AL-TANZIL
The
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[26:192]



Ibn `Attaa’ Words of Wisdom 

Satisfaction: A Godly Gift

By Jasser Auda

In his well-known book, Al-Hikam (Words of Wisdom), sheikh Ahmad Ibn `Ataa'illah As-Sakandari says:

His most perfect blessing on you is to give you just enough, and to deprive you from what will cause you to do wrong. When you have less to be happy with, you will have less to be sad about.

This stage of our journey to Allah relates to the issue of providence and how to understand it correctly. The Prophetic hadith that says: "The little that suffices is better than the abundant and alluring", has been re-worded by the Sheikh in this word of wisdom. 

The Sheikh says: "His most perfect blessing on you is to give you just enough, and to deprive you from what will cause you to do wrong".

Allah the Almighty may give a believer just enough, not more or less. When this happens, it is a perfect blessing from Allah. If Allah gives abundant providence to someone, there is a risk of that person transgressing boundaries. Allah says:

{Nay, but a human does transgress all bounds. Is it because he looks upon himself as self-sufficient? Verily, to your Lord is the return of all.} (Al-`Alaq 96:6)

Allah also tells us about our human nature in the following verse:

{For, if Allah were to grant in this world abundant sustenance to His servants, they would behave on earth in transgression and rebellion beyond all bounds: but as it is, He bestows His grace from on high in due measure, as He wills.} (Ash-Shura 42:27)

This is a universal law pertaining to human nature; if Allah grants us abundant providence, we will do wrong. Thus, Allah {bestows His grace from on high in due measure, as He wills}.

Allah, in His infinite knowledge, knows that if He gives a certain person wealth, that person will not do wrong. So, He gives him wealth. At the same time, He knows that if He gives him power, you will do injustice to people. Therefore, Allah does not grant him power, and vice versa.
This applies to different kinds of giving and depriving. Whatever you are given is from Allah's bounties on you and He is protecting you, even from yourself. So, do not look only at what you are deprived from and wish to get something that might cause you to do wrong because "the little that suffices is better than the abundant and alluring", as the Prophet peace be upon him said.

Then the Sheikh says: "When you have less to be happy with, you will have less to be sad about". Feeling joyful is not denounced in Islam. Allah says:

{Say: "In bounty of Allah and in His grace-in this, then, let them rejoice.} (Yunus 10:58)

If you feel happy for worldly gains, you should know that this life will come to an end.
A believer feels happy for the bounties that Allah bestows on him. However, feeling miserable for what you miss is not the right thing to do. Allah says:

{Know this, so that you may not despair over whatever good has escaped you nor exult unduly over whatever good has come to you.} (Al-Hadid 57: 23)

If you feel happy for worldly gains, you should know that this life will come to an end. The Arabic statement goes: If what you have had lasted with the person before you, it would not have reached you! Allah says:

{All that lives on earth or in the heavens is bound to pass away.} (Ar-Rahman 55:26)

Therefore, if you have less to be happy with, then there will be less to be sad about. It is out of Allah's bounty that He gives you just enough so that you will not be sad for missing things which you do not need. If you have enough food, drink, and providence, this is a perfect blessing from Allah and you should thank Allah for that. Allah has a perfect wisdom in giving and depriving and that He wants the best for you and you should be satisfied with that.

Edited from:
http://www.onislam.net/english/shariah/refine-your-heart/advice/455702-ibn-attaa-words-of-wisdom-26.html
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