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Chapter 1.6. One of the Greatest Blessings is Gratitude

As regards one whose deeds are great and many, he must busy himself with showing gratitude for them, for the accord to show gratitude is one of the greatest blessings Allah bestows upon His servant. It is obligatory upon him to meet these deeds with gratitude and realise his deficiency in displaying due gratitude.

Wahb ibn al-Ward, when asked about the reward of a particular deed, said, 'Ask not about its reward, but ask about the gratitude due upon one who was guided to it.'

Abu Sulayman would say, 'How can an intelligent person be amazed with his deeds? Deeds are one of Allah's blessings, as such it is upon him to show gratitude and to show humility. It is only the Qadariyyah who are amazed at their deeds!' i.e. those who do not believe that the actions of the servant are created by Allah, Mighty and Magnificent.

How excellent is the saying of Abu Bakr al-Nahshali on the day that Dawud al-Tai died. After his burial, ibn al-Sammak stood and praised him for his good deeds and wept causing all present to weep as well and testify to the truth of what he said... Abu Bakr al-Nahshali stood and said, 'O Allah, forgive him and show mercy to him and leave him not to his deeds!'

Abu Dawud records on the authority of Zayd ibn Thabit that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Were Allah to punish the inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth, He could do so without having oppressed them in any way. Were He to show them mercy, His mercy would be better for them than their deeds." [Abu Dawud & Ibn Majah]

Hakim records on the authority of Jabir that a man came to the Prophet (saw) and said, 'Sins, sins!, repeating this two or three times. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Say: O Allah, Your forgiveness is vaster than my sins and I have more hope in it than I do my deeds." He said this and the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, "Repeat it." He did so and he was ordered to repeat it again which he did. Then he (saw) said, "Stand for you have been forgiven." [Hakim]

My sins, were I but to ponder them, are copious.
But greater yet is my Lord's forgiveness:
In my righteous deeds lies not my expectation,
But in the mercy of Allah have I anticipation.