4 steps to attain contentment with Allaah
Mu’adh ibn Jabal (رضي الله عنه) used to say:
تَعَلَّمُوا الْعِلْمَ ، فَإِنَّ طَلَبَهُ عِبَادَةٌ ، وَمُذَاكَرَتَهُ تَسْبِيحٌ ، وَالْبَحْثَ عَنْهُ جِهَادٌ ، وَتَعْلِيمَهُ لِمَنْ لا يَعْلَمُهُ صَدَقَةٌ ، وَبَذْلَهُ لأَهْلِهِ قُرْبَةٌ ، لأَنَّهُ مَعَالِمُ الْحَلالِ وَالْحَرَامِ ، وَمَنَارُ سَبِيلِ الْجَنَّةِ ، وَالأُنْسُ فِي الْوَحْدَةِ ، وَالْمُحَدِّثُ فِي الْخَلْوَةِ ، وَالصَّاحِبُ فِي الْعُزْلَةِ ، وَالدَّلِيلُ عَلَى السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ ، وَالسِّلاحُ عَلَى الأَعْدَاءِ ، وَالزَّيْنُ عِنْدَ الأَخِلَّاءِ ، وَالْقَرِيبُ عِنْدَ الْغُرَبَاءِ ، يَرْفَعُ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَقْوَامًا فَيَجْعَلُهُمْ فِي الْخَيْرِ قَادَةً ، وَهُدَاةً يُهْتَدَى بِهِمْ ، وَأَئِمَّةً فِي الْخَيْرِ تُقْتَصُّ آثَارُهُمْ ، وَتُرْمَقُ أَعْمَالُهُمْ ، وَيُقْتَدَى بِفِعَالِهِمْ ، وَيُنْتَهَى إِلَى رَأْيِهِمْ
“Acquire knowledge because seeking it is worship. Reviewing it is glorifying Allaah. Researching it is Jihad. Teaching it to the ignorant is charity. Serving the scholars is a way of drawing near to Allaah because knowledge is the path of ascension to the stations of Paradise. It is a companion in isolation and a comrade in distant lands. It speaks to you in solitude. It is a guide to prosperity, a shield against adversity, and a weapon against enemies. It beautifies one among friends and is nearness amongst strangers. With it Allaah elevates people and makes them guides and leaders of good, whose footsteps are followed, whose actions are looked at and imitated, and whose opinions are stopped at.“ [Abu Nu’aym in Al-Hilyah]
Az-Zuhri said: “There is nothing like knowledge for the one who wants to worship Allaah.”
Knowing Allaah reforms our Hearts and Minds
The best way out for people who suffer from whisperings (waswaas), excessive concerns, grief, distress, etc. is to know Allaah. If one knows Allaah, he will have peace in his mind and tranquility in his heart. Allaah mentions this in Surat Muhammad [47:2]:
“But those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and believe in that which is sent down to Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), for it is the truth from their Lord, He will expiate from them their sins, and will make good their state.”
“و أصلح بالهم” – And will make good their state
Allaah promises to forgive their sins and reform their worldly affairs and religious affairs, correct their hearts, and grant their reward. Allaah promises to reform them as a whole, if they believe i.e. if they believe in Allaah and the other articles of faith, do good deeds, and follow the truth. It is not enough to believe, there has to be action as well.
E.g. if you know and believe that Allaah is All-Wise, you will be pleased with everything Allaah has written for you.
E.g. if you know and believe that Allaah is Malik, Al-Mulk, you will always hope that Allaah will give you from his Mulk (Dominion) and you will never despair in Him.
الرضا (Ar-Ridha – Contentment) is صلاح البال and العافية (wellbeing)
The reason why people suffer from distresses and constrictions in their hearts is because they do not know Who Allaah is. If they know Allaah, they will be happy.
A believer may go through distress, sadness, grief, etc. in his life; however, when he goes through a distress and is reminded about Allaah, he immediately feels at rest, because he knows Who Allaah is. As for the one who does not know Allaah, even if he is reminded, he will still feel unhappy.
