According to Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet of Islam is reported to have said, “One who never expresses his gratitude to other human beings will never be thankful to God.”
Thankfulness is a state of mind which cannot be compartmentalized. If it manifests itself in one place, the chances are that it will do so in other places too. If a man shows gratitude to one person, he will surely show it to others likewise.
When a person does someone a good turn, it is something quite obvious – a tangible direct experience. On the contrary, God’s kindness, being an indirect experience, is not at all obvious. One has to be perceptive, and reflective to be able to realize what favours are granted to one by God. While the favours a human being does are observable, God’s favours can be realized only by thinking about them.
One who fails to perceive an event which is directly observable cannot be expected to grasp something which can be apprehended only after a great deal of reflection.
If the recipient of a favour fails to acknowledge it for fear of belittling himself in the eyes of his benefactor, he does himself nothing but harm.
It is more a question of being belittled in the eyes of his own conscience than falling down in others’ eyes – a course by far the more injurious.
An even greater disadvantage of an ungrateful attitude is that it produces a mentality of non-acknowledgement.
Failing at first to acknowledge the favours of one’s fellow men leads on to failure to give wholehearted credence to the Lord of the Universe. There is no greater loss in this world than one who has failed to acknowledge his Creator without whose favour one’s existence would have not been possible.