- Islamic Education
- Madarij Assalikin
The state of neediness:
Dear brother, this is the 21st lesson of Madarij As-Salikin (the Stations of the Seekers in the Ranks of 'You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything)'). Today we are tackling the station of neediness.
Dear brother, whoever knows himself well, knows his Lord. The first attribute of man is that he is in need of his Lord, so once he dispenses with his Lord, he will suffer the adverse consequences of his bad deeds. The real worship is being in bad need to Almighty Allah. Actually, man is poor, and the truth about him as a creature for whom Almighty Allah has subjected the whole universe is that he needs Allah in everything. Thus, when he turns away from this truth, becomes oblivious about it and thinks mistakenly that it is something else, he is considered ignorant.
The difference between knowledge and ignorance:Dear brother, the simplest definition of ignorance is that it is whatever contradicts reality. For instance, when you refer to a cup of water and say it is a cup of milk, then this is ignorance. Again; ignorance is the opposite of reality. Thus, you should realize that there is a truth about you which you have to accept whether you like or not. You can never deny this crystal-clear truth about you, nor can you make a truth of your own imagination. Otherwise, you will be ignorant.
Let us move to the definition of knowledge, do you know what it is? It is realizing things as they are, provided that such recognition is supported by an evidence. For instance, if a doctor wrongly thinks that the high blood pressure and the hyperthermia of a patient are indications of a certain disease, but they are indications of a different disease, his diagnosis is wrong, and he lacks knowledge.
In previous lessons I defined knowledge as the stable and absolutely correct relation between two definite things. This relation is confirmed by the reality and supported by proofs. If not, it becomes invalid and mere ignorance. The relation between two things means law; when we say all metals expand by heat, and we prove this with a proof, then it turns to be truth. If this scientific fact cannot be proved for a certain reason, then reality can confirm it, but if it is not proved by reality, it remains false information. Whatever is not proved by reality, it turns into tradition. Do you what tradition is? It is the truth which lacks evidence. Now, what is ignorance? It is whatever contradicts reality. What is the crystal-clear fact? It is whatever does not accept doubts, illusions or assumptions. We should believe that knowledge is realizing things as they are, it is to understand an Ayah as it is intended by Almighty Allah, to understand a ruling as it is referred to in the Prophetic Sunnah and to know the truth about the universe, man, the worldly life, after death, money and its rule…etc. If you realize everything as it is, then you are knowledgeable. However, if you want to convince people of the facts you know, you should give them evidences. When you do that, you are considered a knowledgeable person.
How nice it would be if our minds are full of facts. It is a serious problem to meet someone whose mind is full of illusions and superstitions. This is ignorance; you may think ignorance is the lack of knowledge, but it is not; it is having incorrect knowledge. The ignorant is whoever knows things that have no relation with reality. For example, there is no relation between spilling water which contains salt on the road of someone to make him love his wife. There is no relation between the spilling of the water and making the husband love his wife.
One of the deceased Damascus scholars, may Allah have mercy upon him, was gifted and blessed by Almighty Allah. One of his students came to him and asked him repeatedly to push him to Makkah, so that he can perform Hajj (the student thought mistakenly that since his teacher is blessed by Almighty Allah he could send him to Makkah by pushing him.) The Shiek knew that the student is ignorant, so he asked him to come the next day to At-Tekkiyah Al-Sulaimaniyah (A huge building in Damascus where the Tekkiye Masjid is) and told him that he had to swear to keep whatever happened a secret. When the two got there, the Sheikh ordered the young man to stand on one side of the fountain in the courtyard of that Masjid, and he pushed him into water. You should throw away all incorrect information from your mind. Ignorance means incorrect information. People think that since they belong to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, they are blessed and be granted Allah's Mercy, so they can do whatever they want! How ignorant those people are!
