As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 3


Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills

'Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His servants. Soorah al-Isra (17): 30
This verse tells us that Allah is the One, Who provides or withholds. He makes rich whomever He wills, and He makes poor whomever He wills, by His Wisdom. He gives riches to some of His slaves so that they may appreciate the Bounty and spend in Allah's Cause and receive rewards. He deprives some of them so that they observe patience, honesty and satisfaction, and achieve rewards. Such is because Allah knows and sees who deserves to be rich and who deserves to be poor.

Imam Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) writes in the Tafseer of this verse, 'In some cases, richness may be decreed so that a person gets carried away, leading his own doom. In other cases, poverty may be a punishment. We seek refuge with Allah from both.'

A suitable example here is of Qaroon, whom Allah provided with enormous wealth but it only proved to be a punishment for him due to his arrogance and pride. Allah says in the Qur'aan about Qaroon, 'Verily, Qaroon was of Musa's people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men.'

The righteous ones among his people exhorted Qaroon by way of sincere advice and guidance. They said, 'Do not exult (be proud and arrogant). Verily, Allah likes not those who exult,' meaning do not be arrogant and proud of your wealth. 'But seek with that which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter,' meaning use this great wealth and immense blessing Allah has given you to worship your Lord and draw closer to Him by doing good deeds which will earn you reward in this world and the Hereafter, 'and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world;' that which Allah has permitted of food, drink, clothing and dwelling. Your Lord has rights over you, your family has rights over you, and your visitors have rights over you. So give each of them their due. 'and be generous as Allah has been generous to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the mischief-makers.' [Soorah al-Qasas (28): 78]

Nevertheless, Qaroon responded arrogantly saying, 'This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I posses.' 'Qatadah said, 'Meaning due to knowledge that I possess of the different methods of earning. This happens to many people from those whom Allah has enriched and they have begun making tremendous business. Such a person attributes something to himself and says, 'I have knowledge of the different methods of earning.' And similar statements, or if he is given a position (job), he says, 'This is due to my efforts.'' [Interpretation of Kitab at-Tawheed, by Shaikh Salih Ibn Abdul Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem aali Shaikh]

'this means that he was deserving of that, and that Allah did not favor him with this thing, or He favored him with it because he deserved this favoring. Two kinds of people are included in this description that has been mentioned in the verse, the person who attributes something to himself and he basically does not attribute it to Allah. The second is the person attributes something to himself from the aspect of deserving and that he sees himself as deserving that thing from Allah, as occurs with some of those who have been deceived. The action of the slave is a means and this means differs. It may be effective by the permission of Allah, and thus, the matter goes back to the fact that it is a bounty of Allah that He gives to whomever He wishes.' [Interpretation of Kitab at-Tawheed, by Shaikh Salih Ibn Abdul Aziz Ibn Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem aali Shaikh]

Allah says, 'Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheist, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins.' [Soorah al-Qasas (28): 78] Because Allah knows them well and they will be punished without being called to account.

'So, he went forth before his people in his finery.' Wearing his fine clothes, accompanied by his fine horses, his servants and followers. 'Those who were desirous of the life of the world said, 'Ah would that we had the like of what Qaroon has been given! Verily, he is the owner of a great fortune.' Meaning he is very lucky and has a great share in this world but when the people of religious knowledge heard this, they said to them: 'Woe to you! The reward of Allah is better for those who believe and do righteous deeds,' [Soorah al-Qasas (28): 78] as is also reported in the authentic Hadeeth, 'Allah has prepared for His righteous servants what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the heart of a human cannot comprehend. Recite if you wish, 'No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.'

Allah further says, 'So, We caused the earth to swallow him and his dwelling place. Then he had no group to help him against Allah, nor was he one of those who could save themselves.' [Soorah al-Qasas (28): 78] Meaning, his wealth, servants and followers were of no avail to him; they could not protect him from the wrath of Allah. Nor could he help or save himself. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu aliahi wa-sallam) said, 'When a man among the people who came before you went out wearing out green garments, walking proudly and arrogantly, Allah commanded the earth to swallow him up, and he will remain sinking down into it until the Day of Resurrection.' [(Hasan) Musnad Ahmad]

'And those who desired his position the day before,' i.e., those who witnessed his finery and desired to be like him, saw that he was swallowed up by the earth, 'began to say: 'Know you not that it is Allah Who expands the provision or restricts it to whomsoever He pleases of His servants. Had it not been that Allah was Gracious to us, He could have caused the earth to swallow us up! Know you not that the disbelievers will never be successful.' [Soorah al-Qasas (28): 81-82] Meaning, wealth does not indicate that Allah is pleased with its owner, for Allah gives and withholds, allows times of difficulty and times of ease, raises and lowers, His is the most complete Wisdom. Thus, Qaroon's people learned a lesson from his being swallowed by the earth and Allah related this story in the Qur'aan for us to take lesson from. 'But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient.' [Soorah at-Taghabun (92): 8] Ibn Abbas said, 'This means he is stingy with his wealth and considers himself to be in no need of his Lord. 'And belies al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil. And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction).' [Soorah at-Taghabun (92): 9-11]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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