In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Question: The questioner asks: How can a person attain contentment with what Allaah has provided for him (or her)?
Answer: Among those specific (manners) that will enable a person to be contented with what Allaah portioned out for him (or her) is to have Ridaa (i.e. to be pleased with Allaah’s decree and submit to it without any resistance or displeasure) with the livelihood Allaah has portioned out for him (or her). Allaah (Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections) stated:
نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۚ وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا ۗ وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ
It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work. But the Mercy (Paradise) of your Lord (O Muhammad) is better than the (wealth of this world) which they amass. [43:32]
This (i.e. what is stated in this ayah) enables a person to be contented with what Allaah has portioned out for him (or her). And also because of this Allaah (The Most High) said to His noble Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam):
وَلَا تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَىٰ مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجًا مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ ۚ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ
And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (polytheists and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), the splendour of the life of this world that We may test them thereby. But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting. [20:131]
Abu Hurairah (radiyallaahu-anhu) said that the Messenger of Allaah (salllal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said: Look to those below you (i.e. compare yourselves to those lesser in status and provision than you etc) and do not look to those above you (i.e. those given higher status or provision more than you). This is more appropriate lest you look down upon Allaah’s favours (upon you). [Reported by Muslim]
[Source: Fadaa’il Al-A’maal pages 29-30’ by Shaikh Muhammad Bin Abdillaah As-Subayyil (rahimahullaah)]