What Is the Reference for This Oft-Repeated Statement Attributed to Ibn Al-Qayyim?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

Do you know any reference for this statement:

“Had Allah lifted the veil for his slave and shown him how He handles their affairs for him, and how Allah is keener for the benefit of the slave than his self, his heart would have melted out of love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah. Therefore, if the pains of this world tire you, do not grieve. For it may be that Allah wishes to hear your voice through supplication. So pour out your desires in prostration, forget about it, and know that Allah does not forget.” [Ibn al-Qayyim]

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.

After searching for the statement in question, the statement cannot authentically be attributed to Ibn Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy on him). There is a similar, albeit significantly different, statement that was located. Both statements are reproduced below for comparison.

The Statement in Question

لو كشف الله الغطاء لعبده ، و أظهر له كيف يدبّر الله له أموره ، و كيف أن الله أكثر حرصًا على مصلحة العبد من العبد نفسه ، و أنه أرحم به من أمّه ، لذاب قلب العبد محبةً لله ، و لتقطع قلبه شكرًا لله (…)

Had Allah lifted the veil for his slave and shown him how He handles their affairs for him and how Allah is keener for the benefit of the slave than himself, his heart would have melted out of his love for Allah and would have been torn to pieces out of thankfulness to Allah (…) [Source Unknown]

Original Statement

فلو كشف الغطاءَ عن ألطافه وبره وصنعه له من حيث يعلم ومن حيث لا يعلم لذاب قلبه حباً له وشوقاً إليه ويقع شكراً له، ولكن حجب القلوب عن مشاهدة ذلك إخلادها إلى عالم الشهوات والتعلق بالأسباب، فصدت عن كمال نعيمها، وذلك تقدير العزيز العليم.

If the veils were lifted from His [Allah’s] kindness and what He does for him [the servant] of what he knows and what he does not know, his heart would melt out of love for Him [Allah] and longing for Him, and he [the servant] would fall prostrating in gratitude to Him [Allah]. But the hearts are veiled from witnessing that because of their devotion to the world and their attachment to perceived causes, so they are prevented from the beauty and perfection of His favors. That is the decree of the Mighty, the All-Knowing. [Ibn al-Qayyim, Tariq al-Hijratayn Wa Bab al-Sa‘adatayn]

I pray this is of benefit.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.