Acceptance of whatever Allah decrees is the fruit of love for Allah
By: Second Martyr, Sheikh Zayn ad-Din Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jabil Amili
Translated from the Arabic by Yasin T. al-Jibouri
Allah Almighty has said: “… So that you may not despair over matters that pass by, nor exult over favors bestowed upon you” (Qur'an, 57:23); “Allah is pleased with them and they with Him” (Qur'an, 5:119; 9:100; 58:22 and 98:8).
Be informed that acceptance [of whatever Allah decrees] is the fruit of love for Allah: One who loves something does it, and love is the fruit of knowledge. When one loves an individual because he has some attributes of perfection or qualities of beauty, this love increases whenever he gets to know him more and more and thinks about him.
If one ponders on the greatness and perfection of Allah Almighty, the explaining of some of which is quite lengthy and gets us out of the gist of this message, he would love Him, and the believers love Allah the most. When one loves Him, he sees as good anything that He does, and this is called acceptance.
Acceptance, then, is the fruit of love. Actually, it is the fruit of every type of perfection. Since it is a branch of knowledge, one who ponders on His mercy would plead to Him [for it]. One who ponders on His greatness fears Him. When one cannot reach the one whom he loves, he yearns for him.
And when he reaches him, he feels comfortable with him. When there is extreme comfort of this sort, it produces joy. When one sees how He cares [about everyone and everything], he would rely on Him. And when one sees as good whatever He does, he becomes pleased with Him.
As he sees how faulty he is compared to His perfection, His full knowledge of and control over the one whom He loves, he surrenders to Him. From such surrender great stations branch out; some of those who know them know them, and these reach the ultimate end of every type of perfection.
Be informed that acceptance is a great virtue for man. Actually, all virtues are rendered to it. Allah Almighty has drawn attention to its distinction, making it conjoint with the acceptance of Allah Almighty and a mark pointing to it: “Allah is pleased with them and they with Him” (Qur'an, 5:119).
But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: that is the supreme joy; such is the ultimate end of benevolence, the zenith of gratitude.
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, has made it a guide to conviction (iman). When he asked a group from among his companions: “Who are you?” They said, “Believers.” He asked them, “What is the mark of your belief?” They said, “We persevere when afflicted, we thank when prosperous and we accept when destiny befalls.” He said, “Believers, you are, by the Lord of the Ka’ba.”
He, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, also said, “If Allah loves one of His servants, He tries him with affliction: If he perseveres, He will choose him; when he is pleased, He will count him among the elite ones.”
He, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, has also said, “When it is Judgment Day, Allah Almighty will plant wings for a group from among my nation whereby they will fly from their graves to Paradise where they roam about and enjoy as they please. The angels will ask them, ‘Did you witness the Reckoning?’
They would say, ‘We did not witness any Reckoning.’ They would ask them, ‘Did you pass on the Sirat?’ They would say, ‘We saw no Sirat.’ They would ask them, ‘Did you see Hell?’ They would say, ‘We did not see any such thing.’ The angels would then say, ‘To which nation do you belong?’ They would answer saying, ‘We belong to the nation of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny.’
The angels would then ask them, ‘We plead to you in the Name of Allah to tell us how your deeds in life were.’ They would say, ‘There were two attributes in them. It is through them that Allah Almighty got us to reach this status through the favor of His mercy.’ The angels would ask them about these two attributes, and they would answer saying, ‘Whenever we were by ourselves we felt too shy to be disobedient of Allah; and we were always pleased with whatever He allotted for us.’ The angels will say, ‘What you now have rightfully belongs to you.’”
He, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, has also said, “Grant Allah acceptance from your hearts, you will thus win the rewards of Allah Almighty on the Day of your want and bankruptcy.”
In narratives about Moses, peace be with him, he was asked once: “Ask your Lord about something because of which, if we do it, He would be pleased with us.” Allah Almighty inspired to him saying, “Tell them to be pleased with Me so I may be pleased with them.”
Similar to the above is narrated about our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, who has said, “If one likes to know what is there for him with Allah, the most Exalted One and the most Great, let him look and see what status he has for Allah with him, for Allah Almighty grants one the status which he himself grants Allah.”
In a narrative about David, peace be with him, the Almighty says this to him: “Why should My friends be concerned about this life? Concerns remove the sweetness of their addressing Me with their hearts. O David! I love My friends to be spiritual, worry-free.”
It has been narrated that Moses, peace be with him, has said, “Lord! Guide me to something I should do which causes You to be pleased with me so I may do it.” Allah Almighty inspired him saying: “My pleasure lies in something which you dislike, and you cannot persevere about something which you dislike.” He said, “Lord! Lead me to it! Lord! Lead me to it!” The Almighty said, “My pleasure is in your acceptance of My judgment.”
Prophet Moses, peace be with him, asked Allah: Oh Lord who is the most beloved to you amongst your slaves. Allah answers the one who when I take his beloved makes peace with me. Moses then asks: who amongst your slaves are you angry with. Allah answers he who consults with me but when I set the course of matters is unpleased with the outcome.
Something more emphatic has been narrated than the above, that is, the Almighty has said, “It is I, Allah; there is no god but I; one who is not patient when I afflict him, and he does not accept my judgment, should seek a god other than I.”
