ٱلۡحَمۡدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
Praise be to Allah the Lord of ‘Aalamin.
We started this post with the First Verse from the Qur’an that is Alhamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalamin. Which is commonly translated as “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds”
Jumping right into our discussion of the Word “Hamd” which is translated as Praise, but translating Hamd as Praise misses a lot of extremely important points understanding which makes us truly appreciate the word of Allah. When you see the Perfection in Quran you understand that it is not something Humans can write and can only be Divinely Inspired by Allah Himself.
Hamd simply means “Praise and Thanks” but there is more to it. If this is what Allah wanted to convey He Subhanahu wa ta’aala could have easily used “Madh wa Shukra” to mean Praise and Thanks. But Allah is All Perfect so is His Speech and hence can not be simple enough for any Human to find a flaw in it.
If you write “Praise and Thanks” , separating the two in two different words “Madh wa Shukra”, it is possible that you attribute one to Allah at some time and One at another and may not use both at the same time.
For example if you see a really nice house, you praise the house about how nice it is but you won’t just go and thank it. And you may thank someone who did a favor to you but not praise him if he is not a nice person.
So Hamd is used because no matter what situation we are in as Muslims the first thing that comes out of our Heart is Alhamdulillah. Combining both Praise and Thanks in times of calamity He subhanahu wa ta’aala makes us realize that it is only better for us even if our mind is not able to decipher the Wisdom behind it we trust in His wisdom and Praise Him for that, at the same time also realizing that the situation could have been much worse if He had allowed it to and Hence Thank Him for not letting it go worse. Understanding the context of calamity one can easily relate to the Times of Joy and How Important “Alhamdulillah” is.
If two different words were used it was possible that while not being able understand how a calamity was better for you. You may only Thank Him but not praise or be able Praise but not Thank. Saying Alhamdulillah then forces us to ponder over both aspects of a calamity and if it comes truly from inside the heart it Tranquilizes us no matter how bad a situation might appear to be. Or at times of ease it makes us understand that everything we Possess is from Allah and if He willed He could take everything away. So we Praise and at the same time Thank Him
If Allah used “Madh wa Shukra”, Madh meaning praise and Shukra meaning thanks, it would still mean the same thing but not convey the same thing as Hamd.
In Arabic a sentence is more profound when it is said in short. So considering the Perfection of Allah and His Word (the Qur’an). Hamd is necessarily more profound than “Madh wa Shukra” because it conveys the same thing but in a single word.
Also the word Madh can be used for any kind of Praise for example you may Praise your teacher or boss just to flatter them and do not actually mean it or it doesn’t come from the Heart. In English a praise whether you mean it or not is Praise only But Arabic is a rich Language its words come with feelings too. So madh can be used for the Flattering Praise but Hamd is a word that can only be used for Sincere Praise that comes right from inside your Heart.
Next time when someone Asks about your well being and you say Alhamdulillah. Make sure it comes sincerely from the Heart and that you literally mean “Praise and Thanks be to Allah.” You Ponder over things about your well being and How Allah is taking care of you, Praise Allah for that. Look at other people who are suffering from illness and Thank Allah for keeping you in the condition that you are in. Other wise we fear if it doesnt come from the Heart it might not be acceptable because the essence of Hamd as we discussed is that you sincerely mean it.
And Allah Knows Best.
Author’s Note : This is my first attempt at writing something serious especially in matters of deen and my knowledge is limited as I am just a beginner level student of the Book of Allah. All the valuable points in this Article are taken from “Divine Speech” and I have only expressed my understanding. Please feel free to share your feedback to help me improve my future post. BarakAllaho Walakum. Assalamualaikum.