Allaah’s Concealment of One’s Shortcomings!


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

Today, whilst in the company of my Salafi brother, close friend and companion Ustaadh Abu Tasneem Mushaf Al-Banghaalee [may Allaah preserve him], we spoke about how people hold a good suspicion about you (i.e. all of us), whilst Allaah conceals many of our short-comings. So, Ustaadh [may Allaah preserve him] said to me, “Read the first lines of poetry in Al-Qahtaanee’s Nooniyyah”. Here is some of that which Ustaadh was referring to:

Imaam Al-Qahtaanee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:

And You (Allaah) have placed love for me within the hearts….And the affection from You is through mercy and kindness….And You have spread – amongst the people – good about me… And conceal my acts of disobedience from their eyes…And you have made my good mention amongst the people common (or widespread)…until you made them all my brothers….By Allaah, if they knew the repugnance of my secret affairs (or inner self)….The one who meets me would have refused to give me Salaams…And they would have turned away from me and loath my companionship…And I would have brought disgrace upon myself after being honored…But you conceal my faults and deficiencies…And you dealt with my sins and transgression with forbearance (i.e. gave me an opportunity to repent)…So all praise and commendations- by way of my thoughts, limbs and tongue- is Yours….

May Allaah reward Ustaadh Abu Tasneem for this great reminder. May Allaah bless us with the guidance to truly scrutinize ourselves and never be deceived by the good opinions and praises received from the people. Umar Bin Abdil Azeez [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said to Khaalid bin Safwaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him], “Admonish me”, so Khaalid said, “O leader of the believers! There are a people who have been deceived by Allaah’s concealment of (their sins, faults etc) and good praise (received from people) has put them to trial; therefore, do not let the ignorance of others (about you) overcome what you know about yourself (in reality). May Allaah protect us and you from being deceived by Allaah’s concealment of (our sins, faults etc), and from being pleased with the praise (received from) people, falling short and being neglectful that which Allaah has obligated on us and inclining towards (evil) desires”. So he [i.e. Umar] wept and said, “May Allaah protect us and you from following (evil) desires”. [Ref 1]

Imaam Sufyaan Ath-Thawree [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Beware of what corrupts your deeds, for indeed Riyaa is what corrupts your deeds. And if it is not Riyaa, then it may be you being amazed with yourself until it makes you think that you are more virtuous than your brother. It may be that you have not achieved deeds the likes of which he has achieved, and it may be that he has more righteous deeds and that fear of Allaah that keeps a person away from doubtful matters out of fearing harm in the Hereafter. And if it is not self-amazement, then beware of loving the praise of the people-loving their praise so that they may honour you due to your deeds and see you as someone of nobility and high status in their hearts. Remembering death a lot is enough to make you have less concern for the things of the worldly life and make you have a fervent desire for the afterlife. A prolonged hope (for the things of this worldly life) is enough as a (means) to having little fear of (Allaah) and committing acts of disobedience, and the distress and regret on the Day of Judgment is enough for the one who knows but does not act. [Ref 2]

Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: How many a person knows about love of Allaah, its rulings and all the affairs it necessitates, but his heart is deprived of it?! And how many a slave knows and bears witness to the pre-decree of Allaah and the excellence of sufficing oneself with Him, but when that which has been decreed takes place in opposition to what he desires, you see him anxious- having no tranquility and certainty, nor repose?! And only the one whose heart has acquired knowledge and awareness of Allaah in truth is at ease with the fact that Allaah is sufficient for him, whilst submitting to His judgements regardless what the state of affairs may turn out to be. And how many a person knows the rulings of trade and its details, but at the time of dealing, buying and selling, he does not deal in a beautiful manner with others?! So, do not be deceived when you know something that you will be attributed to it. This is why it is obligated on a person to ask Allaah for beneficial knowledge- knowledge that produces [righteous] deeds. And Allaah knows best. [Ref 3]

Therefore, one should remember the following: “A man [may Allaah be pleased with him] among the companions of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] used to say when he was praised:

[اللهم لا تؤاخذني بما يقولون و اغفر لي ما لا يعلمون – O Allaah! Do not take me to account for what they say and forgive me for what they do not know (about me)].

