Friday, May 20, 2011

Q&A Regarding Sustenance (Rizq)

The following is a translation from Arabic.

The subject of Rizq has two aspects to it:

The first aspect is related to ‘Aqeedah. This consists of the Iman that Allah (swt) is the one who provides sustenance i.e. He is the Raziq, He distributes the rizq, He increases it and He alone straightens it. No one has the power to increase it more than his share determined by Allah (swt).

The second aspect is the Shara’ee command (Hukm). This concerns striving to obtain rizq, in origin this Hukm is of the category of permissibility (al-Ibahah), but under specific conditions, it may become recommended (Mandoob) or obligatory (Fard)…
A man may strive to get his rizq by permitted means (Halal), thereby he gets his share of the rizq and in addition receives the pleasure of Allah (swt). Conversely, a man may strive to get his rizq by prohibited means (Haram), yet he gets only his determined share of the rizq, but also gets a burden and incurs the wrath of Allah (swt). If striving to obtain his rizq was Fard upon him, and yet he does not work for it, he becomes sinful for not making attempts for the same, and in case striving for his rizq was either recommended or permitted for him, he becomes appropriately accountable.

Evidences for these are very clear and explained in the books of Fiqh, especially in our books like Ad-Doosiyah (الدوسية) and Shakhsiyyah… Regarding your hypothetical question, there are certain distortions, because it deals with the unseen (Ghayb) which only Allah (swt) knows about and we do not know it.

For instance, you have said:

A man gathers wealth from prohibited (Haram) money, if he were to strive in the Halal way, would he still be able to collect that much wealth? This is where we have a fallacy! You have presumed an uncertain condition of that person and tried to apply it on rizq (which is unseen for you)!

This subject is as follows:

1. Indeed Allah (swt) is well aware of His servants from eternity (azal), He (swt) has determined a man’s share of rizq based on His ‘Ilm of that man which Allah (swt) knows just as He knows other thing about the man. He (swt) has determined a man’s rizq to be, say, (A).
2. And when we ask presuming that the man worked to get his rizq in the Halal way, his rizq will be (A)?, we do not know the answer, because this is a different situation and we know nothing about how Allah (swt) distributes rizq for the man if he uses Halal means to earn, this is unseen (Ghayb) for us. At times we observe that if a person uses Haram means to earn his rizq, he gets more, while one who uses permitted (Halal) means only, gets less…this is evident in the Ayaat about how Kuffar pursue the bounties…

Therefore, your question is hypothetical and not a real one, the condition of that person is known to Allah (swt) who has determined rizq for him depending upon his share. If we presume a change in how he works to get his rizq or any other matter, we have no knowledge of what Allah (swt) will provide him with.

What we need to comprehend, is as we have mentioned:
Allah (swt) has determined rizq for all His (swt) creations even before creating it and this rizq is destined for the person irrespective of whether he works to obtain it by Halal or Haram means or even if he did not work for it. This is the ‘Aqeedah.
Allah (swt) has commanded people to work to get their rizq (this command in itself is either obligatory, recommended or permitted); if he worked to get his share of the rizq, he is entitled for reward and favour from Allah (swt), if he worked to get his rizq using Haram means, he becomes burdened with sin and earns the wrath of Allah (swt), and if he did not make efforts to get his rizq, then depending on whether working for it was Fard, Mandoob or Mubah in his case, he becomes suitably accountable.

As for the assumption that if the nature of the situation in working for the rizq is changed, what amount of rizq that Allah (swt) has determined, will he obtain, this is a matter of Ghayb, no one knows about it except Allah (swt) Himself.

Let me repeat that it is a matter an ‘Aqeedah belief that the question of rizq had already been settled by Allah (swt) before He created every thing, and this rizq shall reach every creation before its death irrespective of whether he works to get it by Halal or Haram means or just sits without working for it and commensurate with the nature of his efforts, a person is liable either for a reward or burden.
Allah (swt) knows about the condition of His creation regarding the efforts it makes or otherwise, before He created it, He (swt) has determined its share of rizq based on His knowledge of the condition of His creation.

The hypothetical question about the condition of the creation with regards to its efforts to earn his rizq or otherwise, what amount of rizq will Allah (swt) bestow upon it, were a person to work for it in a different way? Will he get the same amount of rizq or more or less? This is known to Allah (swt) and it is a matter of Ghayb.

I hope that the picture is clear to you and your heart is satisfied with it.
Based on it, the answer to your question:

1- Two Ayaat clarify the issue regarding famine.

The first Ayah:
{ولا تقتلوا أولادكم خشية إملاق، نحن نرزقهم وإياكم}
“And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you.” [TMQ al Israa’: 31]

Here the fear is of the anticipated poverty i.e. the condition of a person who is well-to-do but fears that if a new child is born, the rizq will not be sufficient for him to feed the child and he may become poor because of the new child. This is because the person thinks that the children that will be born will share in his rizq, he forgets that the rizq of the new children will come along with them.
Which means that the person is afraid that his rizq will be shared by his children who will be born and thus he himself will become poorer, in the Ayah, Allah (swt) says: “We shall provide for them as well as for you.”, and mentioning the rizq of the children and makes the rizq of the father followed by the rizq of the children to be figuratively following along with them. Here the emphasis is on the rizq of the children so that the man realises that they will not share in the rizq meant for himself, but their rizq will come separately along with them and the father would get better rizq along with that of his children. Therefore, the man is commanded not to be apprehensive of becoming poorer because of the children to be born and thinking that they will share in his rizq.

