Rights of Allahﷻ on us – #5

Having fear and hope only from Allahﷻ‎ because only He has power.

It is the right of Allahﷻ‎ and a part of believing in the Tawheed of Allahﷻ‎, in His uniqueness and that He alone is worthy of worship, that we know and believe that all good and harm can only come from Allahﷻ‎. To believe that Allahﷻ‎ is in control and owns everything, is the initiator of all things and to Him is the return of everyone and everything, is a part of Tawheed.

تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Mulk 67: 1  Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.

قُلِ ٱللَّهُمَّ مَـٰلِكَ ٱلْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِى ٱلْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتَنزِعُ ٱلْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَآءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَآءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَآءُ بِيَدِكَ ٱلْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

تُولِجُ ٱلَّيْلَ فِى ٱلنَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فِى ٱلَّيْلِ وَتُخْرِجُ ٱلْحَىَّ مِنَ ٱلْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ ٱلْمَيِّتَ مِنَ ٱلْحَىِّ وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

A’al Imraan 3: 26-27  Say (O Muhammad SAW): O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things. You make the night to enter the day, and You make the day to enter the night You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit (measure or account).

On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas (R) who said: One day I was behind Rasoolullah [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allahﷻ‎  and Allahﷻ‎  will protect you. Be mindful of Allahﷻ‎  and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allahﷻ‎  [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allahﷻ‎  [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allahﷻ‎  had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allahﷻ‎  had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” In another narration, Rasoolullah is reported to have said: Be mindful of Allahﷻ‎ , and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allahﷻ‎  in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and hardship with ease.

Allahﷻ‎ promised to test us in different ways; physical, material, mental, spiritual, and praised those who behave with patience and remain steadfast in the face of trials. We must remember that this life is a test. To each of us in his/her own way, but it is a test the result of which we will see in the Aakhira, where we will be rewarded for it.

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىْءٍ مِّنَ ٱلْخَوْفِ وَٱلْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ ٱلْأَمْوَٰلِ وَٱلْأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ  -ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَصَـٰبَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيْهِ رَٰجِعُونَ  -أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَٰتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُهْتَدُونَ

Baqara 2: 155-157   We shall certainly test you with fear and hunger, and loss of property, lives, and crops. But give good news to those who are steadfast. Those who say, when afflicted with a calamity, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.’ On them is blessing and mercy from their Rabb, and it is they who are rightly guided.

Rasoolullahﷺ said, “If anything happens to you, do not say, ‘If only I had done such and such, then such and such would have happened.’ Say instead, ‘Qaddar Allah wa maa sha’a kaan (Allahﷻ‎ decreed and what He wills happens), because ‘If only’ opens the door to the Shaytaan”, i.e., it makes you vulnerable to grief and fear, which is harmful. Know that whatever befalls you, you could not have avoided, and whatever does not happen to you, you could not have made it happen. Know that Allahﷻ‎ is the most merciful of those who have mercy and that whatever He decrees is only for our benefit, even if we don’t see the logic of it right away. We have the story of Musa (AS) and Khizar (AS) in Sura Al-Kahf which demonstrates this clearly. Peace of mind lies in trusting Allahﷻ‎ and ensuring that we don’t disobey Him in any way and accept His Decree (Qadr).

مَآ أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَن يُؤْمِنۢ بِٱللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُۥ وَٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

Taghabun 64: 11   No calamity befalls, but with the Leave [decision and Qadar] of Allah, and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart [comforts him so that he understands that what happened was preordained], and Allah is the All-Knower.

My brothers and sisters, this life is a test, the result of which we will see in the Aakhira. We ask Allahﷻ‎ for His help to pass this test with flying colors.

كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ ٱلنَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ ٱلْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلْغُرُورِ

A’al Imraan 3: 185  Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is saved from the Fire and admitted to Jannah, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).

 No good person will be missed out and no evil person will escape. On the Day of Judgment, everyone will be paid in full. In this life, Allahﷻ‎ gives a taste of what is to come, especially if we have been doing wrong, to warn us to repent and return to the path of steadfastness leading to the pleasure (Ridha) of Allahﷻ‎. These tests, though painful, are a sign of Allahﷻ‎’s mercy.

ظَهَرَ ٱلْفَسَادُ فِى ٱلْبَرِّ وَٱلْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِى ٱلنَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ ٱلَّذِى عَمِلُوا۟ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Rum 30: 41  Evil (sins and disobedience of Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds) that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His Pardon).

Repentance is the key to all goodness. As long as we repent frequently, Allahﷻ‎ will help us and take us out of all difficulties. Nuh (AS) said:

فَقُلْتُ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ غَفَّارًا

يُرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا

وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَٰلٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَـٰرًا

Nuh 71: 10-12  I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Rabb; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; ‘He will send rain to you in abundance; ‘And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.

