Reflection No. 103 on Q 35:15 – Dependence on God
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنْتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
Yaa-ayyuhan-naasu antumul-fuqaraa’u ilallaah, wallaahu huwal-ghaniyul-Hameed
O mankind! you are the ones who stand in need of Allah, and Allah, He is the All-Sufficient, the All-Praised. – Suratul Fatir (No. 35), Ayat 15
Human beings are completely poor and needy in front of God. In this verse Allah makes an emphatic statement to all mankind, reminding them that it is they who are so needy of Him, while He is absolutely needless of them. When Allah asks human beings to worship and obey Him, there is no benefit to Him. It is because that is the only way for them to achieve perfection, to fulfill the purpose of creation, and to achieve eternal bliss through nearness to God. Such are the huge benefits of submission. That is why Allah continuously reminds us of our duty to Him. Without these constant reminders and orders from Allah, we would stray quickly and fail to reach the status worthy of us.
The attitude of humility and complete dependence on God is greatly liked in Islam. It is an attitude that beautifies prayer and makes it more meaningful. It has a positive impact on the character and personality of the believer as it prevents all forms of pride and vanity. When we realize just how needy we are in front of God, it shatters all notions of self-grandeur that may have crept into our souls. It also keeps us away from dependence on other human beings. Every person is just as dependent on God as we are, so it does not make sense to rely on anyone except Allah. In Sahifa Sajjadiyya, Imam Zaynul Abidin (a) says:
I have turned my face away from everyone who needs Your support. I ceased to ask from anyone who cannot do without Your bounty. I saw that the needy who seeks form the needy is foolish in his opinion, and misguided in his intellect. (Du`a No. 28, Fleeing to Allah)
Cultivate this complete dependence only on Allah, and you will find yourself enriched by your independence of all else. It is freedom through submission.
Source: Tafsir Namune, Ayatullah Nasitr Makarim Shirazi (ed)