Rizq is the bounty of Allah (swt), which He bestows upon His creatures. And this does not include our wealth only. The Prophet (sa) said: “When the fetus is four months old in its mother’s womb, Allah sends an angel to breathe the soul into it and write down its provision, its lifespan, its deeds, and whether it is doomed or blessed.” (Bukhari)
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Salih Al-Uthaymeen says: “Provision is also allocated and connected to its means; it is neither increased nor decreased. But man still needs to strive to seek his provision as is mentioned in the Quran: ‘He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you (i.e. easy for you to walk, to live and to do agriculture on it) so walk in the path thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be resurrection.’ (Al-Mulk 67:15)”
It is a grave mistake to assume that even if one lives like a parasite or does not struggle for it, one will be able to obtain one’s share somehow. Provision will not rain from the sky. Besides, such a defeatist attitude is not at all encouraged in Islam. Allah (swt) expects us to utilize every inch of our intelligence and energy for the betterment of all.
When Allah (swt) bestows upon us His bounty, we are required to give away a portion of it. This is done in the form of Zakah (obligatory alms) and Sadaqah (voluntary alms). Hence, when some of us maximize our potential to earn more through lawful means and are blessed with Allah’s (swt) Barakah, it includes the share of those who were not fortunate enough to optimize their conditions.
However, sunshine turns into shadows when, in pursuit of a good fortune for ourselves, we attribute others to Allah (swt). For instance, someone might think that he will prosper only if he becomes part of the USA’s 14 trillion dollar economy. Alternatively, we might single out a few multinational companies or professions that reward more in financial terms. Thus, the centre shifts and we learn to make compromises in the name of good judgement, lucrative prospects, popular culture, etc. We undermine the fact that our provider is Allah (swt) Alone; we resort to begging, borrowing and stealing.
If we cling to the concept of Tauheed and attempt to seek out only lawful provisions, wherever we live and whatever we do, will Allah (swt) forsake us? Imagine what He has blessed the disbelievers with, in return for their hard work? Will the Raziq withhold from His true believers? He feeds millions of species in the rainforests, the vast skies, the deep seas – all living creatures from the North to the South pole. He sustains the galaxies of the universe and the undiscovered life there and beyond.
However, we will have to prove that we deserve it. Firstly, ask for permissible Rizq (Tayyab and Halal). Toil for it. Exhibit patience and advise your family to do the same. Be extremely thankful to Allah (swt) for what He has granted and what He has withheld, as there is a divine reason for it that only He knows. Hasan Al-Basri said: “The roots of evil are three: arrogance, envy and greed.” Steer clear of them. Adhere to the guided path, as Yahya Ibn Muath has stated: “O how poor is man; if he fears Hell-fire in the same degree as he fears poverty, he will enter Paradise.”
Lastly, be fearful of succeeding in the wrong endeavours. When people disobey Allah (swt), He sometimes opens the doors of bounties in this world but cuts them off from the eternal rewards of Paradise. There could be no greater loss for someone to bargain for Hell-fire in the name of maximizing his Rizq.