وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ فِيكُمْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ۚ لَوْ يُطِيعُكُمْ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ لَعَنِتُّمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ حَبَّبَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيَّنَهُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمُ الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الرَّاشِدُونَ ﴿٧﴾
“And know that among you is the Messenger of Allāh. If he were to obey you in much of the matter, you would be in difficulty, but Allāh has endeared to you the faith and has made it pleasing in your hearts and has made hateful to you disbelief, defiance, and disobedience. Those are the [rightly] guided.”
Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) said [concerning this āyah]:
“Allāh the Exalted is saying: Your love for īmān, your desire for it, and its beatification in your hearts are not things that have originated from yourselves. Rather, Allāh is the one that has altered your hearts to such a state. Thus, do you find your hearts truly affected [by īmān] and pleased with it. Consequently, [Allāh says] do not put [yourselves] before My Messenger. That is, do not speak until he has spoken, and do not act until he has issued an order. For truly, the One who has made īmān beloved to you is more knowledgeable than yourselves concerning that which is upright for His slaves.
And realise that, had you not been granted the tawfīq of Allāh, your submission to īmān would be sorely lacking. Your īmān originates not from your own council, nor were you given the ability to grant yourselves tawfīq, or even to move towards it. For your souls are deficient of this and could never achieve such a feat.
So, if My Messenger was to follow you in many matters, you would find yourselves in hardship. Furthermore, it would drive you to ruin yourselves and corrupt that which would have been good for you without you even realising it. And do not think that your souls have an innate desire for īmān, just as you find yourselves naturally inclining towards righteousness and honour. Rather, had I not made [īmān] beloved to you and embellished it in your hearts, and made its opposite revolting to you, your own souls would never have accepted belief.”
- Source: Madārij al-Sālikīn 1:405
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī