How do you give thanks in Islam?

Giving thanks and expressing gratitude is an integral part of the Muslim faith. In Islam, thanking Allah for His blessings and bounty is not only encouraged, but required. Muslims have several ways of showing gratitude that are rooted in Islamic traditions, rituals, and teachings.

1. Saying Alhamdulillah

One of the most common ways Muslims give thanks is by saying “Alhamdulillah,” which means “Praise be to Allah” in Arabic. This phrase is used to express gratitude to Allah for anything good or positive that happens in one’s life. Muslims will say Alhamdulillah after eating, drinking, sneezing, receiving good news, completing a task, or even waking up in the morning.

Saying Alhamdulillah is a simple way to remind oneself that everything we have is a blessing from Allah. Even little things like breathing, having good health, or catching the bus on time are gifts that we should appreciate. Muslims aim to be grateful to Allah at all times, so phrases like Alhamdulillah become part of daily conversations and expressions.

2. Reciting Particular Prayers and Duas

In addition to spontaneous expressions of thanks like Alhamdulillah, Islam has specific prayers and supplications meant to praise Allah and give thanks to Him. These include:

  • Saying “Subhanallah,” meaning “Glory be to Allah.” This demonstrates gratitude for Allah’s perfection and majesty.
  • Reciting “Alhamdulillah hi rabbil ‘alameen,” meaning “All praise and thanks are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.” This acknowledges Allah as the Lord of all creation.
  • Making the dua (supplication) “Rabbana lakal hamd,” meaning “Our Lord, to You belongs all praise.” This recognizes that all praise ultimately belongs to Allah.

These prayers and supplications are often recited during salah (the five daily prayers) or in the morning and evening times through athkar (remembrances of Allah). Thanking Allah through established prayers and duas helps Muslims reflect on specific blessings and direct their gratitude towards their Creator.

3. Giving Charity and Zakat

In Islam, those who have been blessed with wealth, health, and abundance are encouraged to give back to those in need through charity and zakat (obligatory alms-giving). Sadaqah is voluntary charity that Muslims give at any time as an act of gratitude towards Allah. Zakat is an annual percentage of one’s wealth that must be paid to help the poor.

Giving charity demonstrates thankfulness to Allah by acknowledging that all provision comes from Him, and helping others is an act of worship. Through zakat and sadaqah, Muslims purify and sanctify their earnings by distributing their blessings, as everything ultimately belongs to Allah.

Zakat Rates

Zakat is calculated based on the amount and type of one’s possessions. The minimum threshold for zakat (called nisab) is the equivalent of 85 grams of gold. The zakat rates on different types of wealth are:

Type of Wealth Zakat Rate
Cash, gold, silver, other liquid assets 2.5%
Agricultural produce 5% or 10% depending on irrigation method
Livestock Variable rate depending on type of animal
Business inventory 2.5%

4. Making Dhikr and Tasbeeh

Dhikr (remembrance of Allah through His names and attributes) and tasbeeh (praising Allah through glorification) are praised extensively in Islam as ways to express gratitude towards Allah. Some forms of dhikr and tasbeeh done regularly by Muslims include:

  • Tasbeeh Fatima – Reciting “Subhan Allah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar” 33 times each after salah
  • Tasbeeh Tahmeed – Saying “Alhamdulillah” 100 times using prayer beads
  • Tasbeeh Subhan Allah – Glorifying Allah by saying “Subhan Allah” 100 times
  • Dhikr of Allah’s Names – Repeating and reflecting on Allah’s names like Ar-Rahman (The Most Gracious) or Al-Wadud (The Loving)

These regular remembrances train the tongue and heart to constantly praise and think of Allah. Muslims believe maintaining dhikr and tasbeeh is an important way to nurture thankfulness and closeness to Allah in one’s day-to-day life.

5. Celebrating Eid Holidays

There are two major Islamic holidays, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, that are marked by special prayers of thanks and celebration. These holidays represent critical times to express gratitude in Islam.

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spiritual reflection. On Eid Al-Fitr, Muslims gather together in the morning to thank Allah through a special congregational prayer called Salat al-Eid. It is sunnah (prophetic tradition) to eat something sweet like dates before the prayer, wear new clothes, and embrace loved ones. The day is filled with joyous festivities, food, and charity as Muslims express their gratitude for being able to complete the month of fasting and revelation.

Eid Al-Adha

Eid Al-Adha is celebrated during the Hajj pilgrimage. Those not on Hajj celebrate too by doing a special Eid prayer and sacrificing an animal in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice. The meat is then divided into thirds – one portion for oneself, another for friends/family, and the last for the poor. Eid Al-Adha stresses the Islamic value of serving others, especially those in need, out of thankfulness to Allah.

6. Going on Hajj Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj, is considered the pinnacle act of Islamic worship. Every able Muslim strives to do Hajj at least once in their lifetime. The rites of Hajj – like circling the Kaaba, running between mountains, and standing on the plains of Arafat – all commemorate moments when Prophet Ibrahim and his family expressed gratitude to Allah. Doing Hajj allows Muslims to physically emulate and thank Allah for choosing this faith for them.

The final steps of Hajj involve symbolically “stoning the devil” and sacrificing an animal (usually a sheep). Muslims then celebrate Eid Al-Adha, one of the biggest holidays of the year. Hajj represents the ultimate journey to fulfil one’s gratitude to Allah through worship, reflection, and sacrifice.

7. Sending Blessings Upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم

Muslims send blessings upon Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم regularly through a practice called Salawat. By reciting phrases like “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa ‘ala ali Muhammadin kama sallayta ‘ala Ibraheem wa ‘ala ali Ibraheem” (O Allah, send your blessings upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have sent blessings upon Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim), Muslims thank Allah for sending Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم as the final Messenger and strive to emulate his character.

Sending Salawat upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is highly encouraged in Islam because it demonstrates gratitude to Allah for revealing His final message through Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم. It is also an expression of thanks and love towards the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم himself for his sacrifices, guidance, and mission to mankind.

8. Expressing Gratitude to Family, Friends, and Community

While giving thanks to Allah is the cornerstone of Islam, Muslims are also encouraged to express gratitude in their relationships with people. Parents in particular hold an exalted status in Islam, and respecting and thanking them is equated to worship and obedience to Allah. Muslims often say dua for their parents to thank Allah for blessing them.

More broadly, acts like greeting others warmly, sharing food, giving gifts, and volunteering in the community are all seen as ways to reflect one’s thankfulness for human relationships and creation itself, as everything has been made by Allah. Kindness, charity, and taking care of the environment and animals all fall under the umbrella of expressing gratitude towards Allah’s creation.


Thankfulness and gratitude towards Allah and His blessings are integral parts of a Muslim’s faith and character. Through major and minor acts like prayer, charity, celebration, and community service, Muslims strive to maintain a sense of gratitude towards their Creator and Sustainer. This not only fulfills the commandments and tenets of Islam, but nurtures a positive mindset and outlook on life itself.

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