Al-Wahhab _ The All-Giver
Now, we move on to the eleventh of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver). O Allah! Give us from You Mercy that overwhelms us in this present world and the world to come. Verily You are “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
First of all, man is made up of both a mind and a heart. With his mind, he gets to know Allah; and with his heart, he loves Him. As scholars see it, this Divine Name is related to love, but before we set out to explain the meaning of the Arabic word “Al-Wahhab”, I would like to give an example from our daily life. If a poor young man, who lives a poor miserable wretched life, is chosen by a wealthy person to be the husband of his dutiful, obedient, good mannered, chaste, believing, well-educated daughter, and if he is granted not only a house but also a shop and a car as well, isn’t the heart of this young man filled with love, praise, thankfulness and gratitude to the man who bestowed on him all such favors? This is the case of a human being towards another human being who does him a favor, so what would the case be if Allah, Lord of all worlds bestows on one of His slaves His Divine Favors?
In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “O David! Remind My slaves of My Favors to them, for people are predisposed to love those who do them favors and hate those who do them disfavors.”
The purpose of knowing Allah’s Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) is to love Allah, Most Gracious, for love is the essence of faith. In fact, Islamic religion is not only facts to understand and learn but also feelings and emotions to live. A Muslim’s mind should believe not only in Allah’s existence, Might and Majesty but also in His Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes. At the same time, a Muslim’s heart should abound in love for Allah, Most Gracious. I would like to put forward the following fact before my dear readers: What motivates man is his love more than his mind. Driven by his love man sacrifices everything, but by using his mind, he may be convinced, he may believe, and he may be certain, but he does not move.
Therefore, preachers and callers for Allah have to address both people’s minds and hearts at the same time. If they effect in man mental convincement, they achieve only one half of success, but if, in addition to mental convincement, they make in him an attitude based on love, they achieve complete success. In other words, you are, above all, a human being with both a mind and a heart. If you use your mind to contemplate the universe, you get to know Allah, the Almighty. If you realize the Great Divine Favors that Allah, Most Gracious, bestows upon you, you love Him with all of your heart. Moreover, if you love Allah, this means that you are rightly guided. A human being is not a real human being unless he/she loves.
While we were at the university, a professor of psychology retired and his colleagues and students held a party in honor of the occasion. He delivered a speech that I shall never forget: “A person who does not feel desirous to love and be loved is not a human being.” In other words, you do not deserve to be called “a human being” if you are hard-hearted.
Therefore, love is indispensable for human life. The remarkable thing about the Prophet’s venerable Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, is that they did many feats. Why did they achieve the impossible? Why did they purchase themselves for the Cause of Allah? Why did they sacrifice everything? If the finger of one of us is wounded, he cries out, bandages it, excuses himself from meetings and even has a sick leave. Consider what the venerable Companion, Ja’far, may Allah be pleased with him, did! He received a blow of a sword that chopped off his right hand, so he held the flag with his left hand. Another blow came to chop off his left hand, so he managed to hold the flag with his upper arms and to keep holding it until he fell dead. What love could drive him to sacrifice his life?
Another example is Al-Khansa’. Before she embraced Islam, she filled the world with her wailing and lamentation when her brother Sakhr was murdered. However, after she embraced Islam, her four sons died as martyrs in the battle of Al-Qadisiyah. The only thing she did was that she said: “Praise to Allah, Who honored me by their martyrdom, and I beseech Allah to join me with them in the shade of His Mercy.”
A third example is the venerable Companion Khubaib bin 'Udai, whom the infidels had seized and tied up to a tree in order to kill him. When Abu Sufian, the head of disbelievers, came to him, asking, “Would you like that Muhammad be in your place?” In this context, the words that common people usually say are: “Let a thousand mothers cry except mine.” Abu Sufian repeated his question, “Would you like that Muhammad be in your place?” Most bravely and confidently, Khubaib, may Allah be pleased with him, answered, “I swear by Allah! I would not like to be with my family and children, prosperous and healthy, while Muhammad be hurt with a prick.” What a great love! Read biographies of the venerable Companions, and you find incredible fabulous feats based on love, for they sincerely loved their Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, and His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH).
