“We do not know which to be most grateful for

the best of our actions, which He enabled us to do,

or the ugliest of our wrong actions

which He has veiled for us.”

Know that He is the Creator and all matters are at His disposal. So there is no creator except Allaah, there is no planner for the creation except Allaah, and there is no law for the creation except the law of Allaah. So it is He who obligates and prohibits things, just as He is the one who permits things.

~ Shaykh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen, The Book of Knowledge

Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee says:

Surely, all matters occur and are led to success by Allaah’s Help Alone and the slave has no choice or recourse, except by trusting and relying on Him. Certainly, whatever Allaah wills occurs and whatever He does not will never occurs. The slaves cannot change their condition from one stage to another, except by Allaah’s Will. The slaves have no power or strength to worship Allaah except through His Help, nor can they resist evil and sin except when Allaah grants them immunity All types and parts of sustenance and provisions can be earned and perfected by trusting in Allaah Alone.

  • Selected from: Al-Fawakih Ash-Shahiyyah, by Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan As-Sa’dee, p21
If he sincerely obeys and worships Allaah, every matter that he hates will be good for him; but if he abandons obedience and worship, every matter that he loves will be evil and bad for him. Whoever truly knows Allaah, His Names and His Attributes, will surely know that any distress or harm that has happened to him bears interest and benefits that his mind cannot comprehend. . .

Loving parents do the same to their children because they understand the benefits. Sometimes the cure for the child is painful, but the parent will still do it and all this will be done the sake of mercy and pity. Perhaps the parent will perceive some benefit for the child by not financing him, so he will not give to him, because he knows that these are the important causes of decay. He also prevents him from many pleasures in order to protect him. The Most Just among judges, the Most Merciful among those who are merciful, and the Most Knowledgeable among those who have knowledge, who is more merciful to His servants than themselves, their fathers, and their mothers, if He allows them to be inflicted with evil, that will be better for them than not inflicting them. If they had the chance to choose for themselves, they would never be able to benefit by it. However, Allaah, the Exalted, manages their lives according to His knowledge, wisdom, and mercy. . .

Only those who knows and believe in His Names and Attributes do not accuse Him or doubt one of His judgments but only those who do not know His Names and Attributes argue with Him about His judgments and doubt His Wisdom and fail to submit to His judgment. They even oppose it with their spoiled minds, false opinions and unjust policies. They neither knew their Lord, or obtain any benefit. Whenever a servant has this knowledge, he will live in a Paradise on earth before he enters the Paradise of the Hereafter. he will be satisfied and pleased with his Lord and will be satisfied with the paradise in this worldly life. The servant will be pleased with whatever happens to him because he knows that it has been chosen by Allaah and this is acceptance of Allaah as his Lord, Islaam as his religion, and Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) as his Messenger. The one who is not able to do this will never taste the sweetness of faith. This pleasure depends upon how much he comprehends the justice of Allaah, His Wisdom, Mercy and Good Choice. The more he knows, the more pleasure and satisfaction he will have. Allaah judges his servants according to justice, benefit, wisdom and mercy.
Ibn ul-Qayyim ~ Al-Fawaa’id

Ibn Qayyim said:

If Allaah ta’aala intends good for the needy slave He trials him with something in order to bring him down and to lower his neck in humiliation and to decrease his importance to himself. However if Allaah intended for him (the slave) anything other than good He (Allaah) would have left him alone and his vanity and pride and this is the deception which necessitates his destruction.

al-Waabil as-Sayyib min Kalim at-Tayyib

Translated by Umm Yahya

Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (751H):

There are two types of Istighfar;
1. Istaghfar that is mentioned alone.
2. Istaghfar that is mentioned with Taubah.

The Istaghfar that is mentioned alone is found in the words of Nuh (peace and blessings be upon him):

I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; ‘He will send rain to you in abundance [Nuh: 10-11]

and in the words of Saalih (peace and blessings be upon him) :

“Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?” [An-Naml 46]

Allaah also said:

“…and ask Allah for His Forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful. [Al-Baqarah: 199]

And Allaah would not punish them while you (Muhammad) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allaah’s) Forgiveness.” [Al-Anfaal 33]

Istaghfar mentioned with Taubah is found in the following verses from the Most Merciful’s speech.

Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace” [Huud: 3]

Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain.” [Huud: 52] .

Also Prophet Saalih’s words to his people have Taubah and Istaghfar mentioned together:

He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance.” [Huud: 61]

and Shuaib’s speech as well has these two actions joined together.

And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn unto Him in repentance. Verily, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving.” [Huud: 90]

Al-Istaghfar is like Taubah and in reality it is. Contained in Istaghfar is the request of Allah’s forgiveness. Allah’s forgiveness is the removal of the sin, its affect and protection from the sin’s harm…

Al-Istaghfar contains At-Taubah and vice versa. Both of these actions are included in each other. Whenever both of these words are mentioned together Al-Istaghfar is protection from the consequence of any previous evil. At-Taubah on the other hand is to return to Allah obediently and the search of His protection from the sin’s effect in the future.

