Another example of Allah’s safeguarding His servant is His preserving his health, strength, intellect and wealth. One of the Salaf said, ‘The scholar does not become senile.’ Another said, ‘Whoever memorises the Qur’an will find his intellect blessed.’ Some explained His saying,
“Then he reduced him to the lowest of the low, except for those who have faith and work righteous deeds.” (al-Tin 95: 5-6)
stating that the lowest of the low referred to the decrepitude of old age.
“Allah created you and then will take you back again. And some of you revert to the lowest form of life so that, after having knowledge, you know nothing at all.” (al-Nahl 16:70)]
Abul-Tayyib al-Tabari exceeded the age of one hundred yet his intellect remained very much intact as did his strength. One day he leapt off a large ship he was on onto the ground. When reprimanded for this he said, ‘We safeguard these limbs from sins in our youth, so Allah safeguarded them for us in our old age.’ (Ibn Kathir al-Bidayah was Nihayah)
In the opposite vein, Junaid saw an old man begging people and remarked, ‘This person was negligent of Allah in his youth so Allah neglected him in his old age.’
Allah will also safeguard a person, by virtue of his righteousness, through his children and grandchildren. It is said in explanation of His saying,
“Their father was righteous.” (al-Kahf 18:82)
that they were safeguarded by virtue of the righteousness of their father.
Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir said, ‘Allah will safeguard the children and grandchildren of a person by virtue of his righteousness, He will safeguard the city he is in and the settlements surrounding it. They will always be in the protection of Allah and His cover.’ (Abu Nu’aym al-Hilyah)
Ibn al-Musayyab said to his son, ‘Son of mine, I increase my prayers because of you in the hope that I will be safeguarded through you, then he recited,
“Their father was righteous.” (al-Kahf 18:82)
Umar ibn Abdul Aziz said, ‘There is no believer who dies except that Allah will safeguard him through his children and grandchildren.’
Tanya ibn Ismail ibn Salamah ibn Kuhayl said, ‘I used to have an older sister who became confused, lost her sanity and became unruly. She would stay in a room in the furthest part of our loft and stayed there for ten odd years. Then at midnight, while we were sleeping, somebody knocked at the door. I said, ‘Who is there?’ She replied, ‘Kajjah.’ I said, ‘My sister?’ She replied ‘Yes, your sister.’ I opened the door and she entered the house for the first time in ten years and said, ‘Someone came to me in a dream and said, ‘Allah safeguarded your father, Ismail, by virtue of your grandfather, Salamah. He safeguarded you by virtue of your father so if you wish, supplicate to Allah and what has afflicted you shall leave you, or you can be patient and Paradise will be yours. Abu Bakr and Umar have interceded for you with Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, through the love your father and granth father had of them.’ So I said, ‘If it must be one of the two, I choose patience so that Paradise can be mine. However Allah is generous to His creation, nothing is too great for Him, and if He wishes to grant me both, He can.’ So it was said to me, ‘Allah has granted you both and is pleased with your father and grandfather because of their love of Abu Bakr and Umar. Stand and go down,’ and Allah relieved her of her affliction.’
When the servant devotes himself to obeying Allah, Mighty and Magnificent, Allah will safeguard him in that state as is recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad on the authority of Humayd ibn Hilal on the authority of someone who said, ‘I came to the Prophet and he showed me a house and said,
“A woman used to live there and she went out as part of a Muslim raiding party leaving behind her twelve goats and her weavers hook with which she would weave. She lost a goat from her flock and her hook so (supplicated), ‘My Lord! You have guaranteed the safeguarding of a person who goes out in Your Way. I have lost a goat of mine and my weavers hook. I implore You to return them to me!”
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, commented on the intensity of her imploring her Lord, Blessed and Exalted. He said,
“So she awoke in the morning to find her goat and hook with her and the like of them in addition. If you wish, go and ask her.”
I said, “I believe you.” (Ahmad)
Shayban al-Rai would tend his flocks in the open fields, on the day of Jummuah he would draw a line around them and go and pray the Friday prayer. He would retune to find them in the same place he had left them. (Abu Nu’aym)
One of the Salaf would have a balance with which he would weigh dirhams. He heard the call for prayer and so, leaving them scattered on the ground, he went to pray. When he returned, he gathered up the money and nothing had been taken.
The Legacy of the Prophet Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali p33-36