‘You asked about ability. Do you have it without Allah or with Allah?’

Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.) told Abayah bin Rub’iy al-Asadi  when he asked him about the ability by which man could stand up, sit down, and act. Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.) said to Abayah, ‘You asked about ability. Do you have it without Allah or with Allah?’ Abayah kept silent and did not know what to say. Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘If you say that you have it with Allah, I will kill you, and if you say that you have it without Allah, I will kill you.’ Abayah said, ‘Then what shall I say, O Ameerul Mo'minin?’ Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘You say that you have it by Allah Who has it without you. If He makes you possess it, it is from his favor, and if He deprives you of it, it is from His trial for you. He is the Possessor of what He makes you possess, and He is the Powerful over what He gives you power in. Do you not hear people asking (Allah) for ability and power when they say: there is no ability and power save in Allah (la hawla wela quwwata illabillah)?’ Abayah said, ‘O Ameerul Mo'minin, what does it mean?’ Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There is no ability to keep away from disobediences save by the preservation of Allah, and we have no power to obey Allah save by the assistance of Allah.’ Abayah jumped and kissed Imam Ali’s hands and feet.’




Reference : The Life of Imam ALI bin Muhammad AL-HADI