It has also been narrated that Allah Almighty inspired this to David, peace be with him: “O David! You want something, whereas I want something else. What shall be is what I want. If you surrender to what I want, I shall spare you what you want. But if you do not surrender to what I want, I will wear you out regarding what you want, and [in the end] only what I want shall come to be.”
Ibn Abbas has been quoted as saying, “The first to be called on to enter Paradise on the Judgment Day will be those who praise Allah Almighty under any condition.”
Ibn Mas`ud is quoted as having said, “Should I lick a piece of burning timber, and it burns whatever it burns, keeping whatever it keeps, it is dearer to me than I say about something which happened that I wished it did not, or about something which did not happen that I wished it did.”
The Prophet, peace and blessings be with him and his progeny, is quoted as having said, “Allah Almighty, through His wisdom and greatness placed spirituality and ease in acceptance [of Allah’s decrees] and in conviction, and He made grief and sadness in doubt and rage.”
[Imam] Ali son of [Imam] al-Hussain, peace be with them both, has said, “Asceticism is [divided into] ten portions: The highest degree of asceticism is the lowest degree of piety. The highest degree of piety is the lowest degree of conviction. And the highest degree of conviction is the lowest degree of acceptance [of Allah’s decrees].”
[Imam] al-Sadiq, peace be with him, has said, “The attribute of acceptance is that you accept what you like and what you do not like. Acceptance is a ray of the light of Gnosticism. One who accepts forgets about all his choices. One who truly accepts is one who is truly accepted, and acceptance combines in it the meaning of adoration. The meaning of acceptance is the pleasure of the hearts.
I have heard my father, Abu Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be with him, say, ‘One whose heart is attached to an existent is a mushrik [committing shirk, apostasy]. One whose heart is attached to something which he will [eventually] lose commits kufr [disbelief]. Both such persons are outside the norm of acceptance. And I wonder about one who claims to worship Allah while disputing with Him about whatever He decrees! Accepting Gnostics are far from it.’”
It has been narrated that Jabir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari, Allah be pleased with him, was afflicted in his last days with weakness, old age and incapacitation [blindness]. He was visited by [Imam] Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir, peace be with him, who asked him about his condition. He said, “I am in a status in which I prefer old age over youth, sickness over health and death over life.”
Al-Baqir, peace be with him, said, “As for me, O Jabir, if Allah causes me to age, I shall love old age, if He keeps me young, I shall love young age. If He causes me to fall sick, I shall love sickness. If he heals me, I shall love healing and good health. If He causes me to die, I shall love death, and if He decrees to keep me alive, I shall love to stay alive.”
When Jabir heard the Imam (Ú) say so, he kissed his face and said, “Surely the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be with him and his progeny, told the truth when he said, ‘You shall live long enough to meet one of my sons whose name is the same as mine, who prowls knowledge like an ox ploughs the land,” so he was called “Baqir”, one who prowls the knowledge of the early generations and of the last, that is, he splits it open and gets to the pith, the heart, the essence of it.
It has been narrated that al-Kulaini, through his isnad (reference) to Abu Abdullah, peace be with him, says, “The head of obedience to Allah is patience and acceptance of whatever comes from Allah, be it something one loves or hates, and whenever a servant of Allah is pleased with Him regarding anything which he loves or hates, he will have goodness in whatever he loves or hates.”
Through his isnad back to this same Imam, peace be with him, the latter says, “One who knows Allah Almighty the most; is one who is the most pleased with whatever Allah, the most Exalted One, the most Great, decrees.” 
Through his isnad also to the Imam (Ú), the latter says, “Allah Almighty has told his Prophet: 'I do not turn My believing servant from something except that I decree goodness in it for him; so, let him accept My decree, let him be patient about My affliction, and let him thank My blessings, for I shall write him, O Muhammad, in the company of the Truthful Ones with Me.'”
He, peace be with him, has said, “Among what Allah, the most Exalted One and the most Great, inspired to Moses, peace be with him, was this: 'O Moses son of Imran [Amram]! I have not created anything dearer to Me than a believing servant: When I afflict him [with a trial], I do so for his own good. When I grant him health, it is for his own goodness.
When I keep away something from him, it is for his own good, and I know best what My servant needs for his own good; so, let him persevere when I afflict him, let him appreciate My blessings, and let him accept my judgment, for I shall then write him down among the Truthful Ones with me if he does what pleases Me and obeys My command.'”
It has been said this to [Imam] al-Sadiq, peace be with him: “Through what criterion a believer is identified as such?” He said, “It is through full surrender to Allah and acceptance of whatever He decrees on him, be it something with which he is pleased or displeased.”
It has been narrated in books of the Israelites that a servant worshipped Allah Almighty for a very long period of time, so he saw in a vision that his so-and-so female companion was in Paradise. He asked about her and hosted her for three days and nights in order to observe how she behaved.
He used to stand for prayers during the night as she remained asleep. He kept fasting as she was not. He, therefore, said to her, “Have you done anything else other than what I have observed?” She said, “By Allah, I have not done anything other than what you have seen and I am not familiar with anything else.”
He kept insisting on her to remember something till she said, “I remember only one single attribute: Whenever I was in hardship, I did not wish to be in prosperity; whenever I was sick, I did not wish to be healthy, and whenever I was under the sun, I did not wish to be in the shade.” The worshipper put his hands on his head and said to her: “Is this just an attribute?! This, by Allah, is a great attribute which an adoring servant of Allah finds to be very difficult to achieve.”