Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:
“The basis of [this chapter] and its principle is:
That whoever leaves off something for the sake of Allaah, then Allaah will replace that with something better.
Just as Yoosuf – as-Siddeeq (peace be upon him) – left the wife of ‘Azeez for the sake of Allaah and chose the prison over fornication.
Thus Allaah exchanged it by empowering him upon the earth
– to engage and take charge therein – as and how he liked.
Subsequently the woman herself returned to him, belittled
– in a state of appeal – desirous of permissible association, and so he married her; and so when he entered upon her he said:
“this is better than that which you sought.”
Observe how Allaah, The Glorified, rewarded him over the confined restriction of the prison with empowering and granting him full authority in the land to take up quarters – wherever he liked.
He humbled the ‘Azeez (ruler) and his wife before him. Moreover, this woman herself, as well as the other women, acknowledged his being free of fault – and this is His Sunnah (practice), The Most High, towards His servants past and present – until the Day of Judgment.
Likewise, when Sulaymaan bin Dawood (peace be upon them both) became distracted with the horses which preoccupied him from the ‘Asr prayer until the sun had set – and so he became angered for the sake of Allaah. Allaah replaced them for him with the wind upon which he, along with his military force, would subsequently travel – airborne – wherever he so desired.
Likewise, when the Muhaajiroon (the companions who migrated) left their homes and dwellings for the sake of Allaah, they left their homelands which were of the most beloved things to them. Allaah compensated them by opening upon them the whole world in conquests and sanctioned for them the empowerment of the east of the earth as well as its west.”
When speaking of how a person leaves something correctly for the sake of Allaah, and of a person’s truthfulness in that, Ibn al-Qayyim said:
“Indeed, one may find difficulty in abandoning the things that are customary as well as the habits – that being for whoever abandons them for other than Allaah.
As for the one who abandons it truthfully and sincerely from his heart, then he finds no difficulty in abandoning it – except in the initial instant – in order for him to be tested as to whether he is truthful in its abandonment or untruthful.
So if he is patient upon that difficulty for a short period, then it transforms into pleasant delight.
Ibn Sireen said:
‘I heard Shuraih swear by Allaah that a servant never abandoned anything for the sake of Allaah and subsequently found bereavement over it.’
As for their saying: ‘whoever leaves off something for Allaah, then Allaah will replace it with better than it’
– this is true, and the replacement can be of various types. The most outstanding of that which one can be granted replacement is that of acquaintance with Allaah, and of having love for Him, and the tranquility of the heart with regards to Him along with its strength and its enthusiasm and its delight and pleasure of its Lord, The Most High.
The most foolish of people is the one who strayed at the very end of his journey
– and yet had neared the abode (destination).”
From: Rawdhatul Muhibbeen (p. 600-601) and Al-Fawaa’id (p. 250)