Contentment with Good and Lawful

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Surely, Allah, The Exalted, is good and only accepts that which is good. Allah has ordered the believers that which He has ordered the Messengers. And He, The Exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “O Messengers! Eat of the lawful (foods) and do righteous deeds.” (al-Muminun 23:51) And: “O you who believe! Eat from the lawful (foods) that We have provided for you.” (al-Baqarah 2:172) Then he mentioned a man who – having travelled far – is dishevelled and dusty. He stretches his hands to the sky (saying): ‘My Lord! My Lord!’ – while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; so how can his supplication be accepted?”

[Sahih Muslim]

Commentary:

‘Surely, Allah, The Exalted, is good and accepts that which is good ” (Allah) is good in His Essence, Attributes, and Actions, and He only accepts that which is good in its essence and acquisition. As for that which is repugnant in its essence, such as alcohol, or (repugnant) in its acquisition, such as usury, then Allah, The Exalted, does not accept it.

Allah has ordered the believers that which He has ordered the Messengers. And He, The Exalted has said (interpretation of the meaning): “O Messengers! Eat of the lawful (foods) and do righteous deeds.” [al-Muminun 23:51]

So He ordered the Messengers and the Believers together to eat from the lawful foods. As for the filthy and repugnant, it is impermissible for them due to His statement, The Exalted, describing the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam): “He has permitted the good and lawful for them and has prohibited the repugnant and unlawfu1.” [al-A'raaf 7:157]

Then the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) mentioned the man’s supplication who eats the unlawful is not accepted even though you find him having reasons for the acceptance (of his supplication): “A man who – having travelled far – is dishevelled and dusty. He stretches his hands to the sky (saying): ‘My Lord! My Lord!’ – while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful, and he is nourished unlawfully; so how can his supplication be accepted?”

This man has four characteristics:

  1. He has travelled far, and travel is a cause for answer i.e. the answer of a supplication.
  2. He is dishevelled and dusty. When the hearts are despondent and in despair, Allah, The Exalted, looks towards His servants on the Day of Arafah saying, “Come to Me ‘dishevelled and dusty” This is also from the causes for answer (of a supplication).
  3. He outstretched his hands to the sky, and stretching the hands to the sky is from the causes for answer (of a supplication). Allah, The Glorious, The Exalted, is shy to leave the hands of His servant empty and void when he raises them to Him.
  4. He is supplicating to Allah: “O My Lord! O My Lord” This is beseeching Allah by His Lordship (Ruboobiyah). This is from the causes for answer (of a supplication), but his supplication was not answered since his food was unlawful, his clothing was unlawful, and his nourishment was unlawful. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) saw it farfetched that his supplication be answered so he said, “So how can his supplication be accepted?”

And from the Benefits of this hadith:

1. The description of Allah being good in His Essence, Attributes, and Actions.

2. Allah, The Exalted, is free from every deficiency.

3. There are actions that are accepted and others that are not accepted.

4. Allah, The Exalted, has ordered His servants from amongst the Messengers and those they were sent to that they eat from the lawful (foods) and thank Allah, The Glorious, The Exalted.

Being thankful is doing righteous actions due to His statement, The Exalted (interpretation of the meaning): “O Messengers! Eat of the lawful (foods) and do righteous deeds.” [al-Muminun 23:51]

And He said to the believers: “O you who believe! Eat from the lawful (foods) that We have provided for you and be thankful to A1laah.” [al-Baqarah 2:172]

So this indicates that being thankful is doing righteous actions.

5. From the conditions of the supplication being accepted, is abstaining from eating unlawful food due to the Prophet’s statement concerning unlawful food, clothing, and nutrition, “So how can his supplication be accepted?”

6. From the causes of supplication being answered is:

  • A person being in a state of travel.
  • Raising the hands to Allah.
  • Beseeching Allah by Lordship

7. The Messengers are responsible for acts of worship just as the believers are responsible for that.

8. The obligation of being thankful to Allah for His blessings due to His statement, The Exalted (interpretation of the meaning):  “And be thankful to Allah.” [al-Baqarah, 2: 172]

9. It is appropriate; rather it is obligatory, on a person to carry out the means by which he obtains his goals, and to abstain from the means that prevent him from his goal.

And Allah Knows Best!

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