Nov 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Special: Attitude of Gratitude – The Psychology Behind Shukr

by Bela Khan

She opens her wardrobe. Two dozen dresses of red, yellow, orange, pink and you-name-it colours are hanging in there. After a cursory glance, she bangs the door shut.

Mom, I have ‘nothing’ to wear for the party. I’ve been begging you to take me shopping since ages. You never listen to me. What do I do now?

He is rummaging the fridge for the fourth time. Pizza, chocolate, ice-cream, fruits and juices are stuffed inside. He leaves the kitchen despondently.

There’s really nothing much to eat in here. Let’s go to the café for and have some decent food today.”

She wakes up with the same feelings of depression and dread. Thoughts of suicide are again floating in her mind. She is married to a handsome man, with two lovely kids, a home, a car- everything most women would ask for. Apparently, life is perfect but there is “something” missing. It is just because she is not married to the man of her dreams.

He thinks that his life sucks. He is seventeen years old. He has an iPhone, Core i7 Dell, 1000 bucks monthly pocket money but according to him, his life sucks. He can’t focus on his textbook. He slams it shut and starts pacing in the room as he thinks out aloud.

If my friend can own a Jaguar, why the hell, can’t I? Everything sucks.”

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

As we grow up, we get tuned to be thankless and not to see the blessings in our life. We focus all our energy and attention towards finding out the stuff that is lacking in our lives. This is really ironic because the more we focus on scarcity, the more we tend to attract it.

Research has proven that through our thoughts and emotions, we emit powerful signals; these signals have the ability to attract signals of the same frequency! In other words, whenever you are being ungrateful or thinking negative and self-defeating things (“I never seem to have enough of money” or “I can never be healthy” or “I can never find a practicing husband” ) or worrying about issues beyond your control, you are actually emitting energies that will attract similar energies. Ultimately, you will end up becoming a black hole of despair. All the worries, arguments and frustration lead to more of the same.
Considering all this, if you want to try to attract more signals of what you desire to experience , for example, peace, joy, harmony, ease, prosperity etc., then why not choose your thoughts consciously and carefully?

Today non-Muslim researchers have discovered these secrets in the name of Natural Laws; while these “open secrets” were given to us in the Quran 1400 years ago. Psychologists and philosophers have painstakingly conducted researches and have come up with new theories and ideas. All this “newly discovered” stuff was presented to us in the Quran in no uncertain terms. Allah subhaana wa ta'aala promises “if are grateful, I’ll give you 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.' " (Qur'an, 14:7)

This is a ready-made formula for attracting more of what you want in life.

Why is gratitude such a key ingredient in a successful life? Does it make sense now? Gratitude basically helps you make the shift. Consequently, you are able to attract more good, more love, more joy, more money, more health and blissful relationships in your life. Gratitude is one of the easiest and most frequently used methods to alter the signals one is emitting. What we need to master is the attitude of gratitude, the attitude of appreciating everything in life.

It is well-known that prayer, the important pillar of Islam is incomplete without Surah Fatihah. Surah Fatihah begins with expressing our gratitude to our Lord for the countless blessings He has showered upon us. Have you ever noticed that a lot of duas taught by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also start with the same expression of gratitude- Alhamdulillah. The day starts with the supplication "Alhmdulillahilazi ahyana…" (All praise and thanks be to the one who gave us life..)

What is the significance of this? Allah subhaana wa ta'aala wants you to start your day in a super charged state, attracting ample happiness and abundance in life. 

The meal ends with the supplication "Alhmdulillahizli at’amana wa sakana…" (All praise and thanks be to the one who gave us food and drink) Why? Because He always wants you to have better food every time you eat. The same expression Alhamdulillah- its not a coincidence, is it? 

Gratitude is one of the quickest ways to regain our focus. When we are stuck, it means we are giving too much attention to something that doesn’t really deserve it. Most so-called problems are usually mundane pre-occupations and mental obsessions. We focus so much on one area to the exclusion of everything else that we create and then magnify our problems. Guess what ?? When we focus so much on what’s not working, we can’t even access the part of our brain that provides us solutions. Surprised ?? Yeh! So, when something is not working, focus on what is working and say alhmdulillahi rabbil 3lameen aloud. What do you think you are doing by saying this? You are freeing your mind from those thoughts that bog you down; and you are reinforcing strong positive beliefs that even if some areas are not working in life, others definitely are. In this way, you are able to think in a quicker and better way to resolve what is not working in life. Try it out for yourself.

