What does the Prophet (pbuh) mean in the following hadith: “It is a law of Allah to lower anything that He elevates in the world.”?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The narration in question is as follows:

According to what Bukhari narrates from Abu Hurayra, the Prophet (pbuh) said,

"Allah's Hand is full, and (its fullness) is not affected by the continuous spending, day and night." He also said, "Do you see what He has spent since He created the Heavens and the Earth? Yet all that has not decreased what is in His Hand." He also said, "His Throne is over the water (Hud, 7) and in His other Hand is the balance (of Justice) and He raises and lowers (whomever He will).” (Bukhari, Tawhid, 19)

Scholars say what is meant by the balance here is the divine distribution among people. Who will be rich, who will be poor, who will receive harms and who will receive benefits are determined based on this criterion. (Ibn Hajar, the explanation of the hadith in question)

"…Every day in (new) Splendor doth He (shine)." (ar-Rahman, 55/29)

The verse above shows that in addition to creating the universe, Allah also manages it. Allah did not retire after creating the world by leaving it to people and laws of nature as some people think. For, it is much more difficult to leave the operation of a clock to another machine after making and operating that clock. It is a nonsensical thing to make a clock and then to invent a more wonderful machine than that clock and to deliver the clock to that machine. Allah, who is Sublime and Lofty, is free and away from doing such a nonsensical thing. 

Allah created the whole universe with the secret of unicity and manages all of its deeds, all of the duties of its parts and the functions of its laws on His own with the secret of oneness. Allah, who is closer to man from his jugular vein, is near all incidents and manages all affairs; though He is free from time and space, He is everywhere with His knowledge and power.

This expression of the verse is evaluated as follows in the hadith: "forgiving sins, eliminating troubles, elevating some nations and lowering others". (Tabari, 13/135) This is an evidence of the truthfulness of the issues mentioned above.

To sum up, it is pointed out in the hadith mentioned above that Allah created life and death, elevated some people and lowered others, created Paradise, which is an eternal place of eternal dignity, for His friends, and created Hell, which is a horrible dungeon of endless derogation, for His enemies, based on the criterion of justice He holds in His hand and as an indication of His beauty and majesty.

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