Al-Allaamah Zaid Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is one of the invocations and supplications [which a person supplicates with], specifically when praised and he hears it; for example, when it is said, ‘’Fulaan [i.e. such and such person] is upright and righteous’’, so he hears what was said about him, or such praise reached him, or it is said, ‘’Fulaan is very truthful, such and such is a good doer, a charitable person, a scholar and so on’’. If he hears this, then a believer fears for himself and feels shy that he is the opposite of what the people say about him, and because of this he re-examines himself and becomes active in carrying out deeds to make him righteous- a good doer and worthy of the praise given to him by the people. If he does this, he will be successful and blessed; but if he becomes deceived by what the people say and becomes oblivious of his mistakes and shortcomings, shaytaan will afflict him with self-importance. Due to this, when a believer hears the people commending and praising him with [attributes] of righteousness, he utters this dhikr: ‘’O Allaah! Do not take me to account for what they say]’’ – Meaning: ‘’Do not hold me account due to this praise and commendation, and the good characteristics [mentioned about me].’’ That is because he fears for himself. The soul of a person is weak, so he says, ‘’And forgive me for what they do not know (about me)’’- Meaning: ‘’The people commend a person based on what they know about him outwardly, so the person fears that he has Mukhaalafaat [i.e. deeds that are in opposition to the commands and prohibitions in the Sharee’ah] which are unknown to the people, so he asks his Lord [The Blessed and Exalted] not to hold him to account and to forgive those sins of his, shortcomings and mistakes which are unknown to the people. The children of Adam are deficient, but there are those amongst them who fall short and return to [repentance or rectification] and are active again in the performance of good deeds after falling short. And amongst them are those who fall short and persist upon (sin) until punishment comes upon them. [Ref 4]

We ask Allaah to include us amongst those who truthfully scrutinize themselves at all times, thankful when they given blessings, patient when facing trials and always repentant Aameen.

Supplications:

Abdullah Bin Umar [radiyallaahu-anhumaa] said: Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] never abandoned these supplications in the morning and evening:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ العافِيَـةَ فـي الدُّنيا والآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ العَفْوَ والعافِيَـةَ فـي دِيني ودُنْـيايَ وأَهْلِي ومالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُـرْ عَوْراتِي، وآمِنْ رَوْعاتِي،

اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِـي مِنْ بَـيْنِ يَدَيَّ، ومِنْ خَلْفِي، وعَنْ يَمِيـنِـي، وعَنْ شِمالِي، ومِنْ فَوْقِي، وأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَـتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتالَ مِنْ تَحْتِـي

“O Allaah! I ask You for well-being in this Dunyaa and the Aaakhirah. O Allāh, I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religion, my worldly affairs, my family and my wealth. O Allaah! Conceal my [faults, shortcomings etc] and safeguard me against everything that will bring me fear and sorrow. O Allaah! Protect me from in front, from behind me, from my right and my left, and from above. And I seek refuge with Your Magnificence from being swallowed up from beneath me”.

Reminder From The Above Supplication:

This great supplication begins with one asking Allaah for [العافِيَـةَ -wellbeing] in the Dunyaa and Aakhirah. Nothing can be equal to wellbeing, for whoever is granted well-being then indeed he has received his complete share of good. Seeking [العَفْوَ -pardon] necessitates that one is forgiven his sins and they are wiped away. As for [العافِيَـةَ – Well-being], it is safety Allaah bestows on a servant of His- protects him against every punishment and trial, by averting evil from him, protecting him against calamities and ailments [sicknesses], evil affairs and sins. So, the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] asked for wellbeing in the Dunyaa and Aakhirah, as well as wellbeing in his religion, worldly affairs, his family and wealth.

Well-being in one’s religion is protection against everything that will bring dishonour [or disgrace] to one’s religion or deprive him of it.

Well-being in the Dunyaa is to seek protection against everything that will harm the person in his worldly affairs, such as calamities or trials, severe poverty and ailments.

Well-being in the Aakhirah is to seek protection against the extreme hardships in the Aakhirah and its various punishments. Well-being in one’s family is that they are protected from trials, calamities and tests; wellbeing in one’s wealth is that it is protected from drowning, burning, theft etc…

[اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُـرْ عَوْراتِي  – O Allaah! Conceal my faults, shortcomings etc [ وآمِنْ رَوْعاتِي – safeguard me against every affair that will frighten me and bring sorrow upon me].

[اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِـي مِنْ بَـيْنِ يَدَيَّ، ومِنْ خَلْفِي، وعَنْ يَمِيـنِـي، وعَنْ شِمالِي، ومِنْ فَوْقِي، وأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَـتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتالَ مِنْ تَحْتِـي – O Allaah! Protect me from in front, from behind me, from my right and my left, and from above. And I seek refuge with Your Magnificence from being swallowed up from beneath me] – Meaning: Asking Allaah to protect you against destructive things and evils which a person is exposed to from the six directions, for indeed evil can approach from the front, behind, the right, the left,  above or below, and he does not know which direction calamity will suddenly come upon him. [ref 5]

اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي

وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ

وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ

O Allah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs; rectify my worldly [affairs], wherein is my livelihood; and rectify my Afterlife to which is my return; and make life for me [as a means of] increase in every good and make death for me as a rest from every evil. [Saheeh Muslim Number: 2720]

This is also one of the comprehensive supplications of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. Indeed, it gathers affairs a person asks Allaah for the rectification of one’s religious affairs, worldly affairs and affairs related to the Afterlife. It begins with one’s religious affairs because when one religion is rectified, then the other affairs [i.e. one’s Dunyaa and Aakhirah] will also be rectified.

اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي

O Allaah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs.

The statement: [اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي – O Allah! Rectify my religion for me]- Meaning:  Asking Allaah for the rectification of one’s religion- to be blessed with the ability and guidance to fulfil its obligations, etiquettes and requirements in a perfect and complete manner; blessed with the guidance and ability to adhere to the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah based on the path of the Salafus Saaleh – the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and the righteous Imaams- in affairs related to sound creed, worship, Dawah [i.e. the sound method of calling to the path of Allaah] and good social behaviour in general. [الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي– which is the safeguard of my affairs]- Meaning: The affair through which all my affairs will be protected, just as Allaah stated: [وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِحَبۡلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُواْ‌ۚ – And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves]. [Surah Aal Imraan. Aayah 103]

This shows the fact that adherence to the religion based on the sound methodology [of the Salaf] is a means to safety for the person – [a safeguard] against the misleading trials and against falling into deviation in creed and deeds; and that not adhering to the religion is the reason behind ruining one’s affairs, just as Allaah said: [وَلَا تُطِعۡ مَنۡ أَغۡفَلۡنَا قَلۡبَهُ ۥ عَن ذِكۡرِنَا وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَٮٰهُ وَكَانَ أَمۡرُهُ ۥ فُرُطً۬ا – and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost]. [Surah Al-Kahf. Aayah 28] [see tafseer]

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي

And rectify my worldly (affairs), wherein is my livelihood.

[وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ – And rectify my worldly (affairs)]- Meaning: Asking Allaah to rectify one’s worldly affairs- to be granted sufficiency in what one needs and through permissible means, as well as making it a means that aids one to obey Allaah. [الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي– wherein is my livelihood]- Meaning: In my livelihood and my life. This shows that people have a specified livelihood and a determined provision, and they will receive all of it before they die.

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي

And rectify my Afterlife to which is my return.

[وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي – And rectify my Afterlife]- Meaning: Asking Allaah to make one’s affairs upright in the afterlife – to receive Allaah’s Kindness, guidance and ability to obey Him [and the Messenger]; granted a righteous departure from this life and success through eternal bliss in paradise. [الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي – to which is my return]- Meaning: My place of return and my return to Allaah. [Allaah said]: [ لِيَجۡزِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَسَـٰٓـُٔواْ بِمَا عَمِلُواْ وَيَجۡزِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ بِٱلۡحُسۡنَى- so that He (Allaah) may requite those who do evil with that which they have done (i.e. punish them in Hell), and reward those who do good, with what is best (i.e. Paradise)]. [Surah An-Najm. Aayah 31]

وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ

And make life for me (as a means of) increase in every good.

[وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ– And make life for me (as a means of) increase in every good]- Meaning: Make the duration of lifespan an opportunity and a means of attaining good in speech and deeds. This shows that the duration of person’s lifespan is a motive for increasing in righteous and good deeds.

وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ

And make death for me as a rest from every evil.

[وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ– And make death for me as a rest from every evil]- Meaning: Make death and my departure from this worldly life a means of rest; and not trials, tests and calamities through sinning and heedlessness.

This shows that the believer is upon complete ease and submission in desiring to meet his Lord, [desiring] to receive Allaah’s great reward and external bliss. We ask Allaah for His Bounty. [Ref 6]


[Ref 1: Al-Hilyatul Awliyaa 2/485]

[Ref 2: Hilyatul Awliyaa. 6/391]

[Ref 3: Majmoo Al-Fawaa’id Waqtinaas Al-Awaabid. Faa’idah Number 14]

[Ref 4: Awnul Ahadis Samad Sharh Al-Adabil Mufrad’ Vol 2, page 389]

[Ref 5: An Excerpt from Fiqh Al-Ad’iyah Wal Afkaar 3/32-33. Slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 6: An Excerpt from Fiqhul Ad’iyah Wal Ad’kaar. Vol 4. Pages 493-494. slightly paraphrased]

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