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The Creation Intends to Benefit from You While Allāh Seeks Only Your Benefit

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

A reminder of the evil intentions of mankind towards you and the perfection of Allāh.

On the authority of Abū Dharr (رضي الله عنه): The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) narrated from his Lord—the Exalted in Might: “O my servants! You shall never be able to benefit me in any way, nor will you ever be able to harm me in any way. O my servants! It is only your deeds which I enumerate for you. Then, I recompense you in consideration of them. So whomever is recompensed with goodness, let him praise Allāh. Whomever encounters other than that, let him blame none but himself.”

Narrated by Muslim: 2577

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim comments:

The creation does not intend to cause you benefit in the first instance. Rather, they intend to use you as a means of benefit for themselves. While the Lord—the Most High—wants only that you benefit. He does not seek to use you to benefit Himself. Therefore, this relationship is representative of unadulterated benefit for you, completely devoid of harm. This is contrary to when the creation attempts to cause you benefit, as this benefit may be accompanied by that which also harms you. Even if this harm is sustained in the path of attaining their favour.

So contemplate this well. For truly recognising it will prevent you from putting all of your hopes in the creation, or seeking to invest in them while ignoring Allāh—the Exalted in Might, or seeking benefit from them, or using them to defend against that which harms, or that your heart is attached to them. They only want to use you as a means of benefit for themselves, their desire to benefit you is not pure. Such is the state of all relationships of the creation with one another. This is the state of a son with his father, a husband with his wife, the master with his servant, and partners with their representatives.

The truly happy one deals with all parties for the sake of Allāh alone, not for their sake. He behaves righteously and treats them with goodness for the sake of Allāh—the Most High. He fears Allāh with regards to them. He does not fear them in addition to Allāh. He hopes for the attainment of reward from Allāh through his righteous dealings with them. He does not put his hopes in them in addition to Allāh. He loves them due to the existing love he harbours for Allāh. He does not love them in addition to Allāh. As the close friends and allies of Allāh—the Exalted in Might—said:

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

“(Saying): “We feed you seeking Allāh’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.”
(Insān, 76:9)

Source: Ighāthah al-Lahfān: 53-54
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: February 29, 2024
Edited: March 1, 2024

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