Gems from Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Ibn al-Qayyim notes an important point lost in most translations: when reading al-Fatiha one will come across the statement, “Not the way of those who earned Your wrath.” The Problem with this translation is that the Arabic is in the passive form meaning the one angered is not mentioned. Therefore the translation should be, “Those who earned wrath.”
Ibn Qayyim notes that we learn something very important in our personal relationship with Allah here. For when anger is mentioned, it is done so in the passive form “[not the way] of those who earned wrath.” However, when favors and benefits are mentioned we find the active form used, “The way of those who earned Your favors.” Ibn al-Qayyim notes that although all power belongs to Allah alone, it is from the correct etiquette with Him to only mention Him when discussing the good.
Now drink from Surah al-Kahaf:
This important principle is found acted upon by al-Khadar in the 18th chapter of the Qur’an when he explains the mysteries of things to Mosa [may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him].
The Qur’an states:
“As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river and I wished that I should damage it, and there was behind [bad translation her wara means in front] them a king who seized every boat by force. (79) And as for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should make disobedience and ingratitude to come upon them: (80) So we desired that their Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity and nearer to having compassion. (81) And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord.”
Ibn al-Qayyim notes that when al-Khadar was talking about the boat he said,”I wished that I should damage it” because such damage, at least apparently, was something bad. While discussing the killing of the boy al-Khadar states, “So we desired” also because killing, apparently, is something evil. However, when talking about rebuilding the wall for the orphans he said, “So your Lord desired.” Here goodness is mentioned in direct connection with “Your Lord” because building such a wall is a virtuous deed about which non-would doubt.
Ibn al-Qayyim states that although all of them were good, al-Khadar only mentioned his Lord when it came to something clearly benefical and good [rebuilding the wall]. However, one should note that al-Khadar ended his discussion by saying about all of these events, “And I did not do it of my own accord.” Reflect!