Commentary on the Hikam (#3)

Dr. Saeed Ramadan al-Buti

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Dear brethren: we must deal with this reality. Many are those that stray in this matter. One of us may say: “If this is the case, then why do we have to interact with these causes? Why does the sick person seek recourse in the physician? Why does he take medicine? Why do we take precautions against fire and its burning pain? Let us plunge into fire just as we plunge into water and swim in it. Why do we go out to the market and struggle, why work in trade and farming and so forth, if, as you said, there are no causes, and the one and only Causator is Allah, around Whose might all causes revolve?” What is the answer to this?

Allah Almighty has made this lower-wordly existence stand on certain customs (sunan). He has tied together these things and those. Whatever comes first, appears to us to be a cause; whatever comes last, appears to us to be an effect. Allah has made the universe stand on that system. That is: Allah’s way is that He satiates you when you take food. His way is that He quenches your thirst when you take drink. His way is that He provides you with sustenance when you knock at the door of sustenance. His way is that He cures you when you rush to the doctor and ask him for the remedy that will benefit you. That is the way of Allah. He ties things together, but without there being actual efficacy for what we call a cause. It is proper conduct (adab) on our part with Allah to respect His system in the universe.

It is proper conduct on our part with Allah to respect His universal customs. Thus has Allah Almighty willed it. If you have recognized what must be believed in the chapter of doctrine and then say: “For myself I shall not drink when I feel thirst, because Allah is the One that shall create quenchedness,” know that at that time you are committing misconduct with Allah Almighty. My Exalted Lord has willed to create quenchedness in your being at the time you take drink. If you say: “I shall not take drink,” then this is rebellion against Allah Almighty’s system.

 

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