“Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise…. “ [TMQ Surah At-Tawbah: 111]
There seems to be a general lack of understanding at times about the concept of rizq, such that Muslims often confuse the circumstances by which we attain our rizq with the actual cause of rizq.
Some people have assured ourselves thatRizq, present and future, will come primarily from one’s own efforts. The more we struggle and strive, the more we will apparently accomplish and achieve.
Sure, our belief system dictates that everything comes from Allah (ﷻ) – but do our attitudes expose the contrary? This has led us then to prioritise our work, family or other commitments above the commitments to Allah’s work based on a sound understanding of notions such as Rizq.
Living in a capitalistic framework also encourages us to adopt a materialistic view towards the world: one in which effort is commensurately compensated in income and wealth. The concept of meritocracy is avidly pushed, suggesting that effort equates to reward. Thus it is that people often feel they are solely responsible for creating their own wealth and opportunities.
A correct understanding of rizq built on the Islamic sources would lead one to a very different conclusion. It would lead one to realise that while seeking out rizq is important, it should not be of such importance that it involves spending the greatest time, energy and focus on to the exclusion of other obligations and duties. It is a priority but it is one in a long list of priorities. And, more to the point, it is a priority that is defined by the One that has defined our other priorities.
Allah (ﷻ) says:
“Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline: or the dwellings in which ye delight – are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause;- then wait until Allah brings about His decision (ie. Torment): and Allah guides not the rebellious.” [TMQ Surah At-Tawbah: 24]
So Allah mentions those things which in themselves are obligations such as the rights of parents, rights of spouses etc, but He puts them all into context for us and lets us know of the consequences of putting them before Allah and His Messenger.
A clear understanding of rizq is one of the major influences in our life, which determines how we can make the right decisions when it comes to balancing our other responsibilities.
Rizq is from Allah
The most fundamental idea that a Muslim must internalise is that Rizq is in the hands of Allah. One of the beautiful names of Allah (ﷻ) is Al-Razzaaq: The Provider, The Providence, The Supplier, The Bestower of Sustenance. The One who creates all means of nourishment and subsistence. The One who provides everything that is needed.
Allah (ﷻ) says:
“Lo! Allah (ﷻ) is that who gives livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might.” [TMQ Dhariyat: 58]
“We provide for you” [TMQ Al-Anaam:151]
These ayaat clearly indicate that Allah (ﷻ) is the Razzaq (Provider) and that Rizq is ascribed to Him alone – He provides to whom He wills, and this authority of provision is reserved for Him alone.