Shukr (Arabic: شكر) is an Arabic term denoting thankfulness, gratitude or acknowledgment by humans, being a highly esteemed virtue in Islam. The term may also be used if the subject is God, in which case it takes the meaning of "divine responsiveness".


According to Al-Raghib al-Isfahani, Shukr is to recognise a blessing and display it. It has been said that it was originally kashr, meaning ‘to unveil and expose,’ then the first two letters were swapped. Its opposite is kufr, which is ‘to cover, conceal, and forget a blessing.[1]

In Islamic contexts


Prophets: the Qur'an provides narratives of the prophets of God as individuals of gratitude. Their thanksgiving is exemplified by their obedience and faithfulness to God:[6]

Shukr in Sunnah

Conditions for proper Shukr

Reality of Shukr

In a Sufi context, shukr is an internal state and its external expression. It is considered a station (maḳām) of the wayfarer (sālik).[14]


The expression of shukr takes various forms in the Islamic tradition. The maxim "he who does not thank his fellow men shows ingratitude towards God" highlights the importance of such expression. On the other hand, those who are thanked are expected to say "don't thank me, be grateful to God."[15]

It is common practice to kiss one's hands and to say "I praise Him and thank Him for His bounty." Another expression is "we are thankful to God, and we kiss the ground thousand fold that you are pleased." When asked about health, one may answer "thank God", gratitude to God is also commonly expressed for someone's recovery. In times of calamity, gratitude is expressed by saying "thank God it is not more grave".[15]

Shukr is also expressed by prostration (sujud). Although most notable for being a fundamental part of the Islamic prayer, Islamic traditions also mentions the sujud al-shukr, literally meaning "the thanksgiving prostration."[12]

Examples of practical Shukr according to Islam

Significants of Shukr according to Quran

How to achieve Shukr

See also


  1. ^ Yasien Alli Mohammed (1992). The Ethics of Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani.
  2. ^ Mentioned in [Quran 35:29–30], [Quran 35:34], [Quran 42:23], [Quran 44:17]
  3. ^ This is mentioned in II, 158; IV, 147
  4. ^ [Quran 42:40]
  5. ^ "Shukr", Encyclopaedia of Islam
  6. ^ "Gratitude and Ingratitude," Encyclopaedia of Qur'an
  7. ^ [Quran 16:120–121]
  8. ^ [Quran 17:3]
  9. ^ [Quran 34:12–13]
  10. ^ Thiqatu Al-Al-Kulayni (2015). Al-Kafi. Islamic Seminary Incorporated. ISBN 9780991430864.
  11. ^ Ayatullah Sayyid Imam Ruhullah Musavi Khomeini. Forty hadith, An Exposition,second revised edition. Ansariyan publication-Qum.
  12. ^ a b Tottoli, 1998, p. 309-313
  13. ^ Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Qurtubi. Tafsir al-Qurtubi. Dar al-Taqwa.
  14. ^ Ayatullah Sayyid Imam Ruhullah Musavi Khomeini. Forty hadith, An Exposition,second revised edition. Ansariyan publication-Qum.
  15. ^ a b Rist, 1982, p. 20
  16. ^ [Quran 108:1-2]
  17. ^ [Quran 2:282]
  18. ^ [Quran 93:9]
  19. ^ a b [Quran 9:103]
  20. ^ Muhsin Qara'ati (2013). Ramadhan with the holy Qur'an, 30 Lessons in 30 days. Amin Daryanavart.
  21. ^ [Quran 14:7]
  22. ^ [Quran 31:12]
  23. ^ [Quran 16:14]
  24. ^ [Quran 13:28]
  25. ^ [Quran 2:152]
  26. ^ [Quran 7:17]
  27. ^ [Quran 16:53]
  28. ^ [Quran 39:7]
  29. ^ [Quran 14:34]
  30. ^ Tawus Raja (2015). Patience and Gratitude. Ahlul-bayt World Assembly.