Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawzīyah, Miftāh Dār Al-Sa’ādah, 1:418+

The superiority of knowledge over wealth is understood from numerous angles:

  1. Knowledge is the inheritance of the Prophets, while wealth is merely the inheritance of kings and the rich.
  2. Wealth is diminished by spending, whereas knowledge grows when it is disbursed.
  3. When the possessor of wealth dies, his wealth leaves him, whereas a man’s knowledge accompanies him to his grave.
  4. Knowledge is what judges and rules over wealth, but wealth does not judge knowledge.
  5. Wealth is acquired by the believer, the unbeliever, the righteous and the sinful; but beneficial knowledge is not acquired except by the believer.
  6. The scholar is needed by the kings and those beneath them, whereas the possessor of wealth is only needed by the poor and destitute.
  7. The soul is ennobled, purified and developed through the acquisition of and concern for knowledge – that is part of its completeness and nobility, whereas wealth neither purifies, completes nor adds a noble quality to the soul. On the contrary, the soul declines, becomes more greedy and more miserly through the gathering and concern for wealth. Thus, the soul’s concern for knowledge is its very completion, whereas the soul’s concern for wealth is its very decline.
  8. Wealth calls the soul to transgression, pride and arrogance; whereas knowledge calls it to humility and the establishment of servitude and worship [of Allāh]. Thus, wealth calls the soul to the qualities of mere kings, whereas knowledge calls to the qualities of true servants [of Allah].
  9. Knowledge attracts and conveys the soul to the felicity it was created for, whereas wealth is a veil between the two.
  10. Enrichment with knowledge is loftier than enrichment with material wealth. Because being rich with wealth is enrichment by something external to the human: if that wealth were to depart in one night he would be immediately destitute. However, richness of knowledge is not under the threat of poverty, rather it is in ever increase. Thus, it is in reality the highest form of richness, as was said: I gained independent from everyone without acquiring wealth. Verily, the highest richness is in freedom from needing a thing, not in needing to possess it.
  11. Wealth enslaves the one who covets it and makes him into a slave of it, as the Prophet – Allāh’s praise and peace be upon him – said, “Wretched be the slave of the dirham and the dīnār…” But knowledge makes its possessor a servant and worshipper of his Lord and Creator, it does not call him except to servitude to Allāh alone.
  12. The love of knowledge and its pursuit is the root of all obedience [to Allāh], whereas the love of this worldly life (dunyā) and its wealth is the root of all evil.
  13. The value of a rich man is his wealth, while the value of a learned man is his knowledge. The former is valued according to his wealth: if it ceases, so does his value; he is left valueless. The value of a learned man does not decrease, it is always on the rise.





Ibn al-Qayyim:

The worker, who wants to know his degree in the master’s eye, should first observe how much he works for him.


Ibn al-Qayyim:

Trusting in Allāh is the seed of relying on Him and if He, the Almighty is approached with sincerity, du’ā will be answered.


The heart is healthy ONLY when it is functioning contrast to its desires. In other words, desires are the sickness of the heart and opposing them is the cure.

- Ibn al-Qayyim, Sins & their Punishments

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy upon him, says:

In short, there is nothing more beneficial for the heart than reading the Qur`aan and with contemplation and reflection. The Qur`aan encompasses all the levels of the travellers, the conditions of the workers, and stations of those possessing knowledge. It is the Qur`aan that generates love, desire, fear, hope, repentance, reliance, pleasure, entrustment, gratitude, patience, and the rest of the different states that are life to the heart and perfection of it. Likewise, it repels all the rebuked characteristics and actions that cause the corruption and ruin of the heart.

If people were to possess a realization of what recitation of the Qur`aan with contemplation contains, they would devote themselves to it at the expense of anything else. When the person reads it with reflection and he comes across an aayah that he is in need of, for the cure of his heart, he repeats it, even if he does so a hundred times or the whole night. Hence, to recite a single aayah of the Qur`aan with contemplation and reflection is better than reciting the Qur`aan to completion without any contemplation or reflection. It is also more beneficial for the heart and more conducive to attaining eemaan and tasting the sweetness of the Qur`aan.

  • Transcribed from: Causes Behind the Increase and Decrease of Eemaan | Shaykh `Abdur-Razzaaq al-`Abbaad

Ibn al-Qayyim says:

The cause behind failure is unsuitability of place, inconvenience, and lacking the ability to accept the blessing; if he was granted the blessing, he would say: this is mine and I got it because I deserve it as Allaah says:

«He said: “This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.» [28:78]

That is to say, because of the knowledge that Allaah gave me and according to which I deserve this blessing and so it is my right. Al-Farraa` said: I got it, and I deserve it according to the favors I possess.

