An Islamic Thanksgiving

Then do ye remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me and reject not Faith. (Quran 2:152)

And remember! Your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed.” (Quran 14:7)

We bestowed Wisdom on Luqman: “Show (thy) gratitude to Allah.” Any who is (so) grateful does so to the profit of his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants, worthy of all praise. (Quran 31:12)

The National Day of Thanksgiving in America is a beautiful holiday. It contains a good spirit and noble message. It is not a holiday of any particular religion. It is not a Christian or Jewish holiday but it has many deeply religious and spiritual meanings. America at thanksgiving is America at its best. It is unfortunate that like many other moral and spiritual things this holiday is also turned nowadays into too much indulgence and commercialism. It is important that we remember and remind others about the spirit of thanksgiving.

The Quranic word for thanks is “shukr.” It is mentioned in the Quran many times. It is the quality of human beings and it is also the quality of Allah. According to scholars Shukr means: “It is the consideration of the favor and its acknowledgment. Shukr from the human means the recognition of the favor. Shukr from Allah means the reward and appreciation.”

Shukr is a very important principle in Islam. It is a quality of the believers and it is a source of all goodness. Shukr is used in the Quran sometimes as equivalent to faith. The faithful are thankful people and the unfaithful are ungrateful people. Allah has described His Prophets and Messengers among those who were thankful people. Prophet Noah was a grateful servant of Allah (Quran 17:3). Prophet Abraham used to thank Allah for His many blessings (Quran 16:121). Prophet David and his family were told to be grateful to Allah (Quran 34:13). Allah told His Prophet Muhammad: Nay, but worship Allah, and be of those who give thanks. (Quran 39:66)

Allah also promised:  Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that who are thankful. (Quran 3:145)

In Islam thanksgiving is not only a particular religious act or service; it is the whole life. The whole life should be lived in obedience to our Ultimate Benefactor, Allah . God has been good to us and so in our thankfulness we should worship Him, obey His commands and orders. Our daily prayers, our fasting during Ramadan, our Zakat and Hajj are all our acts of thanksgiving. We should do them not only as duties that must be performed but as our gratitude to our Lord and Creator. 

Furthermore we should remind ourselves that we are constantly under Allah’s favors and blessings.

There are many special prayers that the Prophet taught us to keep us on the path of gratitude and thankfulness. 

When we eat, he told us that we should say: When the Prophet used to eat or drink, he used to say, “Thanks be to Allah Who gave us food and drink and made us Muslims.” (Al-Tirmidhi 3379)

Whenever the Prophet put on any new dress, he would say its name ‘Amamah or shirt or shawl, then he would say, “O Allah, Thanks be to You, You gave me this to wear. I ask You to give me the good of this dress and the good for which it is made and I ask You to protect me from the evil of this dress and from the evil of that for which it is made.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1689)

When the Prophet used to mount his camel going on a journey he used to say Allah Akbar (God is the greatest) three times and then he would say, “Glory to Him Who has subjected these to our (use), for we could never have accomplished this (by ourselves). And to our Lord, surely, must we turn back!” (Quran 43:13) O Allah, we ask you this journey righteousness and piety and the deeds that are pleasing to you. O Allah, make this journey easy for us and shorten its distance. O Allah, You are the Companion in journey and You are the Guardian for the family (left behind). O Allah, We ask you to protect us from the exhaustion of journey, from bad scenes and from bad return to our property and family.” When he used to return he used to say, “Returning, repenting, worshiping and praising our Lord.” (Muslim 2392) 

Islam does not only teach us to thank Allah, but we are also told to thank our parents, our spouses, our friends, neighbors and all those who do any good to us. The Prophet said: “Those who do not thank people, they do not thank Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi 1878)

 

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, vice chair of the Fiqh Council of North America and member of ISNA Shura Council, is director of The Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove, California. He is an adjunct professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religion at California State, Fullerton and Chapman universities.



