The protection of Allah for the servant
Sheikh Saalih Aal Taalib
Shawwaal 9, 1426 ~ November 11, 2005
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All praise be to Allah, a praise that is abundant, good and blessed. There is no deprived if He grants, and there is no granted if He deprives. His bounties cannot be encompassed and His boons cannot be counted, no matter how large or spacious the numbers may be. No one other than Him is praised during difficulties and worries. And there is no helper except Him when the warned against occurs. His knowledge encompasses the creation and His power extends to every difficulty. He saves His friends from the evil of the calamities, and He rescues His servants from hardships and crises. I praise Him – Exalted is He – and I thank Him, praise Him and seek His forgiveness. And I bear witness that there is no god but Him alone. He has no partner. He is Exalted, so He raises, and everything submits to His Greatness and is humbled. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. He conveyed the message, fulfilled the trust, advised the Ummah and truly strove for the sake of Allah. May Allah send salutations on him and on his family, and his companions, the possessors of God-fearingness and piety and may much peace be upon them.
The advice of Allah for the former and later generations is His fearing: “And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allah, and keep your duty to Him.” [Surah Nisaa; 131]. Taqwah (piety) is fearing the Majestic, acting upon the revealed and preparing for the day of demising. “Verily, for the Pious, there will be a success; Gardens and grapeyards; And young full-breasted (mature) maidens of equal age; And a full cup (of wine). No Laghw (dirty, false, evil talk) shall they hear therein, nor lying; A reward from your Lord, an ample calculated gift (according to the best of their good deeds).” [Surah Naba; 31-36]
Thereafter: O Muslims:
Those traveling to Allah, some are foremost and others follow a middle course, varying ambitions, and lofty levels “Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes).” [Surah Layl; 4]. And the greatest of them in status, the foremost of them in victory and the most fortunate of them is in the protection of his Protector and is pleased with him, so how happy is the one who is honoured by Allah.
Protection – O Muslims – is not a claim or pretention, and not humiliation or degradation. Verily it is a reality granted by Allah to whosoever of his servants He wishes if they tread the path of His pleasure. “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the good doers.” [Surah Ankaboot; 69]
And since the objective for which humans were created is the worship of Allah, and His unification, and His obedience and His glorification, the One Who made this world a place of trials and tests and made the abundance of obstacles and calamities, and enemies from devils and desires from the way of life, then verily Allah – the Exalted – does not surrender His servants nor abandon His friends. In fact He – Glorified is He – promises protection and care for His sincere friends and victory and stability for His friends when they carry out what He commands, and abstain from what He prohibits and prevents, and depend on Him truly, and preserve their religion, then the desires of the world and the evil of the transgressor will not distract them. “No doubt! Verily, the Auliya’ of Allah, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve, Those who believed, and used to fear Allah much. For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present world, and in the Hereafter.” [Surah Yoonus; 62-64]
And surely the prophet – peace be upon him – guided in his encompassing words to the path of protection and to what contains protection and saviour in a Hadeeth about which some scholars have said: “I have contemplated over this Hadeeth, so it amazed me, and I continue to be heedless. So how unfortunate are the ignorance of it and the deficiency of understanding of its meanings.” Abdullah bin Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with them both – said: “I was behind the prophet – peace be upon him – and he said: ‘O boy, I will teach you some words. Be careful regarding Allah and He will take care of you. Be careful regarding Allah and you will find Him in front of you. When you ask, ask Allah and when you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that if the whole community were to gather together to help you with something, they would not be able to help you in any way unless Allah had written that for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you in some way, they would not be able to harm you except with something which Allah has written for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages are dry.” [Narrated by Tirmidhi with an authentic chain]. And in the narration of Imam Ahmad: “Recognize Allah in ease and He will recognize you in hardship. Know that whatever misses you could never have hit you and what hits you could never have missed you. Know that victory comes with patience, rescue with hardship, and ease with difficulty.”
O Muslims: This Hadeeth includes great advices and complete rules from the most important matters of religion, and acting upon it is the realisation of Tawheed; and the exemplification of commands and prohibitions; and sufficient in the matter of this world and the Hereafter.
And the saying of the prophet – peace be upon him – “Be careful regarding Allah”, i.e.: Be careful of His laws, rights, commands and prohibitions, for whoever does that deserves the protection of Allah, and is amongst those promised Paradise, just like the True – Glorified is He – said: “And Paradise will be brought near to the pious not far off. (It will be said): “This is what you were promised, – (it is) for those oft-returning (to Allah) in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allah. “Who feared the Most Beneficent (Allah) in the Ghaib (unseen), and brought a heart turned in repentance” [Surah Qaaf; 31-33]
And from the greatest thing that requires preserving and being careful of is sincerity in the worship of Allah the Exalted and preserving the self from falling into Shirk (associating partners with Allah) in all its different forms, for whoever associates partners with Allah – the Exalted – , has wasted his efforts and nullified his actions. The Truth – Glorified is He – said: “And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.” [Surah Furqaan; 23], and He – Glorified and Majestic – said: “And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad – peace be upon him), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: “If you join others in worship with Allah, surely your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.” [Surah Zumar; 65]. And the intelligent Muslim is the one who accounts for himself and his actions so that he does not fall into something that nullifies his actions.
And from amongst the greatest (actions) that is incumbent to preserve of the commands of Allah is the prayer which Allah has ordained by His saying: “Guard strictly (five obligatory) prayers especially the middle prayer (i.e. ‘Asr prayer).” [Surah Baqarah; 238], and He made the success for the believers who guard their prayers, and He made the key to prayer cleanliness, which is an expiation of sins, an erasure if errors. And surely it has been established in an authentic Hadeeth that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “No one preserves ablution except that he is a believer.” [Narrated by Ibn Majah in his sunan and Malik in the muwatta with an authentic chain].
And from amongst the things that Allah has commanded to be protected are the bodies, especially the mouth and private parts, and they are the (organs) that are foremost in entering people into the Hellfire. And surely the True – Glorified is He – said in praise of the successful believers: “And those who guard their chastity” [Surah Mu’minoon; 5]. And He said: “The men and the women who guard their chastity and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward.” [Surah Ahzaab; 35]. In fact, the prophet – peace be upon him – has surely guaranteed Paradise for the one who guards what is between his jaws and what is between his legs, and that is the mouth which is the path of unlawful eating, and in it is the tongue which is the path of unlawful speaking, and the private parts are the reason for falling into unlawful desires, so most sins are due to these matters.
Servants of Allah: The reward is the like of the type of action, and surely He – Glorified is He – said: “Therefore remember Me. I will remember you” [Surah Baqarah; 152], and He said: “If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you” [Surah Muhammad; 7], and He said: “And fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you) so that I fulfill (My Obligations to) your covenant (with Me)” [Surah Baqarah; 40], and likewise whoever preserves the boundaries of Allah and His rights and mandates His commands and abstains from His prohibitions, then verily Allah the Exalted protects him, cares for him and guards him. And the protection is general in matters of this world and the Hereafter, so from it is that Allah the Exalted preserves for him the interests of his world, so He preserves him in his body, children, family and wealth. He – Glorified is He – said: “For each (person), there are Mu’aqqibaat (angels) in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah.” [Surah Ra’d; 11], i.e. that this guarding is by the command of Allah, and the protecting “Mu’aqqibaat” are the angels as Ibn Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with them both – said. And in Saheeh Muslim that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “There are certain sayings, the repeaters of which or the performers of which after every prayer will never be caused disappointment: ‘Glory be to Allah’ thirty three times, ‘Praise be to Allah’ thirty three times, and ‘Allah is Great’ thirty four times.” And in Saheeh Muslim also that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever prays the morning (Fajr) Prayer is under the protection of Allah. Do not put yourselves in a situation where Allah has to call you to account for your negligence.” In fact the protection continues to the offspring just like Allah preserved the treasure of the two boys so He – Glorified is He – said: “And their father was a righteous man” [Surah Kahf; 82], and Umar bin Abdul Aziz said: “No believer dies except that Allah preserves him in his children and the children of his children.” And Ibn Munkadir said: “Verily Allah preserves for a righteous man his children and the children of his children and the houses around him, so they continue being in the protection of Allah and (His) covering.”
