Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas, may Allah be pleased with him, traveled to Makkah after he had become blind. Upon his arrival the people hastened to him and kept on asking him to make supplication for them, and he did, as Allah always accepted his supplication. ‘Abdullaah ibn As-Saa’ib, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I came to him when I was still a young boy and became acquainted with him, so he knew me and said to me, ‘Are you the one who recites the Quran for the people of Makkah?’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ Then I asked him, ‘You supplicate to Allah for all the people, so why do you not supplicate to Allah for yourself so that He would cure you?’ He smiled, and said, ‘O son! The decree of Allah is better for me than my sight.’”
This is the satisfaction that the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, adjusted themselves to, and the decree of Allah The Almighty became more beloved to them than their desires, and so they loved nothing more than what Allah the Almighty had decreed. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez said, “I do not want anything except what Allah The Almighty decrees.” What confirms the importance of this satisfaction is that the Prophet would ask Allah The Almighty to grant him satisfaction with His decree, and it is well-known that the Prophet only asked Allah The Almighty for the highest ranks. Satisfaction is sincerely giving precedence to all that Allah The Almighty has ordained, without being hesitant or objecting.
This is exactly what the righteous predecessors sought and strived for. They were fully content in matters pertaining to their fate and what Allah The Almighty had inscribed in the Preserved Slate and never desired anything contrary to what He had decreed for them. However, as for matters of religion that pertain to His orders or prohibitions, one must always progress and aspire to what is better.
The righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them, would advise each other to be satisfied and get used to it as they knew its high rank. ‘Umar (Al-Faarooq), may Allah be pleased with him, wrote to Abu Moosa Al-Ash‘ari, may Allah be pleased with him, saying, “All that is good lies in satisfaction. If you are able to be satisfied, please do so, otherwise, be patient.”
Luqmaan, may Allah exalt his mention, would advise his son, saying, “I advise you to be endowed with certain characteristics that would bring you closer to Allah The Almighty and would keep you away from His dissatisfaction: to worship Allah The Almighty Alone without associating any other deity with Him, and to be satisfied with His decree in anything that you like or dislike.” The one who adjusts himself to this would lead a good life as distress and worries would not reach his heart. Indeed, how could that be when Allah The Almighty has become pleased with him, and he with Allah? Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life,”
Some of the righteous predecessors interpreted “good life” as a life of satisfaction and contentment.
Once, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allah be pleased with him, became angry with his wife ‘Aatikah, may Allah be pleased with her, and said to her, “By Allah, I will upset you.” She said, “Can you drive me away from Islam after Allah The Almighty has guided me to it?” He replied, “No.” She then said, “Then how can you upset me?” She meant by that that she was satisfied with the decree of Allah The Almighty, and that nothing could have brought her distress except being driven away from Islam, and there is no way ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, could ever have done that.
There are three conditions for being truly satisfied with Allah The Almighty:
First: Being content at times of both blessings and afflictions alike, as one believes that Allah the Almighty chooses what is best for him. This is what happened with some of the righteous predecessors as they were patient and satisfied when they were afflicted with hardship. When Sulaymaan ibn Al-Ghaazi went to condole ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez upon the death of his son, ‘Abd Al-Malik, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said to him, “I seek Allah’s refuge from wanting something that is contrary to what He likes, as this does not change the affliction and His good treatment of me.” It was narrated on the authority of Ibraaheem An-Nakhaa‘i that Umm Al-Aswad was paralyzed and her daughter grieved, so she told her “Do not be sad. O Allah, if this is something good then please increase it.”
Second: Abandoning disputes unless they are related to any of the rights of Allah The Almighty or His Prophet . Having conflict with others for the sake of one’s desires drives satisfaction away, disturbs its purity and alters its sweetness.
Third: Refraining from continually asking of people. Allah The Almighty Says (what means):
“An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”
Regarding this trait, Thawbaan, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet said:
“Who will guarantee me this trait so that I will guarantee him Paradise?”
Thawbaan said, “I.”
The Prophet replied:
“Do not ask people for anything.”
After that, he never asked anyone for anything, even if his whip fell while riding, he would get off and pick it up himself without asking anyone to hand it to him.
Satisfaction is the Peak of Faith:
Abu Ad-Dardaa’, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “There are four traits at the peak of faith: patience, satisfaction with destiny, sincerity in reliance, and submission to Allah The Almighty.” Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “Satisfaction is one of the deeds of the heart that is the equivalent of Jihaad, which is one of the deeds of the limbs [body], for each one of them is the peak of Faith.”
Deprivation is in fact a Blessing from Allah The Almighty:
Sufyaan Ath-Thawri said that if Allah The Almighty deprives His servant of something, it is in fact a blessing; when Allah The Almighty deprives His slave, it is not because He is miserly or unable to give, but because He chooses what is best for His believing slave, and for a certain wisdom. Allah The Almighty never decrees anything bad for His believing slave, whether that decree brings happiness or misery to the slave. Thus, even when Allah The Almighty deprives His believing slave, it is in fact a blessing, and the affliction is for his well-being, even if it is in the form of an affliction. Due to the ignorance of the slave and his injustice, he considers that bliss is the only thing to give him pleasure in the worldly life. If man was truly knowledgeable, he would have considered all that Allah The Almighty decreed as a blessing. This was the state of the righteous predecessors . The slave will never find the sweetness of faith except through this. The Prophet said:
“Whoever is content with Allah as a God, Islam as a religion and Muhammad as a messenger, has certainly felt the sweetness of faith.”
O Allah! Make us satisfied with Your decree and bless our destiny so that we would not wish to hasten something that You have delayed or delay something that You have hastened.