These five consecutive words were repeated four times in the Holy Quran. In chapter Al-Mae’dah 119, Al-Tawbah 100, Al-Mujadelah 22, and Al-Bayyinah 8. The meaning of these words is that God is pleased with His servants when they obey and act on His orders, and the servants are pleased with their Lord when they open their hearts to accept whatever God has written for them.

The great Yahya Ibn Mu’az was asked: When would a servant reach the level (maqam) of being pleased with God (Al-Reda)? He said: “If he is able to sustain four matters when dealing with God. This servant shall say, O Lord, if you grant me (something,) I shall accept. O Lord, if you deny me (something,) I shall submit. O Lord, if you let go of me, I shall still worship You. O Lord, if you call on me, I shall always respond.”

At the time of the caliph Omar Ibn Abdelaziz, he visited a person who had lost his son. People saw how the father was accepting this loss in a patient way and a person said: “This is indeed a true demonstration of the level of Al-Reda.” Omar Ibn Abdelaziz said: “Is it Al-Reda or patience (Al-Sabr)?” Among those visiting was Sulieman Al-Kh’awaas, a great scholar from Levant, he said: “Al-Sabr is a level less than Al-Reda. Al-Reda is a constant status regardless of afflictions, but Al-Sabr is a status during afflictions.” Omar Ibn Al-Khattab ﷺ wrote to Abu Moussa Asl-Asha’ri: “Al-Reda is all good, if you are able to practice that (then so be it) and if not practice patience.”

How would one know that God is pleased with him?

  • If guided to the truth. Allah ﷻ said: {Thus whomever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam.} 6:125. Accepting the tenets of Islam is a major sign that God is pleased with you, for this is the path of truth and justice in this world and it shall lead you to the mercy of God and Heaven in the Hereafter.
  • If guided to act on God’s orders. The prophet ﷺ said: “Allah the Exalted has said: I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine. And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (extra good deeds) till I love him. When I love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him”.[1] Such guidance to be able to act on God’s order is indeed a sign that He ﷻ is pleased with you.
  • If loved by righteous people. The prophet ﷺ said: “When Allah loves a slave, He calls out Jibril and says: ‘I love so-and-so, so love him. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so- and-so, so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him”.[2] Love indeed is a sign of acceptance, and righteous people reflect that which God feels about an individual.
  • If people’s testimonies of you are good. Some Companions happened to pass by a funeral, and they praised him (the deceased). The Prophet ﷺ said: “He will certainly enter it.” Then they passed by another funeral, and they spoke ill of the deceased. The Prophet ﷺ said: “He will certainly enter it.” Omar Ibn Al-Khattab said: “(O Messenger of Allah,) what do you mean by he will certainly enter it?’” He ﷺ replied: “You praised the first person, so he will enter Jannah; and you spoke ill of the second person, so he will enter Hell. You are Allah’s witnesses on earth.” People should care about how people speak of them for that represents part of their legacy in good or in evil.

How would one know that he is pleased with God?

  • If one accepts the Qadar of God. A’lqamah, elaborating on the verse where Allah ﷻ said: {Yet whoever believes in God, He shall guide his heart.} 64:11 said: “An affliction, if it hits a person, he knows it is from God, and for that he submits and accepts.”
  • If one sees the good behind all that happens. The prophet ﷺ said: “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything, and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.[3]
  • If one is following the prophet’s path as a model and example for him. The prophet ﷺ was the one who demonstrated the true meaning of living the Qadar of Allah ﷻ . The prophet ﷺ was tested in so many ways and he always surrendered fully to the wisdom of Allah ﷻ. If we need to be pleased with Allah ﷻ, we need to follow the track of our role model, the prophet ﷺ.

By Sh. Kifah Mustapha

[1] Bukhari

[2] Bukhari

[3] Muslim