Pearl of Wisdom
'Poverty is red death.' The narrator said, 'I asked Abu 'Abdullah [al-Sadiq] (AS), 'Poverty of dinars and dirhams?' He said, 'No, rather poverty in one's faith.'
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 266, no. 2
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"Those who oppose Allah and His Prophet shall be (herded) among the most abased" (Quran, 58:20).
"Al-Muthill" is one of the Attributes of Allah derived from the noun thull, whatever results from subduing, vanquishing, overcoming, conquering, someone.
The Almighty says, "... walk in the ways of your Lord submissively," (Quran, 16:69), that is, freely. He has also said, "... its fruits shall be made accessible (to them), always easy to reach" (Quran, 76:14).
Al-Muthill is the One Who abases or humiliates whomsoever He pleases, depriving them of all prestige. He is the One who justly abases His foes when they disobey Him and rebel against His commandments. He insults them and dismisses them, causing them to be hurled into the abode of His chastisement, the inferno of hell.
Al-Muthill is the One Who abases His foes by depriving them of knowing Him, enabling them to have their way and to go against His injunctions. He will then have them transported to the abode of His chastisement, insulting them by dismissing and cursing them.
Al-Muthill is the One Who abases the unbelievers through the power of the truth, who subdues whomsoever He pleases. Allah has not honored any servant of His more than He has to one who abases his own evil-insinuating self, his nafs, and He has not abased any servant of His more than one who is preoccupied with trying to earn distinction, prominence, and prestige for himself.
In Surat al-A`raf we read the following verse: "(As for) those who took the calf (for a god), surely wrath from their Lord and disgrace in the life of this world shall overtake them" (Quran, 7:152).
Anyone who looks niggardly at people to see how he can take advantage of them, who is never satisfied with what he has had, one who is dragged by his own schemes to elevate himself to prominence while keeping himself in the darkness of ignorance..., is one whom Allah has surely disgraced and deprived. Such an individual is implied in verses such as this:
"But you caused yourselves to fall into temptation, and you waited and doubted, and vain desires deceived you, till the threatened punishment of Allah came while the arch-deceiver [Satan] deceived you about Allah, so today ransom shall not be accepted from you" (Quran, 57:14). This is the lowest degree of humiliation.
Thull, or bringing it about, that is, ithll, comes in many types, shapes and sizes. Allah abases an oppressor by making him fall a prey to disease, or to his lust for women, or to his greed for wealth, or by making him in dire need of others.
Let us supplicate thus: "Lord! Take us out of the humiliation of disobedience to the honor of obedience to you, and do not permit any of those whom you created to disgrace us, and crown us with the crown of your honor." Honor is in needing nobody. The absolutely perfect degree of such honor, to be sure, belongs to none other than Allah Who has said, "Surely all honor is Allah's" (Quran, 4:139).
Next in degree of being honored is one who is closest to the Almighty: "... to Allah belongs the honor, to His Prophet, and to the believers" (Quran, 63:8).