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Chapter 1.2. Elucidation of the Meaning of Favours

lbn Majah records on the authority of Anas that the Prophet said, "There is no favour which Allah bestows upon His servant for which he says, 'al-Hamdulillah,' except that which he gave was better than that which he took." [Ibn Majah] This was also stated by Umar ibn Abdul Aziz, al-Hasan, and others from amongst the Salaf.

The meaning of this has troubled a great number of scholars, past and present, but if it is understood in the light of our preceding discussion, its meaning is obvious. The meaning of favour mentioned in the hadith is worldly favour and the statement of praising Allah is one of the religious favours. Religious favours are better than worldly favours. Now, because the favour of praising Allah has been attributed to the servant since he articulated it, Allah considers him as giving the greater favour as a return for the original favour (When in reality it is Allah who granted both). This is why it is mentioned in a narration, al-Hamdulillah, with a praise that befits and suffices His favours; represses His retribution; and acts as return for His addition.'

When understood in this light, the statement of praise is the imbursement of Paradise.