The Nafs Must Be Restrained: [Puffed Up In Times of Riches And Harbours Bad Suspicion Towards His Lord When Facing Trials]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Allaah [The Most High] said:

فَأَمَّا الْإِنسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ

وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ

As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says [puffed up]: ‘’My Lord has honoured me.’’ But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: ‘’My Lord has humiliated me!’’ [89:15-16]

When tried with richness and wealth, and given in abundance, he says that his lord has honoured him due to what he has been given. And when afflicted with poverty, he says that his lord has degraded him. However, this view of his is incorrect; rather he should praise Allaah in both circumstances-in times of poverty and richness. [Ref 1]

The human is ignorant and unjust. He has no knowledge of the final outcomes of events. He thinks that the situation in which he finds himself is to continue and will never cease. He thinks that the kind treatment and blessings he receives from Allaah in the worldly life is an indication that he is honoured by Allaah, and that he is one close to Him. However, not everyone who receives Allaah’s blessings in this worldly life is one honoured by Allaah, and not everyone whom Allaah afflicts with poverty is one humiliated by Allaah; rather riches and poverty, scarcity and abundance are a trial and a test by way of which Allaah makes known those who will show gratitude and those who will exercise patience. [Ref 2]

[Ref1: An Excerpt from ‘Zaadul Maseer’  Slightly paraphrased]; [Ref2: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan.’ Slightly paraphrased]

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