A Precious Gem: The Complaint of the Ignorant Person – Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim

The Complaint Of The Ignorant Person
[From ‘al-Fawaa·id’ (p.114) of Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim -rahimahullaah]

“The ignorant person complains about Allaah to the people, and this is the limit of ignorance of the One complained about and the one complained to; for if he had known his Lord he would not have complained concerning Him, and if knew the people he would not complain to them.

One of the Salaf saw a man complaining to another man about his poverty and need, so he said: ‘O person! By Allaah! You have not done anything more than complain about One Who is Merciful to you, to one who is not merciful to you.’

In that regard it has been said:

‘If you make a complaint to the son of Aadam,

then you are only complaining about the Merciful One to someone who is not merciful.’

And the one who is truly aware complains to Allaah alone; and the one who is the most aware, from those who are truly aware, is the one who makes his complaints to Allaah about himself, not about the people; so he is therefore complaining about the reasons which cause the people to overwhelm him. So he is looking to His Saying -He the Most High:

[And whatever misfortune befalls you, then it is because of the sins that your hands have committed.] [Sooratush-Shooraa (42):30]

And His Saying:

[Whatever good reaches you, is from Allaah; but whatever evil befalls you, then it is on account of yourself.] [Sooratun-Nisaa· (4):79]

And His Saying:

[Why is it that when a single disaster struck you, even though you had struck the enemy with one twice as great, you said: ‘From where is this?’ Say: ‘It is on account of yourselves.’] [Soorah Aal `Imraan (3):165]

So the levels are three:

  • the lowest/most despicable of them is that you complain about Allaah to His creation; and
  • the highest of them is that you complain about yourself to Him; and
  • the middle one is that you complain about His creation to Him.”

[Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood ibn Ronald Burbank rahimahullaah]

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