Is Ingratitude Kufr (Disbelief)?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Is being ungrateful to Allah kufr? Is not expressing gratefulness to Allah kufr?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah increase us in Faith and protect us from all forms of kufr.

Shukr (gratitude) is the antonym of kufr (ingratitude), but this is not equivalent to the “kufr” referring to disbelief. The etymological root, K-F-R, literally means “to cover, conceal, or deny.” Covering or denying a favor is ingratitude (kufr), and denying the existence of the Creator is disbelief (kufr).

Different Forms of Kufr

The following narration of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) clarifies both meanings of the word kufr.

It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allah Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “I was shown Hell, and I have never seen anything more terrifying than it. And I saw that the majority of its people are women.” They said, “Why, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Because of their ingratitude (kufr).” It was said, “Do they disbelieve (or reject) Allah?” He said, “They are ungrateful to their companions (husbands) and ungrateful for good treatment. If you are kind to one of them for a lifetime, then she sees one (undesirable) thing in you, she will say, ‘I have never had anything good from you.’” [Bukhari]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.