On the other hand, whoever flouts the commands of Allah, Allah destroys him, so he is ruined among the creation until harm and hurt comes to him from whom he expected benefit from amongst his family and others.
And just like Allah the Exalted protects His slave from the evil of the day and night and wild animals and humans and jinn, then verily Allah the Exalted also protects him and guards him in his religion and faith, so He protects him from misguided doubts and unlawful desires and He preserves his religion for him so He causes him to die on faith (Imaan). And surely Allah – Exalted and Majestic – said regarding Yoosuf – peace be upon him – : “Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves.” [Surah Yoosuf; 24], and that is because he was careful of the commands of Allah in the unseen, and he said: “I seek refuge in Allah!” [Surah Yoosuf; 23] in a situation in which no one saw him except Allah, and he escaped from sin, and he supplicated to Allah to turn away from him the plot of the women. All that is what made him deserve that Allah removed trials from him and turned away evil and indecency from him, then Allah granted him kingdom.
And surely Allah protects the servant by different types of protection which he does not realise, and (which) he may have disliked. As for the one who disobeys, then verily he is not protected. And Hasan said mentioning the people of sin: “It became easy on them, so they disobeyed Him. And if they made Him dear to them, He would have protected them.”
And in the saying of the prophet – peace be upon him – “Recognize Allah in ease and He will recognize you in hardship” is an urge to fear Allah and guard His boundaries in the condition of ease, health, comfort and safety until when hardship comes, he finds the kindness of Allah, and His mercy, protection and help very close to him.
And when the hardship on Yoonus – peace be upon him – became severe in the stomach of the whale, he called out in the darkness saying: ‘there is no god but You, Glory be to You, Verily I am among the wrong-doers’, so Allah answered his supplication and saved him from his hardship and rescued him from his sorrow. Allah – the Exalted – said: “Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.” [Surah Saaffaat; 143-144]. And when Allah mentioned in Sura Anbiyaa his answering of Ayyoob when he was afflicted with harm, and Than-Noon and Zakaria, He – Glorified is He – said: “Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” [Surah Anbiyaa; 90]. And in Tirmidhi with an authentic chain that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “Whoever wishes for Allah to answer him at the times of hardship should increase supplication at the times of ease.” And the confirmation of that from the Book of our Lord is His saying – Glorified is He – : “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).” [Surah Talaaq; 2], and His saying: “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.” [Surah Talaaq; 4]
So O you upon whom mishaps become apparent and hardships have become many, where are you regarding the Knower of the Unseen?! When you ask, ask Allah, and when you seek help, seek help from Allah, for He is the One Who gives and withholds, and humiliates and raises, and harms and benefits. People are nothing but His servants, and the command is His command, so how can you beg from other than Him?! Or how can you have hope in besides Him?! “And if Allah touches you with hurt, there is none who can remove it but He; and if He intends any good for you, there is none who can repel His Favour” [Surah Yoonus; 107]. Who is the One Who saved our prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him – and his companion in the cave?! Who is the One Who saved Ibraheem the friend when he was thrown in the fire?! Who is the One Who parted the sea for Moosa?! Who is the One Who raised Eesa?! Who is the Begged in every hardship?! Who is the Hoped in every calamity?! Verily it is Allah, the All-Powerful.
O Muslims: In a time when the enemies have become apparent over the Muslims and they call each other and set upon them, just as diners set upon food, we do not fear – by Allah – our enemies, to the extent that we fear our sins, for whoever Allah is with, then who can fear?! And whoever Allah is against, then who can hope?!
Verily it is incumbent upon us to preserve the (laws of) Allah in ourselves and our religion, and to call to returning to Him, for if we are true with Allah “then know that Allah is your Maula (Patron, Lord, Protector and Supporter, etc.), (what) an Excellent Maula, and (what) an Excellent Helper!” [Surah Anfaal; 40].