By: muzammil siddiqi | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Americas, Articles, Faith, Featured, Society | Topic: thanksgiving | Views: 27,266 | Comments: 42

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42 Comments

  1. America at thanksgiving is America at its best

    How so? What does America accomplish on this day? What action does this country take as a whole on that day that stands out, who benefits? THE CONCEPT is a good concept, but HOW does America show its gratitude? I suppose in your eyes eating even more of the worlds resources on this day called thanksgiving makes America at its best. I always see muslims with their placcading remarks(bordering on rear kissing) only they have nothing to back it up. Seriously…if it was a day of fasting and somehow the world benefited from it and the hungry were remembered and helped then YES id agree whole heartedly but come on, its a rather disgusting way to be thankfull dont u think? to OVER eat

  2. Assalamu Alaikum, Thanksgiving is celebrated because they are giving thanks to what they had taken from the native people that were here before them, inshaallah if I’m wrong I stand corrected, Ma’salama…

  3. I’m very confused now. My family and I use to celebrate this holiday but in recent years I was told it is haram to celebrate anything other than both Eids. I pray we all agree on one thing someday soon.

    Masalama,

    Umm Safia

  4. this holiday and all other american holidays have no basis at all in islam. the only holidays islam realizes are the two eids eid al fitr and eid al aza period!! and as far as all of these modernist or all of these apoligists trying to aknowledge these as acceptible in islam are guilty of trying to mislead the muslims whether intentionitaly or otherwise.

  5. Salam alay kum brohters. That was a nice article doctor muzammil wrote. Even though we do not celebrate thanksgiving, we give shukr to Allah (SWT). Ok.. Learned my lesson.

  6. This article is one the excellents so far publish by your able organisation, it make me remember my name and be grateful to Almighty ALLAH and my parents in particular. More grace to your elbow Massalam.

  7. A very enjoyable article to read. The last paragraph pretty much summons up Islam. A peaceful caring religion, which not only cares about its believers, but more importantly, has just as much, or if not more respect love and tolerance for other religion.

    In simplicity there is truth and in my own personal opinion, any religion which

    Up-hold the dignity and respects of other religions in a peaceful way not an arrogant way should be praised weather it be Christianity Judaism Islam, Buddhism, and Sikhism and any other religion.

  8. As salam aleykoum

    I am really confused about this article,i cannot figure its purpose.And it is even more confusing when i compare it to the title: an islamic thanksgiving, as if every religion or group of beliefs has its own thanksgiving. i think you should not play with the words and put doubt into people minds.It is clear that we have two and only two holidays in islam, anything else Allah and his messenger do not even know about it. What beauty can bring something that Allah and his messenger forbade us to do so?

    what i think you are alredy in the hole of the lezard as the messenger predicted.

    what Next are you going to have an islamic new year?

  9. With all do respect, we do not need thanksgiving to be thankful to our parents, for deen, ect,. In no way should we celebrate, reflect, or treat thanksgiving day as a holiday, lets be careful of innovations. Our holidays are know to all, and we have no other holidays but those. And by the way, do you have any idea the meaning and the history behind thanksgiving? I suggest you research the other half of the story. There is no goodness for a Muslim to follow or celebrate the ways of the Non-Muslims, and we have our educated brothers/sisters telling us its okay. Fear Allah and you will be guided.

  10. but when a country non muslim country celebrate thanksgiving does not mean that it is muslims should do it. Muslims celebrate what has been taught by Mushammad(p.b.u.h.).with this title of this article I did not find it right

  11. I truly wish you wouldn’t relate Islam to Thanksgiving. The

    holiday has nothing to do with the Quran or it’s teaching. It

    celebrates the massacre of the Wampanoag indians who had

    welcomed the Pilgrims to their land. Please do not whitewash

    this holiday, it’s as bad as if you were to celebrate the Crusades.

    ALWAYS live in Shukr not just for “one” day.

    Here is a link that explains it. http://www.btigerlily.net/

    BTTheTruthAboutThanksgiving.html

  12. Is there any evidence in Quran & Sunnah for the title an ” Islamic Thanksgiving”? People may get the impression that Musims celebrate this un-Islamic holiday. The two Id days are the only holidays celebrated. We must be very careful not to appear to ” embrace” these holidays. Non-Muslim will soon be looking for an ” Islamic Christmas”.

  13. Alhamdolillah Dr. Siddiqi quoted several Ayah and Ahaadith, but he (intentionally or unintentionally – I don’t know) failed to mention whether Muslims should celebrate this Thanksgiving event or not.

    I heard a hadith mentioned by Ibn-Taymiya that anyone who follows celebration of other religions, belongs to that group.