I would like to tell all dear readers: Love does stand behind every sacrifice, commitment, obedience and surmounting hardships and difficulties. Similarly, love stands behind all kinds of happiness, for one is never happy unless one loves Allah, Most Merciful, Whose Door is constantly open.
The door of some human celebrities is open for some people but closed for others; they accept some people but reject others; and they are never pleased once they have been angered. However, Allah’s Door is constantly open to everyone… “If a disobedient slave turns to Allah, Most Gracious, with repentance, it is called out in the heavens and the earth, ‘Congratulate so and so, for he has become reconciled with Allah!”
If we look upon Allah’s Beautiful Name “Al-Wahhab” from the perspective of our original pure nature and disposition, our heart will be filled with love for our Maker, Allah, Most Gracious. As soon as our heart is filled with love for Allah, we find out our Lord’s Infinite Divine Care, Love, Help, and Guidance to us, and we feel ultimate success and prosperity.
In the light of the above-mentioned facts, we understand that love is the basis of Faith. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who has no love has not Faith.” However, when does man’s heart get into a state of unrest? The answer is: It is the token of a true believer that when Allah is mentioned, his heart gets into a state of unrest. To this effect, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts, and when His Verses are recited unto them, they increase them in Faith, and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” [VIII; 2]
Such is the token of the heart of someone who believes in his Lord, Allah, Exalted and Glorified. This is because man does not adorn or be courteous towards his own self nor does he flatter his own self. On the contrary, he constantly takes care of, and examines, his heart, asking himself the embarrassing question, “Whom do I really love?” This is because love is more easily claimed than proved true. To this purport, Allah, the Almighty, says, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘if you really love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” [III; 31]
We are overwhelmed with Allah’s Innumerable Divine Favors. Notice what you do when someone pays for you the fare of a public means of transport. You thank him/her heartily and profoundly; and you may even invite them to your own home, just because they have paid for you the fare. Just notice yourself! If someone gives you a gift, you become very thankful and hurry to express your gratitude and love to him/her. You may invite him/her to your own home and even promise to pay him/her a visit. All of this is only because he/she has given you a gift! Such is man!
In a Divine Hadith, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “O David! Remind My slaves of My Favors that I bestow upon them, for humans are predisposed to love those who do Favors to them and to hate those who do disfavors to them.”
However, what is the difference between a believer and a disbeliever? A disbeliever is someone who lives with his Lord’s Divine Favors but does not remember Him, while a true believer is someone who is always thankful to the Lord for His Divine Favors that He, Most Bounteous, confers upon him. Is it polite or grateful of you, when someone invites you to a great banquet with different kinds of delicious food and drink, to leave before you express your due thanks to the host? When a fellow human gives you something valuable or does you a favor, you are very thankful to him/her! Then, why are you not thankful enough to the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, when He confers His Innumerable Divine Favors upon you?
Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?” [XC; 8] You see your small child, you see your family, you see your brothers, you see forests, trees, and flowers, you see those whom you love, you see the nature around you, you see colors and people, you walk in the street comfortably and safely with things clearly seen around you, you read, you go sight-seeing. You should remember Allah’s Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips?” [XC; 8,9]
Once, I went to see someone who was a furniture painter. When I spoke to him, he signaled to me to speak to his assistant, for he was deaf-mute. As soon as I spoke to the assistant, a kind of sign language began to take place between the painter and his assistant. I remembered Allah’s Divine Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of virtue and of evil)?” [XC; 8,9,10]
You speak out, expressing your own feelings, emotions and ideas. You say, “Today, I have read an article in the newspaper.” You talk about the interpretation of a certain Quranic Verse or an interesting story. You sit with people and talk to your family and children. You should remember Allah’s Divine Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of virtue and of evil)?” [XC; 8,9,10]
At the faculty of education of Damascus university, they taught us that when a baby is born, it has nothing to guarantee its survival except for a single reflex, namely that of sucking. Such is the Make of the Almighty Allah, Who has perfected the Make of all things! If someone touches the burning end of a cigarette, he immediately, and without thinking, pulls his hand off. The well-known scientist, Pavlov, called this “reflex action”. Anyway, without the suck-reflex, with which Allah, Most Merciful, endues the baby, it would have been impossible for humankind to survive. Most amazingly, as soon as the mother gives her breast to her newly born baby, the latter firmly fixes its lips to it and begins sucking, allowing no air to pass through its lips into its mouth, otherwise it would be impossible for it to suck. Without such reflex action, complex as it is, no baby could ever survive.
