Seeking Rizq from Allah

‘Rizq’ is a very distinct and broader term than to be translated to material wealth or income. ‘Rizq’ is consisted of all forms of Allah’s bounties, which are essential for the prosperity of man in this world and the hereafter. Money or wealth is only one form among many forms of ‘Rizq’. Among other forms of ‘Rizq’ are: Iman, Ilm, Akhlaq, noble offspring, etc. Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin says in one of his Dua Mubarak that:

“May Allah widen our “Arzaq”, May He bless us with the ‘Rizq’ of Knowledge, wealth and good character”.

Money and wealth can be advantageous and man’s life can be prosperous only when this form of ‘Rizq’ is combined with its other forms. The modern economic system emphasizes only on the generation of wealth (Income) and the production of goods and services to increase the prosperity of man.

The most important principle of “Al-Iqtesaad al-Islami” (Islamic Economics) is to believe in Allah as the “Razzaq” (Sole provider of livelihood and all bounties). Allah says (51:58):

“Allah is is he who is the provider of all “Rizq”, the lord of all power.”

Allah is the Razzaq as He is the creator of all natural resources upon which human existence depends and He is the distributor of Rizq among human beings.

There is no limit in the treasures of Allah from which He distributes Rizq among His Ibaad, but in due measures. Allah Says:

“There is not a thing but with Us are its treasures, but We send it down only in due measures.” (15: 21)

The Ayat clearly reveals that the means or resources created and endowed by Allah are without any limit, they are not scarce, but they are distributes among human beings of different periods and places in due measure. Due measure means that Allah grants whom He wishes without any limits and gives in due measure to whom he desires as He says (2: 212):

“And Allah provides ‘Rizq’ to whom he wishes without any account.”

Modern economic system works under the assumptions put forward by Robbins in 1931, that the wants of man are unlimited, and the means to fulfill his wants are limited. These assumptions are against the declaration made by Allah in the Holy Quran:

“And if you would count the bounty of Allah, you cannot reckon it.”

In fact, the wants of man, in spite of all its varieties and extensiveness are limited when compared to the bounties and resources endowed by Allah. Imam Ali Zainul Abedeen (AS) says in one of his Dua Mubarak:

“And I have known that all that I ask of you is very little for all that is in your presence and the most precious to me is unworthy amidst your vast treasures, and your grace never falls short for those who seek your bounties, verily your hands of grace are above that of all others.”

The holy Quran reminds of an important fact that:

“Allah has the power over all things.”

Allah shows his Ibad a way to discover better means and approach of work, when and as need arises, by which they can increase the means of subsistence. At present the global aggregate supply of many agricultural and manufactured goods is greater than global aggregate demand. Producers are competing for selling their goods. Even if there is scarcity of goods in some part of the world then it is the result of the unjust economic system and because of the inhuman and irrational practices in the field of trade like, monopoly in production and distribution of goods, dumping surplus production in oceans to maintain price etc.

Even at the Micro level we find many people, whose income and resources are so great that they can fulfill their wants with a portion of their income. Likewise, there are also those who cannot even meet the necessities of life with all their incomes. So the correct view here is that, there is no scarcity of resources but Allah distributes them in due measure.

Allah, the most beneficent, increases the share of man in these resources if he seeks them and works to obtain them, as Allah has made these resources subservient to man. The Holy Quran says (14: 33-34):

“It is Allah who has created the heavens and the earth and sent down rains from the skies, and with it Allah has grown fruits as ‘Rizq’ for you, He has made the sun and the moon, constant in their courses, to be of service unto you, and has made of service unto you the night and the day. And He has given you of all that you ask of Him, and if you would count the bounty of Allah, you cannot reckon it.”

Allah has destined the ‘Rizq’ of everyone and obliged him or her to seek it and to strive for getting it. Allah says revealing his Hikmat in this regard (42:27):

“If Allah were to spread the ‘Rizq’ of his Ibad, they would surely transgress on earth, but he sends it down in measure as he pleases.”

There are various narrations from Rasulallah (SA) and Awliya Kiram (AS) in which mumineen are commanded to work hard to earn a living. Imam Ja’farus Sadiq (AS) says: “It is necessary for a Muslim to work hard to earn his livelihood, even if he has to feel the scorching heat of the sun.”

