“Indeed your Sustainer expands the rizq (livelihood) for whom He wills and He restricts it…” (17:30)
The acquisition of wealth and sustenance is always a source of anxiety and conflict for people. Most of the crimes, acts of oppression and brutality are associated with the blinding greed of man. The battle for scarce resources often times leads to wars and political unrest. Greed for wealth transforms the character of an individual and drives him to be dishonest, miserly, uncaring and self-centred.
As Muslims, we believe that our relationship with our Provider determines the extent of toil, energy and time required to earn what has been decreed for us. Your relationship with your Provider also determines the level of barakah (blessings) that you will enjoy in your earnings. When Maryam Radhi-Allahu anhu devoted her entire existence to developing her relationship with her Creator and Provider, Allah provided her with ‘out of season’ sustenance. Out of season sustenance means getting your rizq beyond the usual manner and outside the standard time. “Whenever Zakariyya Alayhis Salaam entered her chamber, he found her supplied with sustenance. He asked: O Maryam! Where does this sustenance come from? She replied: “It is from Allah – certainly Allah provides sustenance to whom He wills without any measure” (3:37) Conversely, Allah constricts our rizq when we incur His displeasure through the commission of sin. Nabi r said: “A person is deprived of sustenance on account of sin that he commits.” (Ibn Majah)
As Muslims we accept that Allah is the provider of Rizq and that we are merely tasked with its acquisition. The ease or difficulty with which we acquire our rizq and the extent of benefit we can draw from it very much depends on our relationship with our Provider and Creator. “If a person’s main concern is the Hereafter, Allah places richness in his heart, makes his affairs manageable for him and the world will come to him in a subdued state. If a person’s main concern is this world, Allah will linger poverty before his eyes and will make his affairs beyond his control, yet he will not get of this world save what has been decreed for him.”(Tirmidhi)
What is your relationship with your Provider? Do you only live for this world or are your endeavours centred around the hereafter? How does your daily efforts in acquiring your rizq impact on your connection with Allah and on your character? We need not only to ‘earn’ rizq through continuous toil; we also need to supplement our efforts by improving our relationship with Allah. This we can do through:
· Tawbah (Repentance): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance, and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.}(71: 10-12)
· Taqwa (Allah consciousness): “And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.” (65:2-3)
· Silat-ur-rahem (Fostering family ties) “Whoever is pleased that he be granted more wealth and that his lease (span) of life be prolonged, should keep good relations with his kin.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
· Sadaqah (Charity): “And whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s cause), He will replace it. And He is the best of providers.” (34:39) “’Show mercy to those on earth so that He who is in heaven will have mercy on you.’ (Tirmidhi)
· Ibaadah (Worship): “Allah says, ‘O son of Adam! Take time out to constantly worship me, I will fill your heart with richness and remove your poverty. And if you do not do so. I will make your hands filled with occupation, and will not remove your poverty” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi )
· Tawakkul (Reliance upon Allah): “If you rely on Allah with due reliance, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They set out in the morning with empty stomachs and return in the evening with full stomachs.” ( Ahmad & Ibn Majah)
· Du`a (Supplication): Umm Salamah states that Nabi (saw) would make the following dua after the Fajr salaah: “O Allah I ask you for beneficial knowledge, good provision and accepted action.” (Ibn Majah)
· Shukr (Gratitude): And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: “If you are grateful I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless, verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.” (14: 7)
· Riba (Abstention from Interest): “Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity” (2: 276).
“While a person was in an open area of land, he suddenly heard a voice in the clouds above him say: “Water the garden of so-and-so!” The cloud immediately departed, and began pouring rain out on a rocky plain. A large crevice in the rocks collected all of this water. The man followed the flow of the water which led him to a man standing in his garden, using an instrument to direct this water in different directions to irrigate his garden. He said to him, O’ Servant of Allah! What is your name?’ The man said ‘So-an-so,’ the same name that he had heard in the clouds! Then the man asked him, ‘O Servant of Allah! Why are you asking me my name?’ He responded saying: “I heard a voice in the clouds- the same clouds that this water came from saying: “water the garden of so-and-so” mentioning your name. What do you attribute this to? He replied: ‘If what you say (is true) then (the reason for this maybe because ) I determine the yield from this plantation and give one third in charity, I consume one third with my family and reinvest one third of it (into the plantation) (Muslim)
“Successful indeed is a person who has submitted to Allah and whose sustenance suffices for him and Allah makes him contented with what He granted him” (Muslim)
This hadith states that if a person enjoys three favours he is indeed very fortunate. If we are able to submit to Allah, live within our means and enjoy contentment with what Allah has apportioned for us we are from among the very fortunate. Happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather from recognizing and appreciating what we do have!
May Allah enable the smooth flow of our sustenance and grant us contentment in what he has ordained for us. Aameen.