The Beauty of Alhamdulillah — Some Stuff I Learned!!

Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah — the phrase millions of Muslims use around the world, some heartfelt with gratefulness, others using it sardonically, a beginning of the many complaints about to pour out of their mouths. It rushes out quickly after a close call, other times begrudgingly after a nasty fall. But what is Alhamdulillah? What does it mean?

The general meaning of this word is “All praise and gratitude belong to Allah.” Looking deeply, however, we discover the beauty of this one phrase. The Quran (the divine revelation of a Allah{God} sent upon the heart of the Prophet Muhammad — peace and blessings be upon him) starts with this phrase — Alhamdulillah. The fact that this word is used versus some other word or words is beautiful.

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You see, hamd is not the only way  of saying praise or gratitude in the Arabic language. Another way of saying “praise,” for example, is madh, and another way of saying “gratitude” is shukr. However, if they replaced the word hamd, they would still lack so much.

First of all, by replacing hamd with madh and shukr, we would need to at the word wa (which means and in Arabic.) By adding this conjunction, it is determined that the two words are separate entities and therefore, each separately describes Allah, thereby saying that sometimes we praise Allah and sometimes we are grateful to Him.

Knowing this, let us further examine madh and shukr. These two words are both reactions (verb) to something done to a person. When you see a beautiful Audi, you praise it — that is madh. When someone buys you a yummy candy bar, you are grateful to them — that is shukr. The thing is, though, as soon as the car gets old and beat up, the praise ends. And as soon as the candy bar is devoured and digesting, the gratefulness ends and a tummy ache begins. They are verbs and therefore indefinite and temporary. Madh and shukr can be done for living things and non-living things, for good reasons and with bad intentions and lack of sincerity.

Hamd, however, does not work this way. It is a noun, which means that it is definitive, it does not rely on us or anyone else to exist. This praise and gratitude will exist even when we pass and it belongs to Allah from before creation and after the world ceases to exist. It is the purest form of praise and gratitude, done only for the living and done with absolute sincerity. This is how Allah chose to open the Quran, reminding us of what is absolutely His, before even telling us His Name. Absolutely beautiful.

Alhamdulillah is not just some phrase people should spit out with venom, in arguments or in vain. Be thoughtful as to what you are saying. All praise belongs to Allah, Who created the Universe so beautiful, filled with stars, moons and planets, all set on a course;flora and fauna, unique and beautiful, full of wonder and mysteries that men have not been able to solve;humankind, with separate hearts and minds, to think and decipher, to create and progress. All gratitude belongs to Allah, Who created us and set us all on paths that are the best for us, Who knows the deepest secrets of our hearts and grants us that which is ultimately good for us. Alhamdulillah!

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