Sahl bin Sa'd narrated:
I heard the Prophet saying, "I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount (Kauthar), and whoever will come to it, will drink from it, and whoever will drink from it, will never become thirsty after that. There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and then a barrier will be set up between me and them." Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri added that the Prophet further said: "I will say those people are from me. It will be said, 'You do not know what changes and new things they did after you.' Then I will say, 'Far removed (from mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed (the religion) after me! "
If you stick to the belief that the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, would intercede for you in spite of the many sins you commit throughout your life, you are ignorant.
I hope that this lesson makes you know that knowledge is realizing things as they are and supporting your realization by an evidence, while ignorance is realizing things incorrectly. Let me give you a simple example; it is ignorance when someone tells you that whenever the red light of your car flashes, it is just to entertain you, whereas the truth is that the function of it is to warn you that there is something wrong with your car and it could be dangerous. If I tell you that this red light is a decoration in your car, and that it is just for amusement, then this is definitely ignorance. If you can keep all wrong beliefs, imaginations, ideas, information and whatever has to do with ignorance from your mind, you are a hero.
If you want to be happy in the worldly life, seek knowledge, if you want to be happy in the Hereafter, seek knowledge and if you want to be happy in both of them seek knowledge.
I intended by this introduction to make you know that there is a truth about you which you should realize as it is, whether you like it or not. It is just like when you live in a house; it is a fact that you live in a house where all your properties are. This fact does not change if the house you live in is big or small, dark or enlightened or yours or not.
The truth about man:You should realize that there is a truth about you which you cannot deny whether you like it or not; you are Allah's servant, so you are in need of Him in everything. Also whatever you have is not yours; it is in the Hand of Allah:
"O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things."Almighty Allah owns your brain, so no matter how important your Ph.D; even if it is in physics and from the most famous university in America. If Allah changes something in your brain, you may become insane. You own nothing; neither your mind, your heart, lungs, nerves nor muscles:
"O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom,"
Whatever you have is Allah's; if you believe in this truth you will find yourself driven to Allah because He owns everything. In other word, whose Hand is working inside the nerves? It is Allah's. If a drop of blood clots in some arteries in the brain it may cause paralysis, loss of memory or madness. Everything is controlled by Allah, so the subject of our lesson is the obvious truth about man. Do you know what it is? It is being in need of Allah, and that Allah is capable of controlling everything
While an airplane was flying forty three thousand feet over Europe, it burnt in the air, cracked and fell down. All its passengers died except one. Can you believe that there was a survival of the plane which burst at forty three thousand feet over Europe? The seat of that survival was exactly where the airplane cracked. He fell on five meters of snow covering branches of cypress tree. Those branches with the snow covering them were like pillows which absorbed the collision, so the survival fell down standing:
"O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom,"I knew a man who was away from religion, and he committed many sins in his life. When he was in the peak of his life and in the peak of his energy and power he died. A very trivial thing caused him death; he wanted to adjust the place of an electronic device on the wall, so he had to put it a little higher than where it was. He was compelled to use a chair to do that, but when he stood on the chair, the chair cracked and the man fell. He went to the hospital, stayed there for fifteen days and died. Allah saved a man who fell down from an airplane, and in a trivial accident He took the soul of someone.
You should know that you are in need to Allah. For trivial reasons, Allah may either give you everything or take from you everything. A man was driving his car, but suddenly oil started to spill because a screw was about to fall. He stopped his car and wanted to check the defect. It was afternoon, and the sun rays were very strong so upon checking his car, he got fever and died.
"O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom,"
This is the first truth which I want to convey to you from the very beginning of our lesson today; you are always in need of Allah. The question is, why does Allah wants us to be poor and in need of Him? The adjective poor here has a different meaning from the one mentioned in the following Ayah:
"As-Sadaqat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqara' (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah's Cause (i.e. for Mujahidun - those fighting in the holy wars), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.)"What is mentioned in this Ayah has nothing to do with the subject of our lesson, but when Allah says:
"O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise."All people, whether they are healthy, ill, powerful, weak, rich, poor, old, young, smart, stupid, good looking or ugly are in need of Allah. Let me repeat the question, why are all of us poor?
Because the secret of our happiness is being poor. If we are in need of Allah, we turn to Him, and when we turn to Him we feel happy in His proximity. On the other hand, if we dispense with Allah, we will be miserable without Him. Allah says:
"Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak (cannot be patient to leave sexual intercourse with woman)."
I would like to sum up the points we have tackled so far:
- The first point: There is a truth about you, so you have to accept it whether you like it or not.
- The second point: You are poor and in need of Allah.
- The third point: Being in need of Allah is for your own interest, happiness, religion, the worldly life, the Hereafter and your turning to Allah.
The meaning of poverty:Our lesson today is not about the common meaning of poverty. People think that the poor is whose income is not enough to fulfill his need, or he is someone who needs financial help. However, in the scholars' view the poor are those who are extremely rich, but they are still poor.
Allah may send you a distress which you cannot get rid of even if you want to pay all your huge wealth. While I was in the doctor's clinic, he received a phone call. After he finished with it, he told me that the caller was someone whose father had a fatal disease. He said that the son told the doctor that he could pay as much money as the doctors wanted and that he could travel with his father abroad to the best hospitals in the world, but the doctor kept repeating that all would be in vain. The patient had a fifth-degree tumor, so if doctors tried to get rid of it, it would spread in the patient's body immediately. Upon listening to the doctor, I was shocked and I started to think about calamities which cannot be solved by money. Thus, whoever thinks that his money can be the solution of all problems, is ignorant, because there are many problems which cannot be solved by money not matter how abundant the money is.
Sometimes Almighty Allah humiliates a man even if he is very powerful. A Minister of Interiors in a country hold a press conference two days ago, he was at the highest level of power, but the very next day he committed suicide. He was the Minister of Interiors, which means a powerful man, but the day when he committed suicide he was very weak and on the verge of collapse. Therefore, whoever says that he is strong is ignorant, because Almighty Allah is the Most Powerful. Someone may say that he is handsome, but he may have an accident in which his face could be deformed. You may say that if he goes under a plastic surgery, his face may look like as it is before the accident, but handsomeness can fade away as time passes. Similarly, you can lose your power and money out of sudden.
A man hated the country where he lived, so he decided to live in another country. Before leaving his country, he sold his car, his factory, his shop and his house in order to collect the money and deposit them in the bank. He wanted to buy a prestigious house where he intended to live and put a huge amount of money in the bank, so that he could spend money from the interests of that amount. However, for a simple mistake he lost everything; he deposited his money using the name of someone. When that person guaranteed that the money was transferred, he told the owner that the money was his and he would not give him anything.
No matter how healthy you are, how powerful you are and how knowledgeable you are, you stand in need of Allah. A doctor may feel proud of his specialty, and he always keeps himself healthy, forgetting that he stands in need of Allah. Out of Allah's Wisdom, some doctors who are specialists in the digestive disease, suffer from a stomach ulcer. Other doctors may suffer from the disease of their own specialty, but why? Because when man thinks that he is not in need of Allah, Allah punishes him. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, said:
"From his secure place a careful person is usually attacked."He, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, also said:
"No care avails anything against Divine Decree."If you want to be the most powerful person, put your trust in Allah, and if you want to be the most prosperous, be more confident in what is in Allah's Hand than what is in yours.
