How many the people who leave what Allah has obliged upon them, believing that by doing so they are worshipping Allah! They leave enjoining the good and prohibiting the evil, while having the ability to change the evil, presuming that by doing so they are leaving alone matters that do not concern them. Such people are from the worst of creation, even though they may think they are fulfilling the rights of faith and are the Awliyah!
How many are the people who worship Allah through doing something that he has prohibited, thinking that they are drawing closer to Him. These people do things such as listening to music and poetry in song form and use this to draw closer to Allah, thinking all the while that they are the Awliyah of the All-Merciful!
How many are the people who think they are wrongly oppressed, that they themselves are not in the wrong at all, when the reality is quite different. Rather they could be in the right in some matters and be in the wrong in others and hence themselves be oppressors in the latter. Ones love of something causes him to be blinded and deafened by it, man by nature loves himself and hates his enemy; hence he will always see his own good qualities and his enemies bad qualities. This state could go to such an extreme that a man could start believing his evil deeds to be good deeds, “And what of him the evil of whose actions appears fine to him so that he sees them as good?” (al-Fatir 35:8) and the good deeds of his enemy as evil, as the poet said, ‘They looked with the eye of enmity, were they to have looked with the eye of pleasure. They would have regarded to be good what they had thought to be evil.’
Much of what the people take as religion are but habits and ways taken from their forefathers, blindly followed. Allah, Glorious is He, has only guaranteed victory for His Awliyah who adhere firmly to His Religion by way of knowledge and action. He has not guaranteed victory for falsehood, even if the one following it believes it to be correct. Similarly, nobility, honour and supremacy lies in store for those who adhere firmly to the faith with which Allah sent the Messengers and revealed the Books; this is knowledge, action and belief, “You will be uppermost if you are believers” (Ali Imran 3:139) “…but all might belongs to Allah and to His Messenger and the believers.” (al-Munafiqun 63:8)
So the servant is allotted supremacy, might and honour in accordance to his faith and his establishment of its realities. So if he is lacking in any aspect of this, it is because he is lacking in aspects of faith, either in knowledge to action, inwardly and outwardly. Likewise, Allah defends the believers in accordance of their faith, “Allah will defend those who have faith” (al-Hajj 22:38) So if the defence is lacking in anyway, it is because of our own weakness in faith. Likewise, Allah suffices us in accordance to our faith, “O Prophet! Allah is enough for you and for the believers who follow you.” (al-Anfal 8:64) So as faith increases and decreases, Allah’s sufficing for us also increases and decreases, it is belief of Ahl-Sunnah wa-l-Jama’ah that faith increases and decreases.
The same applies to the wilayah of Allah, “Allah is the Protector of the believers” (Ali Imran 3:68) “Allah is the Protector of those who have faith” (al-Baqarah 2:257) the same applies to Allah being with us in the specific sense reserved for the believers, “Allah is with the believers” (al-Anfal 8:19) The same applies to total support and victory, “We will certainly help Our Messengers and those who have faith both in the life of this world and on the Day the witness appear.” (al-Ghafir 40:51) “So We supported those who have had faith against their enemy and they became victorious.” (as-Saff 61:14)
This is why, if the servant is tried, either in body, wealth or being defeated by his enemy, the only reason for this is his sins – either his leaving something obligatory or his committing something prohibited which is part and parcel of his diminishing in faith. Through understanding this well do we remove any potential difficulty in understanding His saying, “Allah will not give the disbelievers any way against the believers.” (an-Nisa 4:141)
Some people understand this verse to refer to the Hereafter and others understand it to be a reference to proof and clarity of truth. The correct position is that it is to be understood in the same light as previously quoted verses; the true and complete believer will never be overcome by the disbelievers, but if there is a weakness in faith, the disbelievers will find ways against them in accordance to that lack of faith.
The believer is noble, victorious, aided, sufficed and defended wherever he may be, even if the whole of mankind were to gather against him, provided that he has fulfilled the reality of faith both in speech and deed. Allah, Exalted is He, has said to the believers, “Do not give up and do not be downhearted. You will be uppermost if you are believers.” (Ali Imran 3:139) “Do not become faint hearted and call for peace when you are uppermost and Allah is with you – He would never cheat you of your deeds” (Muhammad 47:35) This guarantee is conditional upon their faith and deeds, deeds which are in reality an army from the armies of Allah.
Trials and Tribulations: Wisdom and Benefits (Note that this extract is taken from Aid for the Yearning One in Resisting Shaytan) Imam ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah Pages 24-29