In order to attain psychological and mental wellbeing it is necessary to be a believer. And the basis of belief lies in knowing Allaah. Many people take care of their bodily health and neglect to look for a remedy for their psychological problems, although if one’s heart is reformed, his whole body will be reformed. Our bodies eventually become food for the worms in the grave. Yet, instead of nourishing our hearts, we tend to nourish our bodies and forget Allaah.
How can one attain (الرضا) Contentment in this worldly life?
Contentment has three conditions which have to be fulfilled:
- Contentment with Allaah as your Lord
- Contentment with Islam as your Religion
- Contentment with the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) as your Messenger
If these conditions are met, you will be of those the Prophet (ﷺ) meant with regards to the following hadeeth:
#1 – من رضي بالله ربًا وبالإسلام دينًا، وبمحمد رسولا وجبت له الجنة
“Whoever is pleased with Allaah as his Rabb, with Islam as his religion and with Muhammad (ﷺ) as (Allaah’s) Messenger, Paradise will be made obligatory for him.” [Muslim]
#2 – من قال حين يسمع المؤذن: أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، وأن محمدًا عبده ورسوله، رضيت بالله ربًا وبالإسلام دينًا، غفر له ذنبه
“He who says when hearing the Adhan:
‘Ash-hadu an la ilaaha ill Allaah Wah-dahu la sharika Lahu, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa Rasuluhu, radhitu Billaahi Rabban, wa bi Muhammadin Rasulan, wa bil Islami Dinan
[I testify that there is no true god except Allaah Alone, and He has no partner and Muhammad (ﷺ) is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allaah as my Rabb, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen], his sins will be forgiven.” [Muslim]
#3 – من قال إذا أصبح : رضيت بالله ربا وبالإسلام دينا وبمحمد نبيا فأنا الزعيم لآخذن بيده حتى أدخله الجنة
Radeetu Billaahi Rabban wa Bil Islami Deenan Wa Bi Muhammadin Nabiya
“I am pleased with Allaah as my Rabb, with Islam as my Deen, and with Muhammad as my Prophet.”
Whomever recites that Du’aa when he enters the morning, Allaah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “I guarantee that I will definitely take him by his hand and enter him into Paradise.” [At-Tabarani]
The above hadiths are three authentic hadiths which talk about a very important matter which is الرضا (Ar-Ridha – Contentment); to be pleased with Allaah. Satisfaction with Allaah is an action of the heart; it is not just a word that is said with our tongues. This means that one has to check his heart when he says it. Are you really pleased with Allaah, with His Religion, and with His Prophet? If one understands and fulfills this concept, his soul will turn from illness into wellbeing, from weakness into strength. The worldly life is full of hardships and the only way for us to take ourselves through this life to salvation is by being pleased with Allaah. Through it, you can save yourself and earn Paradise, and be the person about whom the Prophet ﷺ)) meant with regards to: وجبت له الجنة (Paradise is made obligatory for him).
How does one have الرضا (Contentment)?
رضا (Ridha – Contentment) with Allaah
#1 – By being pleased with Allaah as your Lord (Rabb) who has brought us into existence, provides us with sustenance and all that we need for our existence.
When Allaah created us, He created each being in a certain form, with certain features, with a certain nationality, with certain capabilities, in a certain state – rich or poor, with certain parents, etc. Are you pleased with the share that Allaah has given you of creation, provision, and capabilities? Are you pleased with what Allaah has given you in yourself and what is around you – of family, parents, etc.?
We are required to be pleased with everything that Allaah has granted us; not just that one is pleased with his color and unhappy with his hair.
Most of the time our concerns revolve around one deficient matter, and we forget about the rest of the blessings Allaah gave us.
E.g. the concern most women have has to do with their physical features. They run after the beauty shops, the salons, and plastic surgery, displeased with what Allaah has given them. The majority of their conversations are about weight loss, beauty, etc. showing displeasure in their features while forgetting the rest of the blessings Allaah has given them.
Note that this does not mean that women shouldn’t beautify themselves. It is the nature of women to beautify themselves. Allaah says in Surah Zukhruf [43:18]:
“(Do they then like for Allaah) a creature who is brought up in adornments (wearing silk and gold ornaments, i.e. women), and in dispute cannot make herself clear?”
