Al Asma Al Husna - Names of Allah

Ash-Shakoor [the Most Appreciative], Al-Ghafoor [the Forgiving]

Ash-Shakoor Al-Ghafoor

The word Shakoor comes from the root letters sheen kāf rā (ش ك ر) and it has the following classical Arabic connotations:

– to praise or commend for a benefit or benefits,
– to acknowledge beneficence,
– to offer thanks, acknowledgment
– to be thankful, grateful
– to produce, supply, give forth bountifully

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Ash-Shakoor. He rewards the believing servants for their good deeds; in fact, He gives them even more than they deserve. He is the One Who appreciates the smallest deed, and forgives the greatest mistakes. He multiplies beyond measure the deeds of those who are sincere; He appreciates those who give thanks to Him, and He remembers those who remember Him. Whoever draws near to Him with something of righteous deeds, He draws near to him by more than that.

In the Qur’an, Prophet Nuh ‘alayhi salaam has been called ‘Abdan Shakoora because he was one of the grateful ones.

The name Ash-Shakoor appears repetitively in the Qur’an and it is often paired with another name: Al-Ghafoor – [the Forgiving] as we see in Surah Fatir ayaat 29-30,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْجُونَ تِجَارَةً لَّن تَبُورَ – لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَهُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌشَكُورٌ

“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish – That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative.”

Ibn Qayyim (raheemullah)mentions, “Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is such an Ash-Shakoor Who is the most deserving of being shown gratitude to.”

Al-Qurtubi writes, “He [Allah] accepts the little from the good deeds, and He repays for it the great from the rewards.” For the limited worship of this limited worldly life He rewards His servants with unlimited blessings of the Hereafter.

Ash-Shakoor gives out of His bounties and when a person does shukr for the blessings, He enables the person to do more good. This indicates that gratitude is a means to increase bounties. He is most ready to appreciate, accept and give reward for a small deed. He does not look at quantity. One good deed is rewarded up to ten times. Now it is on the person how much he wants to exert for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Ash-Shakoor appreciates His servants such that He mentions them in the company of His noble angels and places the servant’s appreciation in the hearts of other people.

We strive to please other people but sometimes a smallest thing angers them such that they hold a grudge against us and forget all previous kindnesses. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala appreciates even the smallest deeds of His servants and if the servant intends to do something good but forgets it or somehow is unable to do it, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not get angry. Rather He being Al-Ghafoor forgives it. The person is rewarded for his intention.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Being Ash-Shakoor

✦ The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,Whoever recites SubhanAllah one hundred times, a thousand good deeds are recorded for him or a thousand bad deeds are wiped away.” [Muslim] How many times do we err in a day? And if one ponders, how long does it take to say SubhanAllah, one hundred times? Probably less than a minute! This one minute spent in the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala expiates his sins and increases his good deeds.

✦ The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever enters the market and says,

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ ، يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوتُ ، بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner, to Him belongs all sovereignty and praise. He gives life and causes death, and He is living and does not die. In His hand is all good and He Omnipotent over all things,’ Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will wipe a million bad deeds from his record and grant him a million good deeds, and will elevate him a million degree (of virtue).” [At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and others.]  In another narration it appears He will build a house in paradise for him. Market is a place where a person goes for his personal needs yet he is rewarded by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for reciting this du’a. Why is that? It is because market is such a place which is surrounded by fitnah it makes man forget the remembrance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. So when a person remembers his Lord in a marketplace his reward is immense.

Similarly, a person is rewarded for the words of remembrance he recites in the morning and in the evening. He is rewarded for each letter of the Qur’an that he reads. Now whoever wishes to increase his scales in the Hereafter will pay attention to these rewarding deeds.

How can a Person Thank His Lord for His Blessings?

Ibn al-Qayyim (raheemullah) said, “Gratitude may be in the heart, in submission and humility; on the tongue, in praise and acknowledgement; and in the physical faculties, by means of obedience and submission.” Madaarij al-Saalikeen (2/246)

Our gratitude should fulfill all the necessary conditions, which are gratitude of the heart, gratitude of the tongue and gratitude of the physical faculties.

