One of the most important qualities that a human being should strive to acquire is contentment and the ability to not feel sad when someone else is blessed with a favor that one doesn’t have. This is a difficult trait to cultivate, but when achieved, it can bring immense happiness. Let us pray that Allah grants us this great quality.
This “bullet proof” quality was inspired from one of by one of my beloved teachers, Ashayk (Dr) Sharafudeen Gbadebo Raji’s lecture (may Allah be pleased with him and ease his affairs in this world and the hereafter). During one of his weekly sittings (I think Al-adab mufrad class), Shayk was explaining why it is essential not to be sad if Allah favors someone else than one.
Shayk narrated a story about Shayk Ibn Baaz, Shayk Albanny and their students. It was reported that students used to inform Shayk Ibn Baaz that many people attended Shayk Albanny’s sittings more than his own but surprisingly, Shayk Ibn Baaz replied by quoting this verse of the Holy Quran
“ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ ٱللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو ٱلْفَضْلِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ ٤,”
meaning “This is the favor of Allah. He grants it to whoever He wills. And Allah is the Lord of infinite bounty.”
Imagine if we all could adopt this mindset when someone close to us is favored by Allah with any blessing we are also looking forward to.
As human beings, we often feel sad when someone else receives a blessing that we were also hoping for. We may be saddened when a friend succeeds, forgetting that Allah has given us other favors that our friend does not have. For instance, if your friend you graduated together, got employed, and you are still searching, you should not be sad because Allah might have compensated you with a happy family (with children) while your friend is still waiting for the same after years of marriage.
Similarly, your friend might win a contract that you were competing for, and you may feel sad and harbor hate towards him, forgetting that he is nursing an illness that you do not have. SubhanaLlah!
My friends, let us be grateful for what Allah has done for us. We cannot have everything in this world, and some blessings may be delayed, but we must not take each other as enemies or harbor hatred on some.
When I look at what Allah has given me, which you don’t have, and you look at what Allah has blessed you with, which I lack, we would appreciate each other and not let envy or jealousy take hold of our hearts.
May Allah forgive us and grant us contentment (Aameen).
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