The understanding that Rizq (رزق Provision) is solely in the Hand of Allah (swt) is one of the pillars of the Islamic Aqeedah. It elevates the conduct of the Believer so that his mind and energy is freed from constant worry over wealth and directed towards pleasing Allah (swt) as much as possible. Understanding that Rizq is in the Hand of Allah (swt) alone broadens the Muslim’s vision and makes him think differently about the desire for wealth, facing times of poverty and overcoming fear of poverty. It strengthens the Muslim’s resolve for striving (سعي Sa’ee) for Rizq, without making that striving an overwhelming pre-occupation that overshadows or blunts the pursuit of other Obligations. It ignites within him the burning desire for sacrifice, such that he will compromise of his striving for Rizq in order to further other obligations. All this is favor for the one who truly understands and completely accepts that Rizq is in the Hand of Allah (swt) alone.
And all this is in contrast to those whose understanding of Rizq is clouded and confused such that they believe that Rizq is in the hand of man. Their minds are constantly cluttered by thoughts of increasing the striving, in order to increase the Rizq, such that there is little room for anything else. There is always time for striving for Rizq but little time for worship and carrying the Call to Islam. Their foremost pursuits will be the perfection of their striving as they believe that it alone will increase their Rizq. Their minds will be filled with striving, with little room for anything else. When they are called to other obligations they will fulfill them only to the level that does not interfere with their striving for Rizq. When they are called to strive for the re-establishment of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the Method of the Prophethood, they will throw their hands up, saying, “our Iman is weak.” Or they will commit half-heartedly, hanging back and clinging to life, so that they distance themselves from the front rows of the struggle to establish Islam’s comprehensive dominance over Kufr.
Let us all put at the very forefront of our minds that Rizq (رزق Provision) is from Allah (swt) alone. The Speech of Allah (swt), in the Book in which there is no doubt, confirms, without doubt, that He (swt) alone Determined the Rizq (Provision) for each and every soul that He (swt) created. Allah (swt) said,لاَ نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى “We ask not of you Provision. We Provide for you, and the End is for Taqwa.” [Taha 20: 132]. Allah (swt) said,وَكُلُوا مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمْ اللَّهُ حَلالاً طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي أَنْتُمْ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ “And eat of the things which Allah (swt) has Provided for you, as Halaal and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom you believe.” [Al-Ma’idah 5: 88]. And He (swt) said, وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ “And Allah Provides without stint to whom He wills.” [An-Noor 24: 38] Allah (swt) said, إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ “Indeed, Allah Provides without stint to whom He wills.” [Aali-‘Imran 3: 37]. Allah (swt) said, وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا، وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ “And whosoever keeps his duty to Allah, Allah will make a way out for him. And He will provide for him from where he has no expectation.” [At-Talaq 65: 2-3] And Allah (swt) said, وَمَا مِنْ دَابَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ “And there is not a beast on earth but its Provision is due on Allah. He knows its habitation and its repository. All is in a clear record.” [Hud 11: 6]. Let us contemplate upon these Ayaat constantly, understanding them, submitting to their meaning and altering our behavior accordingly. So, it is not only that Allah (swt) knew so and so person will be given Rizq, so the Rizq would then be Written and Determined, but more than that is the fact that it was His Hand alone that provided the Rizq! Indeed, Allah is the Razzaaq (رزاق Provider), He Provides to whom He wills, and He is the one who expands the Rizq for whom He wills, and narrows it for whom He wills. There is no Raaziq other than Him.
Let us all understand the command for striving (سعي Sa’ee) for Obtaining Rizq, in light of understanding Rizq itself. Allah (swt) said,هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمْ الأَرْضَ ذَلُولاً فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا مِنْ رِزْقِهِ “He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you, so walk in its paths and eat of His Rizq.” [Al-Mulk 67: 15]فَإِذَا قُضِيَتْ الصَّلاَةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ “And when the Salah is ended, then disperse in the land and seek of Allah’s bounty.” [Al-Jumu’ah 62: 10]. Thus, Allah is the Razzaaq, He alone gives the Rizq, and nobody else. He (swt) commanded that people walk in the paths of the land, and spread in it, so that they strive to obtain this Rizq.
However, this does not mean that striving is the cause of Rizq and it is from here that the clouding and confusion may occur. Striving is not the cause of Rizq it is rather one of the cases of being provided Rizq by Allah (swt). So, a businessman might strive hard for profit, but he incurs losses and does not profit. An industrialist might strive to build a factory but his goods fail in the market, so he loses or does not profit.