    Also, unless I misunderstood, he is trying to portray that it’s OK to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. If that’s the case, I would like to know about Mother’s day, father’s day, Secretary Day or other days

  14. Thanks for such a nice article on “Thanks giving”. This article again reminds us that how practical as a religion Islam is. If we all try to follow Islam properly, our life will be far more better in every walks of Life.

  15. Praise be to Allaah.

    Greeting the kuffaar on Thanksgiving/Christmas and other religious holidays of theirs is haraam, by consensus, as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah: “Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals and fasts by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on. If the one who says this has been saved from kufr, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allaah.”Congratulating the kuffaar on their religious festivals is haraam to the extent described by Ibn al-Qayyim because it implies that one accepts or approves of their rituals of kufr, even if one would not accept those things for oneself. But the Muslim should not aceept the rituals of kufr or congratulate anyone else for them, because Allaah does not accept any of that at all, as He says: “If you disbelieve, then verily, Allaah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. . .”[al-Zumar 39:7]”. . . This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion . . .” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]These festivals are innovations in their religions. The Prophet( Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), said “Whoever imitates a people is one of them. Majmoo’ah Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/369) Taking from(www.islam-qa.com)

  16. I must pre-qualify what I say with, please, follow the advice of the scholars who are

    expert in their field and qualified to give isthad, and remember to ask the Imam who is able to issue the fatawa if he or she is an expert in the subject of Thanksgiving and what the holiday commemorates.

    Ask yourself, “Do Palestinians celebrate the arrival of the Zionists?” Do you see what is going on there in Palestine today? The “settlers” there are the same as those that were here..here in America the same play was acted out line by line scene by scene…a beligerant overpowering administration with superior weaponry and tactics is slowly extinguishing the lives and liberty of a native people. Commemoration of the arrival of the Zionist is without question a celebration of evil.

    Thanksgiving is the celebration of genocide. Some people have claimed it is okay as it is

    thanksgiving to Allah…I say no, I give my thanks five times a day, Insha Allah, and I celebrate the two Eids.

    I do not sit with them in this life. I will not and have never joined them in it. I am a Native American who has never celebrated that day…even prior to saying shahada.

    But, please, question any brother who says its okay or the Imam who issues any fatawa saying it is okay…ask them if he or she has studied the history of the westward expansion in the Americas, and ask then if they have studied episodes such as Wounded Knee Massacre and Sand Creek Massacre…the US Administration was directly responsible…these were only two of thousands…please search on line for yourself with those two key words and read for yourself.

    If I have offended you in any way, please forgive me. I love my brothers and sisters in Islam purely for the sake of Allah, and I do not want to see them join in the commemmoration of evil out of ignorance.

    Your Brother in Islam,

    Abdullah Mikail (Michael) MacKay

  17. I appreciate the authors comments of thanking the creator. But this spirit should be every day for muslims, they have to thank the creator for whatever condition they are in. Sadly if someone starts to thank the creator only on the Thanksgving day in USA, it becomes a Bidaa (Innovation in Islam). Soon in USA there will be thanking parents for raising the kids only on either Mothers day or Fathers day and forgetting them the rest of 364 days in the year. Rather the concept of Shukr or thanking Allah and others should be be a part of raising kids with good islamic values and morals.

  18. A well thought concept, entirely in keeping with the age-old islamic fiqh principle of ‘urf’. Celebration (of anything) reminds us of the importance of what is being celebrated. Why not celebrate thanksgiving? Its for that omnipotent one God, who loves us and sustains us. The concept might have been thought of by our Christain cousins, so what? As long as it’s consistent with Islamic principles, why not celebrate this fascinating tradition – who knows it might as well service the dawah efforts. May Allah accept your efforts Dr. Siddiqui.

  19. I make a point of reading all articles sent on my email by Islamicity and have learnt many amazing things about Islam. I thank Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi for such an interesting article. May Allah bless him for sharing his knowledge all over the wrold. Many thanks to Islamicity for making it possible for us Muslims in small island nations to be able to access knowledge and wisdom through their site.

  20. Salaam alaykum

    Thanks sooo much 4 this educative edition as usual.

    I only expect that u mention ‘sajdatu sh-shukr’ as a prophetic major way of showing appreciation. Also to educate us on whats being said during the posture.

