Allah says in Surah Baqarah

“who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times?  And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.”  (2:145)

When Islam started the Israelites were already established.  They had so many Messengers that came to them, they had their Books and Allah had blessed them in a special way; for example their food came down from the skies.  So their outlook was different to that of the Muslims.  When Prophet Muhammad started preaching Allah wanted the Muslims to be a part of the whole human family and as a result they were to interact in some way. 

One way of being a part of society was to help others in whatever capacity and to live a selfless life.  In this context Allah enjoined us to give charity and help others; Muslims as well as non-Muslims.  He refers to this these acts of selflessness as a goodly loan.  Why?  If you give something in the way of Allah, such as offering charity to those in need of helping out in a different faculty, it is His obligation to return what is better to you.  He will multiply the rewards of your charitable deed many times over.

When the Israelites heard this they began mocking and ridiculing the Muslims.  They began saying that the God of the Muslims was a poor God and He required a loan from His servants.  The Israelites looked at every opportunity where they could embarrass the Believers in an attempt to make them despondent. 

 After some time Allah revealed the following ayat;

 “O mankind!  It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah is rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of All praise.”  (35”15)

Allah is announcing to all of mankind that we are the ones in constant need of Him.  Everything we will ever own is a gift from Him.  He permits us to act and to seek out our livelihood.  Even the insignificant task of simply blinking your eye is a blessing from Allah. 

This is why the Allah says in His Holy Words;

“And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them”  (14:34) 

Never will we be able to compute all the bounties that Allah provides.  Some of us may only think in terms of financial blessings but what about your health?  What about the protection He provides when we travel?  Even the ability to thank Allah for His blessings is a great gift from Him.

The wise Muslim understands that Allah has been and will always be Kind and Mercifully.  This is why we pray;

‘My Lord inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.’ 

Even when we receive blessings we are taught to remain humble and grateful not like the fellow Allah mentions in Surah Kalf who was so filled with pride and arrogance that he boasted of the wealth and power he amassed.  He was so proud of his garden that he never openly said it will never perish.  The next day Allah says that He ‘encircled the crops (with ruin).  And the man remained clapping his hands with sorrow”. 

Don’t wait to learn the hard way like this fellow did and don’t think like the Israelites.  Understand that whatever you have is from the Mercy of Allah.  The important task is to use it in a manner that will bring about benefit in this world and great returns in the next. 

May Allah inculcate in us the ability to always recognise His blessings; the ones we can see as well as the ones we can’t.  And may He always guide us to be thankful to Him, ameen.