Guarantee of Sustenance
Among the prime reasons vis-à-vis our sustenance in today’s times is the thought that everything is in our hands. If our child will not achieve success in this field, he will be deprived of everything. But this is not the case. Allah the Almighty has taken the guarantee to sustain all that He has created on this earth.
وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ إِلاَّ عَلَى اللّهِ رِزْقُهَا وَيَعْلَمُ مُسْتَقَرَّهَا وَمُسْتَوْدَعَهَا كُلٌّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
“And no living creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows it’s dwelling place and its deposit. All is in a Clear Book.”
(Surah Hud (11): Verse 6.)
From the above verse it’s clear that the guarantee of sustenance lies with Allah. Since lie is aware of the abode of each and every one, He knows where to place its sustenance. There are numerous such verses in the Holy Quran.
Now kindly pay attention to the following tradition:
Abu Hamzah Somali (r.a.) narrates from Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a.s.) that on the occasion of the last pilgrimage, Hajjatul Wedaa’, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) addressed the Muslims thus,
“Verily, the archangel Jibraeel has informed that unless a person ‘s sustenance is not complete, he will not depart from this world. Fear Allah and seek sustenance in a proper way. Beware! The delay in sustenance should not tempt you to search for prohibited means of acquiring it. Allah has distributed legitimate sustenance amongst His creatures. He has certainly not determined prohibited means of sustenance for them. Whoever fears Allah and exercises patience, Allah will definitely provide him with lawful sustenance. And whoever transgresses the limits set by Allah and attempts to acquire sustenance through unlawful means, the same measure of lawful means of sustenance will be reduced from his destiny.”
(AI-Meezaan, vol. 3, page 144.)
From the aforementioned tradition, the following facts come to light:
1. Every person’s sustenance is destined and determined.
2. Till he does not receive his complete sustenance, he will not die.
3. Man must acquire sustenance in a proper way i.e. through lawful means.
4. Delay in sustenance must not make a person opt for prohibited means.
5. Whoever fears Allah and is patient, he will surely receive his share of sustenance.
6. Whoever is impatient and tries to acquire sustenance through unlawful means, he will not receive his destined quota of sustenance. In fact, only that amount of sustenance that he has acquired through unlawful means will be deduced from the destined quota of sustenance.
On this occasion, it will not be out of place to mention this incident. One day, Ameerul Momineen Ali lbn Abi Taalib (a.s.) went to the mosque and requested a person to take care of his mule. This supposed caretaker took off the mule’s saddle and walked away. When Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) came out of the mosque, he (a.s.) had two dirhams in his hand, which he (a.s.) had intended to give it to that person. But he (a.s.) saw that although the mule was present, the saddle was amiss. Giving two dirhams to his slave, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) ordered him to buy a saddle from the market. The slave spotted the stolen saddle in the market, bought it for two dirhams and gave it to Ameerul Momineen (a.s.). On seeing his saddle, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) remarked,
“The impatience of that person deprived him of his lawful sustenance but he could not manage to acquire more than the two dirhams that were destined for him.”
(Meezanul Hikmah. The Chapter of Sustenance, H. No. 7228)
You observed that had this person been patient, he would indeed have received two lawJ1l dirhams. His impatience deprived him of lawful means of sustenance. He got the same two dirhams but through illegal means. 1-fe did get these two dirhams by selling the stolen stuff at the same determined time. In fact, he got it little late. Had he been present outside the mosque, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) would have given him immediately. But he got it late; it was only when the slave went to the market that he came in possession o these two dirhams.
Regarding the guarantee of sustenance, Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says,
“Look at the ant with its small body and delicate form. It can hardly be seen in the corner of the eye nor by the perception of imagination — how it moves on the earth and leaps at its livelihood. It carries the grain to its hole and deposits it in its place of stay. It collects during the summer for its winter and during strength for the period of its weakness. Its livelihood is guaranteed and it is fed according to fitness. Allah the Kind does not forget it and does not deprive it, even though it may be in dry stone or fixed rocks.”
(Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 185.)
So, Allah the Kind, Who does not deprive a very tiny ant in the vast desert on a black and dark stone, provides it with the required livelihood, why will He deprive man, the noblest of all creatures, of his livelihood?