Quranic Reflection No. 523. Ayat 14:34 – Gratitude at the End of Ramadan
وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا
Wa-in ta‘uddū ni ‘mata-llāhi lā tuhsūhā
And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them.
(Sūrat Ibrāhīm, No 14, Āyat 34)
As we complete the month of Ramadan believers are filled with a mixture of sadness and joy. The sadness that the blessed month will now depart and bereft us of the special grace and mercy that surrounded us during its days and nights. Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn ‘alayhis-salām talks about this sorrow in Du‘ā 45 of Sahīfa Sajjādiyya. He says: You are not bid farewell in annoyance nor is Your fasting left in weariness! Rather, he (a) says: we bid farewell to it with the farewell of one whose parting pains us, whose leaving fills us with gloom and loneliness.
We are also filled with joy as we end the month. Not because it is over, but because it came to us. We were the guests of Allah ‘azza wajall for an entire month and had the opportunity to benefit from the results of fasting – physical, emotional and spiritual benefits that cannot be enumerated. This joy stems from gratitude, to have been chosen by Almighty Allah for such an extraordinary guidance. When Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā talks about the month of Ramadan in the Quran, He ends by saying: so that you may complete the number and magnify Allah for guiding you, and that you may give thanks (Q2:185). According to Allāmah Tabātabā’ī in Tafsīr al-Mīzān, this gratitude is for being guided towards the Truth and for the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood, as outlined in the beginning of the same verse.
Human beings can never enumerate the blessings bestowed upon them by Allah as sated in Q 14:34 and Q 16:18. In the favors that we enjoy as well as in the challenges we experience, lies the hand of Allah (swt) guiding each person, who deserves special guidance, to the ultimate levels of possible growth. Such heights could not be achieved but by His grace.
Imam Zaynul ‘Ābidīn (a) in the afore mentioned Du‘ā outlines the blessings of the month of Ramadan which deserve gratitude:
1) Being chosen for that obligation – Through it You have preferred us over the other communities.
2) Achieving reward from Allah – we found through it the means to Your reward.
3) Increase of faith – the faith which You multiplied by means of it.
4) A Special Night – and the Night of Decree which You magnified therein, the night which is better than a thousand months (Q 97:3).
5) Nobility and success – O Allah, we are the people of this month. Through it You have ennobled us and given us success because of Your kindness.
6) Allah’s pleasure, the ultimate reward – O Lord whosoever observed this month as it ought to be observed . . . [You] make incumbent upon him Your good pleasure.
Ending the month of Ramadan with gratitude results in many special gifts for the believer:
• an increase in guidance and in the ability to discern the truth. As the well-known verse of Quran says: If you are grateful, I will surely increase it for you (Q14:7)
• a deeper connection with Allah through appreciation of His mercy and love for human beings. Understanding that the month was His mercy to us, to bring us back to Him and to our natural, pure state.
• a feeling of joy that comes from knowing we are blessed, supported, not left alone to wander in darkness. The gratitude comes back to infuse the believer with a positive spirit that increases well-being in life. The Quran quotes the words of Luqmān the wise: whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake (Q 31:12)
As we prepare for Eid, let us prepare our hearts for the completion of the Month. We have been blessed in this month and can never thank Allah enough for this opportunity. It is that feeling of gratitude that permeates all Eid celebrations and allows the believer to bask in the mercy of his Lord.
Source: ‘Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Glimpses of Sahīfa Sajjādiyya, https://academyofislam.com/