Saying “If only….” by Hasan as somali
10/03/2016 9:07 AM
Saying “If only….”
An extremely important topic connected to Eemaan and Tawheed. Ignorance leaves one open to attack from Shaytaan. Our brother Hasan as-Somali (hafidhahullah) explains Chapter 57 of Kitab al-Tawheed, “What has been Related concerning Saying ‘IF only'”. This is forbidden when regretting and lamenting the past, something that has already occurred in accordance to Divine Decree.
However, using the term “if only” in the future tense, if it is regarding a good matter we want in the future, with hope and trust in Allah, and seeking the objective via halal means, then this is permissible and praiseworthy.
Many people reject the Decree in respect to their actions. They believe that if they had done some things the situation would have been different, they would have married so-and-so, not done that, or got such and such job promotion, or had met another objective, and the like. Yet Allah has decreed the deed and its result, and everything is accordance to His Wisdom.
يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا ۗ
They (the munafiqoon) say, “If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed.” [Surah Aale-Imran 3:154]
الَّذِينَ قَالُوا لِإِخْوَانِهِمْ وَقَعَدُوا لَوْ أَطَاعُونَا مَا قُتِلُوا ۗ
(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home), “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” [Surah Aale-Imran 3:168]
It is recorded in the Saheeh from Abu Hurayrah (radiyallaahu anhu) that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said, “Seek that which will benefit you and seek Allah’s help and do not lose heart. If some adversity befalls you, do not say, ‘If only I had done so, such and such would have occurred’. Instead say, ‘Allah decreed and He did what He willed’ [Qadar Allaaha wa maa shaa Fa’la]. For verily ‘If only…’ begins the work of Shaytan.” [Sahih Muslim]
The lecture contains following important points:
I. Explanation of the two ayaat of Surah Aale-Imran.
II. The clear prohibition from saying “If only” after something has already happened.
III. The reasoning for this issue, that it opens the way for the work of shaytaan.
IV. Guidance to a good alternative saying from the Sunnah.
V. The command to pursue what benefits, while seeking Allah’s help.
VI. The prohibition of the opposition of that, that is behaving helplessly.