    May Allah accept it as an act of ‘Ibaadah.

    Question: Whats the origin of the American thanks giving day.

    Wassalaam alaykum.

  21. an excellent writeup, I sincrely thank you for a write-up that reminds us that we need to thank Allah Subhanutallah for each favour bestowed upon us – Thahksgiving is not about Turkey eating time only, it sure is every moment of the day and night

  22. Islam is the religion of Allah and should not be incorporated into non-beleiving culture.It has it is own ways of giving( zakah and saddaqah) and it’s own giving dates such zakatul fidr in ramadhan. Muslims donate for the sake of Allah, hoping that when they meet Allah they will be spared from Hell. I don’t think that Muslims who live in the West should westernise islam. This is great mistake and one which will be possible. West can never become East and we will always be different. Islam is not Christianity or judaism it is simply the truth. This is the way we should preach it. It is different , that is why we should call people with other faiths to this religion. This is our duty and this is the we should do it. The way of messenger of allah may peace be upon him.

    asalamu alaikum warahmatulahi wabarkaatuhu

  23. Assalam alaikum . i am very happy that i am muslim and i thanks Allah for everthing he has given to us , and i like this program so much , and i want tosay so many things buy i cant explain properly cuz i cant write properly , but Allah knows better what i want to say , so thanks alot , and thanks to this programs which will open people eyes inshalah .

    urs muslim sister shahnaz with dua and prayers iltimase dua

  24. What a great article. Thank you for remiding us to be thankful to Allah. I Thank Allah for everything from life and all that goes with it. the Thanksgiving subject is great one. let us be people that thank and regonise the favor of Allah as well as the favor that your follow humans do for you. the Message is Be Thankful.

  25. Assalam-u-alaikum-vr-vb!

    My brothers & Sisters in belief,

    Allah has rewarded us with his FAZL (mercy), if he does ADL (justice), we will be nowhere in this world. So we must always thank Allah subhana-v-ta’a’la for what we are today.

    Islam is the only religion teaches its believers to offer thanksgiving 24×7 for what we possess and offer others in charity, zakah, goodness etc.

    Alhamd-u-lillah

    Fi-Aman-Allah

  26. As-Salaamu Alaykum,

    I really enjoyed this article, and the hadiths that is explained is a great reminder to all believers to do as we go to our daily lives.

    Again thanks again for this article and may Allah be with us all.

    As-Salaamu Alaykum

    Bro. Az-Zahir Haadi-Muhammad Anderson

  27. Why would you believe that Thanksgiving is overly commercialized? It has changed little since I was a boy fifty years ago. It is a time for family and celebrating, by giving thanks to God, the bounty that He has provided. It is also a time for sharing that bounty with those less fortunate.

  28. Commercialized? I don’t see how. Indulgence has always been part of Thanksgiving. It is said that todays Thanksgiving looks like a small snack compared to how it used to be celebrated.

  29. What has Thanksgiving to do with religion it is a national holiday. Celebrating Thanksgiving, How does that dishonor your muslim holidays? It does not dishonor pasover it does not dishonor christmas. Youre treating the United States as a synonym for Christianity or Judaism or another separite religion IT IS NOT.

  30. In response to Brother Mohammad Ndagi jibrin. There is no evident of American Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November(Every Year)in the Qur’an or Suuna. Muslim Thanksgiving is an evident of our five daily prayers plus additional Du’a. Thanksgiving in America is as a result of the killings of the Natives(America) so-called Red Indians. It has nothing to do with religion whatsoever. As you can see, they dont really pray but eat Turkey. So therefore, it’s not a Thanks giving but an evil deeds commited by their forefathers. So brother never celebrate Thanksgiving but Thank Allah everyday(That is your Thanksgiving)

  31. I’m new Muslimah. I have a stirring in my heart. Should I forget all my cultural heritage and become like an Arab because Islam was reveled to Arabs at the beginning? I understand not to celebrate other religious holidays but what about cultural no-religious holidays? Like Thanksgiving, birthdays, things like that… Sometimes I feel like I have to forget that I’m Puerto Rican and forget all my heritage because I become Muslim and have to follow only what the Quran says. Forgive me if I’m doing something incorrectly. I wish to learn more and become a good follower, but it’s so difficult for me after almost 40 years of other believes to erase everything and start from zero; including celebrations, hobbies and other passions in my life. It’s extremely difficult for me also to learn Arabic. Struggling I have learned the prayer and 2 Surahs. Hope someone can kindly answer me.

