How Can We Respond to God’s Universal, Infinite Favors Through Our Restricted, Particular Thankfulness?’
Through a universal intention and infinitely profound belief and devotion. Suppose a poor man enters the presence of the king with a present of a few dollars and sees that gifts worthy of millions each have come from the king’s favorite men and been arranged there. He thinks: ‘My present means nothing, but this is what I can afford.’ Then he says to the king: ‘O lord! I offer you all those precious gifts in my own name, for you deserve them. If I were able to, I would give you the double as my gift!’ The king, who though in need of nothing accepts the gifts of his subjects as a token of the degree of their respect and loyalty, accepts the universal intention and desire of that poor man and his deep feelings of devotion as though it were the greatest gift. In exactly the same way, a poor servant says in his daily prescribed prayers: ‘All veneration and reverence is for God’, by which he means: ‘I offer You in my name all the gifts of worship which all beings present to you through their lives. You deserve all of it, rather, much more than it.’ This belief and intention is a most comprehensive and universal thankfulness.
The seeds and stones of plants are their intentions to grow and become each an elaborate plant. For example, with its hundreds of seeds, a melon intends: ‘O my Creator! I want to exhibit the inscriptions of Your Beautiful Names in many places of the earth.’ Having full knowledge of the future of things, Almighty God accepts their intentions as worship in deeds. The Prophetic saying, The intention of the believer is better than his action, (Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir, 6.291) is to express this reality. That is also why we glorify and praise Him with phrases expressing infinitude, like the following:
Glory be to You and praise be to You to the number of Your creatures and the things pleasing to You and the decorations of Your Supreme Throne and to the amount of the ink of Your words; and we glorify You with the sum of all the glorifications of Your Prophets and Your saints and Your angels.
Also, in the same way as a commander offers the king in his name all the services rendered by his soldiers, so man, being the commander of all the earthly creatures including plants and animals, and acting in his own private world in the name of everyone, says, You alone do we worship and from You alone do we seek help, and offers the Worshipped One of Majesty in his name all the worship of all human beings and their entreaties for help.
Also, by saying,
Glory be to You with the sum of all the glorifications of all of Your creatures and with the tongues of all of the things You have made,
he makes all of the creatures speak in his own name.
Also, he says,
O God! Bestow blessings on Muhammad to the number of the particles of the universe and the compounds of it,
and calls God’s blessing on the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, in the name of everything. For everything is connected with the light of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. Understand from all this the wisdom in glorifying God and calling His blessings on Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, to the extent of infinitude.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.