Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 46: Points 75
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And you should know that Allaah has favoured some of the servants over others in this world and in the Hereafter, He has done so justly. It cannot be said that He acted unjustly or has shown undue favour. Whoever says that Allaah has favoured the true believer and the disbeliever equally then he is a person upon innovation. Rather, Allaah has favoured the believer over the disbeliever, the obedient one over the sinner and the one He has rendered secure from error over the one who is humiliated; doing so justly. It is His favour, which He bestows upon whomever He wishes and withholds from whomever He wishes.
His saying, “And you should know that Allaah has favoured the servants; some of them over others in this world and in the Hereafter,” Allaah has favoured some of the people over others. He has bestowed favour upon the believer over the disbeliever with that which Allaah has given him from eemaan on account of his having eemaan and He withheld from the disbeliever on account of his disbelief. And Allaah favoured the believers, some over others and the Messengers (the Rusul); Allaah favoured some of them over others.
تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ
Those Messengers, We favoured some of them over others.
(Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 253)
This is the fadl (favor/bounty) of Allaah, which He gives to whomever He wishes, He, the Perfect and Most High and no-one may raise any objection to Allaah because this is His mulk (kingdom), that which belongs to Him, He, the Perfect, He can give it to whomever He wishes. So, the kingdom belongs to Him, He can give it to whomever He wishes, He, the Perfect. And the favour that is bestowed is His favour, He may give it to whomever He wishes. So, there could be no objection raised against Allaah, the Perfect and Most High.
Whereas, the Mu`tazilah; this deviant sect, they say, “It is obligatory that Allaah treats the people equally and gives them all the same.” This is to show evil manners towards Allaah and is to raise objections against Him, High and Tremendously Exalted is Allaah above that which they say. So, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, bestows favour on some of His creation over and above others and this is His kingdom, it belongs to Him so there can be no objection to Him. He does not punish anyone except for a crime that He has actually committed since to do so would contradict justice and Allaah does not oppress. So, He does not punish anyone without his having committed a crime or punish anyone for somebody else’s crime.
وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ ۚ وَإِن تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَىٰ حِمْلِهَا لَا يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَيْءٌ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَىٰ
And no bearer of sin will bear the sins of another and if someone weighed down with sins were to call someone else to bear his sins for him then he will not be able to find anyone to bear any of them for him even if it be a close relative. (Soorah-Faatir (35), aayah 18)
So, Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, with regard to the aspect of al-jazaa· (recompense) that He gives then His recompense is adl (just) and as for the aspect of al-ataa· (what He gives freely) then this is fadl (favour) from him, He, the Perfect and Most High and it is not for anyone to raise any objection to it.
His saying, “And whoever says that the favour of Allaah upon the believer and the disbeliever is just the same then he is a person of innovation.” This is the saying of the Mu`tazilah, they say that – “It is obligatory upon Allaah to make all of the people believers and that He should not make just some of them disbelievers and some of them believers. He should make all of them rich, He should make all of them scholars.”
This is to raise an objection against Allaah, the Perfect and Most High because Allaah is Hakeem (All-Wise). And it is not from His wisdom that He should make all of the people the same in knowledge or in riches or in reward and punishment. And it is not from His wisdom that He should make all of mankind wealthy. If all of them were wealthy people then the creation would be ruined because they would not find anyone who would carry out any work and production would cease. And therefore, Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, has favoured some of the people over others with regard to provision. He has made this one rich and this one poor so that the creation can thrive. If they were all rich then they would not produce anything. And if they were all poor then they would not be able to work and produce. So, Allaah has caused them to vary so that the creation should operate and thrive.
وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُم بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا
And We raised some of them over others in levels so that some of them should employ others to work. (Sooratuz-Zukhruf (43), aayah 32)
Meaning, some of them employ others to work for wages. So, when that happens then the creation can grow and prosper and benefits are attained.
His saying, “Rather, Allaah has favoured the believer over the disbeliever and the obedient one over the disobedient one of the sinner and the one He has rendered secure from error over the despicable one,” Allaah favoured the believer over the disbeliever and He gave favour to the obedient one over the sinner; this is His justice (adl), He, the Perfect and His fadl (favour) so no-one may raise any objection to Him.
 Translator’s side point: Briefly with regard to the explanation of Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah then he said after some speech, he said at the end,
“Therefore this section, this part here necessitates from us that we have the `aqeedah (creed and belief) that Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, caused His servants to be of different levels as a favour from Him and as justice.
لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ
He is not to be questioned about that which He does. Rather, they are to be questioned. (Sooratul-Anbiyaa· (21), aayah 23)
So, it cannot be said, “Why did He make that one a Messenger and make that one a person who is humiliated and why did He make that one a believer who is granted success of correctness whereas He made that one a rejected one and humiliated?” That should not be said. Rather, it is obligatory that we believe that Allaah is free of committing oppression (dhulm) and that He does whatever He wishes and He decrees whatever He wills. However, all His actions are based upon hikmah (wisdom) and rahmah (mercy) and fadl (favour) and adl (justice). That is what is obligatory upon us to believe with regard to our Lord, the Majestic and Most High. This is the creed that is supported by the texts of the Qur’aan and the Prophetic texts and it is that which the scholars of the Ahlus-Sunnah W`al Jamaa`ah are agreed in consensus upon and Allaah is the one who grants success.”
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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