Being pleased with Allah
An important result of studying Allaah’s Names and Attributes is to be pleased with Allaah. Allaah grants us many favors and blessings, but some people do not realize Allaah’s favors. Instead, they may see Allaah’s favors as afflictions (نقمة). Why? Because they look at the blessings of Allaah superficially. They deal with Allaah’s favors with ingratitude. Hence, Allaah may remove that blessing from them, whether it’s a religious or worldly favor.
A person who is pleased with Allaah will receive two things:
a) Allaah will be pleased with him, and if Allaah is pleased with him, his life will be a good life.
b) He will have a tranquil soul.
Allaah says in Surat Al-Fajr [89:27-30]:
“(It will be said to the pious): ‘O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
Come back to your Lord, well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter you, then, among My honored slaves,
And enter you My Paradise! ‘“
When do people feel discontent with Allaah? When they desire or expect something, and something happens contrary to what they want. Some people tend to forget all Allaah’s favors upon them when they do not get what they want and only focus on what is missing. Some of them say: “I don’t mind if Allaah takes all the blessings I have and just gives me the thing I want.” They are lying, because how would their life be if Allaah afflicted them by removing their good health? We cannot enjoy our lives if we have a headache or toothache. How can they enjoy what they want without good health?
Thus, we should appreciate Allaah’s favors upon us and not say that we want that one particular thing. Allaah knows what suits us and what does not suit us. Our chests should be expanded towards the actions of Allaah and we should accept the Qadar of Allaah with a goodly acceptance.
The Shaytaan, our ignorance, and our desires all cause us to be discontent with Allaah. Allaah, Al-Malik, Al-Maalik, Al-Maleek, owns everything and disposes the affairs of all His creation.
The purpose behind our existence is عبادة (worship). عبادة is to show humility to Allaah, and this humility will not occur unless a person is in need. This life was created and decreed to be a life of hardship; if you need something you need to put forth the effort to get it. We are always moving towards fulfilling all our needs.
Side Benefit: When Allaah forbade Adam عليه السلام from eating from the tree in Surat Ta-Ha [20:117-119], He said:
“Then We said: ‘O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery.
Verily, you have (a promise from Us) that you will never be hungry therein nor naked.
And you (will) suffer not from thirst therein nor from the sun’s heat.‘“
“يخرجنكما” – Allaah addresses both Adam and his wife.
However, when He said “فتشقى“, He only refers to Adam عليه السلام. The Scholars said from this we learn that it is up to the man to seek livelihood and not the woman.
Why do we have needs? Why did Allaah create needs in us? In order to worship Him during the time of need. This is explained clearly in the Hadeeth Qudsi:
“My servants, all of you are liable to err except one whom I guide on the right path, so seek right guidance from Me so that I should direct you to the right path.
O My servants, all of you are hungry (needy) except one whom I feed, so beg food from Me, so that I may give that to you.
O My servants, all of you are naked (need clothing) except one whom I provide garments, so beg clothing from Me, so that I should clothe you.”
These are all needs, and Allaah sets for us a principle: Whenever you feel hungry, ask Allaah to feed you. If you feel confused and you cannot think rightly, ask Allaah for guidance. Whenever you need anything, ask Allaah. Every time a need arises, an عبادة (act of worship) should arise from you at the same time.
There is nothing that is perfect in this life. We have all these deficiencies and shortcomings in order for us to say يارب (O my Lord!). This is what we should do for every need, whether major or minor. But instead, we focus on the deficiency and do not ask ourselves why it has become deficient.
This includes our mental needs. For example, if you are confused, ask Allaah for guidance.
The Mu’tazilah would come to Ibn Taymiyah رحمه الله and raise doubts. He needed the removal of doubts, so he would go to the outskirts of Madinah, put his face on the ground showing humility to Allaah and ask Him for guidance. He did that and see how Allaah honored him.
This is what Allaah wants from us. Needs are not decreed by Allaah for us to feel distressed or tensed or worried or angry. Needs do not arise except for us to invoke Him and expect good from Him.
Yesterday we needed something, and by Allaah’s mercy, He relieved this matter and satisfied this need. You might go through the same situation again. Feel shy in front of Allaah from thinking that He cannot remove it this time. He removed the problem in the past, so do not ask how He will remove it this time.
There are some old people who say when their children grow up, “I’m afraid my children will leave me. Who will look after me?” All this indicates bad thoughts about Allaah. How can you think Allaah will not take care of you, although He has been taking care of you ever since you were in the womb of your mother until now?
Allaah, Al-Malik, Al-Maalik, Al-Maleek, owns the whole dominion, and yet you are worried that tomorrow you will have no food? If you are in a constricted situation, invoke Allaah and expect good from Him.
When you are hungry, ask Allaah to feed you. And when you are satiated, thank Allaah. The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Allaah is pleased with His slave who says: ‘Al-hamdu lillaah (praise be to Allaah)’ when he takes a morsel of food and drinks a draught of water.”
Needs are not aroused for us to become mentally sick. They are aroused for us to become mentally stable; in order to ask Allaah – الصمد. We recite Surat Al-Ikhlas many times daily, and this Surah tells us who Allaah is. It tells us not to be worried, that Allaah is taking care of us. But who understands this meaning when he recites the Surah?
الصمد (As-Samad) is the Self-Sufficient Master Who is depended upon by all creation. He is the One Who is sought at times of need. We have to leave all our problems at the gate of Allaah.
E.g. Tomorrow you have something important to do, and you are unable to sleep the whole night. Where is the rest in your heart towards Allaah? We have weak trust in Allaah.
