Quranic Reflection No 682. Āyat 98:8 – A Double Sided Pleasure


The greatest honour and gratification man can ever attain is Allah’s pleasure. The attribute of ‘ridā’ is that a person remains pleased with occurrences in life, irrespective of whether they are to his liking or otherwise. This characteristic reveals a high level of ma‘rifah (cognizance). A person possessing this attribute turns away from his own desires and seeks that which Allah has decreed for him instead. Attachment of the heart to worldly and material things is a form of shirk (minor polytheism), and therefore inconsistent with the attribute of ridā.

It is amazing to observe those who vocally claim to be the servants and worshippers of Allah ‘azza wajall, complaining over Divine decrees and acts. However, those who are truly cognizant are in total submission and subservience to Allah – pleased and satisfied with Divine destinies. They are uncomplaining in the face of adversities and severity of trials and are content over things bestowed to them as well as those not granted to them. The highest level of ridā mentioned in the verse above is that not only is Allah pleased with them, but their souls are so purified that they too are pleased with Allah. Imam Sajjad ‘alayhis-salām has said: Patience and pleasure (over Divine acts) constitute the pinnacle of Allah’s obedience. (Kulaynī, Al-Kāfī, 2:60).

The companions of Imam al-Husayn ‘alayhimus-salām were examples of believers who were pleased with Allah and Allah was pleased with them. We read in the conversation between Imam al-Husayn ‘alayhis-salām and Sayyida Zainab ‘alayhas-salāmHave you tested the determination and will of your companions? I fear that they will leave you alone and surrender you to the enemy when the war gets fierce, and the enemies intensify their attack on you. Imam al-Husayn (a) said: I swear upon Allah! I have tested them. I have observed that they are capable of being steadfast and patient during challenging times. They are attracted to death more than a newborn is attracted to its mother’s breast for milk. (Muqarram, Maqtal, p 212)

God makes His servants pleased with Him through the multitude of blessings He bestows on them. In this verse of the Qur’an, the following points as a reward for believers who are pleased with God and with whom God is pleased have been mentioned:
1. Perpetual residence: Unlike the pleasures of this world which will cease to exist with this world, the greatest benefit of the pleasure of Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā is that it would lead a person to a heaven which is perpetual and will be eternal.
2. Abiding forever: Not only is heaven eternal but its greatest characteristic is that whosoever will enter will live therein forever. It is not only a stay for a short time.  The blessings of paradise are incomparable with this life and will be never ending. The stability and security of the reward is an enhancement of the reward itself.

We pray to Allah to give us the tawfīq to acquire this double-sided pleasure, He with us, and we with Him. O Allah, have mercy on the oppressed people of the world!

References: Abdul Razzaq Muqarram, Maqtal al-Husayn; Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb Kulaynī, Al-Kāfī; Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir Majlisī, Bihār al-Anwār.