the right perspective

 

Signs of Bliss & Misery

Gems from Ibn al-Qayyim [1]

From the signs of bliss and success is that a person,whenever he grows in knowledge, he grows in humility and compassion. Whenever he grows in action, he grows in fear and caution. Whenever he grows in age, he diminishes in avarice. Whenever he grows in wealth, he grows in generosity and in giving. Whenever he grows in strength and status, he grows in drawing closer to people so as to help fulfill their needs and to be of service to them.

From the signs of misery is that a person, whenever he grows in knowledge, he grows in pride and arrogance. Whenever he grows in action, he grows in boasting; viewing others with contempt and having an inflated opinion of himself. Whenever he grows in age, he grows in avarice. Whenever he grows in wealth,he grows in miserliness. And whenever he grows in strength and status,he grows in arrogance and pride.

Also, being honoured with sovereignty, authority, wealth, etc., is but a test or trial. Allah, Exalted is He, said about His Prophet Solomon when he saw the Throne of Sheba before him: This is from the bounty of my Lord, to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. [2]

So tests may be an affliction from Allah, Transcendant is He, or they could be a blessing from Him. Allah, Exalted is He, says: As for man,when His Lord tries him and is thus generous and favourable to him, he [boastfuly] says: “My Lord has honoured me.” But if He tries him and restricts his provisions,he says: “My Lord has humiliated me.” But no! [3]. Meaning, not all those whose provisions are enlarged or who receive generosity and blessings are of those who have been honoured by Me. Conversely, not all those whose provisions are restricted and who are tried with affliction are of those who have been humiliated by Me.

 

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