The Concept of Rizq (Sustenance) In Islam
3 May 2013 / 22 Jamadilakhir 1434
The Concept of Rizq (Sustenance) In Islam
Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,
Every week we are reminded to increase our taqwa towards Allah s.w.t. We are also called upon to heed His commandments and leave behind all that Allah has prohibited upon us. Allah is the One who determines our rizq or sustenance. And indeed, one of the names of Allah is ‘Ar-Razzaq’ or ‘The Provider’.
Allah provides sustenance to all of humankind, whether they are believers or non-believers, and all of His creations including animals and plants. As Allah says in Surah Hud verse 6:
Which means: “And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.”
But, what is ‘Rizq’ or rezeki (sustenance)? Often, the term rizq is understood as material provisions in the form of money, food, and our jobs and so on. However, rizq can be defined as anything that brings benefits or goodness to us. Thus, rizq encompasses wealth, family ties, spirituality, our faith, intellect, health and everything else that are beneficial to us and can help us fulfil our duties and obligations to serve and obey Allah, and care for this earth.
Therefore, let us reflect on a Hadith narrated by Ibnu Hibban where the Prophet s.a.w. said: “A soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been apportioned for it”.
This means that even the air that we breathe is a form of rizq from Allah s.w.t. With that, we must first of all, begin to appreciate and understand the meaning of rizq with the belief that Allah s.w.t. is the provider, the sustainer and the One who decides.
Sometimes we may take it for granted; underestimating the value of the bounty Allah has showered upon us, without realising how perfect Allah has created the environment to meet our needs. Just look at how plants play a role in producing the oxygen we breathe, and the process of rainfall which provides water for us to drink and nourishes the crops which then becomes a source of food for both humans and animals. My dear brothers, this is not a coincidence. Rather, it is Allah’s will and is the sustenance from Allah s.w.t.
However, we need to be aware that rizq does not come easily. We need to strive and work hard to earn the rizq. This is the second point that I would like to touch on today.
The Prophets are Allah’s servants whose safety and well-being are guaranteed by Allah, and this includes their sustenance. But they did not slacken and were extremely hard working in earning their livelihood.
This was mentioned by Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. in a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah r.a. who reported that Prophet s.a.w. said:
“Allah did not send any Prophet but to be shepherds.” The Companions asked: “Were you a shepherd?” Prophet s.a.w replied: “Yes, I used to look after the sheep of the people of Makkah for several qirath.” [Sahih Bukhari]
My dear brothers blessed by Allah,
A hard working attitude and one that does not give up easily is closely linked to the guarantee of Allah’s sustenance in the verse that I read earlier. Whereby, Allah’s assurance has indirectly instilled confidence, love and peace within oneself even when the rizq that one is hoping for, has not arrived.
We have often heard the experiences of others who have succeeded in various fields, be it in his studies, economically, in his social life and so on. The similarities that exist are hard work and determination, as well hope.
Based on this understanding, a person who does not have a job should not give up, or sit back and do nothing. Instead, he should strive hard and continue to increase his efforts in finding a job. A person who already has a job but feels that he does not earn much should then strive to upgrade his skills and increase his knowledge through available schemes that are offered by various agencies. This can help him to increase his income or enable him to find a better paying job that is suitable with his new skills.
Only those who diligently put in effort and do not give up will receive Allah’s help, and this will not be achieved unless there is a sense of taqwa in a person, and he has full confidence that Allah is The Provider and that Allah will help us. Allah says in surah At-Talaq verse 2-3:
Which means: And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”
At the same time, what we receive as our rizq should also be spent or used, in a responsible manner where we take into consideration our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ based on careful consideration.
Hopefully by understanding the true concept of rizq as taught in Islam, we are able to motivate ourselves to continue to strive hard and may we be blessed with Allah’s bounty full of barakah for ourselves, our families and the entire Muslim ummah. Amin