Hasan Basri (ra) was with his students when a man came and said that there was a drought in his land and asked him to make dua. Hasan Basri (ra) told him, “Make Istighfaar (repent to Allahﷻ‎).” After some time, another man came and complained that he had no children and asked Hasan Basri (ra) to make dua. Hasan Basri (ra) told him the same thing, ‘Make Istighfaar.” After some more time a third man came with the plea that he was very poor and asked Hasan Basri (ra) to make dua for him. Hasan Basri (ra) said the same thing, “Make Istighfaar.” Hasan Basri (ra)’s students asked him why he gave three different people with different needs, the same solution. Hasan Basri (ra) recited these Ayaat of Sura Nuh and said, “This is what Allahﷻ‎ told us is the solution for all these problems.” I remind myself and you to make Istighfaar frequently and to return to Allahﷻ‎. Allahﷻ‎ said:

وَمَا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

Anfal 8: 33   And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) Forgiveness.

To have Rasoolullahﷺ amongst us is to follow his blessed Sunnah. Making frequent Istighfaar is from his Sunnah, and cools Allahﷻ‎’s anger and averts calamities, which otherwise would have befallen us, thanks to our actions.

Ibn Abbas (R) reported: Rasoolullah said, “Whoever increases his prayers for forgiveness, Allahﷻ‎ will grant him relief from every worry, a way out from every hardship, and provide for him in ways he does not expect.” [Musnad Ahmad]

Imam Ahmad (ra) was once travelling and needed to stay somewhere during the night. When he went to the Masjid the guard, denied him entrance. Imam Ahmad tried numerous times, but the guard did not accept his requests. Frustrated, Imam Ahmad resolved to spend the night in the Masjid’s courtyard. The guard became furious and dragged him away, despite Imam Ahmad’s old age and frailty.

A baker, whose shop was nearby, watched this scene and took pity on the Imam. He invited Imam Ahmad to stay with him for the night. Imam Ahmad noticed that the baker continuously made Istighfaar whilst working. In the morning, the Imam asked his host about his practice of constantly seeking forgiveness. The baker said it had become second nature to him. Imam Ahmad then asked whether he had experienced any reward from Allahﷻ‎.

The baker answered, “By Allah! Every dua that I have ever made is answered, except one.”

“And what is that dua?” asked Imam Ahmad.

“To be able to see the renowned Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal!” said the baker.

Imam Ahmad wept and said, “I am Ahmad ibn Hanbal! By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you could have your wish come true.”

The fear of Allahﷻ‎’s displeasure is the path to forgiveness, salvation, and the attainment of Allahﷻ‎’s mercy. Allahﷻ‎ says: 

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوا۟ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ

Nahl 16: 128  Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinun

Ibn Mas`ûd (R) explained what it means to fear Allahﷻ‎ as He ought to be feared and said, “It means that Heﷻ‎ is to be obeyed, not disobeyed, remembered, not forgotten, and shown gratitude, not ingratitude.” 

‘Abdullāh ibn Mas‘ūd (R) reported that Rasoolullah  said: “The gravest major sins are: associating partners with Allahﷻ‎  in worship, feeling secure from Allahﷻ‎‘s plan, despairing of Allahﷻ‎‘s mercy, and losing hope in relief coming from Allahﷻ‎.”

Because obedience to Allahﷻ‎ and His Messengerﷺ was of the utmost importance to the Sahaba of Rasoolullahﷺ and the overriding goal of their lives, they asked him about the major sins in order that they might refrain from them. He informed them of the worst of them: The first which he mentioned, and the worst of all, was Shirk, or associating partners with Allahﷻ‎ because no deeds are accepted where Shirk is involved, no matter what they may be and no matter how praiseworthy they may be. Then heﷺ mentioned both despair of Allahﷻ‎’s Mercy and believing that one is safe from Allahﷻ‎’s Plan to be major sins, because the Muslim should be in a state between hope and fear: He does not despair of Allahﷻ‎’s Mercy and Compassion, which are without limit, for to do so would be to think badly of Allahﷻ‎. Nor does he claim to depend totally on Allahﷻ‎’s Mercy to the extent that he abandons those righteous deeds [i.e., worship of Allahﷻ‎] for which he was created. Continuing to disobey Allahﷻ‎ but saying that we believe in His mercy is hypocrisy. While we do not deny Allahﷻ‎’s mercy, we must reflect on His justice which He promised to do, and repent.

تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمْ عَنِ ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

فَلَا تَعْلَمُ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أُخْفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعْيُنٍ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

Sajda 32: 16-17  Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Rabb in fear and hope, and they spend (charity) out of what We have bestowed on them. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.

About feeling safe from the plan of Allahﷻ‎, Heﷻ‎ declared:

أَفَأَمِنُوا۟ مَكْرَ ٱللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْقَوْمُ ٱلْخَـٰسِرُونَ

A’araf 7: 99   Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allah. None feels secure from the Plan of Allah except the people who are the losers.

About despairing of Allahﷻ‎’s mercy, He said in the words of Ibrahim (AS):

قَالَ وَمَن يَقْنَطُ مِن رَّحْمَةِ رَبِّهِۦٓ إِلَّا ٱلضَّآلُّونَ

Hijr 15: 56  And who despairs of the Mercy of his Rabb except those who are astray?

Scholars have said that it is incumbent upon every Muslim that he comes to Allahﷻ‎ in a state of fear and hope, like a bird between its wings, but that hope should predominate at the time when death approaches. We ask Allahﷻ‎ for His mercy and forgiveness to stay on the path of righteousness.