May Allah bless me and you in the Book and the Sunnah, and benefit us with what is in them of verses and wisdom. I say these words of mine, and I seek forgiveness of Allah the Exalted for me and for you and for the rest of the Muslim males and females, so seek His forgiveness and repent to Him. Verily He is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
All praise be to Allah, a praise that continues His virtues and hopes for His pardon. I praise Him, while He is the Most Merciful, Glory be to Him. He forgives sins, removes hardships and answers supplicators. And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah’s salutations be upon him and upon his family and companions and may much peace be upon them.
Thereafter: Verily from among the pillars of faith is believing in pre-destination and pre-ordainment, and that nothing occurs in this world, small or big except by pre-ordainment written by the pen in the preserved tablet by the command of Allah – the Exalted – and (by) His knowledge and His power before the creation of the heavens and the earth, so nothing occurs except in accordance to that, known to the slave or not known, “Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything).” [Surah Mulk; 14], “And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.” [Surah An’aam; 59].
And from here is the completion of the Tawheed of the believers, so their hearts are at peace towards the rules of pre-ordainment, and patience on trials becomes easy on them, and (so too) does gratitude in (times of) ease, and they leave their affair to Allah, and they ask Him for forgiveness, mercy, kindness and help, and for this reason the prophet – peace be upon him – exclusively chose Ibn Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with them both – just as he included the Ummah for this inclusive advice, and it is believing in pre-ordainment, patience on hardships and certainty (of belief) in the Lord of the earth and heavens.
And when understanding these meanings, the pleased souls are calmed and they live a pleasant life. In fact when death comes to them, they die a good death. And in Saheeh Muslim that the prophet – peace be upon him – said: “Strange is the affair of the believer. Verily all his affairs are good for him. If something pleasing befalls him he thanks (Allah) and it becomes better for him. And if something harmful befalls him he is patient and it becomes better for him.”
Then he closes the Hadeeth by his saying: “And know that in being patient on what you dislike is much good, and that victory comes with patience, rescue with hardship and ease with difficulty.” O by Allah! O how great these words are to the one who understands them and holds onto them. And the confirmation of that is in the Book of Allah: “So verily, with the hardship, there is relief, Verily, with the hardship, there is relief.” [Surah Sharh; 5-6], and a single difficulty will never overpower two eases, but where are the believers with certainty (of belief)?! And how many aspects of hardships have pleasantness, and surely people have seen wonders in the pleasantness of Allah and His ease.
And ponder over the precise meaning in this verse: “No calamity befalls, but with the Leave (i.e. decision and Divine Preordainments) of Allah, and whosoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart” [Surah Taghabun; 11], i.e. at the time of calamity, if the distressed understands that the calamity is from Allah, he will be guided to patience, pleasure and steadfastness on faith, so Allah guides his heart to all good. Qurtubi said: “Ikrimah reads it as: ‘His heart will be calmed’, and Malik bin Dinaar reads it lightening the hamzah: ‘His heart will be guided’”, so have the distressed, patient ones heard of this?! And some of the predecessors have said: “Good life is pleasure and contentment,” and Ibn Zaid said: “Pleasure (regarding the pre-ordainment of Allah) is the greatest door of Allah and the paradise of this world and the relaxation of the worshipers.”
And from the pleasure of the secrets of coupling rescue with hardship and ease with difficulty is that when hardship becomes severe and great and reaches its end, the servant reaches (a point of) despondency of its (hardship’s) removal by the creation, so he attaches his heart to Allah alone and all hope is cut off except in Him, and this is the reality of trust in Allah, and it is from the greatest reasons by which needs are sought, for verily Allah is sufficient for the one who relies on Him as He – Glorified is He – said: “And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.” [Surah Talaaq; 3]
This, and send salutations and peace on the best creation and purest human, Muhammad bin Abdullah, the unlettered prophet.
O Allah send salutations, peace and blessings on your servant and messenger Muhammad, and on his family and companions and those who follow them in goodness until the Day of Judgement.
O Allah guard us with Islam standing, and guard us with Islam sitting, and guard us with Islam lying, and do not make the enemies and envious ambitious for us.
O Allah grant honour to Islam and the Muslims…