“The True Rahmah” – Ibn Qayyim (rahimahullaah)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
From the speech of the noble Imaam Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
“The True Rahmah”
“From that which is befitting to know is that “Rahmah” is a characteristic which requires the bringing about of that which is beneficial and good to the servant. This is the case even if the soul dislikes it and it is difficult upon it. This is the true “Rahmah”. The most merciful of the people to you is the one who is hard/difficult upon you with regards to bringing about that which is to your benefit and repelling that which is harmful from you.
Therefore from the mercy of the father for his child is that he compels his child to observe discipline with regards to the attainment of knowledge and the practice of it. He (the father) is hard upon his child with regards to that by way of disciplining the child and other than that. Also he is hard upon him by way of preventing him from the fulfillment of his (evil) desires which will return to him as that which will harm him. Whenever the father is negligent in that affair with regards to his child, that is a result of a lack of his “Rahmah” for him. Even if he (the father) thinks that he is having “Rahmah” upon him, giving him comfort and giving him relief, this is “Rahmah” that is accompanied with ignorance. Similar to the “Rahmah” of the mother.
Based upon this, from the completeness of the “Rahmah” of the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, He (Allaah) sent down upon the servant different types of trials and test. Indeed He (Allaah) is most knowledgeable of that which is of his benefit. Therefore His (Allaah) testing of him (the servant) and preventing him from many of his goals and desires is from His “Rahmah” for him. However the servant due to his ignorance and oppression he falsely accuses His Lord (of that which is not befitting) for His testing of him. He (the servant) doesn’t know His (Allaah’s) goodness to him by way of His testing him with test. There has come in the narration:
“When the one who is being tested is supplicated for:-Oh Allaah have mercy upon him- Allaah the Most High says -How can I have mercy upon from something which I am having mercy upon him with-”
In another narration:
“Indeed when Allaah the Most High loves His servant, He protects him from the worldly life, its goodness and its desirable affairs just as He protects one of you from his sickness”
This is from the completeness of His “Rahmah” for him (the servant) and not from His stinginess upon Him. How could this be when He is The Most Generous The Glorified. He is the one who possess all generosity. The generosity of the creation in comparison to His generosity is less than an atom in the mountains of the world and its sand.
From His “Rahmah” with His servants:
His testing of them with the commandments and the prohibitions as a means of a “Rahmah” and protection. He (Allaah) has no need for them in that which He has commanded them with, for He is The Self-Sufficient, The All-Praiseworthy. Likewise this is not stinginess from Him upon them in that which He prohibited them from, for He is The Most Generous and The Most Noble.
From His “Rahmah”:
He disturbs and spoils the worldly life upon them so that they do not seek to inhabit it (forever) and become at ease with it. Also (this is done) so that they desire the established bounty in its abode and proximity. Therefore He drives them to that with the whips of trials and tribulations. He prevents them in order to give them. He test them in order to pardon them. He causes them to die in order to give them life.
From His “Rahmah” for them:
He warns them against Himself in order that they do not become deceived by it and as a result of that, they deal with Him (Allaah) in a manner which is not not befitting for them to deal with Him. It is just as He stated:
“Allaah warns you against Himself and Allaah is merciful to His servants” (Soorah Aali ‘Imraan: 30)
More than one from amongst the Salaf stated:
“From His mercy with the servants is that He warned them against Himself in order that they do not become deceived by it”.
Abu Yusuf Khaleefah Brooklyn NYC
Taken from the book “Kitaabul Ma’aarifis Saniyyah min Kutub Shamsiddeen Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah” By Abdur Rahmaan ibn Abdil-Azeez Suhmaan p.g. 78-79