Neediness:The common meaning of poverty is lacking the money to suffice one's needs. We are not tackling this meaning in our lesson today; we are interested in the Ayah in which Almighty Allah says:
"O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise."Let me tell you this truth; When does man feel his neediness? He feels it in two occasions. When he either knows Allah or knows himself, and this knowledge can be sought by three ways: contemplation, reading and sight. By contemplating over the universe, can you say that the Creator of this universe is weak? Of course not. You will realize that He is Powerful. Moreover, pondering upon this universe makes you know many facts. Not only Allah's Creation, but also His Actions make you know many facts. You may notice amazing things by Allah's Actions; you may see how someone rich becomes poor out of the blue, and how someone poor becomes rich. Also you may see how a powerful man is humiliated by becoming weak and a weak person is dignified by becoming powerful. Our Master Yusuf, may Allah have peace upon him, was a slave in Al-'Aziz palace, but later on he became 'Aziz of Egypt. When a maiden in Al-'Aziz Palace saw the procession of Prophet Yusuf, may Allah have peace upon him, she commented on that saying, "Glory to Allah! He made the slaves kings because they obey Him, and he made the kings slaves because they disobey Him."
I told you previously that man discovers the truth by the experiences he went through, but it will be too late. Thus, if we understand the Words of Allah and the words of the Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, we will benefit from them and know many facts earlier in our life. After Al-Fajr prayer, I started to think about the minute Fir'aun (Pharaoh) was about to die, so I just want to clarify a point about what happened exactly. When Fir'aun was about to die, he said, "I believe that La ilaha illa (Huwa): (none has the right to be worshipped but) He," in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah's Will)." Fir'aun was the one who said previously, "I am your lord, most high," who verily, transgressed all bounds (in crimes, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.), who were afflicting the Children of Israel with horrible torment, killing their sons and letting their females live and who said, "O chiefs! I know not that you have an ilah (a god) other than me." What made that tyrant say when he was about to drown, "I believe that La ilaha illa (Huwa): (none has the right to be worshipped but) He," in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims (those who submit to Allah's Will)."? I deduced from this Ayah that the issue is not about believing or not believing; it is about believing in the right time, and when it is not too late. All of you must believe; the evidence is manifested in the believing of the most infidel man ever, but it was too late; when his belief does not benefit him because he spent all his life disobeying Allah. Let me repeat this point: the issue is not about to believe or not, but it is about to believe in the right time; before it is too late. Fir'aun believed in Allah, but Allah blamed him saying:
"Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the Mufsidun (evil-doers, corrupts, etc.)."Take for example the case of the student after he has an exam. If he fails in writing the correct answer, it will be too late for him to know that answer after finishing the exam. Thus, Believing in Allah is a matter of time. We believe either when we are powerful, healthy and young, so that we can make use of our faith or when it is too late and regret will be useless.
As I told you previously, ignorance is the incorrect information, incorrect saying, incorrect conception, incorrect realization or incorrect philosophy. No matter how high your study degree is, you are considered ignorant if you believe in thousands of wrong pieces of information. Thus, the first point is to get used to deal with facts and not with superstitions, illusions, doubts, traditions or ideas without proof to support them. The second point is that there is a reality and a truth about you. Suppose you have a vehicle of 5 horsepower, and you have a -5 ton- goods. You may regret having such a vehicle, but this is another story. Let us say that such a vehicle is able to carry five hundred kilos only, which is a fact about it. You may either make it carry beyond its scope and cause it imbalance or deal with it realistically. The Muslim is not an imaginary person or a dreamer; he doesn't live in illusions. The people of the worldly life get disgusted if someone goes beyond reality. I tell you the true believer is in the highest degree of reality, and you man is in need of Allah.
In one of the mental sanitarium, there is dormitory No.6 where the most insane people are. There was a man in that dormitory who take off all his clothes and eats his stool. You cannot imagine that; a man who has systems, brain, arteries, veins, muscles and nerves, and he can move, eat and talk, but he has a mental disorder which makes him eat his stool. Someone who I trust told me that one of his female relatives has to be tied to her bed in order to prevent her from eating her stool. Always remember that you are in need of Allah, because your brain is poor and your muscles are poor…etc.
