HAMD – حمد
Grateful praise that is offered by the ‘abds to Allah (‘Azza wa jalla).
Uttering اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ (Alhamdulillah). This word expresses all ma’nawî and material ni’mahs and goodness are the works of the Names of Allah and all thanks and gratitude only belongs to Allah (‘Azza wa jalla).
“Alhamdulillah” is a Qur'anic phrase. Its briefest meaning, required by the rules of ‘ilm al-nahw and Bayân1 , is this:
كُلُّ فَرْدٍ مِنْ اَفْرَادِ الْحَمْدِ مِنْ اَىِّ حَامِدٍ صَدَرَ وَعَلٰى اَىِّ مَحْمُودٍ وَقَعَ مِنَ اْلاَزَلِ اِلَى اْلاَبدِ خَاصٌّ وَمُسْتَحِقٌّ لِلذَّاتِ الْوَاجِبِ الْوُجُودِ الْمُسَمّٰى بِاللهِ
"Each individual instance of all the sorts of praise and hamd that has been offered by whatever to whatever since pre-eternity and will be offered to post-eternity is particular to and due to Al-Wâjib Al-Wujûd alone, Who is named Allah." It is as follows: "Each individual instance of all the sorts of hamd" is the consequence of the definite article "al" in "al-hamd." As for the qualification of "that has been offered by whatever," since "hamd" is the verbal noun and the active participle has been omitted, it expresses generality in that sense. And by omitting the passive participle it again expresses universality and generality, and therefore expresses the qualification "to whatever." As for the qualification of "from pre-eternity to post-eternity," it expresses this meaning because the rule of transposing from a verbal clause to a noun clause indicates continuity. The prepositional "lam" in "lillah" [to Allah], expresses the meaning of sole possession and worthiness. As for the qualification of "Al-Wâjib Al-Wujûd, Who is named Allah," since necessary existence is the necessary requisite of the Ulûhiyyah and a term signifying the Zuljalâl Essence; comprising all the Ilahî Names and attributes and being al-ism al-â’dham, the Name of "Allah" necessarily indicates both the necessary existence and the title of "Al-Wâjib Al-Wujûd." The Letters (460 )
“Furthermore, "Alhamdulillah" is repeated in four surahs in the Qur'an, each repetition referring to one of the principal ni’mahs, which are the first creation and the continuation of it, and the creation in the âkhirah and its ensuing continuation.
Its positioning here:
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰهِ 2 being put at the opening of the Fâtiha of the Qur'an is like putting the conception of the Qur'an's ultimate purpose in the forefront of the mind. For hamd is a concise form of ‘ibâdah, which is the result of creation, and of ma’rifat, which is the hikmah and aim of the universe. So to mention hamd is to conceive of the Qur'an's ultimate purpose. Indeed, Allah (‘Azza wa jalla) says: وَ مَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَ اْلاِنْسَ اِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُونِ 3
Furthermore, there is the well-known meaning of hamd: the display of the attributes of Kamâl (perfection).
How this is achieved: Allah Subhânahu created man and made him a comprehensive summary of the universe and an index of the book of the ‘âlam, which comprises eighteen thousand ‘âlam, and lodged in his essence a sample from each, in which is manifested one of the Names of Taâ’lâ. If man spends all of what is bestowed on him in the way of that for which they were created, for the purpose of performing shukr al-‘urfî which is a sort of hamd, and obeying the Sharî’ah which removes the rust of nature, each of those samples opens a mishkât4 and a window to the ‘âlam which they belong to, and becomes a mirror to the attribute that manifests in that ‘âlam and the Name which manifests there. In this way, with both rûh and material, man becomes a summary of al-‘âlam ash-shahâdah and al-‘âlam al-ghayb and manifests what is manifested on them. Through offering hamd man becomes a place of manifestation for the Ilahî attributes of Kamâl. This is implied by what Muhyi al-Din al-'Arabi said in explanation of the Hadith:5 كُنْتُ كَنْزًا مَخْفِيًّا فَخَلَقْتُ الْخَلْقَ لِيَعْرِفُونِى That is, I created creation to be a mirror in which I might observe My Jamâl (beauty).” Signs of Miraculousness
“لَهُ الْحَمْدُ Since the perfections found in all beings which are the cause of acclaim and tribute are His, hamd too belongs to Him. Acclaim and laudation, from whomever to whomever it has come and will come, from pre-eternity to post-eternity, all of it belongs to Him. For ni’mah and munificence, which are the causes of acclaim, and all things, which are perfection and beauty and the means of hamd, are His, they pertain to Him. Indeed, as the Qur'an’s âyahs indicates, an ‘ubûdiyyah, a tasbîh, a sajda, a du'â, a hamd and an acclaim; it comes from all beings, rising continuously, unceasingly, to the Ilahî Court. The following is a comprehensive proof which sets forth this haqiqah of Tawhîd.
When we look at the universe, it appears to us in the form of a park set with gardens, its roof gilded with lofty stars, its ground inhabited by ornamented beings. When we see it thus, we see that the orderly, luminous, lofty heavenly bodies and purposive, ornamented earthly beings in this park are all saying, each in its particular language: "We are the miracles of qoudrah of a Qadîr Zuljalâl; we testify to the wahdah of a Khâliq Al-Hakîm, a Sâni’ Al-Qadîr."
