WHEN YOU KNOW THAT ALLAH WANTS WHAT’S BETTER FOR YOU
By Allah, brothers and sisters, I don’t believe there’s a more beautiful feeling than this; the feeling that Allah wants what’s better for you in whatever He destines for you and puts you through; and that everything that happens will turn out to be for your own good. But perhaps you need to experience calamity to become certain of this!
When everything in your life is going well (without hardship), when your life is almost perfect as Allah has bestowed upon you all the possible worldly blessings, you may ask yourself: “Are these expedited blessings that Allah willed for me in this life in addition to the blessings He has delayed for me in the Hereafter? Or am I being led to my ruin, with Allah rewarding me in full in this life so He can punish me for my shortcomings in the Hereafter?”
This uncertainty might be a source of great worry for you.
Then, a trial befalls you, and you see signs that Allah intended good things for you through this trial. You rejoice and think: “I fell short in fulfilling my duties towards Allah, but He is Al-Haleem (The Ever-Forbearing). He treats me with His Forbearance and Generosity, not according to what I deserve. He intended good for me —not because I deserve it— but as befitting His Forgiveness, Kindness, Forbearance, Mercy, and Generosity.”
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The question is:
How do I know whether Allah intends good for me or not?
Does it have to do with how healthy, wealthy, or safe I am?
No! Absolutely not! None of this is proof that Allah is honoring you or that He intends good for you:
“As for man, whenever his Lord tests him through His generosity and blessings, he boasts, ‘My Lord has ˹deservedly˺ honored me!’ But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, ‘My Lord has humiliated me.’” (Qur’an Translated Meaning 89:15-16)
Meaning: many people believe that if Allah grants them worldly blessings, it is proof that He loves them, He is pleased with them, or He has elevated them to a noble status. While if Allah tests them with poverty or adversity, they consider it to be a sign that Allah is humiliating them and that He wants a bad outcome for them.
So, man views Allah’s bestowal or withholding of worldly blessings as the measure of Allah’s pleasure or displeasure with His servant and whether He intends good or bad for that servant.
The response to such a perception is:
“No!…” (Qur’an Translated Meaning 89:17)
Allah’s bestowal or withholding of worldly gains is not the yardstick.
“Whoever has been wanting the hasty life of this world —We hasten for him therein whatever We will to whomever We desire. Then We assigned for him Hell where he roasts, condemned, defeated.” (Qur’an Translated Meaning 17:18)
“To all, We extend from the gifts of your Lord, for the gifts of your Lord have never been restricted.” (Qur’an Translated Meaning 17:20)
So, what is the criterion by which you know if Allah wants good for you?
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said:
“Allah grants worldly favors and blessings to those He loves and those He doesn’t love, but He doesn’t bestow faith except on those He loves.” [Ahmad Shakir, in ‘Omadat-At-Tafsir’ said that its chain of narration is sound]
Yes! Iman (faith) is the criterion!
So, if you find that a trial has drawn you closer to Allah, then know that Allah intends good for you. But, if you find otherwise, be wary! Rectify your ways before you become of those deprived of Allah’s Mercy.
If you are tried with what you didn’t anticipate, and Allah bestows tranquility upon you, then He intends good for you.
If Allah guides you to think well of Him and prevents you from blaming His Decrees, He intends good for you.
If amidst your calamity, you have moments of joyful reflection of the Qur’an —despite your troubles— where your eyes tear up with love and gratitude to Allah, He intends good for you.
If the threats coming from people diminish in your eyes, and you perceive your enemies as mere servants subjugated under the Dominion of Al-Jabbar (the Compeller), Al-Qahhar (the Subduer), Exalted is He…if you expect good from Allah Almighty alone and you fear no one but Him; all of these are signs that Allah intends good for you.
If, amidst your calamity, Allah enables you to utilize your time in what benefits you in your religion and draws you closer to Him; while many others, who appear to be free and untroubled, are captives of their desires and afflicted by delusions, lusts, and doubts; then know that Allah Almighty has chosen you —from among them— to serve His religion, because he intends good for you.
If your soul soars in the realms of Allah’s creation and beneath His Throne while your body remains bedridden or imprisoned behind bars, then Allah, the Exalted, has allowed your spirit to soar because He intends good for you.
Therefore tranquility, contentment, patience, gratitude to Allah, the acknowledgment of His favors, the heart’s attachment to Him, fear and hope in Him alone, and comfort in His company and in serving His religion… are all the traits of Iman, which Allah grants only to those whom He loves. Thus, if He has given them to you, you should know that He intends good for you.
Is it possible that Allah intends a bad outcome for you if He has granted you contentment while testing you? No! Never! By Allah, He only gave you solace, patience, and contentment with His Decree because He intends good for you.
Brothers and sisters, the choice is yours:
If you become preoccupied with acts of obedience to Allah in times of hardship and your lips only move with His praise and contentment with His Decree, then Allah intends good for you. Then, you will attain inner peace and peace with Allah Almighty.
But if, Allah forbid, you resent or blame Destiny or become preoccupied with sorrow, fears, concerns about the future, and doubts about the Wisdom of Allah —we seek refuge in Allah from this— then you have chosen the wrong path.
Ibnul-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
“Whoever, from among the workers, wishes to know his status with a ruler, then he should see what kind of work he has assigned him to do and where he has put him to use.”
The same applies to you. Think about what Allah has preoccupied you with and where He uses you, and you will know your status with Him and ascertain whether He intends good for you or otherwise. If you find yourself doing that which is displeasing, then hasten to repentance. And know that if you are guided to repentance, it is a sign that Allah intends good for you.
How beautiful it is to live with the feeling that Allah Loves you!
When you become content with Allah’s Decree, you will feel that Allah Almighty loves you because He, Exalted is He, only grants Iman (faith) to those whom He loves (as in the Hadith (prophetic narration) cited above).
Contentment comes from Iman. If you attain it, it’s a sign of Allah’s Love for you.
Watch how you will then start perceiving everything that Allah has decreed for you positively. After all, the One Who decrees the sweet and bitter is your Beloved Lord Who loves you!
So if He decrees that an illness befalls you, this Decree comes from the One Who loves you, and there is no conflict between His Love and His Decree of illness for you.
And, if He decrees the death of someone dear to you, this is also from the One Who loves you.
But the believer must fly with the two wings of fear from Allah and hope in Him, so how can he be certain that the calamities he is facing aren’t a sign of Allah’s anger?
Your course of action when a trial befalls you determines this: If you wholeheartedly turn to Allah, draw closer to Him, feel contentment, and observe patience, then you are prolonging the love (whose signs you saw previously), and your conviction of this love grows. Your eagerness to prolong this love and find comfort in it helps you maintain patience and contentment.
But if you meet the trial with wrath, you’ll receive Allah’s wrath and displeasure! Therefore, let your fear of losing the affection between you and Allah and your subsequent fall into anguish act as the barrier that prevents your dissatisfaction with Allah’s Destiny.
Summary of this section
Be patient throughout any hardship you might face; think well of your Lord, His Wisdom, and His Mercy. If you succeed in this, you can be confident that Allah intended good for you.