Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalam alaykum
Sayyiduna Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) said:
‘Indeed Allah Ta’ala is bashful for a muslim who has white hair and is upright, adhering to the sunnah, that when he asks from Allah, He is not refused.’
Is this hadith authentic? Is Allah shy to answer an old man?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
The tradition (hadith) in question is soundly reported from the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), albeit with a different wording. This is the ruling of Shaykh Shu‘ayb Arna’ut. As for the specific wording in question, it is found in Tabarani’s al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, as stated by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami.
Salman al-Farisi reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Indeed, your Lord is Reserved and Generous; He is too reserved to return the outstretched hands of his beseeching servant empty.” [Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi]
The reservedness which is spoken of, as a state, is obviously, literally, absurd for Allah Most High. Hence, the explanation forwarded by the scholars is that He always gives, and His giving is particularly emphasised here as it is conjoined with the attribute of generosity.
[Tibi, al-Kashif ‘an Haqa’iq al-Sunna; Sindi, Fath al-Wadud bi Sharh Sunna Abi Dawud (2.609)]
Please also see: Allah is Shy, and Loves Shyness – Why?
And Allah Most High alone knows best.
[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.