At this stage of growth, the baby has no other reflexes or knowledge whatsoever. A baby describes any man it sees as its father. Later, it begins to distinguish its own father from other men. How does a baby attain such knowledge? When someone says “a tree”, the baby conceives the meaning of a tree and not an orange or a nut. The formation of conceptions through perceptions is a marvelous human ability! How does man think? How does he make symbols and conceptions? It is a whole world of its own!
The function of 140 billion brown cells in the human brain is still unknown. In other words, the human brain is still unable to understand its own self. The difference between believers and disbelievers is that the former know the Benefactor through the Benefaction, while the latter, and similarly those who are profligate and irreligious, enjoy the Benefactions but are completely heedless of the Benefactor. Their heedlessness will certainly lead them to never ending chastisement in Hell-Fire. Believers contemplate Benefactions and their Originator. Every one of us goes home to find his wife, who has her own wisdom, feelings and emotions. He finds his meal ready and his home tidy. A true believer always remembers that these are Valuable Benefactions from the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious.
In time of heedlessness, one might say, “I have got married, worked hard, established this house and furnished it. I have collected enough money for the dowry and chosen my good wife.” He says all such things, forgetting the One Who bestowed upon him all such Favors. This is heedlessness of Allah, All Mighty. You should always remember that your good wife is given to you as a gift from the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious. Who has made your baby, who fills your life with happiness and delight, so beautiful and good tempered? Who has made it innocent and naïve? If it dealt with you like an adult, you would not love it. If it were like adults, one word from you would make it angry with you for a long time. You rebuke and reproach your baby, but soon afterwards, it comes to you and even kisses you. Who has endowed the baby with such nice lovable character? Who has endued the baby with such love for his mother and father? It is the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
In the field of psychology, specialists carried out an experiment to prove that the brain is the essence of human psychic life. However, they found a baby with a liquid brain, which was very rare. The baby began crying, but when its mother came, it stopped crying. This means that in a human being there is a Self whose reality no one has ever been able to discover. A well-known book entitled “Man: That unknown Thing” confirms that man has been so far able to discover only too few things about the nature of is own body but nothing about his own Self, which is still very much of a mystery. In this context, Allah, All Mighty, says, “And they ask you concerning the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit is one of the things the knowledge of which is only with my Lord.” [XVII; 85]
The above-mentioned information was just an introduction by which I meant to show that when we speak about Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), seeing all His Divine Favors that He, Most Gracious, bestows upon us, we must necessarily love Him; and obedience is the token of love. In this context, the verses go:
You disobey Allah, claiming that you love Him!
Such is, upon my life, a shameful fake claim!
Were your love true, you would obey Him!
Verily, a true lover obeys his beloved!
The Quranic Verses in which Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) are:
“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and give us mercy from You. Truly, You are Al-Wahhab (the All-Giver).” [III; 8]
“To Allah does belong the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He gives female (offspring) to whomever He wills, and He gives male (offspring) to whomever He wills.” [XLII; 49]
“And verily, I fear my relatives after me, and my wife is barren. So give me from You an heir.” [XIX; 5]
“At that time, Zechariah invoked his Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord! Give me from You a good offspring! You are, indeed, the Hearer of invocation!” [III; 38]
In the above Quranic Verses, the use of the imperative “give” denotes invocation, since it is addressed by an inferior slave to the Superior Lord, Allah, All Mighty.
