A man usually needs his well-being, and he verily cannot get it by himself. Even a king cannot acquire his well-being on his own. He does not become king on his own. He becomes king through people. If there are no people, then what shall the king do? It is a fact that a king very much needs people for his well-being. Someone in Africa or in the wild can seek means and ways to survive, to live his life, but this is not the case for a king. (He is so accustomed to being served by people that) If ever he has to seek a means of livelihood on his own, he shall be able to do so except with much difficulty.
Therefore, a king needs people more for his well-being than an ordinary person. And an ordinary person needs others more than a very poor person. This means that in this temporal world, to seek our well-being, we need other people. That is why we observe that generally speaking, a person seeks means which shall provide for his comfort. If he is famished and thirsty, he seeks food and drink. If he does not have any money, he seeks someone who has some to give him. If he is oppressed because he is alone, he seeks people who can come to his rescue. If he is sick, he seeks a doctor and takes medicines.
All the means that a person seeks to depend on for his comfort are the most fragile of means. And these means are more fragile than a spiderweb if there is no divine help. It is indeed Allah who makes fire burn, and knife cut. Water also is under the control of Allah. Whenever Allah so wishes, rain falls. It is under the command of Allah that there is drought or cyclone. And it can happen that rain falls to an unexpected level. It is also Allah who gives the cure to people. A person (through the will of Allah) can get his cure in a simple concoction of herbs whereas others get healing by spending in medicines which are very expensive. Sometimes a person cannot get good sleep in his home which is well equipped with Air Conditioner and a comfortable bed whereas a poor man can get very good sleep even on rocks, straw or a simply broken bed.
Therefore, all means which are available for man to seek his well-being in this temporal world is not effective as long as the divine will do not allow it. That is why Allah the Almighty says in this verse of the Holy Quran:
"The example of those who take allies other than Allah is like that of the spider who takes a home. And indeed, the weakest of homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew." (Al-Ankabut, 29: 42).
Allah the Almighty seeks to attract our attention that nothing can ever be without His will, however mighty it might seem to be. For example, someone who goes to hide in a well-equipped fortress. To the eyes of people, this person is in security. But if it was not the will of Allah, that fortress would have represented nothing more than a spider web (i.e. unsecured/ fragile place).
Rise and Fall of Fortunes
Let us analyse what has happened in the countries of the world - past, present and also future. In few seconds Allah has made them (& can make them) powerless despite the fact that they seemed (seem) powerful. We can possess all powerful mundane means. We may think that they are effective and sophisticated but whenever Allah wills these can only become like a spider web. This is only a comparison to make us all reflect. Indeed, it represents nothing if there is not the will and help of Allah in it.
On the other hand, if we perceive it in another angle. The same fragile thing, i.e. a spider web, through the will of Allah can become a powerful means to destroy what is seemingly more powerful. Allah the Almighty does not need big things to show His power. He has the capacity to destroy everything just like He has the power to put everything in order.
'The mighty powers can be humbled'
Allah the Almighty has used "Tayran Ababeel" (i.e. birds of different species in great number/ group) to destroy the elephants and army of Abraha. What can our thoughts on this event be? That the stones which those birds launched were not effective (to kill the enemies)? Should they have used bigger stones? Verily Allah the Almighty does not need all these. He does what He wants. He can use a small thing to destroy the big and powerful.
The Holy Prophet (sa), protected in a Cave
On the other hand, Allah the Almighty has used the weakest of homes to protect the Holy Prophet (pbuh) when the Holy Prophet (pbuh) left Mecca for Medina along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). First, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (along with Hazrat Abu Bakr) went to hide in a cave (Thawr). As soon as they entered therein, Allah the Almighty made all the arrangements to keep them safe. He made a spider weave its web just before the entrance of the cave. Afterwards, a pigeon came and laid two eggs. Everything fragile has been used in this (mighty) protection. The disbelievers (those who were after the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) came before the cave, and one among them wanted to enter the cave to check. The fact that the spider web seemed so old forced his friend to tell him: "Are you crazy? What would you check? Don't you see that there is a spider web which seemed to have been woven even before the birth of Muhammad (i.e. the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh))? And moreover, a pigeon have laid two eggs on it. That species (of bird) is afraid of man's presence and doesn't stay wherever there are people."
'Nobody knows His soldiers'
Verily, like Allah says in the Holy Quran, nobody knows His soldiers except Him. We have a great treasure in our hands. And this is verily the firm belief that we may (or we need to have) in the power and decree (Qudrat) of Allah the Almighty. If a person wants to have success and protection, then he needs to turn to Allah the Almighty. Turning one's back to Allah the Almighty is tantamount to rendering our situation worse than the home of a spider-like Allah the Almighty has mentioned in the verse (which I have put before you).
May Allah help us with His mighty help; we need to realise that above all, we all, without exception, need Allah. A person cannot say that he does not need Allah, he does not need God. If he ever utters this, he is surely a ruined man. Our fundamental well-being is found in Allah, in serving His cause and pleasing Him, and Insha-Allah, like for the Holy Prophet (pbuh), spider webs shall become for us a strength and not a weakness, because we have Allah with us. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 05 May 2017(08 Shabaan 1438 AH) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius