Concepts, Islamic Culture, Side Feature

FB Q&A: Striving Is Not the Cause of Rizq (Provision)

With your permission, I would like to ask about the attribution of Rizq (provision). Does striving increase the amount of the written Rizq? Does this mean that the person sitting at home gets the same Rizq as when he works? Or in another way, advertising or promoting work increases the amount of written Rizq? Thank you. Please answer as soon as possible, and may Allah protect our sheikh and prolong his life.
From: Muhammad Al-Khatib

Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh,

It seems that you have some confusion regarding the subject of Rizq and striving… This matter is explained, especially in “Al-Kurrassah”, you can read it, it is detailed there, but I will summarize some of it for you:

[As for the issue of Rizq, the many verses with definite meaning leave no room for those who believe in the Qur’an except to believe that Rizq is in the hands of Allah, and He (swt) gives it to whomever He wishes. The issue of Rizq is different to the issue of Al-Qadar (divine destiny). Al-Qadar (divine destiny) is that Allah (swt) knows that a certain issue will happen before it happens, so, it has been written and destined. As for Rizq, it is not only that Allah (swt) knows that so-and-so will have provision, so, it has been written and destined, but in addition to that, i.e., in addition to the fact that He (swt) has destined Rizq, the Provider ((Al-Razzaq) is Allah and not the servant. This is what the verses indicate:

[لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقاً نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَى] “We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness” [Taha: 132]

[وَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللهُ حَلاَلاً طَيِّباً وَاتَّقُواْ اللهَ الَّذِيَ أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ] “And eat of what Allāh has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And fear Allāh, in whom you are believers” [Al-Ma’idah: 80]…

…These verses are definite in meaning that Allah (swt) is the Provider, that He provides for whomever He wills, that He is the one who extends the Rizq to whomever He wills, and decrees for him. In all of them, the Rizq is attributed to Allah (swt), they explain that there is no Provider other than Him, which indicates that it is He who provides, it is a true attribution.

Therefore, attribution of Rizq to Allah is a real attribution, in addition to this, the attribution of Rizq to man is not stated as being the one who provides for himself, neither in a verse nor in a Hadith. Rather, the attribution of Rizq in all texts, is to Allah (swt). As for what was mentioned about the attribution of Rizq to a human being who gives to others, what is meant by it is: “pay them money” and not the action of providing Rizq. For example, Allah (swt) says:

[وَلاَ تُؤْتُواْ السُّفَهَاء أَمْوَالَكُمُ الَّتِي جَعَلَ اللهُ لَكُمْ قِيَاماً وَارْزُقُوهُمْ فِيهَا وَاكْسُوهُمْ]

“And do not give the weak-minded your property, which Allāh has made a means of sustenance for you, but provide for them with it and clothe” [An-Nisa: 5]. Allah (swt) says:

[وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُوْلُواْ الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ] “And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of it [i.e., the estate]” [An-Nisa: 8].

What is meant by the first verse is to pay them food, and by the second verse, pay to them from this provision that has befallen you. It is a command to pay them from the provision, and not that the attribution of provision is to them. The attribution of provision is not mentioned in the sense of the doer of the action of provision except for Allah (swt), so you find verses that says:

[نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ] “We will provide for you” [Al-An’am: 151] In verses He says:

[وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ] “And the provision of your Lord” [Taha: 131] In other verses, He says: [كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ مِن رِّزْقِ اللهِ] “Eat and drink of that which Allah has provided” [Al-Baqarah: 60]

In all of them, He attributes the act of Rizq to Allah and attributes it to Him. This gives the meaning that does not accept interpretation, which is that Allah alone is the Provider (Al-Razzaq), and that provision is in the hands of Allah.

Based on this, it is necessary to believe that Allah is the one who provides for creation, because the evidence is definite text and definite meaning, so belief in it is obligatory and disbelief in it is kufr. Whoever does not believe that Allah is the Provider (Al-Razzaq) has disbelieved, and we seek refuge in Allah from that.

This is the issue of Rizq in terms of belief, and in terms of evidence. However, in addition to commanding people to believe that He is the Provider, Allah (swt) commanded man to strive to obtain this Rizq. Allah (swt) says:

[هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ ذَلُولاً فَامْشُوا فِي مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوا مِن رِّزْقِهِ]

“It is He who made the earth tame1 for you – so walk among its slopes and eat of His provision” [Al-Mulk: 15] Allah (swt) says:

[فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللهِ] “And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek from the bounty of Allāh,” [Al-Jumu’ah: 10].

In these two verses, he is commanded to strive to seek Rizq. If this command to strive to seek Rizq is coupled with the verses that state that Allah is the Provider, the meaning of Allah being the Provider becomes clear. Thus, it explains the meaning of belief that Allah is the Provider. The first verses all confirm that Allah is the Provider, that is, He is the one who gives Rizq, not man, and these two verses command to work to obtain Allah’s provision.

In fact, striving is not a reason for Rizq, because the cause inevitably produces the caused, and the caused only results from its cause. The knife is the cause of cutting, as it is what cuts. Fire is the cause of burning, as it is what burns, so cutting does not occur without a knife, that is, without a sharp instrument, and no burning occurs without fire, that is, without a substance that burns. This is the reason, and if striving to seek Rizq was like that, it would be the cause of Rizq, and the reality would be that striving is what brings rizq, just as the knife is what cuts, and fire is what burns, but striving to seek Rizq is not like that, that is, it is not like a knife in terms of cutting, nor like fire with regard to burning, because striving to seek Rizq may occur and Rizq does not occur. Rizq may occur without striving to seek it, that is, the cause may occur and the caused does not occur, and the caused may occur without its cause, or even perhaps without any cause. This indicates definitive evidence of striving not being a reason for Rizq.

Examples of this in real life are many and extensive. The trader who seeks profit and the result of his trade is loss or no profit has strived but did not get Rizq. That is, the cause is found but did not produce the caused. Since it did not produce it, it is not a cause, because the cause produces the caused definitely.

Also, the inheritor of the money has received Rizq without striving for it. If striving was the cause of Rizq, the money would not have been obtained without striving, because the caused does not result except from the cause that causes it. The acquisition of money by inheritance without striving is evidence that striving is not a cause of Rizq, since Rizq came without striving.

All of this proves conclusively that striving to seek Rizq is not a cause of Rizq, that is, it is not the one that brought the Rizq. It is not like the knife that did the cutting, and it is not like the fire that did the burning. It is not the one that brought the Rizq because it is not its cause…].

Thus, the Provider (Al-Razzaq) is Allah (swt), this is part of belief. However, striving is a Shariah ruling. If you strive, you will obtain the Rizq that Allah has decreed for you, and you will obtain the reward for striving to seek Rizq. If you do not strive, then you will obtain the Rizq that Allah has decreed for you, but you will be violating the Shariah ruling because you did not strive as Allah (swt) commanded you.

That is sufficient, Allah willing. As I mentioned to you earlier, the entire topic is mentioned in Al-Kurrassah, so if you are confused about anything, you can refer to it as it is sufficient. Allah be with you.

Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah

27 Safar Al-Khair 1445 AH – 12/9/2023 CE

The link to the answer from the Ameer’s Facebook page