In Arabic, the imperative has different denotations. If someone of a certain status asks another of the same status to do something, this is a request. If a person of a higher status tells another of a lower status to do something, it is an order or command. The use of an imperative may give the meaning of permission as in Allah’s Words: “And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of the night), then complete the fast till the nightfall.”[II; 187] If someone gets up before daybreak in the month of Ramadan but does not feel hungry and, therefore, he does not have As-Sohour (the last meal before daybreak during the month of Ramadan), is he disobedient? Scholars say he is not, because the use of the imperatives: “eat” and “drink” does not denote obligation but rather permission. The same thing applies to Allah’s Words, “But when you doff the Ihram (the state of ritual consecration of a Mecca pilgrim), hunt.” [IV; 2] The imperative “hunt” here denotes permission, i.e. it is permissible for you to hunt after you have doffed the Ihram.
The imperative may sometimes signify recommendation, as in Allah’s Words, “And marry those among you who are single and the righteous from among your slaves, male and female. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing.” [XXIV; 32] By virtue of the above Verse, Allah, Most Gracious, recommends Muslims to marry those among them who are single and the righteous ones from among their slaves.
The imperative may even indicate obligation, as in Allah’s Words, “And perform Salat (Prayer), give Zakat (Alms), and obey the Messenger that you may receive mercy (from Allah).” [XXIV; 56] The above Verse means that Muslims are obliged to perform Prayer, give Alms, and obey Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH).
In certain cases, the imperative is used to stand for threat, as in Allah’s Words, “And say, ‘The truth is from you Lord.’ Then, whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the wrong doers a Fire, whose walls will be surrounding them; and if they ask help, they will be given water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink and an evil resting place!” [XVIII; 29] The above Verse means that it is up to people to believe or not, providing that they bear consequences of their belief or disbelief.
In order to understand the meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), we should ask ourselves: What has Allah, Most Gracious, given us?
The first thing that Allah, Most Gracious, has given us is our existence. In other words, each one of us has his/her existence that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, has given him/her. Each one of us enjoys his/her existence, good health, food and drink, marriage, a dwelling, a job, a social status, …etc. Who has given you your existence? It is Allah, Glory to Him, Who has given you existence and provided you with sustenance and means of living.
For example, how can we deal with rock and iron? We desire to place a bolt into rock to fix a metal lock. If we make a hole in the rock and insert the bolt, it goes down but remains loose. Allah, All Mighty, has created for us a metal, lead, which melts at a low temperature. If we pour the molten lead into the hole and leave it to cool down, it expands and fixes the bolt into the rock, and the bolt becomes part of the rock.
Once, I noticed some workers trying to dismantle a metal fence of a garden. The fence was fixed to a rock basis, and the workers were trying to cut the metal fence with a saw. “Why don’t they uproot the fence instead of cutting it into pieces?” I thought. When I asked the workers, they said, “It is a thousand times easier to cut the fence into pieces than to uproot it, because it is fixed with lead.” If Allah, All Mighty, had not created lead, how would it be possible to fix such a metal fence into a rock basis?
A dentist puts a special lead fill into your tooth. The fill is firmly fixed in your tooth as soon as the lead expands when it cools down. Allah, Most Gracious, also created gypsum to help you fix a wedge into a wall. You insert a piece of wood together with some gypsum into a hole in a wall; the gypsum expands as soon as it cools down and firmly fixes the wedge into the wall. All things contract as their temperature goes down. Nevertheless, Allah, All Mighty, has made certain substances and metals, such as lead and gypsum, which expand as their temperature goes down.
Allah, All Mighty, has created water with no color, smell or taste. If water were pink, human life would be unbearable. If water were sweet, food and all things would be sweet. If water were sticky, how would man wash his body and things? Imagine how things would be if water were made sticky! However, Allah, Most Gracious, has made water fluid, colorless, odorless and tasteless. If water did not evaporate, except at 100° C., the floor of your room would remain wet forever if you spilt water thereon. However, water begins to evaporate at 14° C., and therefore, as soon as you spill some water on the floor of your room, it evaporates. In addition, water boils at 100° C. If it boiled at 500° C., as oil does, food would burn during cooking.
