And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…(3:103)

With Whom Allah is Pleased?

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وَالسّٰبِقُوْنَ الْاَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهٰجِرِيْنَ وَالْاَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِاِحْسَانٍ رَّضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَاَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنّٰتٍ تَجْرِىْ تَحْتَهَا الْاَنْهٰرُ خٰلِدِيْنَ فِيْهَاۤ اَبَدًا ذٰ لِكَ الْـفَوْزُ الْعَظِيْمُ (100)

Quran Ayah Data not found….for Surah:9, Ayah:100 and Translation:24

Quran Surah:9 Ayah:100

“As for the first and foremost ofthe Emigrants (Muhajirin) and theSupporters (Ansar) and those whofollowed them in goodness, Allah ispleased with them and they are pleasedwith Allah, and He has prepared forthem gardens beneath which riversflow, where they will live forever.That is the supreme achievement. ”

When asked why a Muslim worships Allah, the only possible answer we are supposed to get from him is that he does so solely to attain Paradise. Indubitably, that is the supreme achievement. The same fact has been mentioned in the Holy Qura’n at several places as also even in the verse under discussion it has been pointed out to be a greatest accomplishment ever.

In reality, Paradise is a permanent abode of bounties– free of all sufferings. It is for this reason that each and every heart aspires to attain it. However, according to a Prophetic Tradition, after Allah, the Almighty is free of the reckoning of entire mankind,  and as a result, the righteous ones will be admitted in Paradise while the sinners will be doomed to Hellfire, it will be then that Allah, the Almighty will enquire the dwellers of Paradise addressing, “Shall I not reward you the best?

In reply to it, they will say, “What else is left there when you have already bestowed us with the greatest favours?’ Thereafter, they will be graced with the Glorious Vision of Allah. The sweetness of His Glorious Vision will be so enchanting that it will cause all the dwellers of Paradise to get into raptures, as a result, they will begin to underestimate all the favours and bounties of Paradise. It will be then that Allah, the Almighty will say to them that He is pleased with them and never He will get displeased with them – so to speak – the Glorious Vision of Allah and His pleasure are the greatest favours bestowed upon a man in Paradise. Thus, the only thing that can be regarded as the peak of success is attaining Allah’s pleasure. Hence, to the intelligentsias, the main goal of a believer’s life is nothing but attain Allah’s pleasure, since the Paradise is the outcome or the sign of the same thing.

On this point, when it comes to put it into practice, a question arises here is what way the attainment of the supreme achievement i.e. Allah’s pleasure is possible? In other words, on basis what Allah, the Almighty bestows His chosen slaves with His ultimate pleasure? It is the reply of the same question that lies in the verse of Surah Taubah. The very fact has been laid out having described some of the excellences of the blessed companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺthat  Allah ispleased with them and they are pleasedwith Allah رَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنْھُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ.

It does imply here that, after the Prophets and Apostles, the choicest servants of Allah, the Almighty were the same blessed companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. It was solely for this reason that, rather than in the world Hereafter, Allah, the Almighty granted them the license of His pleasure and made their label رَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنْھُمْan integral part of their names in this very mortal world. In reality, these are the ones who are worthy being the living ideals for the rest of mankind who possess all the required qualitaties and following which guarantee one to attain Allah’s pleasure.

The most salient feature of those who deserve Allah’s pleasure mentioned in the verse under discussion is Sabaqah meaning ‘the first and foremost.’

The first explanation of the word Sabaqat is that these are the kind of people who excel others in professing their belief in Allah and His Messenger ﷺ. the reason they are blessed with this excellence is that they believe in Allah and accept Truth without realizing its consequences which also indicates that they are the people of wisdom who are never concerned about its outcome, rather they foresee it through their insight.

Likewise, another explanation of being the first and foremost is that they never mind their insecurity, rather they accept it without any fear being it Allah’s commandment whatever the outcome of it may be. It is the spirit with which they carry on their mission and are ever ready to undergo all possible trials and tribulations. Taking for instance, when Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) narrated his dream to his son Hazrat Ismail (A.S.), he immediately replied ‘افعل ما تؤمر’ “do what you have been ordered to do.” It implies the fact that he was ready for it without any conservation. Probably, it is for this reason that of all Prophets, Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) was the one whose characteristic beingوَكَانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهٖ مَرْضِيًّا  “And he was favourite to his Lord.” is mentioned in the Holy Qura’n.

Similarly, despite being defenseless and unarmed, the mention of Allah’s pleasure with those blessed companions who took an oath of allegiance with the Holy Prophet ﷺ to take the revenge of Hazrat Uthman’ extermination has been made in the Holy Qura’n in the words:

لَـقَدْ رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ اِذْ يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِىْ قُلُوْبِهِمْ فَاَنْزَلَ السَّكِيْنَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَاَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيْبًا (18)

Quran Ayah Data not found….for Surah:48, Ayah:18 and Translation:24

Quran Surah:48 Ayah:18

“Allah was pleased with thebelievers when they were pledgingallegiance with you (by placing theirhands in your hands) under the tree.”

