Al-Wāḥa Blog

Thank you for visiting the blog for Al-Wāḥa, an Arabic Language Village. Subscribe by email to receive notifications of new posts directly to your inbox. 

Seven Ways to Show Gratitude this New Year

Published: January 1, 2020

At times, when we reflect on the past year, it is difficult to look past some of the negative things that happened to find those moments of joy. However, it is important to look back and be grateful for all the moments good and bad. It is also important to reach out to the people around you and thank them for the part they played in making your life a little brighter! So, here are seven ways to show gratitude going into this new year:

  1. Say الحمد لله (alhamdu lilah) – This is a phrase that we say all the time in the Arab and Muslim world. The phrase means “thanks and praise to Allah (God).” The beautiful thing about this phrase is that as a Muslim, you are encouraged to say it no matter the situation. It is a constant reminder that there is always something to be happy about in life, whether it’s a lesson learned or a worse situation avoided.
  2. Say شكراً (shukran) – This word literally translates to “thank you.” While many of us are taught to say please and thank you, sometimes we take the people closest to us for granted and forget to say thank you. Perhaps by expressing gratitude to the people we love more often, we can strengthen those already tight bonds and make our next year even more beautiful.
  3. Say جزاك الله خير (jazaki Allah khair) – This phrase translates to “May Allah reward you with good.” I like this phrase a lot, because it asks Allah to grant a person who did a good deed for you equal good in their life. Just don’t forget to take action and help them yourself as well!
  4. Give a gift – In the Arab world, if someone gives you a gift, you should return it with a gift of equal caliber. Christmas is over, so perhaps the thought of giving a gift is completely unappealing after the stress of all the shopping. However, not all gifts need to be big, flashy, and expensive. Sometimes the best gifts are little acts of kindness or service that let people know that you are thinking of them. Consider writing a note or taking on a chore for another family member, friend, or colleague to show them that you’re grateful for their presence in your life.
  5. Keep a gratitude journal – While this is not necessarily an Arab thing, it is something that this Arab has done to great success! Sometimes we need to see something solid in front of us to really believe it. Writing down a list each day of things that happened that made you feel good, that you’re grateful for, can be a way to cement the idea that life isn’t so bad after all. Then, when you’re having a rough day, you can look back and prompt yourself to remember a few happy things that happened not too long ago. This journal can also lead to you doing suggestions one to five (above) more frequently and gladly.
  6. Treat your friends' parents kindly – We are taught to revere our parents in the Arab world. If you love your friend, make sure to thank their parents for raising them well. In general, one way to show someone that you love them and are grateful for them, is by treating their family and friends kindly. Parents and guardians especially deserve to know that their hard work of bringing up their children is greatly appreciated. Your friend will likewise be grateful to you for thinking of their parents.
  7. Smile – In Islam, there is a saying  الابتسام في وجه أخيك صدقة (al-ibtisam fee wajh akheek sadaqa), which translates to “Smiling in the face of your brother is charity.”  A smile is not only another way to show someone else that they are appreciated, but it is also a basic action that can make someone’s day. Not only that, but smiling can also improve your own mood and help you notice and be grateful for the events and people around you.


We hope you enjoyed this latest blog post and wish you a wonderful new year ahead!