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Commentary on the hadith: “but whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, [and] whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent”

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Publication : 26-09-2015

Views : 13071

Question

How sound is the hadith: “whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever strives to be patient, Allah will bestow patience upon him”?
What does it mean?
Praise be to Allah

The hadith mentioned is a saheeh hadith; its soundness is agreed upon. 

Al-Bukhaari (1469) and Muslim (1053) narrated from Abu Sa‘eed al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) that some people from among the Ansaar asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and he gave them, then they asked him and he gave them, then they asked him and he gave them, until what he had was exhausted. He said: “Whatever I have of good I will never withhold from you, but whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever strives to be patient Allah will bestow patience upon him, and no one is ever given anything better and more abundant than patience.” 

Imam Ahmad (11091) narrated it via another isnaad with the wording: “whoever strives to be patient, Allah will make him patient, whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent of means, and whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content, and I cannot find any provision for you that is more abundant than patience.” Its isnaad is hasan. 

With regard to the words “whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content”, al-Qurtubi said: “whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content” that is, He will reward him for his refraining from asking by preserving his dignity and meeting his needs. 

Ibn at-Teen said: What is meant by the words “Allah will make him content” is that either Allah will grant him sufficient wealth so that he will have no need to ask of others, or He will bless him with contentment. 

Al-Fath (11/304-305) 

Al-Qaari said in Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (4/1311): 

“whoever refrains from asking” that is, whoever tries to force himself to refrain from asking of others. At-Teebi said: or he asks Allah, may He be exalted, to help him to refrain from asking (of people), “Allah will make him content” that is, He will help him to refrain, which is protecting him from falling into that which is prohibited. In other words, he will be content with the least provision and will refrain from asking of others; it will be easy for him to become content, and that is a treasure that will never fade. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Whoever seeks help to refrain from that which Allah has prohibited of women, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will make him content (with what Allah has permitted) and will make him chaste. 

The person who follows his own whims and desires with regard to carnal desires is surely doomed – Allah forbid – because if he follows his own whims and desires, and begins to pursue women, he will be doomed. His eyes will commit zina, his ears will commit zina, his hand will commit zina, his feet will commit zina, then his private part will commit zina, which is the obscene deed – may Allah protect us. 

But if a person strives to refrain from this prohibited action, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will make him content, and He will protect him and will protect his family too.

End quote from Sharh Riyadh as-Saaliheen (1/196) 

With regard to the words “whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent” – and according to another report, “whoever is content with his lot, Allah will suffice him”: 

Al-Qurtubi said: The words “whoever seeks to be independent of means” refer to the one who seeks the help of Allah and no other, and the words “Allah will suffice him” mean that He will surely give him that which will make him independent of means so that he has no need to ask of people, and He will create in his heart contentment, because contentment is the wealth of the heart.

Al-Fath (11/304) 

Al-Qaari said in al-Mirqaat (4/1311): 

The words “whoever seeks to be independent of means” mean: whoever outwardly acts as if he is independent of means and as if he has no need of people’s wealth, and refrains from asking them, so that the unaware would think that he is well off because he never asks of others, “Allah will suffice him” that is, He will make him independent of means, i.e.,  He will make him feel content  and that he has no need of others. End quote. 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

That is, whoever wants to be content with what Allah has given him and wants to feel that he has no need of what people have, Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, will suffice him. As for the one who asks of people and feels that he needs what they have, he will continue to feel that need – Allah forbid – and will never feel that he has no need of others. For contentment is in the heart, so whoever wants to feel content with what Allah has given him and wants to feel that he has no need of what people have, Allah will suffice him and make him feel that he has no need of people, and He will make him a man of pride and dignity who will never ask of people.

End quote from Sharh Riyadh as-Saaliheen (1/195) 

It was narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “The upper hand (the one it gives) is better than the lower hand (the one that receives), and one of you should start (when giving charity) with those for whom he is responsible. The best of charity is that which is given when one is well off. Whoever seeks to be independent of means, Allah will make him independent, and whoever refrains from asking (of people), Allah will make him content.” I said: (Should we not ask) even of you, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “(Not) even from me.” I said: Hakeem said:  I shall never let my hand be beneath the hand of another man of the Arabs.

Narrated by Ahmad (15578) with a saheeh isnaad 

As-Sindi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: I say: “(Should we not ask) even of you” means: is it not appropriate to ask even from you?

End quote from Haashiyat al-Musnad (24/344). 

With regard to the words “whoever strives to be patient, Allah will make him patient”, al-Qurtubi said: “whoever strives to be patient” means that he strives and struggles with his nafs to restrain himself from asking and to show patience until Allah grants him provision. “Allah will make him patient” means: He will give him strength and control over his nafs until he is in control of himself, and accepts to go through hardship (without asking of people). At that point, Allah will be with him and help him to attain what he is seeking.

Al-Fath (11/304) 

Ibn al-Jawzi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Because refraining from asking requires one to conceal his situation and need from people and act as if he has no need of them; in that way a person will be acting as Allah wants him to act, but in a hidden way, so he will gain reward commensurate with his level of sincerity. Patience is described as the best gift one may be given because it restrains the nafs from doing what it likes and compels it to do what it dislikes now with regard to that which if he does it or refrains from doing it, it will harm him in the long run.

End quote from al-Fath (11/304) 

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The words “Allah will make him content” mean: He will reward him for the virtue of refraining from asking of people by protecting his dignity and meeting his needs.

End quote from al-Mufhim (9/66) 

With regard to the words “and no one is ever given anything better and more generous than patience”, al-Qaari said: 

That is because the status of patience is the highest status, for it combines a number of virtues that are connected to it.

End quote from Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (4/1311) 

Ibn Battaal said: 

The highest in status before Allah of those who are patient is the one who is patient in refraining from what Allah has forbidden, and is patient in doing acts of obedience to Allah. Whoever does that is one of the elite of Allah’s slaves. Do you not see that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “and no one is ever given anything better and more abundant than patience”? 

End quote from Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhaari (10/182) 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

This hadith encourages us to strive to be independent of people and refrain from asking them, by being patient, putting our trust in Allah and waiting for what Allah grants as provision. Patience is the best thing that a person may be given, because the reward for it is unlimited.

End quote from al-Fath (11/304) 

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

In this hadith we are encouraged to refrain from asking of people and to be content with what is available, so as to preserve one’s dignity, even if what is available is little.

End quote from Sharh Muslim (7/126) 

For more information, please see also the answer to question no. 20229 

And Allah knows best.

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