It is reported that some of the companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) even used to be grateful  for the calamities that they faced and presented their gratitude to Allah for not letting something worse befall them. Now THAT is the attitude of gratitude!

Being grateful to Allah subhaana wa ta'aala does wonders. When you’ll acknowledge His Hand in your life, miracles will happen. You’ll be in the middle of a problem and would not have the least bit of knowledge about what would happen next, and suddenly the solution will dawn upon you. Its like when someone would return you an old loan that you completely forgot about when you are in dire need of money. Its like when you are thinking about your loved ones and they give you a call right then. Its like when you are longing for something to happen and it happens; be very grateful to The One who made it happen.

We usually ignore many things that are readily available to us and need a BIG reason to be grateful. Our family, friends, body, health, job, leisure time, education, food, wisdom, smiles, children and even the painful lessons that life teaches us (and the list goes on) are HUGE blessings to be grateful for. If you don’t have the same feeling, just close your eyes and imagine one of these blessings vanishing from your life. How does that feel? This is EXACTLY for the reason you need to be thankful each day, every moment.

Its a pity that since childhood we are tuned to have lust for more and never to be satisfied with what we already have. It is exactly for this reason, being grateful to Allah subhaana wa ta'aala for what He has already blessed us with is sometimes very challenging for us. All of us need a bit of fine tuning, so below are some tools that I am sharing with you to be able to be grateful to Him and let the magic unfold.


1- Make a list of twenty things you appreciate right NOW. Write ALHAMDULILLAH in front of every blessing. Make a list of the things you feel good about and why you are grateful for that thing, situation or person in your life.

How did you feel doing this? Here’s the good news: you just increased your positive emissions and now you are actually able to attract more happiness, abundance and prosperity in your life.

2- Start looking for EVERYTHING you can be grateful for in life and start talking about it all the time no matter how insignificant it is. If you find a buck from your old shirt’s pocket, celebrate. Go around and tell everyone how grateful you are for that. That’s how you are actually tuning your mind to show gratitude for tiniest blessing in your life.

3- At least once a day, share GRATITUDE status on Facebook and twitter (or whatever social media you use) and ask others what they are grateful for. In sha Allah, you’ll get ajar for your shukr and theirs too.

4- Try to seek the positive out of every negative. Take out at least three good lessons from every painful experience and be grateful that life threw that situation at you so that you could learn.

In a nutshell, developing the attitude of gratitude to Allah subhaana wa ta'aala will do wonders in your life. Identify those wonders and be grateful for them so you can have more.

Do share with us a list of some blessings in your life that you are grateful for. We would like to hear from you in the comments below.


Very well written, and thought provoking. JazakAllah Khair

JazakumAllaahu Khair sister for this wonderful article. May Allaah Sub7anahu wa ta'ala reward you immensely for your efforts. Ameen.

I came across a du'aa that you included in the article and wanted give some Naseehah. If there is any good from the Naseehah, it from Allaah 'Azzawajal; if there are any mistakes, they are from myself and Shaitaan. I seek Allaah's forgiveness.

By writing this du'aa in your article, "Alhmdulillahizli at’amana wa sakana…" (All praise and thanks be to the one who gave us food and drink), if you meant to write, ‘Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi at’amana wa saqaana wa ja’alana Muslimeen (Praise be to Allaah Who has given us food and drink and made us Muslims)”, then it is weak. might be helpful Inshaa'Allaah. However, if you meant to write: “Al-hamdu Lillaah illadhi at’ama wa saqaa wa sawwaghahu wa ja’ala lahu makhrajan (Praise be to Allaah Who has given food and drink, dame it easy to swallow and has made a way out for it), then this is Saheeh.

It is also worth mentioning here that there are other authentic (saheeh) du'aas after eating apart from the one mentioned above. Allaahu A'alam.

Jazak Allah Kharain for bringing this into my notice, ukhti. May Allah reward you immensely :)


This is such a CLASS ARTICLE! Bela khan add me up on facebook!
Im going to print this out and stick it in my room! <3
MashaAllah - really looking forward to more articles from you :)
Jazak Allah khair - may Allah reward you immensely!
Ameen ya rabbul alameen x

jazakAllah sister such a great article

Jazak Allah Khayr sister. All praise and glories be to Allah SWT. You are welcome to add me on facebook.

Post a Comment