What is meant here is that we shouldn’t talk excessively about it and spend our entire lives in these trivial matters. He who is not pleased with his lineage, form, shape, lives in misery, forgets that this is his share that Allaah has given him. The soul which is pleased knows that this is a gift from Allaah and he/she is required to be pleased with the gift of Allaah.
Always be careful of people that will encourage you to be displeased in what Allaah has gifted you.
#2 – To be pleased with Allaah as your Lord who bestowed upon you many blessings and to use these blessings in obedience to Allaah
E.g. your children – do not compare your children with other children. Allaah has given us children that are suitable for us, and each child has been given different capabilities, intelligence, and forms. Be satisfied with what Allaah has given you and them and do not make your life nor your children’s life miserable. Comply with the Command of Allaah, and do your best with them. Do not complain all the time and be unhappy.
If you say رضيت بالله (I am pleased with Allaah) and you are not pleased in your heart, it is considered hypocrisy, because you are saying something with your tongue which is contrary to what is in your heart. الرضا (Contentment) is not a mere statement of the tongue, it has to be proven with action.
#3 – To be pleased with Allaah as your Lord with regards to what He opened for you of gates of goodness and to use it to enter Paradise
E.g. if you are weak in memorization of the Qur’an or knowledge and you see that your sister is very strong in memorization, do not complain. This is the limit Allaah has given you of memorization. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
من قرأ حرفًا من كتاب الله فله حسنة، والحسنة بعشر أمثالها لا أقول: ألم حرف، ولكن ألف حرف، ولام حرف، وميم حرف
“Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allaah, he will be credited with a good deed, and a good deed gets a ten-fold reward. I do not say that Alif-Lam-Mim is one letter, but Alif is a letter, Lam is a letter and Mim is a letter.” [At-Tirmidhi]
If you cannot memorize, you can recite.
Also, the Prophet (ﷺ) said:
يقال لصاحب القرآن: اقرأ وارتقِ ورتل كما كنت ترتل في الدنيا، فإن منزلتك عند آخر آية تقرؤها
“The one who was devoted to the Qur’an will be told on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Recite and ascend (in ranks) as you used to recite when you were in the world. Your rank will be at the last Ayah you recite.” [Abu Dawoud and At-Tirmidhi]
The Scholars said this refers to that which you recited and acted upon. The Prophet (ﷺ) did not say: “The Memorizer of the Qur’an”, although some Scholars are of the opinion that he should have memorized it. Ibn Qayyim (رحمه الله) said that even if a person memorized the Qur’an, his degree will not be at the last verse he memorized, but the last verse he acted upon. So, if your strength is not in memorization, then accompany the Qur’an day and night. Recite it, understand it, ponder over its verses, act upon it, read its Tafseer. Then on the Day of Judgment it will be said: اقرأ وارتقِ (Recite and ascend) to you.
There are many ways to reach Paradise; Allaah made eight gates for it. There is a gate of Salat, Jihad, dutifulness to parents, knowledge, etc. If Allaah did not open the gate of voluntary fasting for you, perhaps He opened the gate of knowledge for you. Allaah has opened a certain gate for everyone to reach Paradise. Do not focus on one deficiency. Be pleased with what Allaah has given you of capabilities and of your share of provision.
Since we are all in different states, the reward will be different according to ones efforts.
One should not wish for something which is beyond his reach, whilst leaving what is in his hand. Many people neglect what is in their hands and head for something which is far away and that Allaah didn’t open for them. Use what Allaah gave you to approach Allaah and go to Paradise. Allaah will not ask you for more than that. In Surat at-Talaq [65:7]:
“Allaah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him.”
Allaah will not ask you beyond what He has given you. Look at what Allaah has granted you and use it to reach the pleasure of Allaah and Paradise. Use the talents Allaah gave you to reach Allaah.
E.g. some people are good in communication skills. They can use their talent to help reconcile people, bring happiness to people’s hearts with good words, etc.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: والكلمة الطيبة صدقة
It is also charity to utter a good word. [Agreed Upon]
E.g. if the gate of having children is open for you, but your children are not righteous; how can this be a gate to Paradise? Your unrighteous children are your Jihad. You can earn Paradise by having patience in teaching them, waking them up for Fajr, sending them to the Masjid; this is your gate to Paradise. Your reward is not like the reward of the person who has righteous children. Allaah gave you this particular situation, so be pleased with it and do not complain.