However, the most important principle of “Al Iqtisad al-Islami” in terms of seeking ‘Rizq’ is to have complete faith in Allah, and to believe that He is the sole Provider of ‘Rizq’, the Sustainer of man and all that is in existence. The whole concept is explained in a single Hadith of Rasulallah (SA), “Spread out your goods and services, and seek ‘Rizq’ from your Lord”.

Islam has obliged every person to work for his ‘Rizq’ but does not allow him to have faith in his own capabilities or the potentials of the market. Instead, one must have faith and trust on Allah and seek ‘Rizq’ from him. That is why our Awliya Kiram (AS) have taught us various ‘Dua’ that help us build our faith in Allah, while we strive and work to earn a living.

It is a virtue of Allah that he helps those who have faith in Him and their trust lies in his grace. Allah says (64:3):

“And he who trusts Allah, sufficient is Allah for him; Verily Allah will accomplish his purpose”

Fatemi Dai, Syedna Mohammad Burhanuddin (TUS) says that: “Rizq is sought by all Ibad of Allah but a Mumin has trust upon Allah and faith in His presence. He has faith in the interception of Awliya-ulallah, and is blessed with the Ne’mat of Eman, which is the greatest of all forms of ‘Rizq’ and as a result his prospects of other ‘Rizq’ are widened, and the doors of prosperity are opened.”

If man seeks ‘Rizq’ believing in Allah and having his ‘Tawakkul’ on him and ‘Tavassul’ of His Awliya, then surely the mumins worldly act of earning will be an act of Allah’s Ibadat. This important principle of Al Iqtisad al-Islami is revealed through the Hadith of Rasulallah (SA). Rasulallah (SA) while returning from the ‘Battle of Tabuk’ saw a young and strong man striving to make a living, when he (SA) said: “The reward of this young man is all that of a soldier who risks his life in the way of Allah and the one who performs Hajj and Umrah.”

Amirul Muminen Moulana Ali (AS) says: A person striving to earn a living by means of ‘Halal’ is like a Mujahid who risks his life in the way of Allah”.

When a Mumin seeks his ‘Rizq’ having ‘Tawakkul’ on Allah and believing his economic activity a form of Allah’s Ibadat, he must obey Allah and His Awliya in all his economic activities and must not deceive His Ibad.

The Idea of maximization of profits as an aim of producers, as given by the modern economic system, stimulates man to generate profit and maximize it by all means possible. This in turn harms our social and moral values and responsibilities. While the principles of Al Iqtisad al-Islami prevent individuals from cutthroat competitions in which every person sees his survival in the destruction of others. Such competition is harmful not only at the micro level but at macro level as well. It affects adversely on aggregate output and income. Principles of ‘Tawakkul’ and ‘Ibadat’ teach every individual strive to seek his welfare without harming others. It results in the feature of cooperation and brotherhood, which in turn leads individuals to render sacrifice of their own interests for the well being of their brothers.

It is a noted fact of history and a lesson to learn from the ‘seerat’ of Amirul Mumineen (AS) that he had once given his borrowed dinar to Miqdad (RA) in spite of hunger days. He ignored the hunger of his own family compassioning upon the hunger of Miqdad and his family, just because they were striving for an additional day than Amirul Mumineen and his Ahle Bait (AS).

The Ansar of Medina (who welcomed Rasulallah to their home land and sacrificed everything to help and serve him) gave half of their belongings and properties to their Mohajir (who had migrated from Mecca with Rasulallah leaving all their belongings behind) brethren.

Principles of ‘Tawakkul’ and ‘Ibadat’ refrain people from establishing their monopoly to exploit the consumers and the market. In fact Islam is against the monopolization of any particular goods in a given market and has commanded the Islamic government to act against such exploitations by banning merchants from hoarding supplies and similar activities. In olden times when merchants would bring their trade in caravans to a town a trader was not allowed to go forth to receive the caravan, where ordinary people could not go and buy off all goods for himself, so as to exploit the market with his holding capacity.

The principle of ‘Tawakkul’ is clearly stated in a Hadith in which Rasulallah says: “I am informed by Jibra’eel that a person will not die until his ‘Rizq’ is fulfilled, so fear Allah and be patient in earning it.”

Allah has not only destined the amount of ‘Rizq’ but also the right time for it. Therefore, man should not be hasty and lose his patience by seeking from ‘Haram’ (forbidden) means. Our Awliya Kiram have taught mumineen to do Dua at times of adversities that bring us faith in Allah and provide us the strength of patience. Dua is a form of ‘Tawakkul’ on Allah and is indeed a part of Al Iqtisad al-Islami. Aqa Moala (TUS) has stated this fact clearly in this year’s Munajaat Sharifah, where Moula (TUS) says:

“Inspite of constrains in life one sees the fullness of Allah’s Blessings and bounties upon him, if one has a thankful heart.”