Ibn Umar said, "Rarely would the Messenger of Allah, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, stand from a sitting until he supplicated with these words for his Companions:
"O Allah, apportion to us the fear of You that will stand between us and acts of disobedience to You. And the obedience to You that will bring us to Your Paradise. And the certainty sufficient for You to make the calamities of this world easy for us. Grant us enjoying of our hearing, our sight, and our power as long as You grant us life, and do the same for those who inherit from us. Grant us victory over those who have wronged us and help us against those who are hostile to us. Let no calamity befall our din, do not let worldly affairs become our greatest concern or all that we know about, and do not let those rule over us who do not show us mercy."
Man's power, if we suppose that he has any, is closely related to the functions of his organs. If his kidneys stop working, his life will turn into hell. If the tear duct is blocked the tears will keep running over his cheeks scratching them, and his life will be turned into hell. If the balance system in the inner ear is defected, you can't stand and you will fall down immediately. Imagine that you had no balance system, you would need a base of 60 to 70 cm. You can see the prove in the plastic models. These models cannot stand by their own, they should have a base of 70 cm to stand on. Therefore, out of Allah's Wisdom, you have two small nice legs which suit your body structure and make you balanced by the balance system The inner ear balance mechanism has two main parts: the three semicircular canals and the vestibule. Together they are called the vestibular labyrinth and are filled with fluid. When the head moves, fluid within the labyrinth moves and stimulates nerve endings that send impulses along the balance nerve to the brain. Those impulses are sent to the brain in equal amounts from both the right and left inner ear. Nerve impulses may be started by the semicircular canals when turning suddenly, or the impulses may come from the vestibule, which responds to changes of position, such as lying down or turning over. Without the balance system you can't ride a bike. You see how you are in need of Allah; you are in need to the substance that Allah created in the eye to prevent it from freezing, otherwise man would need glasses to protect his eyes from freezing if he were in Finland.
Doctors have found out that the life of man depends on thousands of conditions. The pituitary gland is the queen of the endocrine glands; when man sees a snake the image of the snake will be on the retina. There are 130 million cones and 900 thousand optic nerves, so the optic nerve then send the messages to the brain. After transferring the image to the brain, it recognize the image according to the concepts it stores. When the toddler sees a snake, he is not afraid of it, but later on, his father tells him that it is harmful, and at school he will know that it is dangerous when he reads about it. Certain conceptions which are related to the meaning of the snake starts to be formed in his mind, so when he sees a snake he recalls the conception of the snake, and he is afraid of it. When he is scared the mind sends messages to the pituitary gland alarming it of the danger. The pituitary gland in its turn sends messages to the adrenal gland to send four orders immediately. The first one is sent to the heart to beat faster. The heart rate rises from 80 to 150 peats for the blood to run into the muscles, so man can run away or resist the danger. During this process, the second order makes the lungs work faster, and the third one excrete s new quantity of sugar in your blood. You do not know what is going on with you when you sees something dangerous. Notice how you are in need of Allah; in every system and every gland of your body.
What is diabetes? It is the body's failure to produce insulin. The pancreas produces insulin which helps the combustion of sugar in 37 degrees Celsius. If someone has diabetes, he needs to be injected with insulin. I keep repeating that there is a truth about you whether you like or not, and whether you accept it or reject it; you are in need of Allah. One of the knowledgeable people said: I've no means but my desperate need of you;
by which I push away the need of everything
None can help but keep knocking at your door ( i.e. continual supplication to You);
as no door should be knocked if I'm sent away from your door( no one else except You can reply to my needs ).
Being in need of Allah means that you are rich.
I would like to summarize the points I have discussed up till now: the first point is that you should deal with facts, the second one you should believe that you are poor and so you are in need of Allah, the third one is why has Allah made you poor? Because He wants you to turn to him, to seek His help, to resort to him and to feel happy with His Proximity and the fourth point is that if you are in need of Allah, you are rich. If you need Allah in power then you are the most powerful. The man guarantees to have wealth and become rich when he depends on a very wealthy authority. For instance, if here are two students, and the first one has one lira, while the other has no money at all, but if he asks his father to give him million liras, he will do that. Who is the rich student then? The first student apparently has one lira, whereas the second has none, but the first one has no father; he is orphan and he has just one lira. The second one, on the other hand, has no money, but his father is a millionaire and he will give his son whatever he wants.
Keep in mind that if Allah deprives someone of getting something, it should not be considered an offense to him.
Giving and depriving:
We come to another precise point which is deduced from Allah's saying:
"As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): "My Lord has honoured me." *But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: "My Lord has humiliated me!"* Nay! But you treat not the orphans with kindness and generosity (i.e. you neither treat them well, nor give them their exact right of inheritance)!"Almighty Allah said nay; nay is used in language for negation and deterrence. It means that Allah's giving is not a sign of honoring man and His depriving is not a sign humiliation man. Allah's giving is a trial and His depriving is a remedy. The fundamental rule is that you should never ever consider what Allah has granted you a bless except if you use it in obeying Him. This is why in the creed money is defined as a trial; if you spend it in the obedience of Allah, it becomes a blessing, but if you spend it in the disobedience of Allah, it becomes a curse. The same goes for the woman who becomes your wife; if you help her obey Allah, she is a blessing, but if you leave her commit sins and cause corruption to sh3er, she is a curse. Therefore, don't say to someone to whom Allah has granted money congratulation unless he uses it and spends it in the obedience of Allah. Also, don't say to someone who enjoys good health congratulation unless he uses it in the obedience of Allah. Everything in the worldly life ( money, beauty, health, intelligence, power etc…) is a trial
"As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): "My Lord has honoured me." But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: "My Lord has humiliated me!" Nay!"Again; Allah's giving is a trial and His depriving is a remedy. O man, if Allah afflicts you with something, don't be sad and say, "Allah deprives me of that thing and He has given it to other man. Allah does not love me." This is a misconception; you should be convinced that because Allah loves you He afflicts you. It was narrated in the Noble Hadith,
"If Allah loves His servant, He afflicts him, and if He loves him deeply, he kept him for Himself " They ask, "what the meaning of that ?" He replied, "Allah leaves him no family, nor money."
Also, some scholars said, "Poverty and wealth are trials from Allah to His servants."
"As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): "My Lord has honoured me." But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: "My Lord has humiliated me!" Nay!"
I repeat: Allah's giving (whether money, beauty, strength, good health etc…) is not a sign honoring man, and His depriving is not a sign of humiliating him. Now the question is: How does Allah honor man? Who is the honored by Allah? The following Ayat clarify this point. In the first one, Almighty Allah says:
"And when he [Yusuf (Joseph)] attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the Muhsinun (doers of good)."Also He says:
"O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. one of the Muttaqun (pious) Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware."The honored man is whoever obeys Allah, acts upon His orders and keeps straight on His Path. The pious man is not whoever flies or walks on the surface of water, but he is the one who enjoins Al-Ma'ruf and forbids Al-Munkar.
The truth about neediness:Before concluding this lesson there are facts that should be mentioned.
First of all being in need of Allah apparently means being humble to Him. You may find someone who is arrogant, so he keeps saying I can do this, I can spend huge amounts of money, I can humiliate that person…etc. You can feel superiority in his speech. Most people who are like this man are away from Allah, so you can notice by their behavior how arrogant, haughty and proud they are.
Let me tell you this story, which most of you know. The last King of Al-Ghasasenah, Jabalah ibn Al-Ayham was performing Hajj, and while he was circumambulating the Ka'bah, a Bedouin from Fazarah tribe trod upon his garment, so it fell from his shoulders. Jabalah got angry, and he boxed the Bedouin and broke his nose although the man said that he did it unintentionally. The man hastened to the Khalifah Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, to complain about Jabalah, so Umar requested that Jabalah be summoned to trial. When he arrived, our Master Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him:
- "Did the man tell me the truth?"
- Jaballah said, "I will never be like those who conceal the truth or deny it. I disciplined the guy and retained my right with my own hand.
