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I am trying to look for and understand possible philosophical explanations to a scenario where a person starts loosing wealth and thinks whether it is from Allah or from the devil (of course not even a leaf moves except that Allah wills) in light of the two verses from the Glorious Qur’an (mentioned below).

Of course, this person is not the one who keeps thinking and ends up doing nothing about his/her deteriorating condition but instead this person is someone who strives to get out of his/her crisis as well and tries finding answer/s to (whether it is from Allah or is the devil causing it?)

Surah Baqarah, Ayat 155.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a LOSS OF WEALTH and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.”


Surah Baqarah, Ayat 268.
“Satan THREATENS YOU WITH POVERTY and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”

Source: Translations taken from quran.com, you can refer to any authentic translation to answer the question.

Attempts at reaching upto a possible explanation:

  • Can we say Allah can cause/causes loss of wealth (to test you, as He alone has authority over everything He created), whereas the devil can only breed/instil fear of loosing wealth (meaning this is the devil’s best attempt at deceiving mankind)

  • You will never know who it was caused by until poverty is over and if you turn out to be (when the poverty is over) from among the patient ones surely Allah wanted to raise you in ranks

  • It is all waswas (meaning whispers from the devil) thinking about who it is caused by (but this is just another trivial answer)

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Everything comes from Allah whether good or bad. The Satan has no power to do anything. Except perhaps, he may have some power when Allah allows, but even then, it is obvious Allah is the one who gives poverty and riches.

All of it is a test from Allah as you already quoted:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a LOSS OF WEALTH and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. (2:155)

If a person is patient, he has passed the test, and if not in this world then Allah will reward him in the next. If a person becomes impatient, he has failed the test.

As for the second verse you quote, in context, it is not meant that Shaitan has the power to make poverty. The verse in context is:

O you who have believed, spend from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy.

Satan promises you poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (2:267-268)

The context is that Allah commands Muslims to spend in the path of Allah. Then, He warns them that Shaitan will try to divert them from that and discourage them by whispering to them that spending in the path of Allah will cause poverty. Allah counters this and says that Allah promises forgiveness and bounty (blessings).

So, not only is Shaitan not claiming to be himself able to cause poverty (he is only claiming that giving charity will cause poverty), this promise of Shaitan is discredited by Allah, and Allah says the opposite is true. In fact, giving charity will bring blessings. Hence, this verse does not show that Shaitan has any power to give poverty.

In conclusion, everything including poverty is a test from Allah. Shaitan is weak and has very little power, so there is no need to blame anything on him.

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