The Name of Allaah: Al-Malik Al-Mulk (Part 8)
One of the impacts of believing in Allaah’s Name الملك -is that He is the Owner of the means (مالك الأسباب). Allaah created the universe based on means. If we want to acquire anything in life, we should take the means to achieve it. And Allaah owns these means, so do not think that if you take the means they will surely benefit you and you will get what you want without the permission of Allaah. This is a misconception people fall into. They believe that as long as they have the means, they will attain what they want.
We have three types of real means:
a) Legal Means
b) Universal Means
c) Legal Universal Means
Our problem is that when Allaah gives us the means, we feel self-sufficient. We think that the means can act independently from Allaah, and we do not realize we are failing the test.
E.g. A woman is an excellent cook. She may rely on her experience, and because of that she enters the kitchen and fails to cook a delicious meal. She blames her failure on the evil eye, not realizing that Allaah made her fail because she relied on herself and on the means.
E.g. You take medicine. Everyone gets benefit from it, except you. Do not wonder why. It is only when Allaah gives permission for the means to be active that it will be active.
The Muwwahid (monotheist) knows how to explain failure and success when taking the means.
In Surat Ghaafir [40:15-16]:
رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَاتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِي الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ لِيُنذِرَ يَوْمَ التَّلَاقِ
“(He is Allaah) Owner of High Ranks and Degrees, the Owner of the Throne. He sends the Inspiration by His Command to any of His slaves He wills, that he (the person who receives inspiration) may warn (men) of the Day of Mutual Meeting (i.e. The Day of Resurrection).”
رَفِيعُ الدَّرَجَاتِ ذُو الْعَرْشِ يُلْقِي الرُّوحَ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ لِيُنذِرَ يَوْمَ التَّلَاقِ
“The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allaah. Whose is the kingdom this Day? (Allaah Himself will reply to His question): It is Allaah’s, the One, the Irresistible!”
The decision and the command and the judgment belongs to Allaah, particularly on that Day. It is He who gives the permission for the things to benefit.
On the Day of Hunayn, the Companions admired their great number of forces, but it availed them not. What happened? At the beginning of the battle they were defeated.
The number of the forces are just means. The Companions relied on the means and thought that as long as they had this great number, they would never be defeated. Allaah made them fail to teach them that victory is in the Hands of Allaah. Compare this to their state in the battle of Badr when the Companions were only three hundred and the disbelievers were over nine hundred, and Allaah gave them victory. So do not rely on the means; they belong to Allaah. The Mulk belongs to Allaah; He is the One Who decides and gives permission for things to benefit and have effect.
Allaah says in Surat Al-Infitar [82:6]:
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ
“O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous?”
Allaah, because of His generosity, honored and granted us means. We then became deceived by them, believing that as long as we have the means we will attain the results.
E.g. The concept of بركة (blessings). Allaah is the One Who puts the بركة in what we own. When Allaah makes something blessed, it means that it will benefit the person for a long time. For example, your first, second, and third child could wear the same baby clothes even though you bought it for a cheap price, whilst the expensive garment you buy may not even last a short time with your first child.
E.g. Allaah gives the permission for the few morsels you eat to satiate you. If you say بسم الله (Bismillaah) on anything, Allaah will bless it and put the بركة in it. The Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
البركة من الله
“Blessings are from Allaah.” [Bukhaari]
Every good in this world and in the next is from Allaah. The problem with the people is that they believe that if something is well manufactured it will last for a long time and if something is cheap it will not last a long time. This is failing with Allaah in the concept of بركة and the means. We think that because something is well manufactured it is blessed. We are deceived by the generosity of Allaah, Who has honored us with blessings; and we believe that these means benefit independently from Allaah.
And when we lose the blessings of something, we attribute it to other things, not realizing it may be because of our sins, etc.
Turning away from Allaah makes one lose His strong support – Allaah. Why are there so many psychological sicknesses, depression, anxiety, and worry spreading nowadays? The problem is that people are overly concerned about matters which are owned by Allaah. Allaah is the One disposing their affairs, and they think they are the ones disposing the affairs, so whenever they fail they become depressed. We think that we should be that perfectly organized person. If we fail and something happens opposite to what we planned, we may feel depressed, because we thought we can do, organize, and dispose our own affairs;- relying on our own strength. Our strength is a means and we are relying on the means.
Analyze your problem. What you are worried about is something owned by Allaah. Your children, job, husband, car, -all belong to Allaah. Allaah is the One disposing their affairs, so why are you worried?
Our test regarding the real means is that we should not rely on them believing that they may benefit us independently from Allaah. This indicates that we have failed with Allaah.
Note: From Allaah’s Names are الأول الآخر (Al-Awwal Al-Aakhir). Whenever you need anything, you should ask Allaah الأول (Al-Awwal) to grant you the means of attaining it.
E.g. You want to go for Hajj or ‘Umrah. You want marriage. You want children. Ask Allaah الأول (Al-Awwal) to bring the means for it into existence, because He is مالك الأسباب (The Owner of the means).
Allaah makes getting the means easy for you. Ask Allaah الأول (Al-Awwal) to benefit you with these means, as He is the One Who benefits you with these means. So, go ahead with it.
Then ask Allaah الآخر (Al-Aakhir) to grant you the result of taking the means.
Allaah is the One Who gives you the means, puts benefit in the means, and grants you the result of the means. Apply this to everything in your life.
In order to escape from Fitnah, one should not be covetous of the Dunya, such that he connects his pleasure with Allaah to the existence of the means. Meaning, if he has the means he is pleased with Allaah and if he does not have the means he is displeased with Allaah. This is the state of the people of the Dunya. The believer is pleased with Allaah whether he has the means or not; he does not link his pleasure with Allaah to the existence of the means.
E.g. People believe that having children equates happiness. Allaah may give them children and these children will become the cause of their distress.
E.g. People think that if they have a substantial amount of money in the bank they have secured their future. This is why they work day and night saving to have that amount of money. They are relying on their bank account, not knowing that they are failing with Allaah in the test of the means.
E.g. People think that so long as they have relatives in such and such country, they can go to them if anything happens. They feel at rest and comfortable, although they do not say it with their tongues.
E.g. A person builds a house saying he has somewhere to go when he is old. He may spend to build this house and die before ever living in it.
Everyone has a different means they rely on. However, no one says not to take the means. You should take the means, but whilst relying on Allaah. Even if you have money in the bank, or such and such relative, or a house, you should believe that no one can benefit you except Allaah. So put your trust in Allaah. Do not feel at rest towards the means so that you suffer day and night in order to guarantee the future for yourself. Everything is in Allaah’s Hand. Tomorrow is in His Hand. Our reliance should therefore be on Allaah. And the greatest act of worship is إياك نعبد و إياك نستعين (You alone we worship and you alone we seek help).
Whenever Allaah, Al-Malik, gives you permission to get benefit from the means, you will receive benefit. How many people built houses and had money in their bank account and they never got to enjoy it. This is because the permission of getting benefit of the means was not given by Allaah, مالك الأسباب.
How should our attitude be towards the illusive means?
The illusive means are means decided by people which Allaah, مالك الأسباب did not decide.
E.g. Healing with energy. This type of healing has been taken from the Hindus and Buddhists. They believe that there is an energy in the sun and one should seek it in order for his body to be cured. They have certain worships in the early morning, like yoga, thinking by doing so they take in energy which is beneficial for the body. Some Muslims learned these types of means and brought it to the Muslim countries and spread it amongst the people saying it is a means of healing. This is considered illusive means because Allaah did not make it the means. There is no proof for them in the Qur’an and Sunnah and scientists have not gone through tests to prove these as means which have an effect. Therefore, their claim is unreal and illusive.
