Monday 27 June 2022

Rizq - Is it one of the most misunderstood word of Qur’an

The Arabic word Rizq “رزق “ is one of the most misunderstood word of Qur'an. Although the word Rizq appears over one hundred times in the Qur'an, yet a large number of Muslims interpret it as income or wealth. That is why one of the most sought supplication is grant of Rizq-e-Halaal "  رِزْقِ حَلال " from Allah. But does Rizq only means one's income? Well that is the commencement of its misinterpretation and misunderstanding.

However, if we read Qur'an, we will find that whenever the word Rizq is mentioned in the Qur'an it is mentioned in terms of sustenance. Allah says that Rizq, sustenance will come, and even more of it will come. And it will come in abundance provided one has a very sincere and noble thoughts about it.

In the 60th verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah, Allah mentions His Rizq and says:

وَاِذِ اسۡتَسۡقَىٰ مُوۡسٰى لِقَوۡمِهٖ فَقُلۡنَا اضۡرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الۡحَجَرَ​ؕ فَانۡفَجَرَتۡ مِنۡهُ اثۡنَتَا عَشۡرَةَ عَيۡنًا​ؕ قَدۡ عَلِمَ کُلُّ اُنَاسٍ مَّشۡرَبَهُمۡ​ؕ کُلُوۡا وَاشۡرَبُوۡا مِنۡ رِّزۡقِ اللّٰهِ وَلَا تَعۡثَوۡا فِىۡ الۡاَرۡضِ مُفۡسِدِيۡنَ‏ 
(2:60) And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people and We replied: “Strike the rock with your staff.” And there gushed out from it twelve springs and each tribe knew its drinking-place. (Then you were directed): “Eat and drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do not go about acting wickedly on earth, spreading mischief.”

هُوَ الَّذِىۡ جَعَلَ لَـكُمُ الۡاَرۡضَ ذَلُوۡلًا فَامۡشُوۡا فِىۡ مَنَاكِبِهَا وَكُلُوۡا مِنۡ رِّزۡقِهٖ​ؕ وَاِلَيۡهِ النُّشُوۡرُ‏ 
He it is Who made the earth subservient to you. So traverse in its tracks and partake of the sustenance He has provided. To Him will you be resurrected. (Surah 67 Al Mulk:15

In the verses, Allah SWT mentions that He spread all of Rizq around the world and ordains us to eat and drink all those things that He has made permissible (Halal) to us. The only thing that we do is just find it, with halal or kosher way, but not abuse or damaging the environment; it is suitable with word ‘do not commit abuse on the earth’. Moreover, do not corrupt when we are looking for a Rizq, because it is similar with taking other people rights.

Then again in the 20th verse of Surah 3 Al' Imran, there is mention of Rizq which Allah bestows upon His servant without any measurement:

تُوۡلِجُ الَّيۡلَ فِى النَّهَارِ وَتُوۡلِجُ النَّهَارَ فِى الَّيۡلِ​ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡحَـىَّ مِنَ الۡمَيِّتِ وَتُخۡرِجُ الۡمَيِّتَ مِنَ الۡحَـىِّ​ وَتَرۡزُقُ مَنۡ تَشَآءُ بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ‏ 
(3:27) You cause the night to pass into the day and the day to pass into the night. You bring forth the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living, and You give sustenance to whom You will beyond all reckoning

Thus we can say that everything that help sustain man is included in Rizq, our income or money being a part of it though.
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.

Now I come back to real meaning of Rizq when it is used as sustenance. This is my view point and my readers may differ from me on the subject:

Although we understand that our monthly emoluments are means of Rizq and we always keep asking Allah for an increase of it as our responsibilities grow.

  • The rain, the water, the winds and climatic changes are source of means that add to our sustenance and provide us happy living. What if Allah takes away these natural gifts, then how would we sustain our lives. The rain water makes our lands live and provide us many crops, fruits and vegetable that are needed for our sustenance. 
  • But it may be so that Allah instead of increasing my income may increase my intellect and wisdom, using which I may be able to explore more avenues to earn more. In that case the added wisdom and intellect become a source of my sustenance.
  • Or Allah may bless with my obedient spouse and children due to which my eans of sustenance get a boost or cool my heart and provide me comfort.
  • Or may be I am granted long life with good health and infused into it happiness by faithful wife and children.
  • Or for that matter what about good health? Isn't good health a Rizq for me for it healthily sustains my body and help me to carry myself with anyone's help and go about my daily chores. 

So in my reckoning, Rizq doesn't necessarily mean wealth. It could be any blessing that Allah provided me that help in my sustenance. Even if I take my income as Rizq, unless Allah has infused His blessing in it, I may not be able to make any good use of it. And if I am not thankful to Allah, I may run into hardships for which my income may not be adequate. On the contrary if I continue to thank Allah for whatever He Rizq He has given me, Allah may infuse in my Rizq His blessings and small amount may become more for me.

Ever wondered how hard we have to work throughout our day in the office or place of work. We sweat, strain our mind and labour our limbs and then our employer gives us something which is not even compatible to the effort we put in. On the contrary, ALLAH only asks us to pray to him, be thankful to Him and be good people and to treat other good, to be honest, to have good manners, and follow His path. Just for doing this small effort, Allah promises us abundance Rizq both in this worldly life and the Hereafter. Those who are gifted and yet do not share their Rizq, are severly cautioned by Allah:

وَاللّٰهُ فَضَّلَ بَعۡضَكُمۡ عَلٰى بَعۡضٍ فِى الرِّزۡقِ​ۚ فَمَا الَّذِيۡنَ فُضِّلُوۡا بِرَآدِّىۡ رِزۡقِهِمۡ عَلٰى مَا مَلَـكَتۡ اَيۡمَانُهُمۡ فَهُمۡ فِيۡهِ سَوَآءٌ​ ؕ اَفَبِنِعۡمَةِ اللّٰهِ يَجۡحَدُوۡنَ‏ 
Allah has favoured some of you with more worldly provisions than others. Then those who are more favoured do not give away their provisions to their slaves lest they become equal sharers in it. Do they, then, deny the favour of Allah? (Surah 16 Nahl:71) 

That is even in the little differences in gifts, which men enjoy from Allah, men with superior gifts are not going to abandon them so as to be equal with men of inferior gifts, whom, perhaps, they hold in subjection. They will never deny their own superiority. How then (as the argument is pursued in the two following verses), can they ignore the immense difference between the Creator and created things, and make the latter, in their thoughts, partners with Allah? [1]

We are therefore ordained by Allah to spare something which additional to our needs, in terms of money, food, clothing or means of comfort, to people who are in need, then it would mean that what Allah has giiven to us, has in it sustenance for others indirectly:

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡفِقُوۡا مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰكُمۡ مِّنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ يَّاۡتِىَ يَوۡمٌ لَّا بَيۡعٌ فِيۡهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ وَّلَا شَفَاعَةٌ ​ ؕ وَالۡكٰفِرُوۡنَ هُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ‏ 
O you who believe! Spend out of what We have provided you before there comes a Day when there will be no buying and selling, nor will friendship and intercession be of any avail. Indeed those who disbelieve are the wrong-doers. (Surah 2 al Baqarah:254) 

So let us ask Allah for Rizq and be on lookout to any increase in our blessing - that would be our Rizq!!

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so  that they are able to discuss issues with Non Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Photo | references: | 1 | 2

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