The Few and The Many


When Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a) was walking in the market, he passed by a man who was supplicating:

“O Allah, make us of Your ‘few’ servants! O Allah make us of Your ‘few’ servants!”

So ‘Umar (r.a) said to him:

“Where did you get this du`a’ from?”

And the man said:

“Allah in His Book says: ‘And few of My servants are grateful’ [surah Saba’ 34:13]”

So ‘Umar (r.a) wept and admonished himself:

“The people are more knowledgeable than you O Umar! O Allah make us of Your ‘few’ servants.”

Sometimes when you advise someone to leave a sin, they respond with:

“But most people do it, it’s not just me!”

But if you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most people:

“do not know” Surat Al-‘A`raaf, (7:187)

“do not give thanks” Baqarah,(2:243)

“do not believe” Hud, (11:17).

“are defiantly disobedient” Surah Al -Ma’idah, (5:59),

“ignorant” Al- An’am, (6:111),

“turning away” Al-‘Anbya, (21:24),

“do not reason” Al-`Ankabut, (29:23),

“do not listen” Al-‘Anfal, (8:21).

So,  dear brothers and sisters, be of the “few” about whom Allah says:

“And few of My servants are grateful.” (34:13)

“But none had believed with him, except a few.” (11:40)

“In the Gardens of Pleasure, A [large] company of the former peoples, And a few of the later peoples.” Al-Waqi`ah (56:12-14).

Ibn al-Qayyim (r.a) said:

“Go on the path of truth

And do not feel lonely because there are few who take that path,

And beware of the path of falsehood

And do not be deceived by the greatness of the perishers.”


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