- Hamd (praise) – the pinnacle of Shukr (gratitude)
Allah’s (swt) name Al-Hameed comes from the three-letter root (Ha-Meem-Dal). It is closely associated with Shukr which means thankfulness. But Hamd is much more encompassing than Shukr. Thankfulness is expressed to someone for a particular deed or favour whereas Hamd is praise and gratitude, not simply for overt favours but for the inherent qualities the praiseworthy possesses. Hence, we praise Him for His very essence and all His decrees.
- Our beloved Prophet (sa) thanked and praised Allah (swt)
The Prophet (sa) praised Allah (swt) throughout his life, whether he faced hardship or received beautiful gifts from Him. It is because he reflected over the nature of this world, and he saw the majesty of Allah’s (swt) attributes in all His creation and everything that happened. Once, Aisha (rtaf) saw the Prophet (sa) pray for so long that his feet became swollen. She asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt), why do you undergo so much hardship when Allah (swt) has pardoned for you your earlier and later sins?” He replied: “Afala Akuna Abdun Shakura? (Should I not be a thankful servant?)” (Bukhari)
- Pairing Al-Hameed with Al-Ghani
Allah (swt) says: “O mankind! It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.” (Fatir 35:15) If a person assumes that he is self-sufficient, he withdraws himself from others as he does not need them, and does not feel obliged to be nice to them or help them. He is certainly not perfect in his essence. Allah (swt) truly does not need anyone yet He fulfills every creation’s needs and comes to their aid.
- The path to Al-Hameed is through good speech
“And they are guided (in this world) unto goodly speech (i.e. La ilaha illa Allah, Alhumdulillah, recitation of the Quran, etc.) and they are guided to the Path of Him (i.e. Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism), Who is Worthy of all praises.” (Al-Hajj 22:24) A beautiful Hadeeth by the Prophet (sa) further reiterates this fact: “A person’s faith is not upright until his heart is upright, and his heart will not be upright until his tongue is upright.” (Ahmad)
- Using Allah’s (swt) gifts in service of the Ummah – the highest form of praise
The highest form of praise is to use Allah’s (swt) blessings for good. But if we start utilizing His bounties in a manner that is unbecoming, those very blessings will either lead us to the Hellfire or turn bitter, leaving disobedient people discontent and self-destructive. Qarun was from the people of Musa (as). He was granted treasures, the keys of which had to be carried by a band of men. But he tyrannized his own people, never attributed his gifts to Allah (swt), and boasted about his knowledge. Allah (swt) caused the earth to swallow him and his home. Gifts from Allah (swt) did not avail him as he rejected them by disobeying the Lord (swt).