Hamd and Shukr

al-hamdulillah

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

(al-Fatihah: 2)

The ‘ulama differed as to the relation between the words hamd and shukr. Some said that they both have the same meaning. So the meaning of hamd, in their view, is the same as shukr (thankfulness, gratitude).

Others said that shukr is is more general than hamd. In that shukr is done with the tongue, the limbs and the heart; whereas hamd is done with the tongue only.

It is also said that hamd is more general than shukr. In that it contains the meaning of shukr (thankfulness) as well as madh (praise). Therefore it is more general because hamd takes the place of shukr but shukr doesn’t take the place of hamd.

It is related from ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that he said: “Alhamdulillah (All praise be to Allah) is the saying of every thankful person. Certainly Adam (as) said when he sneezed, ‘All praise be to Allah.’ And Allah said to Nuh (as), ‘Then say: Praise be to Allah who has rescued us from the wrongdoing people. (23: 28)’ Ibrahim (as) said: ‘Praise be to Allah Who, despite my old age, has given me Isma’il and Ishaq. (14: 39)’ And He said in the incident of Dawud and Sulaiman: ‘They said: Praise be to Allah who has favoured us over many of His slaves who are mu’minun. (27: 15)’ And He said to His Prophet (saw): ‘And say: Praise be to Allah Who has had no son. (17: 111)’ And the people of Jannah said: ‘Praise be to Allah who has removed all sadness from us. (35: 34)’ and ‘The end of their call is: ‘Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds! (10: 10)” So it is the word of every thankful person.”

(al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Qur’an)

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