Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin Ghannaam (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who recites the following du‘aa in the morning has expressed gratitude for that day, and the one who recites it in the evening has expressed gratitude for that night:
اَللّٰهُمَّ مَا أَصْبَحَ بـِيْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ أَوْ بِأَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ فَمِنْكَ وَحْدَكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ ، فَلَكَ الْـحَمْدُ وَلَكَ الشُّكْرُ
Transliteration: Allaahumma ma asbaha bee min ni’matin ow bi ahadim min khalqika faminka wahdaka laa shareeka lak, falakal hamdu walakash shukr
Translation: O Allah! Whatever bounty I have been blessed with this morning and whatever anyone in Your entire creation has been blessed with, it is all from You alone. To You alone belongs all praise, and for You alone is all gratitude. (Sunan Abi Dawood #5073 & As-Sunanul Kubraa – Nasaai #9835)
In the Quraan Majeed and the blessed ahaadeeth, we have been taught the great importance of shukr – expressing appreciation. Hence, there are many sunnah du‘aas in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) expressed gratitude to Allah Ta‘ala, thereby teaching the Ummah how to express their gratitude to their Creator.
Among these is the abovementioned du‘aa which should be recited every morning and evening. However, when reciting the du‘aa in the evening, one should change the word “مَا أَصْبَحَ” to “مَا أَمَسٰى” (which refers to ‘evening’, instead of ‘morning’).
If we have to ponder, we will realize that there are countless favours of Allah Ta‘ala which we enjoy throughout the night, yet we fail to be cognizant of them. For example, most of us sleep in a bed, with a pillow, with a blanket, under a roof, in a secure home, with our families, with a bathroom a few steps away, etc. These seven bounties alone are such that many people around the world, and close to home as well, are not privileged to enjoy them.
In this du‘aa, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) has emphasized that every bounty is from Allah Ta‘ala alone. Hence, one should never regard any bounty to be the result of his own intelligence or hard work, nor should he regard anything to be his own accomplishment. Rather, he should remain humble at all times and understand that it is Allah Ta‘ala alone who has blessed him, and just as Allah Ta‘ala has blessed him, He can snatch the blessing away as well (if we are ungrateful for the favour). Hence, this du‘aa teaches us the aspect of humility.
Similarly, when every bounty is from Allah Ta‘ala alone, then He distributes His favours among His servants as He wishes. If any person enjoys any goodness or favour, it was through the decision of Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, if any person is unhappy with the good that the next person enjoys, and his heart burns from within with jealousy, then in reality, He is objecting to the decision of Allah Ta‘ala. Thus, pondering over the meaning of this du‘aa is also an effective remedy to rid the heart of jealousy.
Finally, it should be borne in mind that reciting this du‘aa is not all that we should do to express gratitude. Rather, together with reciting the du‘aa, we must ensure that we utilize these bounties of Allah Ta‘ala to obey Him and please Him. If we recite this du‘aa, but thereafter use these bounties to perpetrate sins, then we will not be expressing true appreciation. Instead, we will be using the gifts of Allah Ta‘ala to defy Him and disobey Him – and this undoubtedly constitutes ingratitude.
May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all to recite this du‘aa every morning, with punctuality, and may He bless us to express appreciation to Him for all His bounties, aameen.