    Salam Aleikum!

  32. Assalamualaikum,

    To Sister Wally Sosa, No, you don’t have to forget your roots, your culture and your background or heritage when you become a Muslim as long as these are not contrary to Islam. Islam recognises ” al-urf ” meaning customary practices.

    But please be careful on the customary acts and practices, and please consult learned people in Islam, to determine whether any particular act is acceptable or not.

    No, there is no issue that you must be like the Arabs, but please observe the aurah rule. I recommend you’ll find and mix along with peers among other Muslimah. Wassalam,

  33. Assalamualaikum Sister Wally Sosa. Islam is a beautiful and very liberal religion. Why should you forget your cultural heritage as long as it complies with Allah’s will. Welcome to Islam.

  34. 1. The European stole this land from the native american by force.

    2. There was also blankets given to those same native americans which exposed them to the small pox virus.

    3. Thousands of lives were lost because of these racist cowards and you have the audacity to fix your mouth to say Islamic what?

    MAY ALLAH HELP YOU !

  35. thank you brother for reminding and enlightened me.this reminds me of an article I read about musa a.s.on his visit to Mt.Tur. He said to Allah azawjal,(Correct me if I am wrong)

    O allah, when i pray i do so by your favour.

    when I give charity i do so by your favour.

    when I spread your word I do so by your favour.

    so how can I show complete gratitude to you?

    and Allah azwjal responded

    O musa, now you have showed gratitude.

    I forwarded this article to our son who is in med school in birmingham uk. I named him after you after listening to one of your lectures some 20 years ago when i was staying in new hampshire. Ifinally met you, thank Allah azawjal at my father in laws place Dr. mansoor Ibrahim when you visited trinidad.

    May He,Allah azawjal, for whom you do this work reward you immensley.

  36. In my knowledge it was celebrated. By leaders of Christian faith and american Indians

    to thank god for peace treaty. All world can celebrate it just don’t make it Islamic

    holiday

  37. Allahumma ma asbahtu bi min ni’imatin au bi ahdin min khalqika fa minka Wahadaka La Sharika Lak Falakal Hamdu Wa Lakash Shukr. It is reported if a person recites this dua in the Morning as if he has done Shukr to Allah for the whole day. May Allah give us taufiq the ability to be making Shukr and remembering Him all the time as Rasulullah (S.A.W)used to remember Allah all the time. The only time he did not remember Allah was when he was in the toilet and he immediately used to mention Ghufranak( Hamdu Lillahi lazi azhab anni al aza wa afani) (full dua).So we are expected to give sadaqah Charity for the 360 or so joints He gave us in our body which are functioning. In order to express our gratitude to Him every day we should remember Him by saying Subhanallah which is regarded as charity Alhamdu Lillah is Charity Lailaha ilallah is Charity and Allahu Akbar is charity and two Raakat Salatud Duha covers all the joints for the Day.Allahu Akbar how benevolent and Generous Allah is.So we should always be expressing our gratitude to Him and Him alone. These are our Islamic Thanksgiving which we should be doing every day not only once in a year or only certain time of the year. Those who remember Allah standing sitting and reclining they are called men of understanding i.e Ulul Albab.May Allah make us among the ulul Albab.

  38. @sister Wally Sosa – Islam is for all of humanity & jinn, so that we may know one

    another & be in awe at the creative power of our Creator, giving thanks 😉 .

    Everything is halal, except for what is explicitly haram, though there are categories

    such as makruh & neutral. Islam is not a phariseeic revival so it is light & easy, only

    the extremists make the deen an impossible burdensome net for themselves. The

    spirit is relatively more important than the law, though without compromise.

    Cultures I.e. Our habitual ways of living (tastes in food clothes languages etc) are an

    expression of human diversity & equally valid expressions of our humanity. When u

    genuinely love someone, u often copy their habits. For Muslims, our primary stars are

    obvious. The choices of loving & to what depth are free. We can pick up elements of

    Arabic culture without feeling superior, but similarly we should not be haughtily

    contemptuous of our beloved’s people’s traditional culture either.

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