Who has given water its properties? It evaporates at 14° C. It has an amazing fluidity that enables it to flow through the narrowest pores. It has no color, taste or odor: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Shall we talk about the whole universe? Shall we talk about the eye or the ear? In a medical experiment, scientists poured some wax into the outer part of a person’s ear. Therefore, he lost the ability to determine direction of the sound-source. Allah, All Mighty, has endowed the outer part of the ear with the ability to receive sounds from all directions and reflect them into the ear’s interior.
Who has given you a sound-memory whereby you distinguish different sounds and voices even through the telephone? Who has made you get annoyed when you hear noise but get amused when you hear bird singing? Surely, it is Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver): “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has given the food a nice smell? If Allah, Most Gracious, made the good food smell bad while the bad food smell good, what would human life be like? As soon as food, such as meat for example, gets rotten, it smells horrible: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.” All things around you, your existence, your senses, and the substances and materials around you are all Divine Favors from the Lord, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
Who has created the Sun for us? You pay hundreds of thousands of pounds more for a house that looks out on the Sun. The Sun, which has been burning more than five thousand million years, is the source of life on the Earth. It will remain ablaze for another five thousand million years. Who has given us the Sun? Surely, it is Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, (the All-Giver): “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has made the Moon as a calendar in the heaven? It is He, Allah, Most Gracious, Who has made the Moon to help you know the number of years and the reckoning: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has made the wind blow in order to renew the air and refresh man? The weather changes due to its movement, which removes pollution, dust or bad smell. Undoubtedly, movement of the wind is one of Allah’s Great Favors. Moreover, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “And We send the winds fertilizing, then cause the water to descend from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores.” [XV; 22]
Once, we calculated the amount of water that a person needs for a whole year. We found out that he needs about 100 cubic meters. We should take into consideration that a reservoir of 100 cubic meters is equal to a flat in which one can dwell. Allah, Most Gracious, says, “…and it is not you who are the owners of its stores.”
Storage of water in springs is both remarkable and amazing. Who stores water in springs and wells? “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
In Arabic the word “Wahhab” is derived from the verb “wahaba”, which means “to give someone something as a gift, i.e. without getting anything in return.”
If someone has a son that is dutiful, obedient, religious, righteous, polite, well behaved, and kind, is it correct to claim, “I have done my best to make my son as such!”? The answer is: No, of course not! It is clear that such father has forgotten Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), Who granted him such good righteous son. In this context, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, says, “And We granted him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, each of whom did We guide; and before him, We did guide Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good-doers.” [VI; 84] The verb “granted” in the above Quranic Verse means that Allah, Most Gracious, gave His Prophet Abraham, (PBUH), his sons Isaac and Jacob as a gift, i.e. without anything in return. In other words, if Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, gives you a son, it is a gift from Him. It is not up to you to make your son a good righteous person or not. It is all in Allah’s Hand. You might be the most powerful, influential and knowledgeable person in the whole world, but have a son who gets you in trouble and makes your life unbearable. A great many good righteous people have bad deviant disobedient children. I have heard, for example, that the son of the Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina is an evil deviant irreligious person. Therefore, if Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, gives you a righteous dutiful obedient child, you should be most grateful to Him, Most Gracious. Do not attribute your child’s righteousness, dutifulness or obedience to your own intelligence and good upbringing. Do not say, “I am an intelligent person. I am a successful father. I always take care of my child and follow him/her step by step.” If he/she is a bad person, your care and upbringing are in vain. Hence, Allah’s Words “And We granted him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob” should be understood that the holy Prophets Isaac and Jacob, (PBUT), were both given to their father, Abraham, (PBUH), as a gift from the Lord, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, and not anyone else.
In the light of the above-mentioned definition of the word “wahaba” (give or donate), is it correct to say that a human being gives another something as a gift, i.e. without getting anything in return? Is it believable that a human being, in the whole world, gives another something gratis? Even when a true believer gives anything gratis, he/she does so seeking good recompense from his Lord, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”. Does he/she give anything for nothing? Does he/she hasten to serve other people for nothing? Does he/she rescue a patient for nothing? Does he/she teach or preach for nothing? Does he/she serve Allah’s House for nothing? Is it believable that he/she seeks nothing in return?
