The Meaning of Qanaah in Islam, Five Cases, and Their Lessons in Life

Qanaah Is – Basically, all religions on this earth always teach that we as humans should always be grateful and accept what God already has and has given us. Yep, in terms of wealth, the standard for labeling “rich” doesn’t have to be carved from the number of possessions one has, but rather the wealth of the soul. People who have soul wealth are those who are always willing and feel open-minded in receiving gifts from God.

If in Islam, the attitude of always accepting what has been given by God is called qanaah. This qanaah refers to the attitude of gratitude which is always taught by families and teachers in our schools, right ? In fact, indirectly, the existence of this qanaah attitude also affects one’s leadership, you know… Then actually, what is qanaah? What are the lessons or benefits of applying the qanaah attribute in everyday life?

So, so that Sinaumed’s isn’t confused about what qana’ah is, let’s look at the following review!

Definition of qanaah

The term “Qana’ah” in terms of language means ‘enough’ and ‘ satisfied with everything that has been bestowed by Allah SWT and submits and gets along with His gifts ‘. In short, this qanaah is an attitude of being grateful for what Allah SWT has given and feeling content with it all.

According to Muhammad Ali Al-Tirmizi, the attitude of this Qanaah is in the form of a soul that is willing to provide sustenance that has been determined by Him. Then according to Abu Abdillah bin Khafif, Qanaah is the act of leaving wishful thinking about something that doesn’t exist and feeling content with something that already exists. Meanwhile, according to Abu Zakaria Ansari, this means that Qanaah is a person’s feeling that he is satisfied with what he has, especially in fulfilling life’s needs in the form of food, clothing, and others.

In this case, Allah must have determined the level of trials for each of His servants, so that the trials and temptations that have existed so far are only meant to test the level of human faith. Even so, God also will not burden humans beyond their limits. In several sources, it is stated that a person who has the Qanaah characteristic will definitely not be tempted by the luxuries or wealth that is owned by other people, because he is satisfied with what he has so far.

Dzunnun al-Masri once said that “Whoever behaves Qanaah, then he can feel comfortable in the midst of his contemporaries and respected by his colleagues”. Not only that, even Rasulullah SAW also said about the nature of this Qanaah which was narrated by Baihaqi from Abu Hurairah, reads: “Be you a sane person, with that you become a person who worships a lot, and you become a person who is qanaah, then thus you will be a person who is much grateful to fellow human beings.

In this hadith, it is stated that the nature of character will make humans like to worship Allah SWT so that they will not waste their time and life in vain. After all, this time will be used to worship and draw closer to Allah SWT.

You need to know , Sinaumed’s , that the nature of this Qanaah does not mean that we will abandon endeavor, because endeavor will still be carried out in upholding the foundations of life. If Sinaumed’s has made an effort, but it turns out that the effort has not been successful, then there is no need to be deeply disappointed or even discouraged. On the other hand, Sinaumed’s must accept it wholeheartedly and believe that Allah will make things easier for His servants, because the nature of Qanaah is for those who never give up on what has been given and do not forget to give thanks.

Humans who continuously carry out this Qanaah characteristic will later feel sufficient of what Allah has given them, so that they can be free from some bad traits that Allah does not like. Yep, the application of this Qanaah trait can free people from ghurur (deceived), ‘ujub (self-proud) attitudes, and su’ul adab (bad morals) attitudes towards Allah SWT. In fact, the nature of Qanaah, which can also be called an attitude of gratitude, turns out to be effective as a self-therapy for mental illness, which often has a negative impact on physical health. This is because from within a person, an attitude of accepting reality will emerge, both in sickness and in health, and in both rich and poor conditions.

The existence of this Qanaah is the beginning of rida . Rida itself comes from the word radhiya-yardha which means ‘to accept something gracefully without feeling disappointed or depressed’. According to Al-Hujwiri, rida is divided into two things, namely the pleasure of Allah towards His servants, and the pleasure of servants towards Allah. In the pleasure of Allah for His servants, this is by giving rewards, favors, and His gifts to His servants. Meanwhile, the pleasure of a servant towards Allah is to carry out all orders and obey all His laws.

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As a human being, whether you are a Muslim or not, you must have been taught about gratitude from an early age, right ? Now in Islam, this characteristic of Qanaah is the most steadfast capital when facing life, because it can generate enthusiasm to seek sustenance by keeping the mind steady, firm in the heart, putting trust in Allah, and hoping for His help so that one’s wishes can come true.

Does Sinaumed’s know that the form of gratitude can be manifested in three aspects, namely:

  • Gratitude with the heart, in the form of realizing and believing that all the favors and gifts you receive at this moment are a form of grace from Allah SWT.
  • Gratitude verbally, in the form of praising Allah SWT as much as possible and saying Alhamdulillah .
  • Gratitude with deeds, in the form of obediently worshiping Him and using all his gifts for good things.

The nature of this Qanaah can also distance oneself from the invitation of lust, especially for the deceit of worldly life, which can make a person forget Allah SWT so that he is negligent of his obligations as a Muslim. Regarding this, Abu Abakar al-Maraghi also said that: “A wise person is someone who is able to manage his world affairs with Qanaah, his afterlife affairs with a strong and earnest desire, and his religious affairs with science and jihad”. 

