SHUKR – شكر
Literally: A feeling or expression of gratitude. Gratitude. A thanking. A giving thanks.
Feeling or expressing gratitude and thanks to Allah (‘Azza wa jalla) for the ni’mahs that He gives.
(Please refer to The Risale On Shukr.)
Furthermore, there is the well-known meaning of hamd: the display of the attributes of Kamâl1 .
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 mishkât2 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:كُنْتُ كَنْزًا مَخْفِيًّا فَخَلَقْتُ الْخَلْقَ لِيَعْرِفُونِى 3 That is, I created creation to be a mirror in which I might observe My Jamâl.
Signs of Miraculousness
Also, do not say, "I am nothing. What importance do I have that the universe should purposefully be subjected to me by an Absolute Hakîm, and a universal shukr would be required of me?"
Because, for sure, you are nothing regarding your nafs and form, but regarding duty and rank, you are an attentive spectator of this majestic universe, a speaking tongue possessing balâghat of these beings full of hikmah, an intelligent reader of this book of ‘âlam, an astonished supervisor of these creatures offering tasbîh and a respectful foreman of these artful creatures performing ‘ibâdah.
Yes, O man! Regarding your vegetable physical being and your animal nafs, you are a minor particle, a despicable particular, a poor creature and a weak animal that you are shaken amidst the terrifying waves of the flowing beings. But by being perfected through the tarbiyyah of Islam illuminated with the nûr of îmân comprising the light of the love for Allah, regarding humanity and in your being an ‘abd, you are a sultân; within your particularity, you are a universal; within your smallness, you are an ‘âlam and within your despicableness, you are a supervisor of such great rank, who supervises an extensive sphere, that you can say: "My Rabb, Who is Rahîm, has made the world a house for me. He made the sun and moon lamps for my house, and the spring, a bunch of flowers, and summer, a table of ni’mah and the animals, my servants. And He has made plants the ornamented provisions of my house.
In Short: If you heed nafs and shaytan, you fall into the asfal sâfilîn. But if you heed Al-Haqq and the Qur'an, you rise to the a’lâ ‘illiyyin and become a beautiful form (Ahsan Taqwîm) of the universe.
Twenty-Third Word/Second Discussion/Fourth Subtle Point