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July 25, 2012

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 24

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 23.]

In the previous part, I mentioned the two types of giving with regards to Allah’s Name Al-Mutee (the One who gives): the general (which includes believers and the disbelievers) and the specific (which is only for the believers, both in this world and the Hereafter).

The following hadeeth mentions the greatest thing that Al-Mutee gives His slaves in the Hereafter:

إن الله يقول لأهل الجنة : يا أهل الجنة ! فيقولون : لبيك . ربنا ! وسعديك . والخير في يديك . فيقول : هل رضيتم ؟ فيقولون : وما لنا لا نرضى ؟ يا رب ! وقد أعطيتنا ما لم تعط أحدا من خلقك . فيقول : ألا أعطيكم أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقولون : يا رب ! وأي شيء أفضل من ذلك ؟ فيقول : أحل عليكم رضواني . فلا أسخط عليكم بعده أبدا

Abu Said al-Khudri (radiallahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said that Allah would say to the inmates of Paradise: O, Dwellers of Paradise, and they would say in response: At Your service and pleasure, our Lord, the good is in Your Hand. He (the Lord) would say: Are you well pleased now? They would say: Why should we not be pleased, O Lord, when You have given us what You have not given to any of Your creatures? He would, however, say: May I not give you (something) even more excellent than that? And they would say: O Lord, what thing can be more excellent than this? And He would say: I shall cause My pleasure to alight upon you and I shall never be angry with you after this. [Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 6787]

I ask Allah, Al-Mutee by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes that He make us of those who He is pleased with, both in this world and in the Hereafter.

We should remember the following things:

a) Whatever blessings we have were given to us by Al-Mutee.

We forget this quite frequently, don’t we? We think we “earned” it, don’t we? 

يا عبادي ! لو أن أولكم وآخركم . وإنسكم وجنكم . قاموا في صعيد واحد فسألوني . فأعطيت كل إنسان مسألته . ما نقص ذلك مما عندي إلا كما ينقص المخيط إذا أدخل البحر . يا عبادي ! إنما هي أعمالكم أحصيها لكم . ثم أوفيكم إياها . فمن وجد خيرا فليحمد الله . ومن وجد غير ذلك فلا يلومن إلا نفسه

O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6246]

[The full narration can be found here.]

I recall reading an article which asked us something like: “If you have a degree, then who caused you to have it?” It pointed out that so many people came from poor families who could not afford to pay for education.

Something for us to think about.

When we realise that we did not “earn” these blessings, then perhaps we’ll be a bit more grateful for all the stuff that we have instead of sounding like this.

b) There are no limits to His giving, nor does His giving decrease His Kingdom in the least.

The hadeeth mentioned above is a proof of this statement.

Subhan Allah, He gives to all of creation!

يَسْأَلُهُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ

“Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honour to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)!” [Surah Ar-Rahman (55) : 29]

c) If we want something, we should ask Allah to grant it to us.

We should do dua (supplication) and remember that if He wants to grant us something, out of His Mercy, then nobody can prevent it.

However, we should also remember that if He wants to prevent us from getting something, out of His Wisdom and Justice, then nobody can give it to us!

And this leads us to another topic: Being pleased with what Allah has decreed for us, in terms of provisions and the like.

This is a very lengthy topic. All I want to point out is that we should ask Allah and be grateful if we get what we want, and be patient if we don’t get it.

A reminder: Turn to Allah in times of distress and ask Him to grant you a way out. Do not turn to people.

من أصابته فاقة فأنزلها بالناس لم تسد فاقته ومن أنزلها بالله أوشك الله له بالغنى إما بموت عاجل أو غنى عاجل

Ibn Masud (radiallahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever is afflicted with a distress, and turns to the people (to solve it), he will not have his distress solved. And whoever turns to Allah, Allah will hasten independence to him, either by a quick death or a speedy richness.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1645]

d) Nobody should say “Oh, I’m not guided because Allah did not give me guidance.”

This is a common chirp. What the person really means is “I know that I have to be good, but I just don’t want to be.”

A person is misguided due to his own sins:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَسْتَحْيِي أَن يَضْرِ‌بَ مَثَلًا مَّا بَعُوضَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ ۖ وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا

فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَا أَرَ‌ادَ اللَّـهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلًا ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا وَيَهْدِي بِهِ كَثِيرً‌ا ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِ إِلَّا الْفَاسِقِينَ

“Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: “What did Allah intend by this parable?” By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only those who are Al-Fasiqoon (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 26]

In contrast, the sincere ones are the ones who are guided:

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ

“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance, and bestows on them their piety.” [Surah Muhammad (47) : 17]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) states in his tafsir (explanation) of this ayah (verse):

“(And as for those who accept guidance, He increases them in guidance) which means that those who seek guidance, Allah facilitates it for them; He guides them to it, makes them firm on it, and gives them more of it.

(and bestows on them their Taqwa. ) meaning, He inspires them to their righteous guidance.”

So, the one who sincerely seeks guidance will be given it. So we need to do lot of dua asking Allah to guide us and then we need to take the means i.e. studying about Islam and increasing in our worship.

e) Al-Mutee gives more to certain types of people so we should try to adopt those qualities.