The Ruling: Inventing means which Allaah Al-Malik did not make means, neither legally or universally, is considered Shirk. Why? Because the person who does so has set himself as a ruler or king besides Allaah in decision. This is Shirk in Tawheed Ruboobiyah (Oneness of Allaah.
If a person believes that something has the power to cure by itself, he has fallen into Major Shirk. If he believes that it is a means, he has fallen into Minor Shirk.
If a person falls into Shirk, he will not be forgiven by Allaah. If he commits Major Shirk, he will be in Hell forever. If he commits Minor Shirk, Allaah will put him in Hell until he is purified from it.
E.g. Some people wear necklaces which have precious stones like rubies and sapphires, believing they have power to heal, repel harm, give happiness, protection, etc. and these are all kinds of Shirk.
Some people believe that wearing the blue bead will repel evil. It is not permissible to wear it even for beautification, because it leads to Shirk As well, it may cause people to believe it is lawful to wear when they see you wearing it. So it is Haraam to wear it, so long as you know that the people believe it has an effect. We have to protect the sanctity of Tawheed with our actions and statements.
How do we examine the means?
a) Legal means are examined through the Qur’an and Sunnah.
E.g. Honey. Allaah mentions in Surat An-Nahl that honey is a healing, and the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
الشِّفَاءُ فِي ثَلاَثَةٍ شَرْبَةِ عَسَلٍ
“Healing is in three things: Drinking honey...” [Bukhaari]
E.g. Marriage is a means of enrichment. Allaah mentions in Surat An-Nur [24:32]:
وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْۚ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِۗ وَاللَّـهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allaah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allaah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).“
If a poor person comes to your daughter, do not say he is poor, because Allaah will enrich them through marriage.
E.g. Reciting Surat Al-Fatihah is a means of healing.
b) Universalmeans are those examined by people in the laboratories. These means go through certain tests under certain conditions, and have some of the same tangible results. Accordingly, they will claim that such and such is good for such and such.
It is not upon us to decide if something is good or not good based on our feelings. It has to have an effect and an improvement on one’s health.
E.g. Drinking water is a means for quenching the thirst.
You need to categorize the means in order to be careful of taking something which isn’t considered a means.
E.g. Someone says if you eat off of a triangular plate, the digestion of food will be better. It is not mentioned in the Qur’an or Sunnah and it is not a universal means. There is no connection between the shape of the plate and the stomach. This is thus an illusive means.
E.g. People say if you take rest in a room where the roof is like a pyramid you will be happy and rest well. This is an illusive means and is considered Shirk.
We don’t examine a means through the general public. If you want to check the correctness of the means you check with the Qur’an and Sunnah or scientists and specialists in the field.
E.g. Supplements. If a dietary supplement has not been proven to be good for your health, you should not take it.
E.g. Someone tells you that if you have pain in your ears you should repeat the Name of Allaah السميع (All-Hearer) and the pain in your ears will go away. This is an innovation because there is no proof for it in the Qur’an or Sunnah. It is thus considered an illusive means. Whoever does this has committed Shirk, even though the Names of Allaah are blessed.
E.g. There are people who put the Mushaf under children’s pillows, thinking it will protect them. These are all illusive means, and the person has committed Shirk, even if he is using the Qur’an.
E.g. Wearing sapphires and rubies believing that these stones bring good to a person or protect the person is considered Tamimah (amulets) and whoever wears amulets has committed Shirk.
Allaah says in Surat Al-Ma’idah [5:72]:
لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ ۖ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
“Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allaah is the Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Eesa (Jesus)] said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allaah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Dhalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.”
And in Surat An-Nisaa’ [4:48]:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَغْفِرُ أَن يُشْرَكَ بِهِ وَيَغْفِرُ مَا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّـهِ فَقَدِ افْتَرَىٰ إِثْمًا عَظِيمًا
“Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allaah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.”
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