For, if God were to grant [in this world] abundant sustenance to [all of] His servants, they would behave on earth with wanton insolence:31
but as it is, He bestows [His grace] from on high in due measure, as He wills: for, verily, He is fully aware of [the needs of] His creatures, and sees them all.
This passage connects with, and elucidates, the statement in the preceding verse that God "responds unto all who attain to faith and do righteous deeds" - a statement which, at first glance, seems to be contrary to the fact that whereas many wrongdoers prosper and are happy, many righteous people suffer hurt and deprivation. In reply to this objection, the above verse points elliptically to man's innate "greed for more and more" (see 102:1 ), which often causes him to become "grossly overweening whenever he believes himself to be self-sufficient" ( 96:6 ). To counteract this tendency, the Qur'an stresses again and again that God's "response" to the righteous - as well as to wrongdoers - will become fully evident only in the life to come, and not necessarily in this world, which, after all, is only the first, short stage of man's existence.