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SHUKR

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The word shukr (pl. shukur) means thankfulness or gratitude. The verb to thank, to be grateful (shakara) and its various cognates, such as shukr occur 74 times in the Koran. A dominant feature of the concept of gratitude in the Koran is its use to describe the spiritual bond binding the believer to God. Gratitude has a very broad semantic field in the Koran with a strong theocentric character in the sense that shukr is owed chiefly to God, even if that means through what God has made and the offices he has appointed. Shukr is a spiritual and moral state of mind, spiritual in the sense of acknowledging the believer's obligation to the Creator, and moral in the sense of mandating rightful conduct in relation to God and those appointed by God. The roots of shukr lie in the act of creation to which human beings owe their life, with sustenance of life through God's bounties and blessings. God has furnished people with the earthy life and the means of its enjoyment, and still ingratitude clouds the human response (7:10). In the chapter of Rahman, the Koran rehearses for the believers the bounties and blessings of God with a refrain, "which of your Lord's bounties will you deny?" "And surely, your God is the Lord of grace, but most of them are ungrateful" (27:73).

Ghazalli cites the Prophet as saying that among the remembrances of God nothing is more meritorious than "thanks be to God" (Ihya, p. 53). As such, glorification of God (subhan Allah) and praise be to God (al-hamdu li-llah) signify the proper attitude of the acknowledgement of blessings from God. God is the Benefactor from whom gifts come without being mediated through an intermediary. Consequently, gratitude for God's blessings should rebound to God alone: "So remember Me, and I will remember you; and be thankful to Me; and be you not ungrateful towards Me." (2:152).

By extension, gratitude is a mark of the moral order God has ordained for human society and its furtherance, and the following verse makes clear: "We have charged man, that he be kind to his parents

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