One of those types would be kind people:

يا عائشة ! إن الله رفيق يحب الرفق . ويعطي على الرفق ما لا يعطي على العنف . وما لا يعطي على ما سواه

Aishah (radiallahu anha), the wife of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Oh Aishah, verily Allah is Rafeeq (kind) and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6273]

This hadeeth mentions another Name of Allah: Ar-Rafeeq (kind). So, if we want Al-Mutee, Ar-Rafeeq to give us more, we need to increase in kindness towards His creation, even if it were a wild camel.

f) We should also give.

If we want Allah to give us more, then obviously we should give more to others, shouldn’t we?

الأيدي ثلاثة فيد الله العليا ويد المعطي التي تليها ويد السائل السفلى فأعط الفضل ولا تعجز عن نفسك

Malik ibn Nadlah (radiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “There are three types of hands: The Hand of Allah is the highest, and the hand of the giver is below it, and the hand of the one who asks is the lowest. So give blessings (charity) and do not be too weak to overcome yourself.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 1649.]

Reminder: This is Ramadan, the month where the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) would increase in his generosity, so we should follow his sunnah (way):

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود الناس ، وكان أجود ما يكون في رمضان حين يلقاه جبريل ، وكان يلقاه في كل ليلة من رمضان فيدارسه القرآن ، فلرسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أجود بالخير من الريح المرسلة

Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallahu anhu): “Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Jibreel met him. Jibreel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Quran. Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 5]

2) He is Al-Musair (the One who determines).

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

[I’ve mentioned this hadeeth before when I discussed the Names Ar-Raaziq and Ar-Razzaq on Day 10.]

So Allah is the One who determines things (like prices, provisions, life etc) through His will, so we should be content with that. The people who don’t know this are the ones who suffer anxiety. [I just came across this interesting article on the Islamic perspective on the financial crisis.]

This should also encourage a person to be lenient with regards to prices, instead of behaving like a pest when he sells or buys.

رَحِمَ اللَّهُ رَجُلاً سَمْحًا إِذَا بَاعَ، وَإِذَا اشْتَرَى، وَإِذَا اقْتَضَى ‏

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdillah (radiallahu anhuma): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on a man who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 3, Hadith No. 290]

3) He is Al-Qaabidh (the Taker / the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly/ the Extender).

The hadeeth mentioned above about Al-Musair also mentions these two Names.

قال الناس : يا رسول الله ! غلا السعر فسعر لنا ! فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : إن الله هو المسعر القابض الباسط الرازق ، وإني لأرجو أن ألقى الله وليس أحد منكم يطالبني بمظلمة في دم ولا مال

It was narrated that Anas ibn Malik (radiallahu anhu) said: “The people said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, prices have become too high; fix the prices for us.’ The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah is Al-Musair (the One who determines), Al-Qaabidh (the One who withholds) and Al-Baasit (the One who gives lavishly) and Ar-Raaziq (the Provider). I hope that I meet Allah with no one among you making any claim against me concerning issues of blood or wealth.” [Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451. Graded “sahih” by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abee Dawood, Hadeeth No. 3451.]

These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in the following dua of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wassalam). In the previous post, I pointed out that this dua mentioned the attribute of giving as well:

لما كان يوم أحد ، وانكفأ المشركون ، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم استووا حتى أثني على ربي عز و جل اللهم لك الحمد كله ، اللهم لا قابض لما بسطت ، و لا مقرب لما باعدت ، و لا مباعد لما قربت ، و لا معطي لما منعت ، و لا مانع لما أعطيت أسألك ابسط علينا من بركاتك و رحمتك و فضلك و رزقك ، اللهم إني أسألك النعيم المقيم الذي لا يحول و لا يزول اللهم إني أسألك النعيم يوم العيلة ، و الأمن يوم الحرب ، اللهم عائذا بك من سوء ما أعطينا ، و شر ما منعت منا اللهم حبب إلينا الإيمان وزينه في قلوبنا ، وكره إلينا الكفر والفسوق والعصيان واجعلنا من الراشدين اللهم توفنا مسلمين ، و أحينا مسلمين و ألحقنا بالصالحين ، غير خزايا ، و لا مفتونين اللهم قاتل الكفرة الذين يصدون عن سبيلك ، و يكذبون رسلك ، و اجعل عليهم رجزك و عذابك قاتل الكفرة الذين أوتوا الكتاب ، إله الحق

Rifaa az-Zurqi (radiallahu anhu) said, “In the Battle of Uhud when the idolaters retreated, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Form straight ranks so that I can praise my Almighty Lord.’ They formed in ranks behind him. He said, ‘O Allah, all praise is due to You. O Allah, none can contract what You expand nor bring near what you put far away. None can put far away what You bring near. None can give what You withhold nor withhold what You give. O Allah, expand to us some of Your blessings, mercy and favour and give us provision! O Allah, I ask You for the abiding blessing which is neither changed nor removed. O Allah, I ask You for blessing on the Day of Utter Poverty and security on the Day of Fear. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the evil of what You give us. O Allah, make us love belief and adorn our hearts with it. Make us hate disbelief, deviance and rebellion. Place us among the rightly-guided. O Allah, make us die Muslims and make us live as Muslims and join us to the rightly, acting, who are neither disappointed nor afflicted. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who bar your path and who deny Your Messengers. Place You abasement and punishment over them. O Allah, fight the unbelievers who were given the Book, O Lord of Truth!'” [Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 699. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Adab Al-Mufrad, Hadeeth No. 538. I got the latter reference from Dorar.]

[Completely awesome dua, isn’t it?]

You might have noticed that both these attributes are opposites of each other.

Insha-Allah, I’ll discuss that in the next part.

To be continued…

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