If a wealthy person asked a teacher: “I’d like you to give my son private lessons, and I shall give you one million pounds for each lesson. But do not take any money from my son, because if you do, I shall give you nothing”, would it be wise of the teacher to take only one hundred pounds for each lesson from the son and, hence, lose the large amount of money that the father promised to give him?
A wise person is someone who does not seek recompense from people but rather from the Lord of people, Allah, All Mighty. Do you believe that a human being does anything for no reward or recompense? Utmost reward is to ask for Allah’s Good Pleasure, to ask for His Paradise, to ask for His Most Generous Recompense, to ask for His Help, because no human being could ever give you anything for nothing in return.
In the light of the above mentioned, it is only metaphorically correct to say that a human being gives anything for nothing in return. Sometimes, a person gives something in order to be praised and thanked. Such praise is the reward he looks for. Sometimes, someone gives generously to a charity seeking public gratitude. He boasts, “I have given such and such amount of money!” He desires to have his name inscribed on a marble plate showing his generous contribution. In other words, he desires to have a reward in return for his good deed. I reiterate: No human being gives anything for nothing in return; the only One Who gives for nothing in return is Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, Most Gracious.
Furthermore, if a human being gives you anything, who is the Real Donor? It is Allah, Most Generous, Who inspired him to give you what he has given you!
A venerable religious scholar lived in a rented house in Tripoli, Syria. The property owner wanted to send him out of the house. The law was on the owner’s side, therefore, he brought an action against the scholar and won the case. As a result, the scholar was about to be homeless. However, something very strange took place. One of the wealthy people of that town dreamed of Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), telling him to buy a house for the scholar. The wealthy person looked for the scholar everywhere until he found him and bought him a good house, just for the sake of Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) and His Generous Reward and Recompense.
No human being could ever give anything unless Allah, Most Gracious, inspires him to do so. Sometimes an official gives you permission to do something. In fact, it is Allah, Who inspires him to do so. However, if Allah, All Mighty, desires to punish you, He creates thousands of obstacles before you. A businessperson once told me that 38 lorries loaded with goods were no allowed to cross the Syrian Customs because they had not been verified by the Syrian Embassy in the country of origin.
If someone offers you help or does you a favor, you should firmly believe that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, has inspired him to do so.
At any rate, should I not thank the person who does me a favor? Of course, I should! If anyone offers you help or does you a favor, but you do not thank him/her, it would be ungrateful of you, because he does so willingly. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.”
Therefore, you must show adequate thankfulness and gratitude to a person who willingly offers to help you or does you a favor, although it is Allah, All Mighty, Who inspires him to do so. However, you should thank Allah first for inspiring people to help you or do you favors, and then you should offer thanks to people for helping you willingly. In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “If someone seeks refuge with Allah, give him refuge. If someone asks you to give him something for the sake of Allah, give him (what he asks). If someone asks Allah for help, help him. If someone does you a favor, reward him (for his favor); but if you do not find (anything to reward him), invoke Allah for him until you make sure that you have duly rewarded him.”
In order to make things clear, I would like to say that in case someone does Muslims a favor, they usually say, “May Allah well reward you!” or “May Allah increase you in good!” Such sayings are not sufficient. If someone does you a favor, you should do him/her a favor in return. However, if you are unable to do so, it is acceptable of you to thank him by using the above sayings.
In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), sets a perfect example of this in a situation with the venerable Companion Rabi’ah, may Allah be pleased with him. After Rabi’a had served Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), for some time, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), addressed him, “O Rabi’ah! Ask me anything you need.” I wondered, “Does not Allah’s Prophet and Messenger deserve to be served for nothing in return!” Nevertheless, due to his perfect noble human nature, He, (PBUH), felt indebted to Rabi’ah for serving him. In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example.” [XXXIII; 21]
Beware of mentioning the favors that you do to others, but do not forget the favors that the