- Umar said, "The guy's right has to be redeemed! Your nail is still stained with his blood! Or else he will break your nose as you did to him."
- Jabalah said, "How come, O Commander of Believers?! He is an ordinary man, and I am a king! How can you be pleased to see a star falling down?!"
- Umar said, "Desires of ignorance and insolent arrogance of Jahilliyah have no place to dwell with us after we have established a new civilization of human equality and justice. Salves are now equal to free men; the poor are equal to the rich."
- Jaballah said, "It was a mere illusion when I thought that I would be with you stronger and more honorable! I will apostatize if you force me!"
- Umar said, "The neck of an apostate is to be chopped off by sword. It is a new world that we are now building – a world wherein wrong things are set right and differences between slaves and free men are eliminated!"
This is a situation in which man shows his arrogance and haughtiness to make people think how strong he is. Another man may behave in a different way in such a situation. He may show his humbleness and submission to Allah.
One of the scholars said, "poverty has a beginning and an end, and it could be explicit and implicit. its Beginning is to be humble to Allah, and its end is to be dignified by Him." The Messenger, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, is the most humble man before Allah. Upon the opening of Makkah, he entered it modestly, although it was the same city whose people forced him to get out of it with his Companions, conspired to kill him and hurt him and his Companions. When he, may Allah have peace and blessings upon him, entered it, the tail of his turban almost touched the neck of his camel out of modesty. He is the most dignified and honored man.
People may consider you poor if they notice that you are in need of Allah. Well this is just the beginning of your richness, and the end of it is to be horned by Allah. Explicitly you may seem poor and penniless, but implicitly you are wealthy as long as you are in need of Allah. Someone may have millions, but he is poor. Actually whoever is worried about becoming poor is poor, and whoever is worried about becoming ill is ill. Someone may have no money, but he is rich from inside. The Prophet, may Allah have peace and blessing upon him, said,
"You live in poverty if you fear poverty."This means that expecting misfortune is the worst misfortune.
If someone is in need of Allah, what will happen to him? He will be content and satisfied; herein lies the true wealth. If you turn to Allah and keep in touch with Him, you will be the richest person. Imam Ali, may Allah ennoble his face, was asked about the rich man and the poor one, to which he replied, "Poverty and richness can be decided when man is in front of Allah on the Day of Judgment (when his deeds are weighed)." We cannot say that some people are rich and other ones are poor, because in this worldly life poverty and richness are temporary. However, the true richness in life is obeying Allah and escaping His punishment on the Day of Judgment. This is the meaning of Imam Ali's saying, may Allah ennoble his face. Some said, "You will never be rich unless you are in need of Allah." Paradoxically speaking the highest position of richness is obtained when you are in the worst situation of poverty. A scholar was asked, "Which is preferable, being in need of Allah or being pleased when getting closer to Him.?" He replied, "Both of them; you should be in need of Allah first in order to be pleased." Keep close to Allah, so that Allah will always be with you. Leave people and beware of your greed. If Allah grants you something, none can prevent you from receiving it, and if He deprives you of something, none can grant it to you. One of the scholars said, "Neither poverty nor richness is weighed on the Day of Judgment, but only patience and gratitude."
As a conclusion, the truth which we should all admit is to deal with the facts and keep away from illusions and superstitions. As I said earlier, ignorance is whatever contradicts reality; it is the incorrect realization of things without a proof, while knowledge is realizing things as they are and supporting that by proofs. You should deal with facts. This is the first point about man. The second essential one is that you stand in need of Allah in everything, and the third point is that this neediness is for your own benefit. Had Allah made you rich, you would have dispensed with him. Consequently, you would have lived miserably. Almighty Allah makes man in need of Him, to make him turn to Him and restore to Him. As a result, you will be happy and honored. The last point is that the true wealth is to be in need of Almighty Allah; it is when you realize your own rank before Allah. May Allah bestow mercy upon a slave who knows his reality and acts according to it.