The Ignorant Man’s Complaint | Imām Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ؒ

The Ignorant Man’s Complaint | Imām Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ؒ

Only an ignorant person will complain to people about Allāh . This is due to extreme ignorance and his misunderstanding the reality of Allāh and the people. If an individual was to truly recognise the reality of his Creator, he would not complain about Him. Similarly, if he was to know the reality of the people, he would not complain to them.

One of the Salaf (predecessors) saw a man who was complaining with regard to his poverty and lack of wealth. He said:

“By Allāh, you are complaining about the One Who is full of compassion for you to a person who will have no compassion on you!”

An Arab poet has said:

تشكو الرحيم إلى الذي لا يرحمُ

وإذا شكوت إلى ابن آدم إنما

“When you complain to a human, in reality you are complaining about the Most-Compassionate, to those whose nature is not to have such compassion.”

The ʿārif (one with the recognition of Allāh ) complains to Allāh alone. The best ʿārif is he who complains to Allāh regarding his own mistakes rather than about other people. In reality, he complains about what causes people to overpower him, bearing in mind the verses of Allāh :

وَمَآ أَصَٰبَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٖ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتۡ أَيۡدِيكُمۡ وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٖ ٣٠

“Whatever hardship befalls you is because of what your own hands have committed, while He overlooks many (of your faults).”[1]

مَّآ أَصَابَكَ مِنۡ حَسَنَةٖ فَمِنَ ٱللَّهِۖ وَمَآ أَصَابَكَ مِن سَيِّئَةٖ فَمِن نَّفۡسِكَۚ

“Whatever good comes to you, it is from Allāh; and whatever evil visits you, it is from your own self.”[2]

أَوَلَمَّآ أَصَٰبَتۡكُم مُّصِيبَةٞ قَدۡ أَصَبۡتُم مِّثۡلَيۡهَا قُلۡتُمۡ أَنَّىٰ هَٰذَاۖ قُلۡ هُوَ مِنۡ عِندِ أَنفُسِكُمۡۗ

“How is it that when you suffered from a hardship, the twice of which you had afflicted upon them, you say, ‘Where did this come from?’ Say,’ This is from your own selves.’”[3]

As a result, there are three stages of complaint:

  • The lowest stage is to complain to people about Allāh .
  • The best and highest stage is to complain to Allāh regarding one’s own self.
  • The middle stage is to complain to Allāh regarding His creation.[4]


[1] [Al-Shūrā: 42/30].

[2] [Al-Nisāʾ: 4/79].

[3] [Āl ʿImrān: 3/165].

[4] Al-Jawziyya, Ibn Qayyim, Al-Fawāʾid, Dār Ibn al-Jawzī (1427/2006), Cairo, p. 93.

2 thoughts on “The Ignorant Man’s Complaint | Imām Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya ؒ

  1. the victim mentality is unislamic.totally
    .i dont need to to tell readers of the history of islam and the trials of prophets and sahabas and more.
    everyone has trials in life,absolutely everyone..the poor,the disabled,the homeless,even the rich,the childless,the ones with cancer,the ones without limbs,without eyes,without hearing,some have parkinsons,autism,polio,spina bifida, leukemia and the list goes on and on
    .children are bullied to suicide for big ears,a big nose,untrendy trainers,not having the latest phone.
    adults are bullied and mocked for their banger of a car,not so fantastic house,low social status and more
    people with stutters,and birthmarks with alopecia,cleft lips,speech impediments,are bullied too.some also to suicide.
    if you cant afford a school trip,your dad drives a banger,you get bullied,again possibly to horrible consequences
    there is racial,social status,gender,even football team bullying.
    i can go on and on everyone has problems ,everyone has a story.
    but it appears now muslim organisations are taking the lead in the “victim industry”..
    shall we start to call our prophet s.a.w. a victim
    the sahabah r.a.?
    hazrat bilal r.a. ?
    Islam has always been challenged from the time of the prophet muhammad salalahualyhiwassalam yet we still whine and complain despite knowing this history of struggles
    have we not learnt anything from the lives of the prophets, the sahabahs, .
    even our dear beloved prophet s.a.w. was mocked and jeered because all his sons passed away.by allah taalas command.
    he was even mocked in front of his wives r.a.
    how did he s.a.w. react

    .please tell me who on this planet has not been tested.please.
    will a muslim not be rewarded for even a thorn prick,a mild headache.have we forgotten that trials are from allah taala to make us travel to allah taala.
    no one is saying stop oppression.
    just do it like men…like the sahabah r.a.
    by returning to allah taala and the sunnah of huzoor s.a.w.
    by analysing our own condition
    by addressing the rot in our own communities
    by self reformation and dealing with our own problems with honesty, effective proactivity and courage.
    i read somewhere one sahabah said i fear my sins more than i fear my own enemy.
    but we dont want to talk about the sins and crimes and failings of our own community do we?

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