It is based on the same declaration that it is named as ‘Baiat-e-Ridwan’ and the companions participating in it has more excellence than those of others.

As a matter of fact, those who accepted Islam first also come into the category of ‘First and foremost’, since, it was those who were subject to strive most and sacrifice all they could in this noble cause as well as undergo all possible stages like those of supporting and migration. Hence, these are the people who deserve the greatest reward from Allah, the Almighty.

Another explanation of the word ‘Sabaqat’ taken here is that it applies to all occasion rather than one specific time, that is, anyone who takes initiative in good deeds, is counted to be among the same people. Hence, when the Holy Prophet ﷺexhorted his blessed companions on the occasion of the Battle of Tabook to spend in the cause of Allah, the Exalted, it was then that Hazrat Umar (R.T.A.) came with half of his property presuming that he would stand out others that day. Surprisingly, on the contrary, when Hazrat Abu BakrSiddique (R.T.A.) came with his entire property, he realized the fact that he could never compete with him for anything. The same spirit of being initiative in righteous deeds and their practical demonstrations is something that includes the definition of ‘Sabaqat’.

Most regrettably, with whatever sense or explanation of ‘Sabaqat’ we compare ourselves, in every case we find ourselves lacking in it. Then, how can we regard ourselves to be worthy of attaining Allah’s pleasure?

In order to avoid the possibility of misunderstanding as it was only the first and foremost people who deserved all these things, while we are doomed to deprivation, it has been explained in the following words:

وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْھُمْ بِاِحْسَانٍ

‘And those whofollowed them in goodness.’

        Meaning, even the successors can attain Allah’s pleasure provided that they prove goodness.

Generally, in Urdu language, we take the word ‘احسان’ literally in the sense of ‘good conducts’, while here it is meant differently.

In Arabic language, the word ‘احسان’ refers to doing something in a better way – so to speak – even the successors can prove themselves worthy of attaining Allah’s pleasure through observing His commandments in a better way just like those of their predecessors, thus, there is no room for the sense of deprivation. Rather, one requires performing his tasks as required and play his role in a better way. As result, if Allah wills, He will surely honour him with His ultimate pleasure.

Another practical question also arising here is that how can we come to know either Allah, the Almighty is pleased with us  or not, since it would be practically evident before everyone when Allah, the Almighty Himself would bring forth the truth on the Day of Judgment? Certainly, it is the same verse that contains the reply to the same question; that is, through the explanation of the following phrase as عَنْھُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُjust afterرَّضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنْھُمْ.

No matter if we don’t know either Allah, the Almighty is pleased with us or not, but, at least, we know that either we are pleased with Him or not? Do we really submit our will to the will of Allah, the Almighty in its real sense? Do we observe His each and every commandment whatever be the circumstances? Do we really possess the true characteristic of placing full trust in Allah, the Almighty as we are demanded? No! Not at all! In fact, only if we submit to everything decreed by Allah, the Absolute, we are too certain to seek His pleasure. On the contrary, if the case is not so and we go on complaining against it and rely on other than Allah, then how, by any means, can we attain His pleasure?

As for the blessed companions, it was their practice being at once inclined towards the compliance with whatever injunction they received from Allah, the Almighty and His beloved Messenger ﷺ. Taking for instance, when taking wine was forbidden, they threw away their bowls of drink without the delay of a single moment as soon as the commandment of its unlawfulness was communicated to them. They were ever concerned as how to attain Allah’s pleasure. Countless are the episodes which establish the fact of their wholehearted submission to Allah’s decree and commandment when they saw that it was from Allah, the Almighty. They would come up with their personal views only when it was explained by the Holy Prophet ﷺthat it was not a commandment from Allah, the Almighty.

For example, on the occasion of the Battle of Hunain, seeing the gravity of time, when the Holy Prophet gathered together all the chieftains of Aus and Khazraj to exchange their thoughts with regard to the treaty on one-third tax received from BanuGhitfan, they first made a request of explanation to the Holy Prophet ﷺif it was a commandment from Allah, the Almighty or as a suggestion on his behalf.  Thereafter, they intended not to utter a single word against it if it was Allah’s commandment while if it was a suggestion from the Holy Prophet ﷺ, they wished to suggest him that how could it be possible in Islamic reign when they were not ready to pay even a single grain to them during the days of ignorance, thus, nothing but sword could decided the matter between them.

Let’s pause a moment on this juncture and see how remarkably they took Allah’s injunctions and His pleasure into consideration! Do we really find ourselves in such condition? Then, how come we be regarded worthy of being entitled with ‘وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ’?

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