E.g. if Allaah has opened the gate of being a housewife for you, that’s your gate to Paradise. Everyone has a gate which Allaah opened for them to enter Jannah, so do not reach for a gate which is not open for you. Accept whatever Allaah has given you; He knows best what suits you. If you are not fit for it, He will not open that gate for you, no matter what you do – as a mercy for you. So be pleased with Allaah.
If the gate is out of your reach, do not waste your time and life fighting for it. Hold on to whatever means Allaah extended for you. If He closed a means, then be pleased. Perhaps He may open another gate for you. Know and understand the actions of Allaah – He opens and closes.
Do not complain for the sake of complaining, it indicates that you are not pleased with what Allaah has given you. Whatever is constricted for you in this life is your means of salvation on the Day of Judgment. There is something good behind that gate being constricted for you. Take whatever gate is open for you, and do not waste your life running after what is closed.
In conclusion: If any gate is opened for you, what should you do?
Allaah guided us what to do in Surat an-Nisaa’ [4:66-68]:
“And if We had ordered them (saying): ‘Kill yourselves (i.e. the innocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes,‘ very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith);”
“And indeed We should then have bestowed upon them a great reward from Ourselves.”
“And We would have guided them to a straight path.”
Allaah has promised rewards for those who obey and comply with the command of Allaah.
#4 – To be pleased with what Allaah has ordained upon us
Being pleased with the Qadar of Allaah is a part of being pleased with Allaah. It is to be pleased with whatever Allaah has written for us of good and evil events. We should know that there is a wisdom behind every Qadar (Decree) Allaah has sent down, even if it is appears to be an evil event. There is good behind every evil.
We read Surat al-Kahf every Friday and we know the story of Musa [Moses (عليه السلام)] and Al-Khidr.
Three evil incidents are mentioned in this true story:
a) The scuttling (to cause the sink) of the ship. The good behind that was to prevent the king from taking the ship from the poor people.
b) The child being killed. Al-Khidr killed him because Allaah informed him that if this child grew up, he would be a cause of fitnah for the religion of his parents.
c) The damaged wall being repaired by Al-Khidr in the town of the people who refused to entertain them. Al-Khidr repaired it because there was a treasure under the wall. If it had not been repaired the treasure would have been taken, but Allaah reserved it for the children of a righteous man.
Apply this to yourself. Whatever difficulty, constriction, sadness, or grief you go through, know there is wisdom and something good behind the situation. If you are patient and thank Allaah, Allaah will show you the good behind the matter. There is good behind every matter Allaah decreed. As soon as the Qadar comes disturbing you, talk to yourself and tell yourself to be patient and be pleased with Allaah, that Allaah decreed it for you and He knows what is good for you. This is how you deal with the distresses in your life.
Allaah said in Surat al-Balad [90:11]:
“But he has made no effort to pass on the path that is steep.”
العقبة is a small mountain. The person had to overcome an obstacle in order to see the good. But the person did not put any effort towards crossing the mountain. If he had done that, he would have gotten abundant reward.
What is that small mountain?
“(It is) Freeing a neck (slave, etc.).”
“Or giving food in a day of hunger (famine).”
These are examples of obstacles you have to cross in order to get the good behind it.
We need to remind ourselves:
رضيت بالله ربا وبالإسلام دينا وبمحمد نبيا
Radeetu Billaahi Rabban wa Bil Islami Deenan Wa Bi Muhammadin Nabiya
I am pleased with Allaah as my Rabb, with Islam as my Deen, and with Muhammad as my Prophet.
We have to say it, and we have to live it. We should not be like the hypocrite who says something with his tongue which is contrary to his heart.
This statement helps you answer the questions in your grave. If you are pleased with Allaah as your Lord, you will reply that Allaah is your Lord. There is a difference between a person who merely says it with his tongue and someone who says it and works according to it.
Posted on October 1, 2017, in How to be pleased with Allah?, The Reformation of Hearts and tagged Ar-Ridha, being pleased with Allah, body health, contentment, Decree, key to contentment, life, psychological mental wellbeing, Wellbeing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.