There are two sins. The sin that was committed. Hence a person does Al-Istaghfar- seeking protection from its harm and evil. And then there is the second sin which is the one that is feared to occur in the future.

At-Taubah is the resolution to avoid the sin and penitence to Allah. Penitence to Allah holds two things. The first is the act of returning to Allah in order to be protected from the result of previous sin and evil. The second thing held in At-Taubah is the search for protection against evil that might befall you in the future resulting from the evil of yourself and deeds.

The sinner is like a driver who takes a road that leads to his death. That road doesn’t take him where he intended to go. He is ordered to take alternative route and travel the road that leads to his safety. That alternative route takes him where he wanted to go and as a result he is successful.

Therefore in this instance there are two things that are necessary;

  1. Separation from something
  2. Recourse to a different way

At-Taubah is the recourse and Al-Istaghfar is the separation. Whenever these words are mentioned separately one is included in the other. Allah knows best, but that’s why He said,

And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn unto Him in repentance”  [Huud: 90]

This is the recourse to the path of truth after separation from the path of falsehood.

In conclusion, Al-Istaghfar is from the chapter of the removal of harm. And At-Taubah is from the chapter of requesting a good outcome. Therefore Al-Maghfirah is protection against sin’s evil and At-Taubah is the obtainment of good after the protection is sought. Each one is included in the other when mentioned alone. Allah knows best.

  • Transcribed from: Madarajus Sallikeen, Ibn Qayyim | Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle

Allaah says: “I am as My slave thinks of me” (Saheeh Muslim)

Shaykh ‘Abd ul-Muhsin al-’Abbaad comments:

A person should think good of his Lord, and he hopes and expects from Allaah that He will make his wish come true for him; and he should not be heedless or negligent or say ‘I called upon Him but He did not answer me,’ but rather he should think good of Allaah

Sufyaan ath-Thauree once said to some of his students:

“Do you know what the meaning of Laa Hawla wala Quwatta illa Billaah (which translates into English as: ‘There is neither power nor might except with Allaah‘)?” He then said, “It means:

(O Allaah) none can give except what You have given, and none can preserve anything other than what You preserve.”

The Biography of Sufyaan ath-Thauree, p155

Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “How can I feel happy when Angel Israfil (the angel appointed to blow the Trumpet on the Day of Judgment) has put his lips to the Trumpet, waiting to hear the order to blow the trumpet? This very much distressed his companions, so he told them to seek comfort by reciting:

Sufficient for us is Allaah and an excellent Guardian is He.

Spiritual Disease and its Cure, Ibn Qayyim

They (Ahlus-Ssunnah) believe in Allaah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and in the Divine Will, its good and its bad.

They bear witness that Allaah is the Lord, the worshipped God, the one who is alone in all perfection. They worship Him alone, practising religion sincerely for Him.

They say that Allaah is the Creator, the Originator, the Fashioner, the Provider, the Giver, the Withholder, the Arranger of all matters.

That He is the one to be deified, the one worshipped, the sole goal. That He is the First; before whom there was nothing, the Last; after whom there is nothing, the al-Zahir, the al-Batin.

That He is the Exalted Most High in every meaning and sense; exalted in His essence, exalted in His ability, and exalted in His power.

That He is ascended above istawa His Throne, an istawa befitting His Honour, His Majesty, His unlimited Exaltedness, and His absolute Aboveness. His Knowledge encompasses all externals and internals, a Knowledge of the heights and the lows. He is with His worshippers in His Knowledge, knowing their every condition, and He is the Near, the Respondent.

That He in His entire self is independent of the entire creation, all are in the need of Him in every way, be it in their origination, or in the origination of what they are in need of in every circumstance. None is in any sense independent of Him.

He is the Generous, the Merciful. There is no temporal favour, nor religious blessing nor defence against trouble for the worshippers except by Allaah, so He is the cause of all favours, the defence against all woes.

Out of His Mercy He descends every night to the lowest heaven to answer the needs of the worshipper when the last third of the night remains. He says, “My worshippers do not ask from other than Me. Who is it that calls Me so that I may respond to him, who is it that asks of Me so that I may give him, who is it that seeks My forgiveness so that I may forgive him.” Until fajr begins. He descends as He wills and He does what He intends, “There is nothing similar to Him, and He is the Hearing the Seeing.” (al-Shura (42):11)

They believe that He is the Wise, the One whose judgement in legislating and decreeing is complete. So He did not create anything uselessly, nor does He institute legislation, except that it is beneficial and wise.

He is the One turned to, the Pardoner, the Forgiving; accepting repentance from His worshippers, and pardoning their faults, forgiving the grave sins of the repentant, those seeking forgiveness, and those who turn penitently.

He is the Grateful, the one who appreciates the small deed and increases the thankful by His blessings. (more…)


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