`Abdullaah bin al-Haarith bin Nawfal mentioned the blessings and ownership that Sulaymaan bin Daawood possessed, then he recited that Allaah says:

«This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful!» [27:40]

He did not say: this is because of my honor. Then he mentioned Qaaroon and recited,

«He said: “This has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess.» [28:78]

He meant that Sulaymaan realized that whatever he gained is from his Lord and his Favor, and that he is afflicted with it and Qaaroon thought that he deserved the blessings he received. Allaah also says:

«And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from us, after some adversity (severe poverty or disease, etc.) has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is for me (due to my merit)» [41:50]

That is to say, I deserve it and it is mine: I own it.

The believer realizes that all blessings belong to Allaah and His favor and that Allaah grants him blessings without him deserving it. It is continual charity from Him to His servants, and He has the right to deprive anyone from this as He wills. If Allaah prevents people from receiving blessings, He never prevents them from what they deserve. If the servant fails to realize that, he might think that he deserves it and would become conceited thinking that he deserves this blessing and that he is better than others. As Allaah says:

«And if We give man a taste of Mercy from Us, and then withdraw it from him, verily! He is despairing, ungrateful. But if We let him taste good (favour) after evil (poverty and harm) has touched him, he is sure to say: “Ills have departed from me.” Surely, he is exultant, and boastful (ungrateful to Allaah).» [11:9-10]

Allaah dispraises such a man because of his despair and being ungrateful during times of afflictions and because he is happy and proud when the affliction is removed. He failed to praise Allaah, thank, and glorify Him when He removed the afflictions but Allaah says that he said: «Ills have departed from me.» If he had just said: Allaah removes ills away from me by His mercy, Allaah would never dispraise him, but the servant forgets Who bestowed this blessing on him by ascribing it to himself and through feeling proud.

If Allaah, the Exalted, sees such a heart in His servant, this is one of the greatest causes of failure and letting him down. His place is not suitable to receive such perfect and complete blessings, as Allaah says:

«Verily! The worst of (moving) living creatures with Allaah are the deaf and the dumb, those who understand not (i.e. the disbelievers). Had Allaah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen, and even if He had made them listen, they would but have turned away, averse (to the truth).» [8:22-23]

Allaah said that their place is not suitable to receive His blessings. Besides this there is another obstacle that prevents blessings from reaching them, which is their denial and neglect of what they know and perceive.

The causes of failure are based on the state of the soul and its adherence to its nature; the origin of creation. The causes of success are according to Allaah, Who enables the servant to accept His blessings. The causes of success are from Him and from His favor, and He created both this and that as He created all parts of the earth; one part accepts plant life and the other does not. He created trees; one grows fruit and the other does not. He created the bee and enabled it to produce honey with different colors as well as the hornet, which cannot do that. He created good souls that are able to remember, praise, thank, glorify, and advise His servants, and also created evil souls who are not able to do that. He is the All-Wise and the All-Knowing.


Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullaah):
One of the most effective means for attaining [success and felicity] is pondering over the Qur`aan, for along with the Sunnah, it clearly explains the paths to good and evil. If you turn your attention to them, they will suffice you. They will inform you of Allaah’s treatment of the obedient, and of the sinners. Moreover, apply what you read to practical experience, and you will see the illustration of this -

that Allaah is true, the Messenger is true, the Qur`aan is true, and that Allaah fulfills His promise.

al-Jawaab al-Kafi

Ibn al-Qayyim:

The soul will never become pious and purified except through undergoing afflictions. It is the same as gold that can never be pure except after removing all the base metals in it.

al-Fawaa`id, p365

Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:

By committing sins, the servant of Allaah does not aim to disobey his Lord or violate his prohibitions, but it was the result of an evil nature, the deceit of the soul and Satan, the strength of vain desires, and believing that one will be forgiven, however, according to Allaah, the aim of committing sins is the reason behind passing judgments, manifesting the dignity of the Lord, and the submission of the servants, and their complete need for Allaah.

As well as this, the existence of the Attributes of Allaah, like the Oft-Pardoning, the Oft-Forgiving, and the One Who accepts repentance, and the Clement to the repentant and remorseful. On the other hand, Allaah is the Avenger, the Just. And the One with the Strongest Grasp on those who insist on disobeying Him. He, the Exalted, wants His servant to perceive His Perfection, and to feel absolute need of his Lord, moreover, He wants His servant to see the Perfection of His Power, Glory, Forgiveness, Mercy, and Patience, and that His Mercy is nothing but beneficence, for if Allaah does not bestow His Mercy upon him, surely he will be destroyed.

Estimating guilt by Allaah has a great wisdom in it and a lot of benefit and mercy for that servant by offering him the way of repentance.

Al-Fawaa`id, p105

Ibn Al-Qayyim says:

Everything that is loved – if it is not loved for His sake then this love is nothing but distress and punishment. Every action that is not performed for His sake then it is wasted and severed. Every heart that does not reach Him is wretched, veiled from achieving its success and happiness.



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