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Alhamdulillah. So simple and beautiful. We are taught to say it from a very early age. We are taught it means “Praise Be To Allah”. We are taught to say it during both good times and bad times. We are taught to say it after sneezing. We are taught to be grateful. We all know this.
And yet, how did we forget? How did it lose its meaning? It is no longer sincere. It has become an empty phrase we automatically utter when something good happens. We have forgotten. SO LET’S REMEMBER.
Let’s start with the basics. What does it mean?
Linguistically, Hamd refers to a person’s good atribute, an attribute so good, it is the very best. It is perfect. Hamdu is the sincerest form of praise and comes from the heart. It is praise the the Mahmood (the person being praised) actually deserves. It implies gratitude, humility, love, respect, honour etc.
When we add Al in front of it, the meaning changes. The word is now Alhamdu. It is talking about every praise possible. Every single perfection deserving of praise. Everything. At all times. Eternally. Always.
When we add the li in front of a word, it means ‘for’. lillah is adding li to Allah and literally translates as ‘For Allah’. When we combine the two phrases, we get Alhamdulillah. All praise is entirely for Allah (SWT). He alone is worthy and deserving of Hamd.
Alhamdulillah, I see you’ve read this far. And you see what I did there. Good job. So now, we’ve successfully understood what the phrase says. But that’s just the literal translation of it. What does it truly mean to say Alhamdulillah?
“And remember when your Lord proclaimed, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour. But if you deny indeed, my punishment is severe.”
[Quran: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Alhamdulillah is the perfect phrase for expressing our sincerest praise. It is a means to constantly remember Allah (SWT). It is a phrase which can be used anywhere, at any time. You wake up, Alhamdulillah. You are about to start eating, Alhamdulillah. You’re alive and well, Alhamdulillah.
There are so many blessings, you could spend your entire life saying Alhamdulillah and it will never be enough. It is the sincerity and true gratitude that is important. It’s not just about saying the phrase. You need to mean it from the heart.
Alhamdulillah is a way of changing your character. It’s a life philosophy. Be grateful for what you have, whether it’s good or bad. If it’s good, Alhamdulillah. If it’s bad, realise that there are millions of ways in which it could be worse and then consider yourself lucky. Alhamdulillah.
Anas bin Malik reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said:
Allah is Pleased with His slave who says, ‘Alhumdulillah’ when he takes a morsel of food and drinks a draught of water. [Sahih Muslim]
Alhamdulillah Is Itself Perfect
We have so much to be grateful for and this is the perfect phrase. It is a gift to mankind. It helps change your entire mindset and personality. It teaches us to be patient. Everything is a blessing in disguise.
Alhamdulillah, you’ve almost finished reading this now. Alhamdulillah is a beautiful phrase. It rolls off the tongue with such ease. It’s hard to say it without smiling. It’s the feel-good phrase. Be optimistic. Be happy. And above all, be grateful. Alhamdulillah Always.
I’ll end it with my own modified version of Neil Armstrong’s famous quote:
Alhamdulillah: One small phrase for a man. One giant blessing for mankind.
– Zaeem Siddiqui
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[Image courtesy of deviantArt]