The Signs of Fortune & the Signs of Misfortune

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Reference: Al-Fawaaid

The signs of the fortune and success of a servant are that:

· Every time he is increased in his knowledge, he increases in his humbleness and mercy
· Every time he is increased in his actions, he increases in his fear and caution
· Every time he is increased in his life, he decreases the amount of attention that he gives to it
· Every time he is increased in his wealth, he increases in his generosity and spending (towards good)
· Every time he is increased in his status and standing, he increases in his closeness to the people – taking care of their needs and being humble towards them.

The signs of the misery of a servant are that:

· Every time he is increased in his knowledge, he increases in his arrogance and pride
· Every time he is increased in his actions, he increases in pride, belittling of the people and having a good opinion about himself
· Every time he is increased in his life, he increases the amount of attention that he gives to it
· Every time he is increased in his wealth, he increases in his stinginess and holding on to it
· Every time he is increased in his status and standing, he increases in his arrogance and pride.

So these matters are trials from Allaah and tests that He tests His servants with.
Some people are successful due to these tests whilst other people are unfortunate due to them.
Similarly, blessings such as worldly possessions, authority and wealth are tests and trials.

Allaah, the Most High, said:
{…and when (Sulaymaan) saw it (the throne) placed before him, he said: “This is from the favours of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful” } [27:40]

So blessings are a trial from Allaah and a test, through which the one who is grateful shows his gratitude, and the one who is ungrateful shows his ingratitude. Similarly, adversity is also a trial from Him – how Perfect He is. Thus He tests with blessings just as he tests with calamities.

Allaah, the Most High, said:
{…and as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favours him, he says: “My Lord has honoured me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me”} [89: 15-16]

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