E.g. You have a strict husband who prevents you from going out. What should you do in this situation? You have the King of the Worlds Who owns your heart and the heart of your husband. You get up at night and invoke Allaah Who is your Master, your Samad. And He will relieve you. Allaah made you go through this situation in order for you to invoke Him. If you invoke Him with full trust, Allaah will change your husband. This is having confidence in Allaah – not in yourself or your invocation. لا حول و لا قوة الا بالله (There is no ability to move from a situation to another nor have power except with Allaah). Do not be worried and complain about what he or she did. Allaah decrees this distress for you in order for you to initiate a worship which perhaps you have not done in a long time.
There are continuous hardships, needs, and deficiencies in our lives.
E.g. You’re afflicted with sickness, ask Allaah Ash-Shaffee to cure you.
E.g. You want children, ask Al-Wahhab.
E.g. You want provision, ask Ar-Razzaq.
E.g. Your heart is broken, ask Al-Jabbar.
E.g. You made a mistake and don’t want anyone to know about it, so you worship Him by His name As-Sitteer.
Today you have a certain test. Tomorrow you will have another test.
Believe that Allaah is All-Aware of what you are going through, and He will relieve you. He promised in the Qur’an in Surat Ash-Sharh [94:5-6]:
“So verily, with the hardship, there is relief,”
“Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).”
This is the nature of life. Allaah says in Surat Al-Balad [90:11]:
“But he has made no effort to pass on the path that is steep.”
العقبة are obstacles which we need to overcome. This Dunya is full of obstacles and distress. It is not the solution for one to sit and cry; it is to raise our hands and ask Allaah for relief.
Ask Allaah to make you pleased, especially when He decrees things you don’t like. This doesn’t mean you do not move and take the means. But while you are doing so, put your trust in Allaah.
When you go through a situation, what should your main concern be? Just to come out of the distress, or to come out of it in the way pleasing to Allaah? The problem will be removed sooner or later, for sure. But the question is – how do you leave it? Is your concern to remove it through any means whether lawful or unlawful, or in a way pleasing to Allaah? Your concern should be how you can come out of your distress in a way pleasing to Allaah. You want to come out guided, truthful, pleased, seeking the pleasure of Allaah.
Sometimes during a problem, out of His kindness, Allaah will show you a good sign to tell you not to worry. He is aware of what you are going through, He knows what you are feeling. Be patient and He will relieve you of your situation soon. In the midst of the problem you are going through, He may make you see a good dream, an advice or a lecture, something apparent, etc. When this happens, do you think it just happens randomly? This happens in order to tell you that Allaah knows what is in your heart, and He will relieve you soon, but be patient and stay firm on the right path. This is out of Allaah’s kindness. He wants to tell you that He will give you what you want, but at the right time. Your waiting is an act of worship.
In Surat Al-Ahzaab [33:11] regarding the battle of the Trench, Allaah said:
“There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.”
The Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) was digging the trench with the Companions.
When the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) commanded them to dig the trench (Al-Khandaq), there was a rock in their way that prevented them from digging. The Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stood, picked up a pickaxe, put his Rida’ (upper garment) at the edge of the ditch and said: ‘And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.’ One-third of the rock broke off while Salman Al-Farisi رضي الله عنه was standing there watching, and there was a flash of light when the Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) struck (the rock). Then he struck it again and said: ‘And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.‘ And another third of the rock broke off and there was another flash of light, which Salman saw. Then he struck (the rock) a third time and said: ‘And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.’ The last third fell, and the Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) came out, picked up his Rida’ and sat down. Salman رضي الله عنه said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, each time you struck the rock there was a flash of light.’ The Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)said to him: ‘O Salman, did you see that?’ He said: ‘Yes, by the One Who sent you with the truth, O Messenger of Allaah.’ He said: ‘When I struck the first blow, the cities of Kisrah and their environs and many other cities were shown to me, and I saw them with my own eyes.’ Those of his Companions who were present said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, pray to Allaah to grant us victory and to give us their land as spoils of war, and to destroy their lands at our hands.’ So the Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prayed for that. (Then he said:) ‘Then I struck the second blow and the cities of Caesar and their environs were shown to me, and I saw them with my own eyes.’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, pray to Allaah to grant us victory and to give us their lands as spoils of war, and to destroy their lands at our hands.’ So the Messenger of Allaah(salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) prayed for that. (Then he said:) ‘Then I struck the third blow and the cities of Ethiopia and the villages around them were shown to me, and I saw them with my own eyes.’ But the Messenger of Allaah (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said at that point: ‘Leave the Ethiopians alone so long as they leave you alone and leave the Turks alone so long as they leave you alone.'”
The hypocrites said: Muhammad is promising us the treasures and one of us is afraid to go answer the call of nature.
This was due to their weak faith. They doubted in what the Prophet (salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) promised. And what he promised came true during the era of ‘Umar رضي الله عنه.
Whenever Allaah afflicts someone with any calamity, out of His kindness He sends signs to keep that person firm until He removes the difficulty.
During a crisis many bad thoughts may cross your mind. Someone will say: “Don’t worry, your crisis will be over.”
You may ask in your heart: How? It’s been a long time now. When? I’m waiting, nothing has changed.
These bad thoughts are from the Shaytaan. Be careful, do not put a specific time or way for relief of your problem. Allaah Al-Malik decides what He wills. When He decides, He just says “Be” and it is. He wills it in a certain way, form, and time. Don’t set one for yourself. Just trust Allaah.