The second Ayah:
{ولا تقتلوا أولادكم من إملاق نحن نرزقكم وإياهم}
“kill not your children because of poverty" – We provide sustenance for you and for them” [TMQ al An’aam: 151]

Here the person is poor and makes his living with great efforts, he fears that by having more children, he will become even poorer because his means are not enough for himself and his children. Therefore the Ayah mentions that the man does not know the condition of his rizq as it will be in the future, it may change for better, therefore the Ayah mentions his rizq before that of his children because his fear and apprehension is based on his present poverty so Allah (swt) reminds him that rizq is in His (swt)’s hand and it is not necessary that he will always remain poor, it is Allah (swt) who determines the rizq for His servants, may be the person who is poor today will become rich tomorrow.

In the first Ayah, the fear is of the expected poverty because of the children who will be born. Here the person is presently well-to-do, but fears poverty because the children who will be born, will partake from his rizq and thus he will become poorer, therefore the Ayah mentions that their rizq will come along.

In the second Ayah, the fear is that of his present poverty. The person is currently poor and of meagre means and thus fears that because of his poverty, he may not be able to provide food for the children that are to be born, so Allah (swt) is reminding him that it is He (swt) who provides rizq, and that that man’s rizq condition may change from poverty to being rich, hence the Ayah begins with that man’s rizq (We provide sustenance for you and for them).

Thus the rizq of children is mentioned before the mentioning the rizq of the fathers (though both are provided by Allah (swt)). This is because of the fear that the children will come without their rizq coming along, therefore they will eat from the rizq of their well-to-do father which will then get reduced and the father would become poorer because of their coming. Here the apprehension is based on the expected poverty.

In another instance of the Ayah, the rizq of the father is mentioned prior to mentioning the rizq of the children (though both are provided by Allah (swt)). Here the apprehension is based on his real poverty. In this instance the father fears that due to his meagre means he will not be able to spend on the children. The apprehension is due to his actual poverty.

Based on the above: the well-to-do person should not be afraid of becoming poorer due to the birth of children and should not think that he will spend on the children & become poorer; similarly, a poor person should not fear that his present poverty will continue and thus he will not be able to spend on the children when they are born.

In both of these Ayaat, the indication of killing points to it being decisively prohibited, while your question mentions ‘non-conception of temporary nature during a period of famine’; this condition is different to the ‘indication of killing’ or (قرينة القتل). Consequently, the ‘non-conception of temporary nature during a period of famine’ is a non decisive or speculative indication because of the evidence of permissibility of using contraception in order to achieve ‘non-conception of temporary nature’ during famines is disliked (makrooh). This is contrary to the ‘Aqeedah that Allah (swt) is the Raziq. It amounts to the person’s belief that he controls the increase or decrease of his rizq and this kufr, may Allah protect us from it.

2- To say that why such and such a person travels to another place in order to earn his rizq for improving the standard of his living, and then make a judgement that since his rizq is already determined and is specified constant whether he stays in his place or travels elsewhere. Both of these statements have value if the issue is understood properly.

To understand this we say:

To mix up the issue of rizq being from Allah (swt) and to make effort to earn the rizq is the cause of the confusion.

The rizq being from Allah (swt) is a reality and part of the ‘Aqeedah, this is known only to Him (swt) and not known to anyone else unless it is disclosed to him.
For instance: it is correct to say that rizq is a specified constant…. But which is the place where he can get that rizq? You do not know that, it may be here or may be elsewhere…it is for you to work the Halal way in any appropriate place & time, this does not run contradictory to ‘Aqeedah of rizq being constant and specified by Allah (swt).

To make efforts falls under the Shara’ee Ahkam and is subject to human beings striving for rizq: thinking of the proper place to work, the correct time, nature of the efforts, whether it should be business or employment, should it be here or there, and when there is excess of competition, should one shift to another place; all this does not run contradictory to the ‘Aqeedah that one’s rizq is a specified constant…because you do not know the quantity of that specified rizq, is it more or less, or whether to earn it here or there.

Thus realising the ideological meaning of rizq and the hukm Shara’ee solves the confusion and misunderstanding in sha Allah.

3- The Quranic Ayah:

{فامشوا في مناكبها وكلوا من رزقه}
“so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision.” [TMQ al Mulk: 12]

This is a command to make effort to earn the rizq, neither decisive nor preferred; it is a matter of permissibility.

But there are other texts that either indicate recommendation or obligation:
If you have the ability (to work) and you are in need of providing sustenance for those under you, then in your case it becomes obligatory (fard) to make that effort. The care & concern in the way of earning the rizq for those in need even if you yourself are not in need, is recommended (mandoob)…this is detailed in the fiqh books.

14th February, 2008 C.E

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

assalamualiakum wr wb
Can you tell us, who the autor is?

jazakallahu khairan