Sins and Obedience: Do They Affect God? Ibn Atta Answers

The Ever-Glorious Quran explains to us that Allah the Almighty does not – through these legislations – want us to go through any hardship or difficulty; rather, He wants us to gain all goodness and welfare as much as we can depending on our obedience to Him and excellence in carrying out His Orders. He says in His Ever-Glorious Quran what may mean,

{…This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My Favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion AL- ISLAM.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 3),

{Whosoever doeth right, whether male or female, and is a believer, him verily We shall quicken with good life, and We shall pay them a recompense in proportion to the best of what they used to do.} (An-Nahl 16: 97),

{…Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 185), and

{…He hath chosen you and hath not laid upon you in religion any hardship.} (Al-Hajj 22: 78)

Consequently, Allah the Almighty revealed to us the creed (`aqidah) to help us know something about His Divine Self and to assure us that everything lies in His Hand and that He is the Only One Who can cause benefit or harm to anyone.

As for the Acts of Worship (`ibadat), we need them as they are the food needed for strengthening the (`aqidah) within the self, mind, and heart and to come to the level of certainty (yaqin) through it.

We ask Allah the Almighty to grant us a degree of certainty that does not involve the slightest sign of doubt or suspicion. Amen!

Now, let us summarize the above word of wisdom by Ibn `Ata’illah as follows: Your obedience does not benefit Allah and your disobedience does not harm Him. He has only ordered you to do this and prohibited you from doing that for your own gain; you have to be a hundred percent quite sure of this!

Finally, let us live for a few minutes with the following lengthy and beautiful Qudsi Hadith that is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifari (May Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) as he relates from his Lord (May He be glorified) the following:

O My servants, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not wrong one another.

O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you.

O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you.

O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you.

O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.

O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and will not attain benefitting Me so as to benefit Me.

O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything.

O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything.

O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than that a needle decreases the sea if put into it.

O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good praise Allah and let him who finds otherwise blame no one but himself.” (Muslim, at-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

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About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on www.aboutislam.net and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected]