Presented by: Sister Rim
Ar-Razzaq الرزاق. The Provider
- ان الله هو الرزاق ذو القوة المتين "Indeed it is Allah the provider the firm possessor of strength" (51:58)
- ... Allah provides means of subsistence to whomsoever He pleases without a measure. (2:212)
- Allah is Benignant to His servants; He gives sustenance to whomsoever He pleases, and He is the Strong, the Mighty One. (42:19)
- ... and whoever fears Allah, He will make an outlet for him and give him sustenance from whence he does not expect. (65:2-3)
- ... these are the believers truly; they shall have forgiveness and an honourable provision. (8:74)
- ... and the sustenance (provided) by your Lord is better and more abiding. (20:131)
- Most surely this is Our sustenance: it shall never deplete. (38:54)
- Say: The (blessing) from the presence of Allah is better than any amusement or bargain. (62:11)
- ... surely the things you worship besides Allah cannot sustain you. (29:17)
What is Rizq?
In order to understand Allah’s Name ar-Razzaq, we need to know what rizq means. Rizq is what has been apportioned for you which benefits you. So Allah (swt) is ar-Razzaq—He is the One who creates your rizq, and takes it upon Himself to deliver what He has apportioned to His servants. And because He is ar-Razzaq, and not ar-Raaziq, He provides this sustenance to everyone: Muslim and non-Muslim, woman and man, humans and animals and plants. It encompasses everything on earth. Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision [rizq], and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.” (Qur’an, 11:6)
The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said that a soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been apportioned for it (Ibn Hibban). Just looking at the heavens and the earth, and the way that rain falls and plants grow should be enough proof for us. We take it for granted, that this is the natural course of things. But Allah (swt) determined the course that nature will take. So if He created the system in which the rizq of all of the creatures is made, how will He not provide for you when He has said of human beings,
“We have certainly honored the children of Adam,” (Qur’an 17:70).
So even if you feel that your provision is slow in coming for you, remember that whatever is written for you will come. What rests on you is how strive for it.
Striving: A Condition of Rizq
This is the crux of our lesson today: the lesson of striving. Your rizq will not come to you if you do not work for it. That is the essential difference between hiba—a gift—and rizq. Your rizq is written for you but in order for you to unlock the door, you need to work as if your rizq depended on how hard you try, but in your heart, you know that nothing will come to you except what Allah (swt) has written for you.
The example of Hajar alayha as-salam (peace be upon her) perfectly shows this. In the midst of the desert, she is stuck. Her infant is crying because he is hungry, and her food supplies have run out. She runs up and down Safa and Marwa 7 times, searching for something, anything. And Allah (swt) rewards that striving with the well of Zamzam that we still benefit from today. When we go on Umrah or Hajj (pilgrimage), we perform the “sa`y”, which means striving, emulating the footsteps of Hajar (as), so we never forget the lesson of working hard with the means around us. And the way that this perfectly illustrates the concept of rizq is that it came from where she did not imagine. She fulfilled her part—and Allah (swt) gave her what He apportioned for her. This is especially a lesson for those of us who say there is nothing for us to do—but there is always something to do. Even working to seek the means to be productive is something we will be rewarded for because it shows we are serious in our striving. And Allah (swt) may give it to you through the channels that you sought or through something completely different. It is simply to show you that your rizq is in His Hands.
It may be easy for someone to believe that Allah (swt) does not provide. We see pictures of children freezing in Afghanistan and starving in Somalia. “Where is their rizq?,” someone might ask. Yet we need to understand that there are consequences for our actions. Allah (swt) reminds us that if we do not rule with justice then there will be corruption on earth. Overusing resources, abusing human beings and hoarding wealth are things that are despised in our religion and Allah (swt) warns us severely against them. We cannot blame Allah (swt) when we have created a system which goes precisely against the way Allah (swt) has ordered us to live. So their test is this hardship in this life, though ar-Razzaq may manifest Himself in ways that we cannot imagine, and our test is failing to help them out of it.
One of the things that prevents our rizq from reaching us is our sins. But some may say that many seemingly sinful people appear to receive rizq, so is there even a correlation? Yet if that is all we see then we are being superficial. They may have received their material rizq, but Allah (swt) may deny them their spiritual rizq. And this is far worse. This is especially so when the bounty we have been given is used in illegitimate ways.
Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi lists a number of ways in which we can increase our provision. I have summarized them below:
“And whoever has taqwa of Allah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” (Qur’an, 65:2-3)
Tawakul (reliance on God):
“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.” (Qur’an, 65:3)
Keeping good relations with family:
The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Whoever would like his rizq (provision) to be increased and his life to be extended, should uphold the ties of kinship.’ (Bukhari)
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ”
Asking forgiveness and tawba (repentance):
“And said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.” (Qur’an, 71:10-12)
“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over?” (Qur’an, 2:245)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The house in which Qur’an is recited is increased in good, and the house in which Qur’an is not recited is decreased in good.” (al-Bazzar)
Migrating for the sake of Allah:
“And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many [alternative] locations and abundance.” (Qur’an, 4:100)