Then we look at the globe of the earth within the park of al-‘âlam and we see it in the form of a garden in which hundreds of thousands of varieties of multicoloured and beautifully adorned flowering plants have been laid out and through which hundreds of thousands of different species of animals have been scattered. And in this garden of the earth, all these adorned plants and decorated animals proclaim through their well-ordered forms and balanced shapes: "We are each of us a miracle, a wonder of art, created by a Single Sâni’ Al-Hakîm, and each of us is a herald, a witness, to his wahdâniyyah."
Moreover, looking at the trees in the garden, we see fruits and flowers in various forms which have been made knowingly, wisely, generously, subtly, and beautifully to the utmost degree. And these are all proclaiming with one language: "We are the miraculous gifts of a Rahmân Zuljamâl, a Rahîm Zulkamâl; we are wondrous bounties."
And so, the heavenly bodies and beings in the park of the universe, and the plants and animals in the garden of the earth, and the blossom and fruits on its trees and plants, testify and proclaim with an infinitely resounding voice: "Our Khâliq and Musawwir, Al-Qadîr Zuljamâl, the Peerless Hakîm, Al-Karîm Granter of Favours, Who bestowed us as gifts, is powerful over all things. Nothing at all is difficult for Him. Nothing at all is outside the sphere of His qoudrah. In relation to His qoudrah minute particles and stars are equal. A universal is as simple as a particular, while a particular is as valuable as a universal. The largest is as easy as the smallest in relation to His qoudrah, and the small is as full of art as the large; indeed, as far as art is concerned, the small is greater than the large.
"All the occurrences of the past, which are wonders of His qoudrah, testify that the Absolutely Qadîr is also powerful over the wonders of the future, and its contingencies. As the one who brought about yesterday will bring about tomorrow, Al-Qadîr One Who created the past will also create the future. As- Sâni’ Al-Hakîm Who made this world, will also make the âkhirah.
"Indeed, the only one Haqq Ma’bûd is Al-Qadîr Zuljalâl; the one deserving of hamd is again Him. As ‘ibâdah is exclusively His, so are hamd and laudation His alone."
Is it at all possible that a Sâni’ Al-Hakîm Who created the samâwât and the earth would leave without purpose human beings, who are the most important result of the samâwât and the earth and the most perfect fruit of the universe? Is it at all possible that He would hand them over to causes and chance, that He would transform His self-evident hikmah into futility? Hâsha! And is it at all possible that the One Who is Hakîm and ‘Alîm, having planned and then formed a tree, giving it the utmost importance, and having administered and tarbiyyah it with the greatest hikmah, would ignore its fruits, which are its aim and purpose? Is it all possible that He would attach no importance to them; that He would leave them either to the hands of thieves or to rot scattered on the ground? Of course, it could not be that He would ignore them or attach no importance to them. It is because of the fruit that importance is given to the tree.
The intelligent being of the universe, therefore, and its most perfect fruit, result, and aim is man. Is it possible that As-Sâni’ Al-Hakîm of the universe would give to others the hamd and ‘ibâdah, shukr and love, which are the fruits of those intelligent and conscious fruits, thus causing His self-evident Hikmah to be nullified, His absolute Qoudrah transformed into impotence, and His all-encompassing ‘Ilm converted into ignorance? Hâsha! A hundred thousand times!
Since intelligent and conscious beings are the pivot of the Rabbânî aims of the palace of the universe, and man is the most eminent of intelligent and conscious beings, is it at all possible that the shukr and ‘ibâdah he offers in response to the ni’mahs he receives should go to one other than As-Sâni’ of the palace of the universe, and that As-Sâni’ Zuljalâl would permit the shukr and ‘ibâdah due to Him, which are the ultimate aim of man's creation, to go to another?
Moreover, is it at all possible that He would make Himself loved by intelligent and conscious beings through the endless varieties of His ni’mahs, and that He would make Himself known to them through the innumerable miracles of His art, and then, attaching no importance to them, abandon to causes and Nature their shukr and ‘ibâdah, their hamd and love, their ma’rifat and gratitude. Is it at all possible that He would make His absolute hikmah denied and the sovereignty of His Rubûbiyyah nullified? Hâsha! A hundred thousand times, Hâsha and Kallâ!6
Is it at all possible that one who cannot create a spring, and cannot create all fruits, and cannot create all the apples on earth, the stamp on which is the same, could create one apple, which is a miniature specimen of all of them, and give it to someone to eat as a ni’mah? Is it possible that he should claim shukr for it, and thus share in the hamd due to one absolutely deserving of hamd? Hâsha! For whoever creates one apple is the one who creates all the apples produced in the whole world; for their stamp is the same.
Moreover, whoever creates all the apples is again the one who creates all the seeds and fruits in the whole world, which are the means of rizq. That is to say, the one who gives a most insignificant ni’mah to a most insignificant animate creature is directly Al-Khâliq of the universe and Ar-Razzâq Zuljalâl. Since this is so, shukr and hamd belong directly to Him. And since this is so, the haqiqah of the universe says unceasingly with the language of Haqq: لَهُ الْحَمْدُ مِنْ كُلِّ اَحَدٍ مِنَ اْلاَزَلِ اِلَى اْلاَبَدِ 7 The Letters (280 - 282 )
1 (grammar and rhetoric)
2 (All hamd to Allâh)
3 (I created not jinn and mankind except that they might perform ‘ibâdah to me./51:57)
4 (A place where a lamp is specially placed)
5 (I was a hidden treasure, so I created creation that they may know Me.)
6 (Certainly not!)
7 (His is the hamd from every single being from pre-eternity to post-eternity.)