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Bint Mahmud

June 5, 2024


Gratitude Journaling: How Active Gratefulness Unlocks Rizq

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

‘Gratitude journaling’ became a recent phenomenon in the past few years, where people started to see significant changes in their overall mental wellbeing by writing down things they are grateful for everyday. They also noticed that through their consistent gratitude, their happiness and contentment increased and their depression and anxiety subsided.
To a Muslim, the wonders of gratitude are well-known. We’re well aware that expressing our contentment to Allah makes Him pour down His mercy upon us. However, we often forget to actively show thanks and end up taking our blessings for granted, which leads to loss of blessings and discontentment.
This is where gratitude journaling can solve this problem. It gives us a way to actively show our appreciation to Allah and takes some time out of our busy lives to deepen our love for Him. Here’s why you should consider gratitude journaling daily —

Be Grateful and I Will Grant You More

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah says,
“If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more.” [Surah Ibrahim, verse 7]
One of Allah’s promises in the Qur’an is to grant us more blessings on the condition of being grateful for our existing blessings. Being aware of each of our blessings and being happy that they are with us is what opens doors to even more blessings in the future.
This doesn’t mean that your blessings will multiply overnight, so don’t expect instant results. Gratitude is a mindset that requires consistency and refinement with time. Work on building the quality of your gratitude so that you can see the quantity of your blessings increase.
Writing down 10, 15, 20, or even 5 things you are grateful for every day can leave you feeling at peace and in awe of the mercy of Allah towards you. Taking out just 5 minutes at the end of the day to think of the times Allah has saved you throughout your day deepens your love for Him, which Allah returns tenfold.

Every Blessing is a Test

Just like hardships, blessings are also a test from Allah. In this Dunya, the believer is in a constant state of being tested. Whatever happens to him, good or bad, is a test for the same thing—will he continue to worship Allah, or go astray?

The Prophet    said,
“How wonderful is the case of a believer! There is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” [Riyad as-Salihin, 27]

Blessings are a test of our gratitude, our sincerity, our humility, and our responsibility. The times when we’re ungrateful for our blessings, lose sincerity in our worship because we think we have enough, become arrogant with pride, or become irresponsible and use our blessings to disobey Allah is when the test changes by the blessings being lost.
Gratitude journaling alleviates these issues as it allows us to take time to focus on being grateful by itself. It is a recount of all the blessings we might have overlooked throughout the day.

Gratitude is Worship

Being grateful is the first step of Zuhd or ‘asceticism’, which is the complete contentment of the soul and desire for nothing but eternity in Jannah. The greatest person to have fully mastered the art of Zuhd was our Prophet    .
The Prophet    also had desires and wants like we do. But, he overlooked them and kept his focus on getting to Jannah only, as he knew the pleasures of the world don’t last and aren’t fulfilling. Whatever good came to him, he accepted and was grateful for.
Allah says in the Qur’an,
“Those who desire worldly gain, We will let them have it, and those who desire heavenly reward, We will grant it to them. And We will reward those who are grateful.” [Surah Al-’Imran, verse 145]

Having a greater desire for rewards in the Akhirah as opposed to here in the Dunya is the essence of why we worship Allah. This level of ‘Iman can only be achieved through constant gratitude.

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