Are you familiar with these lyrics?
”Give thanks to Allah
For the moon and the stars
Praise Him all day for
What is and what was
Take hold of your iman
Don’t give in to shaitan
Oh you who believe please
give thanks to Allah…”
They are lyrics from the popular ”Give Thanks to Allah” by Zain Bhikha. It succinctly captures the art of giving daily gratitude to Allah (SWT) for all blessings – big and small.
For the believer, giving thanks and praise to Allah (SWT) is a way of life.
This powerful and life changing concept is captured by the creative minds behind Team Ayeina. They recently launched #Alhamdulillah For Series book – ‘A Muslim’s mini gratitude journal’. It is a condensation of their ‘Alhamdulillah For’ graphics on Instagram.
In this interview I discuss with Team Ayeina about the benefits of giving daily gratitude to Allah (SWT).
Interview ~ Giving daily gratitude to Allah (SWT) ~
You recently launched ‘a Muslim’s mini gratitude journal’, what is it all about?
The gratitude journal is based around our #AlhamdulillahForSeries – exploring different parts of gratitude and saying Alhamdulillah for them.
It’s a fun series that could be used as great reminders on how important positivity is in our lives.
The book, however, has extra parts in it. It has been divided into four main categories.
1: #AlhamdulillahFor BasicNecessities
2: #AlhamdulillahFor TiesThatBind (relationships)
3: #AlhamdulillahFor Islam
4: #AlhamdulillahFor Everything (in general)
There is a “notes” section at the end of the list so people can write down what they felt after one month of their Alhamdulillah journey.
- Did it improve their perspective on life?
- Did it help them sleep with a smile?
- Did it make them say Alhamdulillah more?
- Did it water their soul and quench the core?
In short, it’s a month of helping you develop an attitude of gratitude by taking one baby step at a time in shaa Allah.
Because an Alhamdulillah a day keeps scarcity away.
You can read more about the book here.
It’s available to buy in our estore here.
How did you come about the idea?
Oh we love the “Happiness is” series and thought how great would it be to have a Muslim version of it. We were really inspired by the series and thought of doing something similar for the Muslim Ummah. .
Since gratitude is one of the major causes that lead you to joy, AlhamdulillahFor series came into being.
Kind of a boring story ?? but true 🙂 Something that doesn’t only contribute to joy, but also counts as an act of ibaadah (worship) – Alhamdulillah.
This idea helped us a lot in coping up with our circumstances. So we thought of spreading the khair to everyone else as well.
And writing helps you best through your hard days.
Do you use the same format ~ Alhamdulillah for ~ in your personal journaling?
It’s been a while, we’re using this format.
Alhamdulillah it helps us keep our focus on little yet more. By keeping the sentences short but meaningful, the focus remains on the subject and the reason it brings the joy.
Hence it’s not always what we are grateful for, but also why we are grateful for it.
Usually journals have phrases like:
“I am grateful for_____” so replacing it with “Alhamdulillah for _____” came naturally as a Muslim.
Any particular reason(s) why it should be done daily?
Because you need a dose of positivity every single day.
Apart from that, these words are recited after the conclusion of every prescribed prayer as well, so mindfulness is important.
From personal experience, what is the effect of saying ‘Alhamdulillah’ for different blessings in life?
It’s not only a reminder for yourself but also a dhikr of Allah which is recommended and praise worthy.
Writing it down is even more therapeutic. Especially when you are going through a rough phase in life.
Personally, it has helped us a lot in coping up with our hard times. With bad people always on the newspaper, bad news always on the news channel and photoshopped images all over social media, it’s hard to always look at the brighter side of things.
Such journaling kept our minds off of it all (almost all).
Like they say, The grass is always greener where you water it!
Gratitude is only one out of so many other virtues. Why did you single it out – what’s the big deal?
Personally we believe that gratitude has been the light through many dark times. It helps you stay patient and focused on what you have rather than what you don’t.
Being content with the will of Allah is one of the hardest things to accept sometimes – learning to be grateful with
whatever you have keeps you attached to Allah positively.
It IS a big deal because Allah (SWT) says:
“….If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]….” (Surah Ibrahim, 14: 7)
It’s like the key to all kinds of success out there (in the world and hereafter both).
In what other ways can a Muslim give gratitude to Allah (SWT) apart from saying Alhamdulillah.
Gratitude is an attitude that can be expressed through the contentment over the will of Allah (SWT), by tongue with His dhikr and through actions. Saying Alhamdulillah is just one part of it.
Those who are grateful to Allah (SWT) show their gratitude through accepting the commands of their Rabb with all their heart.
As gratitude helps you build a positive relationship with Allah, it helps you accept His will more easily.
Who else should we express gratitude towards apart from Allah (SWT)?
This includes everyone after Allah (SWT) who aid us in every possible way.
This is the reason our book ends with Jazak Allah khair art – along with the hadith –
“Whoever is not grateful to the people, he is not grateful to Allah.” [Tirmidhi]
The favours of Allah (SWT) are too many to count, does saying Alhamdulillah make up for the thankfulness that should be felt from magnitude of such favours?
Of course a tongue can’t say the praise of Allah enough – just like a mind can’t comprehend the grandeur of Allah enough. So saying Alhamdulillah doesn’t make up anything but it helps you to take that baby step towards Allah.
The Prophet (SAW) said, “My Lord says, ‘If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ [Bukhari]
Can you recommend tips for turning the gratitude journaling into a lifelong habit?
Which is why the book asks you to write only one thing a day. One thing to be grateful for. One will help you focus and ponder over that line for the whole day.
Doses of positivity all day every day 😀
As students of Islamic Psychology, we also understand how important keeping a journal is! How important it is to write – to keep a track of your emotional health (which is as important as your physical health).
So take small steps but take them!
You don’t necessarily have to buy this book and do it. You can do it on your own, in your own style as well. But DO IT.
InshaaAllah, you’ll see a massive change in your mindset.
Jazakillah khairan katheera 🙂 <3
Wa iyyak team Ayeina.
Alhamdulillah for this beneficial initiative – I love the journal and encourage you to get one for yourself and a friend, colleague or loved one.
In what ways will you be giving daily gratitude to Allah (SWT) from now?