The Reality of Hamd

zikr-beadsالحمد لله

What does the phrase al-ḥamdu lillah really mean.

  • Ḥamd refers to praising someone for an intrinsically praiseworthy and perfect quality, while madḥ is more general praise or praise for something which is not intrinsically praiseworthy.
  • Ḥamd is praise that comes from love, while madḥ or shukr or other forms are not necessarily motivated by love.
  • Ḥamd is praising Allah for all states, good and bad, while shukr is praising Allah for the good one receives.
  • Ḥamd is restricted to verbal forms and states of the heart while other forms may be expressed by actions as well.

Therefore al-ḥamdu lillah really means praising Allah— out of love and gratitude— for His praiseworthy and perfect attributes, and for the bounties and blessings he bestows upon us, and for the calamities and adversities which purify us and raise us in ranks.

-adapted from Shaykh Walid Basyouni

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