And ar-Ridaa (the pleasure of Allaah) – which occurs in the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “So whosoever is pleased, then Allaah is pleased with him.” – is one of the Attributes that Allaah has described Himself with in various places in His Book, such as His saying,
“Their rewards are Gardens of Adan, beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allaah is well pleased with them, as they are with Him.” [Sooratul-Bayyinah [98:8]
The way of the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) and those who follow them from Ahlus-Sunnah (the followers of the Sunnah) is to affirm those attributes which Allaah has affirmed for Himself, or which have been affirmed by His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) – in a way which befits His Majesty and Greatness – without tamtheel (likening Allaah to any of His creation), and without ta’teel (divesting Allaah of His Attributes). So when Allaah – the Most High – is pleased with any one, then such a person has acquired all good and excellence and is safe from all evils.
Ar-Ridaa is: a servant’s surrendering his affairs to Allaah, whilst having a good opinion about Him and expecting His reward. Such a person will then experience tranquility and joy, love of Allaah and reliance upon Him.
Ibn Mas’ood – (radiyallaahu ’anhu) – said, “Indeed Allaah – from His Justice and Fairness – made delight and tranquility the fits of yaqeen (certainty) and ridaa (pleasure). And He made grief, anxiety and worry the result of doubt and resentment.”
[Related by Ibn Abee Dunyaa in Kitaabur-Ridaa (no. 94) and also al-Bayhaqee in Shu’abul-Eemaan (no. 205).]
The meaning of resentment being: “A dislike for something, with the absence of pleasure.” [an-Nihaayah fee Ghareebil-Hadeeth (2/350) of Ibn al-Atheer]
Thus, whosoever resents what Allaah has decreed, then Allaah will resent that person; and this is sufficient as a punishment from Allaah. Also, from the above hadeeth, some Scholars have deduced that ridaa (contentment and pleasure) with the Decree of Allaah is obligatory – this being the view of Ibn ’Aqeel. However, al-Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa did not consider it to be obligatory [but rather preferable], and this was the preferred view of Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul-Qayyim. [Madaarijus-Saalikeen (2/171,184) of Ibnul-Qayyim.]
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Just as there is a specific command attached to having sabr (patience), there is, however, no such command for having ridaa (contentment and pleasure). Rather, there is a praise and an excellence for those who have ridaa with the Decree of Allaah.” He further said, “The narration: ‘Whosoever does not have sabr with My afflictions, nor have ridaa with My Decree, has taken a Lord other than Me.[Da’eef Jiddan: Related by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (22/320), Ibn Hibbaan in al-Majrooheen (1/324) and al-Khateeb in at-Talkhees (39/2) all by way of Sa’eed Ibn Ziyaad. Al-Haythamee said in al-Majma’ (7/207), “In it is Sa’eed Ibn Ziyaad who is matrook (abandoned).”
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah also said, “Indeed, there is a station higher than [both sabr and] ridaa, and that is to show shukr (gratitude) to Allaah for the affliction, since this is the cause of receiving excellence and bounties.” [Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (11/260) of Ibn Taymiyyah]