بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
There are different levels when it comes to our relationship with Allah. First, there are those who try not to make Allah angry. Then there are those whose goal is to make Allah happy. Most of us fall somewhere in between these two stages.
But there is a third stage.
And among men there is one who sells his very soul to seek the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is Very-Kind to His servants. [Al-Baqarah:207]
This is the ultimate height of love for Allah. This is the level attained by the sahabah. They rose above their own likes and dislikes. They turned away from anything that clashed with the way of Allah. For them the needs of Allah’s slaves always came before their own needs. The riches of this world could not buy them neither the beauty of the world could lure them as they had already sold themselves to gain the pleasure of Allah. Radhi Allahu anhum wa radho anhu.
And this is the role model Allah sets for us.
Selling one’s self to please Allah is a very strong expression in itself. But coupled with the word “maradhaat” the meaning is intensified even further. It means that these slaves do not seek just the pleasure of Allah, they seek the extreme pleasure of Allah. They go above and beyond in their desire to please their Master. The will do anything and everything to please Him. The ultimate goal in their life is His pleasure and their eyes are always on His countenance.
But what is even more inspiring in this ayah is Allah’s side of relationship to these slaves. Allah chooses His majestic name “Ar-Raoof” here. Whenever Allah uses one of His majestic names in an ayah, there is a deep relationship between that sifah (characteristic) of Allah and the context of that ayaah.
Raoof comes from the root raa-hamza-faa, which points to three main meanings. The first main meaning is to be gentle, kind, and forgiving and the second is to be merciful and compassionate. The third main meaning is to show pity mixed with deep affection and tenderness.
Al-Ghazali mentioned that Ar-Raoof has pity, and that pity is the intensification of mercy. It has the same meaning as Raheem though in a more intense form. Ar-Raoof is the One who bestows pity and mercy on us in many different forms, including warnings and withholding, for us to be guided to success in this world and the next!
An example was given about ra’fa and rahma; a parent warning their child to dress warm in winter so that they won’t suffer from the cold, is the concept of ra’fa. Whereas if the child gets ill and the parent’s heart that aches for the child and they do everything to find a medicine, that’s merciful (rahma).
So in this ayah after mentioning those people who do their utmost to please Him, Allah mentions His tender mercy and love towards these slaves. Allah is telling us that He knows what His slave is going through in the quest to please His master. He is aware of the heartaches, the trials, the troubles, the sadness and the grief.
And He is assuring us that He is lovingly and mercifully watching and guiding these slaves towards Him. Almost like a mother who lovingly hovers while her baby takes the first steps.
May Allah makes us from amongst these slaves of His. Ameen.
سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك نشهد ان لااله الّا انت نستغفرك و نتوب اليك