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The scales of Justice by Allah Ta’ala

Question

What is the explanation of the following part of the Hadith

و يرفع القسط و يخفضه

عن أبي موسى الأشعري عبدالله بن قيس: قامَ فِينا رَسولُ اللهِ صَلّى اللَّهُ عليه وسلَّمَ بأَرْبَعٍ: إنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَنامُ ولا يَنْبَغِي له أنْ يَنامَ، يَرْفَعُ القِسْطَ ويَخْفِضُهُ، ويُرْفَعُ إلَيْهِ عَمَلُ النَّهارِ باللَّيْلِ، وعَمَلُ اللَّيْلِ بالنَّهارِ.

 

Answer

Translation

Sayyiduna Abu Musa Al-Ash’ary (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) stood up one day and told us four things:

‘Indeed Allah Ta’ala does not sleep, and it is not befitting of him to sleep.

He raises the deeds [to weigh them] and sends down [measured] sustenance [accordingly].

He raises the deeds of the day during the night [that follows that day], and

He raises the deeds of the night in the day [that follows that night].’ i.e, without delay.

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 446)

 

Explanation

The part you are enquiring has been explained in a few ways. Among them are the following:

a) The word القسط in this case, refers to the scales of deeds. So the words يَرْفَعُ القِسْطَ mean that Allah Ta’ala uses this scale to measure/weigh the deeds as they are raised up, and the words ويَخْفِضُهُ refer to Allah sending down measured sustenance too.

The translation given above is based on this explanation.

 

b) The word القسط could be referring to mankind’s allotted sustenance, as the word القسط could also be translated as: share/portion. In that case, the Hadith would mean that Allah Ta’ala lowers/decreases and raises/increases the sustenance of mankind as He wills.

(Sharhun Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 444-446. Also see Al-Mufhim, Hadith: 142)

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar