Straitening and Expansion of Sustenance
All of us desire to be endowed with loads of wealth and prosper with riches unlimited. That we should have all the necessities and luxuries of life and there should not be anything found wanting in our lives. We desire that we should get all these with comfort and ease. To achieve these ends, we are slogging day in and day out trying our hands at one business after another, while the employed try to engage in multiple employments. More than our own country, our gazes are fixed at vacancies abroad. Conversion of stronger foreign currencies makes us feel that we will earn more livelihood abroad than in our own country. Once abroad, our needs can be taken care of more comfortably. We see the lives of a couple of individuals (who have settled abroad and live luxuriously) and say, ‘See, when he was here, he was in such a miserable state. But since he has gone abroad how things have turned for the better for him! There is nothing that he does not possess.’ We start toying with the idea of going abroad and gradually, the idea gets firmly rooted in our minds. If we have to do something and attain salvation from life’s difficulties, there is only one way. Travel abroad and pick up a lucrative job!!!
By no means are we trying to imply that going abroad is not permissible, or that we are trying to restrain the people from getting a well-paid job and set up a flourishing business abroad. We just intend to underline the fact that safeguarding religion should be given equal importance, if not more, as acquisition of wealth; especially the religion and faith of the younger generation. It should not be so that we are unable to hand over the trusts of a great religion and beliefs that we have in our possession right now to the next generation. Also, it should not be the case that our younger generation becomes so engrossed and entangled in worldly matters that religion and beliefs become unknown entities for them. Therefore, along with seeking greener pastures abroad, we must also strive to look for places where the religious beliefs of our children will remain safeguarded so that our religious beliefs and deeds grow in direct proportion to the acquired wealth. Here, it is extremely significant to know the edicts of Ayatullah al-Uzam Sayed Ali Seestaani (may Allah the Almighty prolong his life!) in this regard.
• A believer is allowed to travel to non-Muslim countries provided that he is sure or has confidence that the journey would not have a negative impact on his and the faith of those who are related to him.
• Similarly, a believer is allowed to reside in non-Muslim countries provided that his residing there does not become a hurdle in fulfilling his religious obligations towards himself and his family presently as well as in future.
• It is haram to travel to non-Muslim Countries in the East or the West if that journey causes loss of the faith of a Muslim, no matter whether the purpose of the journey is tourism, business, education or residence of a temporary or permanent nature, etc.1
(Practical Islamic Laws for Modern Age Problems. pg. 42-43.)
We have already mentioned that the guarantee of sustenance lies with Allah. The Holy Quran has indicated towards this reality time and again. Allah grants expansive sustenance to whosoever He pleases and He straitens for whomsoever He intends.
اللّهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاء وَيَقَدِرُ
“Allah expands the sustennce for whosoever He pleases and He straitens (for whosoever He pleases).”
(Surah Ra’d (13): Verse 26)
Thus, abundance of sustenance or its deprivation is in Allah’s control. Hence, for acquiring greater livelihood, more than relying on our efforts, we should supplicate to Allah. If man accepts Allah as his Sustainer and prays to him every moment for increment of wealth and riches, these riches will not be the reason for him becoming proud and arrogant.
Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) informs,
“None has the power to increase or decrease sustenance except Allah.”
(Meezanul Hikmah, The Chapter of Sustenance, H.No. 7118.)
Therefore, if the increase and decrease in sustenance lies exclusively with Allah the All-Powerful. Thus, to think that somebody else is responsible for my financial misery is absolutely un-Islamic. All these are satanic insinuations and instigations. Going to pseudo-saints and bogus god-men is not the solution to these problems; rather, the only answer is to beg and plead before the Almighty Allah to increase our livelihood and expand our sustenance. Moreover, we should make the Imam of our time, Hazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) as the intercessor between us and Allah and ask for divine blessings.