On the other hand, an inheritor would be provided Rizq by Allah (swt). Or similarly, a person who takes the Luqtah (لقطة Abandoned Treasure), the Gift (هبة Hiba), the Zakah (زكاة) or the Sadaqah (صدقة), he Obtained Rizq without Striving. Likewise, the one who gets a verdict of Nafaqah (نفقة Financial Maintenance) to his advantage against whom who is responsible about the Nafaqah, and he collects it, he would have Rizq without striving. The same is the case for the disabled, infirm and decrepit people, when the State looks after them; or those whom the State grants land. All such people obtained Rizq without striving and are evidence that striving is not the cause of Rizq but merely one of the cases in which Allah (swt) provides. So, let us consider our choices regarding striving for Rizq according to the guidance of Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ.
Let us put in our minds that the one who is successful is not the one who strives day and night for Rizq, regardless of other commands in his Deen. No, success is the one who values his Islam, strives within it and is truly content with what Allah (swt) provides. ‘Amr b. al-‘As reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying, «قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَرُزِقَ كَفَافًا وَقَنَّعَهُ اللَّهُ بِمَا آتَاهُ» “He is successful who has accepted Islam, who has been provided with sufficient for his want and been made contented by Allah with what He has given him.” [Muslim]
Instead of constant fretting over striving and regret over missing opportunities to strive for Rizq, let us simply pray that whatever Allah (swt) provides is sufficient and nourishing for us. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said,«اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ رِزْقَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ قُوتًا» “O Allah! Make the sustenance of Muhammad’s family nourishing.” [Tirmidhi]. Abu Hurairah narrated that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah, I heard your supplication last night, and the part of it that reached me of it, was that you said, «اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي وَوَسِّعْ لِي فِي رِزْقِي وَبَارِكْ لِي فِيمَا رَزَقْتَنِي» ‘O Allah, forgive me my sin, and expand for me my abode, and bless for me that which You have provided me’. He said: «فَهَلْ تَرَاهُنَّ تَرَكْنَ شَيْئًا» ‘Do you see that they leave off anything?’” [Tirmidhi]
Instead of being extreme in striving for Rizq at the costs of other duties, let us be moderate in striving for Rizq so that we give each duty its full due. It was narrated from Jabir bin ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, «أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ فَإِنَّ نَفْسًا لَنْ تَمُوتَ حَتَّى تَسْتَوْفِيَ رِزْقَهَا وَإِنْ أَبْطَأَ عَنْهَا فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ خُذُوا مَا حَلَّ وَدَعُوا مَا حَرُمَ» “O people, fear Allah and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allah and be moderate in seeking provision; take that which is permissible and leave that which is forbidden.” [Ibn Maajah]
Instead of envying the one who has mountains of wealth, upon which there will be ample accounting by Allah (swt), let us truly envy the one who is content and satisfied in that which he was provided. It was narrated from Abu Umamah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, «إِنَّ أَغْبَطَ النَّاسِ عِنْدِي مُؤْمِنٌ خَفِيفُ الْحَاذِ ذُو حَظٍّ مِنْ صَلاَةٍ غَامِضٌ فِي النَّاسِ لاَ يُؤْبَهُ لَهُ كَانَ رِزْقُهُ كَفَافًا وَصَبَرَ عَلَيْهِ عَجِلَتْ مَنِيَّتُهُ وَقَلَّ تُرَاثُهُ وَقَلَّتْ بَوَاكِيهِ» “The one who most deserved to be envied, in my view, is the one who has the least burden, who prays a great deal and finds joy in prayer, and who is unknown among people and is not paid any heed. His provision will be sufficient, he will be content with it, his death will come quickly, his estate will be small and his mourners will be few.” [Ibn Maajah]
Let us not fill our minds with worry over Rizq and hearts with rancor over its narrowing, knowing that our Provision is in the Hand of Allah (swt) alone. It was narrated that Habbah and Sawa’, the two daughters of Khalid, said: “We entered upon the Prophet ﷺ when he was doing something, so we helped him with it. Then he ﷺ said, «لاَ تَيْأَسَا مِنَ الرِّزْقِ مَا تَهَزَّزَتْ رُءُوسُكُمَا فَإِنَّ الإِنْسَانَ تَلِدُهُ أُمُّهُ أَحْمَرَ لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ قِشْرٌ ثُمَّ يَرْزُقُهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ» “Do not despair of provision so long as your heads are still moving, for a person’s mother bears him red with raw skin, then Allah provides for him.’” [Ibn Maajah]. And RasulAllah ﷺ said, «لَوْ أَنَّكُمْ تَوَكَّلْتُمْ عَلَى اللَّهِ حَقَّ تَوَكُّلِهِ لَرَزَقَكُمْ كَمَا يَرْزُقُ الطَّيْرَ تَغْدُو خِمَاصًا وَتَرُوحُ بِطَانًا» “If you were to rely upon Allah with the reliance He is due, you would be given provision like the birds: They go out hungry in the morning and come back with full bellies in the evening.” [Ibn Maajah]
Musab Umair – Pakistan