1. Gratitude of the Heart

Heart senses the value of the blessings that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has bestowed upon His slave, and fully acknowledges that the one who has bestowed these great blessings is Allah alone, with no partner or associate. This acknowledgement is not mustahabb (recommended), rather it is obligatory. Whoever attributes these blessings to anyone other than Allah has disbelieved.

Whoever affirms in his heart that all blessings come from Allah alone, but verbally he sometimes attributes them to Allah and sometimes attributes them to himself, or his actions, or the efforts of someone else — as happens on the lips of many people — this is something that the person must repent from, and he should not attribute blessings to anyone except their Creator, and he must strive to make himself do that, because faith and Tawheed cannot be attained except by attributing blessings to Allah.

The gratitude is based on three pillars: acknowledgement of the heart of all the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon him, and upon others, and talking about them; praising Allah for them; and using them to obey the One Who bestowed the blessings and to worship Him.

2. Gratitude of the Tongue

It means acknowledging verbally that the One Who grants blessing is indeed Allah, and keeping the tongue busy with praise of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. As Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah ad-Duha, “But as for the favor of your Lord, report [it],” [93:11].

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Allah is pleased with a person who eats some food and then praises Him for it, or who drinks some drink and then praises Him for it.” [Muslim]

Gratitude is a means of attaining that great honor because it implies acknowledgement of the Bestower of blessings and acknowledging Him alone as the Creator of that blessing and the One Who caused it to reach the recipient of the blessing, as an honor and favor from the Bestower, and that the recipient of the blessing is poor and is in need of that blessing, and cannot do without it. So this is an acknowledgement of the rights and bounty of Allah, and the duty and need of the slave. So Allah has caused the reward for that acknowledgement to be this great honour.

Hence some of the salaf (righteous predecessors) said: Whoever conceals a blessing has denied it, but whoever manifests it and spreads it has given thanks for it.

It was narrated from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azeez (raheemullah) that he said: Remind one another of blessings, for mentioning them is gratitude.

3. Gratitude of the Physical Faculties

This means using one’s physical faculties in obedience of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and keeping them from committing sins and acts of disobedience that He has forbidden.

It was narrated that ‘Aishah radhiAllahu ‘anha said when the Messenger of Allah prayed, he would stand for so long that his feet became swollen. ‘Aishah said, “O Messenger of Allah, are you doing this when Allah has forgiven your past and future sins?” He said, “O ‘Aishah, should I not be a thankful slave?” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Abu Haroon said: I entered upon Abu Hazim, and said to him, “May Allah have mercy on you, what is the gratitude of the eyes?” He said, “If you see something good with them, you mention it, and if you see something bad with them, you conceal it.” I said, “What is the gratitude of the ears?” He said, “If you hear something good with them, you remember it, and if you hear something bad with them, you forget it.”

Hence one of the salaf said:  Gratitude means giving up sin.

The second degree of gratitude is that which is mustahabb, which is when, after doing obligatory actions and avoiding haram things, a person does supererogatory acts of worship. This is the degree of those who have gone ahead and closer to Allah.

In order to be grateful to our Lord for the blessings that He has bestowed upon us, we must acknowledge in our heart that the giver of these blessings and the Bestower is Allah, may He be exalted. Therefore, we venerate Him, attribute it to Him, and acknowledge that with our tongue. We give thanks to Him after waking from sleep for having given new life, and after eating and drinking for having provided us with them and bestowed them upon us, and so on with every blessing that we see in our life.

We give thanks with our physical faculties by not letting them see or hear any sin or evil, such as singing or gossip. We do not walk with your feet to haram places. We do not use our hands to commit evil, such as haram writing in a relationship with non-mahram women or men, or writing haram contracts, or making or doing anything haram. Giving thanks with the physical faculties for blessings also includes using them to obey Allah, by reading Qur’an and books of knowledge, listening to beneficial and useful things, and so on with all the faculties which we should use in various kinds of obedience and worship.

O Ash-Shakoor, help us acknowledge that You are the most appreciative. Aid us to do even the smallest good deeds, and grant us sincerity and patience in our actions, doing them for You and Your reward only. Adorn us with shukr for all You have given us and enable us to use all these blessings in obeying You, aameen.

[Compiled from: ]

4 thoughts on “Ash-Shakoor [the Most Appreciative], Al-Ghafoor [the Forgiving]

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