with the minimum of effort.

When a believer is hungry and thirsty, and he eats and drinks, he is overwhelmed with the feeling of how great that God is who has made such splendid provision for him. If God had not done so, he would have suffered the pangs of hunger and thirst, having had to go without food and water. His whole body expresses his acknowledgment of God’s bounties and he calls out: Praise be to God for all of His abundant provisions!

On receiving bodily sustenance the believer is reminded of the spiritual sustenance provided for him by God. Through revelation God gave man the knowledge of what He wants from him, thus enabling him to lead us life according to His will and ensuring his success in the next eternal world. Man then remembers God with even greater adoration.Every moment of his life, man ought to keep praising God,—God, who has made the most superb provision for him, both physical as well as spiritual.

Rising from Sleep (The life after death)

The Prophet of Islam likened death to sleep and life to the state of wakefulness after sleep. When he awakened in the morning, he would say: "All praise and thanks are due to God who gave us life after death."For the rest of mankind, waking and sleeping are likewise symbolic of life and death. Going to sleep is like dying and waking up in the morning is like rising from the grave. Our inevitable awakening after sleeping foreshadows with certainty how we shall arise after death to give an account of our deeds on the Day of Judgement.

Man has to pass his life in this world in such a way that every happening becomes for him a reminder of the Day of Judgement. His sleeping and rising should also serve as reminders of life after death.The most delicate aspect of man’s life is that his existence does not come to an end after death. He has to be reborn in another world. The present world is the world of action, while the world to come will be one in which he reaps his reward. That will be the beginning of a new and eternal life—either eternal heaven or eternal hell.

Man is reminded daily of this most important reality when he goes to sleep and when he rises from sleep. In this way, actions of this world come to remind man of the hereafter.

The Prophet of Islam used to lead a very simple life and laid great stress on believers doing likewise. Once he said, "O people, don’t you hear me, O people, don’t you hear me, O people, don’t you hear me, ‘Simplicity is undoubtedly a part of faith.’ ‘Simplicity is undoubtedly a part of faith.’

When man has discovered the greatness of God, his own-existence in comparison appears quite insignificant. This feeling makes him into a truly modest person. His whole being is colored in the hue of servitude. His manner ceases to be aggressive and his voice becomes gentle. Even his gait expresses his modesty. His whole attitude comes to reflect a new seriousness.

All this inevitably results in his preferring simplicity in everything, in food, drink, living arrangements, and so on. He avoids luxuries, pomp and show. His soul finds pleasure and contentment in leading a life of simplicity instead of indulgence.

True faith leads man away from artificial things to nature, where simplicity is the rule. He develops a liking for a simple way of life which is more natural. This naturalness behooves the believer. Naturalness is in accordance with his modesty and humility, themselves great virtues in the eyes of God.

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