Bismillahir rahmenir raheem
ALHAMDULILLAH: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Alhamdulillah literally means ‘all praise are due to Allah swt’. It is the first word in Surah Fatihah after the “basmallah”, the opening chapter of the Qur’an. We recite it in every salah (prayer). For those out there that love a bit of trivia, it appears 38 times in the Qur’an.
Another word closely related to alhamdulillah, is one of the beautiful 99 names of Allah swt, Al-Hameed. Al-Hameed means The Praiseworthy. The one who is always deserving of praise whether we praise Him swt or not. It’s important to remember as a Muslim that it makes no difference to Allah swt and His majesty if we praise Him swt or not. If we pray salah or not. If we wear hijab or not. These are all mercies from Allah swt to us so that we can draw closer to Him swt.
Alhamdulillah: an expression of gratitude
Alhamdulillah is used as an expression of gratitude to Allah swt and all that He swt does for us whether we are aware of it or not. Whole khutbahs (talks) have been dedicated to analysing the word alhamdulillah. This is just my humble attempt of giving you a taste of the thoughts and feelings that should be going through our minds when we utter this word.
“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.” Surah Ibrahim, ayat 7
“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks Allah, thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (endures into patiently), there is good for him in it.” (Sahih Muslim)
Say it when you sneeze
Even when we sneeze we should say ‘alhamdulillah’! It comes in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah in Sahih Bukhari that “Allah likes the act of sneezing and dislikes the act of yawning, so if any one of you sneezes and praises Allaah (says “al-hamdu Lillaah”), it is a duty on every Muslim who hears him to say to him, “Yarhamuk Allaah (may Allaah have mercy on you).” As for yawning, it is from the Shaytaan, so if any of you feels the urge to yawn, he should suppress it as much as he can, for when any one of you yawns, the Shaytaan laughs at him.”
It is also narrated that when Allah swt blew the ruh (spirit) into Adam (as) he sneezed and said alhamdulillah.
alhamdulillah for everything
Another way of incorporating alhamdulillah into our life is when we eat.
“Allah is pleased with His servant who says: Alhamdulillah while taking a morsel of food and while drinking.” Sahih Muslim
Alhamdulillah is also part of the daily dhikr (remembrance).
Fatima, the daughter of our Prophet (saw) came to him to ask him for a slave girl to help her in her daily duties, when she got there she was too ashamed to ask him for anything, conveyed her salaams and went home. In the night the Prophet (saw) went to visit her and her husband Ali and said “Shall I direct you to something better than what you have requested? When you go to bed say ‘Subhan Allah’ thirty-three times, ‘Alhamdulillah’ thirty three times, and Allahu Akbar’ thirty four times, for that is better for you than a servant.” Sahih Bukhari
fill your scales
Alhamdulillah is one of the dearest words to Allah swt along with SubhanAllah, La ilaha illallah and Allahu Akbar as narrated in Sahih Muslim and it is also a means of filling your scale of good deeds.
“Cleanliness is half of faith and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah) and Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) fill up what is between the heavens and the earth.”
So the next time you say ‘alhamdulillah’ say it with vigour and remember all the goodness that comes with praising Allah swt and Allah swt alone!