Please somebody give me a proper, full reference (volume number, book number, hadith number) for this hadith:

O son of Adam! You wish for one thing whilst I wish for another, Ultimately only that will occur, which is in accordance with My wish; And if you make yourself content, in that which is My wish, Then I shall also grant you, that which is your wish; However, if you turn against that which is My wish, Then I shall tire you out in the pursuit of that which is your wish; And ultimately only that will occur which is in accordance with My wish!

And if it's not a hadith, please give me a reference of whose saying this is.

2 Answers 2


(Shia view)

This is the Hadith from Shaykh al-Saduq's compilation al-TawHid with the isnad:

4 – AHmad b. al-Hasan al-QiTTan. He said: AHmad b. MuHammad b. Sa'eed al-Hamadani narrated to us. He said: 'Ali b. al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. FaDDal narrated to us from his father from Marwan b. Muslim from Thabit b. Abu Safiyyah from Sa`d al-Khaffaf from al-ASbagh b. Nabatah. He said: Amir al-Mu'mineen عليه السلام said: Allah عزوجل revealed to Dawud عليه السلام:

O Dawud! You wish and I wish, and there occurs not but what I wish. So if you resign yourself to that which I wish, I will grant you that which you wish. And if you do not resign yourself to that which I wish, I will cause you to wear (yourself) out regarding what you wish; then there will not happen but what I wish.

[Chapter 55, Will and Intention, of al-TawHid by Shaykh al-Saduq]


4 - حدثنا أحمد بن الحسن القطان، قال: حدثنا أحمد بن محمد بن سعيد الهمداني، قال: حدثنا علي بن الحسن بن علي بن فضال، عن أبيه، عن مروان ابن مسلم، عن ثابت بن أبي صفية، عن سعد الخفاف، عن الاصبغ بن نباته، قال: قال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: أوحى الله عزوجل إلى داود عليه السلام: يا داود تريد واريد ولا يكون إلا ما اريد، فإن أسلمت لما اريد أعطيتك ما تريد، وإن لم تسلم لما اريد أتعبتك فيما تريد، ثم لا يكون إلا ما اريد.


According to the Islamic reference sites IslamWeb and Dorar.net, this hadith doesn't exist in any of the Sunni hadith books.

However, in his famous book إحياء علوم الدين (Reviving the knowledge of [Islam] religion), Imam Ghazali does mention the following anecdote, which is almost identical to the text in question:

ويروى أن الله تعالى أوحى إلى دواد عليه السلام: يا داود إنك تريد وأريد, وإنما يكون ما أريد, فإن سلمت لما أريد كفيتك ما تريد, وإن لم تسلم لما أريد أتعبتك فيما تريد, ثم لا يكون إلا ما أريد

Translation mine (so poor translation):

It's narrated that Allah revealed to Dawud (David) (peace be upon him): O' Dawud, you wish one thing and I wish, and what I wish is what happens/occurs. So if you were content with my wish I will grant you what you wish. And if you weren't content with my wish I will tire you with your wish and then only My wish is what happens.

It is important to note that Imam Ghazali never claims in this text that this was a hadith by the Prophet (or even that it was narrated by any of the Sahabah), he merely references it without mentioning any source.

Also important to note is that, whether or not this is an authentic hadith, one absolute truth that it portrays remains valid; nothing happens without the permission of Allah, even those actions of His creation. This very same sentiment is also mentioned in the Qur'an:

وَمَا تَشَاءُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

Muhsin Khan Translation:

But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.


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