In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz, continues the series Renewal by the Book giving an overview of the chapter on repentance, patience and gratitude from Imam Ghazali’s along with a tafsir of the verses of the Quran that correspond to it. In this lesson, Shaykh Faraz looks at verse 13 from chapter 34 in the Quran.
Often times these three qualities: repentance, patience and gratitude are thought of to be enacted at specific times, like repenting when one does something wrong. However, one should be in all three states at all times and shouldn’t tie them to life events.
اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ
“Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful. [Quran, 34:13]
All the Prophets came with one call, that to Allah, and all the virtues of that call are shared, thus the call to Prophet David extends to us as well. Imam Ghazali explains that Gratitude has three integrals: to recognize the blessing as being from Allah, appreciating the blessing, and then expressing appreciation to Allah. Gratitude is for the servant to direct every blessing that Allah has blessed them with towards what Allah has created it for.
Gratitude entails repentance, because whatever you have was given by Allah without you deserving it; then even when one does good because Allah will always deserve better. This also entails patience, because one needs to be patient on the way of Allah. To summarize, gratitude entails:
 leaving sin, through repentance
 remaining firm on what is pleasing to Allah through patience
The truly grateful express their gratitude for what was prevented from them and not just what is given to them. For this reason, the scholars have listed three levels of gratitude:
 General gratitude for blessings
 High gratitude for blessings and tribulations
 To disappear from the blessings to the bestower of blessings
Shaykh Faraz concludes by reminding us that true gratitude is directing every blessing whether blessing or displeasing to Allah with constant repentance because we recognize that Allah deserves better. Lastly, have every renewed patience and commitment to remain firm on all that is pleasing to Allah.
In this series Shaykh Faraz, and the other scholars and teachers will be looking at points of reflection from key verses in the Quran. The series will follow the thematic order of Imam Ghazali’s Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences). The aim is to connect the key verses of guidance from the Book of Allah with the blueprint of renewal, the Ihya, so that we experience a renewal by The Book.
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