Once there was King who had a servant named Shukr (gratitude). They were the closest of friends and the King would take Shukr everywhere. Shukr was aptly named, because he was always grateful to Allah for whatever he had and for whatever situation he was in, and this was a noble quality of his which the King greatly admired.
One day the King and Shukr went out hunting, they came across a deer and the King shot at the deer and killed it.
“Alhamdulillah!” exclaimed Shukr.
The King and Shukr went to remove the arrow from the deer and as it was being withdrawn the end of the King’s little finger was chopped off! “Alhamdulillah!” exclaimed Shukr again. This time, the King was not pleased with Shukr’s gratitude and condemned him for it. In fact the King was so angry that he threw Shukr in prison.
“Alhamdulillah!” cried Shukr once again, confusing all of those around him.
The next week, the King went hunting alone. As he was exploring the forest, he came across a tribe of indigenous people. They seemed friendly and invited him to have dinner with them, which was of religious significance to them. Little did he know that he was to be the main course!
They tied up the King and prepared the stew. When everything was ready they untied him, and one man noticed that his little finger was not complete. They all broke out in argument, saying that they could not offer an incomplete human being as a sacrifice to their gods. So they let the King go free.
Out of happiness and joy the King ran back to the city and to Shukr. After hearing his story, Shukr exclaimed “Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!” The King released him from jail and Shukr continually kept on crying “Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah! Alhamdulillah!”
The King was surprised by this, so he asked Shukr why he was so excessively grateful. Shukr replied “Because if you had not thrown me in jail, I would have been out hunting with you and the tribe would have eaten me instead of you!”