If Allah has destined our ‘Rizq’ then why strive for it, one would say. Why does Islam ask us to seek ‘Rizq’? Is it not the breach of ‘Tawakkul’?  The answer is very simple that Islam has obliged every individual to seek his ‘Rizq’ by ‘Halal’ means, and the true test of ones ‘Tawakkul’ is when he has to choose between the difficulties of time by clinging on to the ‘Halal’ way or by simplifying life for the time being by opting for the forbidden way.

Rasulallah (SA) has said that: “There is no one in Allah’s creation but has ‘Rizq’ which is kept under a curtain, if he is patient the curtain is lifted of by Allah at the right time and he gets his ‘Rizq’ by Halal’; but if he does not wait and he would get it as ‘Haram’. So beware from the forbidden, for Allah’s treasures are not begotten but by his obedience.”

Another advantage of working for a living is that it keeps a person away from the evil of idleness, saves him from poverty and most off all it is a form of Ibadat in itself which begets him the reward of Jihad, Hajj and Umrah.

Seeking worldly gains is a very divine and religious matter in the eyes of Islam and to this fact Rasulallah has pointed out saying, “The market place of Muslims is just like their Masajid”, where treachery and deception is not allowed. Islam has guarded the rights of labor and the benefits of the employers both. It cares about the concerns of consumers and sellers both. Islam has obliged the government to allow free trade and avoid intervention in the market place but also monitor the economic trends so that a single class or group of people does not accumulate and hoard wealth and resources.

Imam Ahmad ul-Mastur (AS) has given a clear description of the whole economic system and Allah’s Hikmat in various means and principles that govern this system and the balance between Allah’s ‘Destined Rizq’ and the necessity for man to seek it; including the social makeup required for it. The Imam (AS) says:

Know, O my brother, that a person cannot survive alone in this world, his life would be full of difficulties, as his needs several commodities and necessities to live in comfort. These needs require skills, knowledge and craft, which a he can by no means achieve during his lifetime. For knowledge has no limits while his lifespan is indeed very short. That is why people get together and form a society in which every person is a helping hand for the other. Allah’s Hikmat has shaped this shaped this environment in such a way that each person is equipped with a particular skill and therefore some of them indulge in trade and business, while others take care of the government and legal affairs. Further more, there are those who are builders and constructors, while others are service providers and social workers. Some of them deal with education and research and so on.  All living together like a huge family from a common ancestor, brothers and sisters, each playing his/her role in a single household. However, the use of weights, measurements, wages and other monetary means is defined in the Hikmat of Allah. It is meant to encourage everyone to work hard in his or her own particular fields, so that each person gets his just share of wage accordingly.

This is the vision of Imam Ahmed al-Mastur (AS) of a society governed by the laws and principles of faith and belief in Allah. To this Syedna Taher Saifuddin (RA) has pointed out saying that: “If the affairs of this world were to be governed by the principles of  ‘Deen’ it would be as beautiful as ‘Mercury’ and people would live in peace and harmony”.

Imam (AS) states further more that: “And Know, O my brother, and have faith that you cannot attain salvation and freedom from this world, which is the result of our sins, alone! You will need the support and help of your loving and caring brothers, who possess the knowledge of the hereafter, to free your self and rise above to the heavens and abode of Angels from this non-consistent world and the neighborhood of satan. For your brothers will show you the right path to freedom and salvation.

(Refernce: Ikhwan-us-Safa 1, Risalat al gometriya – al qism ar-Riyadhi. Note: This is not an exact translation, but a brief expression of the “Fasl fi hajat al-Insan ila Ta’avun’)

Indeed, these men of knowledge are no other than the Duat of Ale Mohammed (AS) who has ever tried to guide their community to the right path of virtue and peace in this world and to the abode of heavens in the hereafter. These are the Holy Men who have ever taught their community of mumineen to view this world as a single household and its people as their family, and guided them to the maintain peace and harmony amongst them. Our beloved Moula Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin the successor of this glorious history and tradition often relates a Hadith of Rasulallah (SA), “Mankind is a single family dependent upon Allah and the most beloved to Him is the most beneficial to it,” and so he strives for the cause. May Allah Subhanahu bless him with a long life for the benefit of this community and mankind.

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