Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth, best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Qur'an 16:125)
Why does Allah require us to praise Him? What benefit does he get?
1. Allahu Akbar doesn’t make Allah Great:
Allah (SWT) does not require our praises for His benefit. When we say ‘Allahu Akbar’ meaning Allah is the Greatest, He does not become greater. He is already theGreatest whether we say a million times Allahu Akbar or we don’t say. It will make no difference in his greatness. He will yet remain the Greatest.
2.We Praise Allah for our benefit:
It is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Fatir chapter 35 verse 15
“O ye men! It is ye that have need of Allah: but Allah is the One Free of all wants,
worthy of all praise.”
Allah (SWT) is free of all wants. He does not require us to praise Him. It is we human beings who require Allah (SWT) and we praise Him for our own benefits.
3.We praise Allah to convince ourselves that He is worthy to be obeyed and served.
We normally follow the advice of a person who is great, famous and important. A person who is intelligent and wise. We will not follow the advice of a stranger who is unknown or a person who is not intelligent nor wise. That is the reason that we praise Allah (SWT) that He is the Greatest, The Most Wise, The All Knowing, etc., to first convince ourselves that He is worthy to be followed then we ask Him to guide us and help us.
4.In Surah Fatihah we first recite praises of Allah then we seek His help:
That is the reason why Surah Fatiha or the opening Chapter of the Holy Qur’an is always recited in every rakaat of the Salaah. In the first 4 or 5 verses of Surah Fatihah we initially praise Allah (SWT).
“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds: Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship, And Thine aid we seek.”
Then later we ask Him for help for our own benefit.
“Show us the straight way, the way of those on whom Thouhast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.”
Thus we first praise Allah (SWT) in Surah Fatihah and agree that He is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, The Chrisher, The Sustainer, The Master, etc, and then we ask Him for guidance and help.
5.Prefer treatment and advice from the best doctor:
If you are sick and have a heart problem and the best available heart specialist gives you advice, you will follow His advice. But if a stranger who has no knowledge of medicine or a quack gives you advice, you will not follow it.
6.If all the oceans were ink, it would not suffice to praise Allah:
Thus we praise Allah (SWT) for our own benefit. However much we may praise Him it is insufficient because the Holy Qur’an says in
Surah Kahf chapter 18 verse 109:
“Say: ‘If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if We added another ocean like it, for its aid.’”
7.Iftrees were pens and oceans were ink they would not suffice to write words of Allah.
A similar message is repeated in Surah Luqman chapter 31 verse 27
“And if all the trees on earth were pens and the Ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom.”
8.We praise Allah to follow His commandments:
Allah (SWT) does not require us to praise Him for His benefit but He requires us to praise Him for our benefit. In Salaah while reciting verses of the Qur’an, we agree that He is Supreme and Ultimate and commit that we will follow His advice and commandments so that we stay on the siratal mustaqeem (straight path).