Gratitude stands for thanking the conferrer for his graces and using them in the fields that he accepts. It is one of the qualities of perfection that grow and perpetuate the graces. Because of His absolute self-sufficiency, God does not benefit by one’s thanks. As a matter of fact, the benefits of thanks are due to the thankful himself, since he expresses his appreciation for the divine graces and uses them in the fields that achieve the contentment of God. So, the thankful person’s happiness lies in his acts of obedience to God.
The Islamic Sharia, through texts of the holy Quran and Sunna, has called people to be characterized with gratitude:
“Thank Me and do not show ingratitude to Me. (2:152)”
“Eat of the sustenance of your Lord and give thanks to Him. (34:15)”
“Remember when your Lord said to you, ‘If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors), but if you deny the
Truth, know that My retribution is severe’ (14:7).”
“Very few of My servants are grateful. (34:13)”
The Prophet (s) said: “He who eats and gives thanks will have the reward of him who fasts purely for the sake of Allah. He who gives thanks and enjoys good health will have the same reward of him who practices patience in his illness. He whom is conferred with graces and gives thanks will have the same reward of him whom is deprived and satisfied.”
Imam al-Baqir (a) said: “If you look at an ailed person, you should say, but not let him hear you, ‘All praise is due to Allah Who protects me from that which inflicted you, but if He wills, He shall do.’ He who says so will never be befallen by that ailment.”
Imam as-Sadiq (a) said: “He who is conferred with thanks will be granted increase. Allah says: ‘ If you give thanks, I shall give you greater (favors).'”
“The thanks of every grace, no matter how big it is, is to praise Allah for it.”
“The gratitude that is shown to Allah for any grace, no matter how big it is, is surely better and weightier than the grace itself.
“Verily, one of you drinks water and Allah assigns Paradise to him on that account. Verily, one who takes the vessel (containing water), brings it to his mouth, then takes Allah’s name, then drinks from it, then draws it away while desiring it, then praises Allah, then drinks from it again, then takes it away while he desires it, then praises Allah, then drinks from it again, then sets it aside and praises Allah, Allah makes the paradise obligatory for him.”