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To win the satisfaction of your Lord

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Praising Ismaa‘eel (Ishmael), may Allah exalt his mention, Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {And mention in the Book Ismaa‘eel (Ishmael). Indeed, he was true to his promise, and he was a messenger and a prophet. And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and Zakah and His Lord was satisfied with him.} [Quran 19: 54-55]

Do you want your Lord to be satisfied with you?

While the satisfaction of Allah The Almighty is an aim that one can achieve, gaining the satisfaction of people is an ambition that is rarely achieved.

Sahl bin Abu Sahl Al-Hanafi  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him the prominent Shaafi‘i scholar of Khuraasaan, said, "If people's satisfaction is something difficult which can be achieved, the satisfaction of Allah The Almighty is easy [to gain] and [the pursuit of] it should not be abandoned. Indeed, we need true brothers in times of hardship."

When you are negligent regarding people’s rights, they get angry; when you act badly towards them, they do not forgive; and when you commit a misdeed, they never forget!

Ibn Hazm  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "You should know that the one who showed pure love and affection towards me in times of hardship and prosperity, abundance and distress, and anger and satisfaction, suddenly changed in the worst way after twelve consecutive years of pure love and affection. The reason behind that change was very trifling, which I never thought could have a similar effect on any human. The relation never returned to its past status. This severely troubled me for many years."

If you do your best to obtain people's satisfaction, they would consider you foolish and naïve. Or, they would think that you want something for yourself.

If people want something from you, they would never accept any excuses from you. When they ask you for something, you are under a compulsion to do it; otherwise you would be considered useless and of no consequence.

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "Most people want to fulfill their needs from you even if this is harmful either to your religion or life. Their sole purpose is satisfying their needs even by means of harming you. However, your Lord, The Almighty, wants good for you and wants to do good to you, with no need for you. Then, how do you entertain hopes and wishes from some people and fear others?"
Your Lord, however, wants something easier than this from you. He wants you for you. As a pious scholar said, "He wants you for yourself, for your benefit, and for your need, in order to be satisfied with you. He wants you to worship Him and not associate others with Him."

In a Hadeeth (narration), it was narrated that Allah The Almighty will say to the person who will receive the least punishment in Hell: "‘If you had things equal to what is on earth, would you ransom yourself (from the punishment) with it?’ He will reply, ‘Yes.’ Allah will say, ‘I asked you something easier than this while you were in the backbone of Adam, that is, not to worship others besides Me, but you refused and insisted upon worshipping others.’" [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah The Almighty wants you to say a few words every day to be satisfied with you. In a Hadeeth, the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "The person who says each morning and evening, 'I am satisfied with Allah as (my) Lord, Islam as (my) religion and Muhammad as (my) Messenger, it will be incumbent on Allah to satisfy him on the Day of Resurrection." [Ahmad, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, Ibn Maajah and An-Nasaa’i]

What is easier than this is to drink some water and then praise and thank Allah The Almighty for it, or eat something and praise Allah The Almighty for it. The King of kings and The Owner of the Day of Resurrection will be satisfied with you.
In another Hadeeth (narration), the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah is satisfied with the slave when he eats something and praises Him for it and when he drinks something and praises Him for it." [Muslim]

Let us reflect on the characteristics that Allah The Almighty mentioned when He described Ismaa‘eel (Ishmael), may Allah exalt his mention.
The first is that he was true to his promise. He fulfilled his promise with Allah The Almighty as well as with people.
You should contemplate why Allah The Almighty mentioned that characteristic before mentioning how he performed prayers and gave Zakah (obligatory purifying alms) and enjoined them on his people.

Allah The Exalted Says (what means): {Certainly will the believers have succeeded: They who are during their prayer humbly submissive, And they who turn away from ill speech, And they who are observant of Zakah, And they who guard their private parts…} [Quran 23: 5]

Clarifying the characteristics of the true believers, in these verses Allah The Almighty mentioned turning away from ill speech before the observance of Zakah and guarding the private parts.

This indicates the importance of these beautiful meanings and noble morals in the Islamic Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation).

You have to seek the satisfaction of the one who when satisfied with you, rewards and satisfies you in turn.

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