Based on this statement, it is clear that this Qanaah is not only a person’s ability to control his desires, but also a person’s ability to manage worldly affairs and religious affairs.

So, based on the description above, it can be concluded that this Qanaah is a condition where a Muslim is able to accept themselves, and has the will to face reality in their life conditions no matter what. People who have this Qanaah trait will also always be satisfied with what they get so they tend to be able to avoid bad things, one of which is arrogance and greed. This is because people who have this Qanaah character always think that whatever they are getting right now is just a deposit from Allah SWT which can be lost at any time.

Five Cases in the Nature of Qanaah

Previously, it was mentioned that the nature of this Qanaah is the beginning of ridha which will always feel sufficient even though the sustenance given by Allah SWT is small in number and does not pursue wealth in a way that is not commendable. In that nature, it turns out to contain five things, namely:

  1. Accept willingly for what is.
  2. Asking Allah SWT for the appropriate additions and always trying.
  3. Accept patiently the provisions of Allah SWT.
  4. Put your trust in Allah SWT.
  5. Not interested in human deception.

Actually, the understanding of Qanaah is very broad. Even though we accept and are grateful for what Allah SWT has given us, we must also try actively to get the best again. Because it returns to Qanaah’s understanding which relates that the definition of “rich” is not always rich in wealth, but rather rich in heart. If you are only rich in wealth, the longer humans tend to have a greedy heart for other wealth.

Rasulullah SAW also once said about this Qanaah, saying: “Whoever wants to be an owner, then Allah SWT is sufficient for him. Anyone who wants peace, the Al-Quran will suffice, and whoever wants wealth, then enough with Qana’ah. Then, whoever wants a piece of advice, death will suffice, and whoever feels that these four things are not enough, then hell will suffice him.

However, through the nature of this Qanaah, it does not mean that a person cannot work or even just sit idly by, but he must also keep trying actively. At the time of Rasulullah SAW, his friends were also rich people with lots of wealth and luxurious houses, but they still applied this Qanaah characteristic. There are five basic ways to obtain Qana’ah characteristics, namely:

  1. Charity

Namely from simplicity in life and shopping activities. So whoever wants this characteristic of Qanaah, then he should reduce expenses when shopping, alias save money. After all, this has also been explained in the Al-Quran Surah Al-A’raf verse 31.

  1. Short wishful thinking, so it does not constantly think about secondary and tertiary needs.
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In fact, Rasulullah SAW also once said that “There are two things that I fear the most for all of you, namely long wishful thinking and following lust. Because in fact, the long wishful thinking of neglecting the hereafter and following the passions can divorce the truth.. “

So, based on this hadith, it can be concluded that through this characteristic of Qanaah, humans must be able to control their desires and dreams so that they do not fall into worldly matters and even forget about the afterlife.

  1. Looking down in terms of the world

In worldly affairs, we should look at people who are lower, not people who are higher, as the words of the Prophet Muhammad, which reads: “Look at people who are lower than you and do not look at people who are higher than you, that is more worthy so that you do not underestimate the grace of Allah “ (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

  1. Realizing how heavy the responsibility of property is

Does Sinaumed’s know that the assets we have in this world must be accounted for in the afterlife? Yep, lots of wealth will actually result in disaster for the owner, especially if he gets all the wealth and luxuries in a bad way.

  1. Knowing what is contained in the nature of Qanaah

Yep, every human being should know what is contained in the nature of Qanaah, namely in the form of glory and to avoid begging and greed.

Wisdom In Life

The existence of the Qanaah trait certainly has a lot of influence on one’s life, both physically and spiritually. This is because Qanaah teaches humans to accept sincerely for what has been and make it as inner peace so that they are not greedy. Apart from that, the nature of Qanaah also makes people to always be grateful and not easily give up on what Allah SWT has given them. Therefore, it is very important to apply the nature of Qanaah in any situation in order to get a sense of calm.

In general, the lessons from the nature of Qanaah in everyday life are:

  • Gives a sense of serenity and calm to the human soul, because he is not haunted by greed and lack of worldly things.
  • Bringing a work ethic and working hard in an effort to get something that is deserved to get.
  • Optimistic, confident, and do not hesitate in facing life.
  • Simple life and what it is.
  • Making a Muslim someone who trusts and is patient in facing the happiness of life while at the same time encouraging Muslims to always try to get the true happiness of life, namely having a rich heart, not rich in wealth.
  • Making someone feel more satisfied and grateful for all circumstances.
  • Not enslaved by possessions.
  • Get a calm soul and avoid stress.
  • As a life balancer, because a Muslim who applies this Qanaah characteristic will later realize that everything he gets comes from Allah SWT and when he loses all of these things he doesn’t feel excessively disappointed or frustrated.
  • As the driving force of life, because a Muslim who applies this Qanaah trait tends to have an emotional attitude that allows him to achieve the goals of the world and victory, both in the life of this world and the hereafter.

So, that’s a review of what Qanaah is and the wisdom of its application in everyday life. Has Sinaumed’s applied this Qanaah characteristic when receiving sustenance from Allah SWT?

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