On Patience with the Provision of Allah (swt)

1.Abdullah bin Abbas related to us, saying: “One day as I was riding on the same camel with the Apostle of God, sitting at his back, he turned to me and said; ‘My boy! You take care of God, i.e., observe your duty to Him as one should, and God will take care of you, and protect you from the calamities of this world as well as the next. Remember God as He ought to be remembered, and you will find Him right in front of yourself, and if you wish to ask for anything, ask only from God, and if you need help at any time, ask for help only from Him, and remember well that if all mankind joins to do good to you with anything, it will be able to do good only with the thing that has been determined beforehand for you by God, and if all mankind joins to do harm to you with anything, it will be able to harm only with the thing that has been determined beforehand for you by God, and with no other thing. The pens have been done away with, and the leaves have become dry.’”

–        Musnad-i-Ahmad and Tirmizi


The gist and substance of this Tradition is that every kind of gain or loss is in the control of God, and, aside of Him; there is no one who has anything in his power, so much so that if all the men in the world got together to do a harm or good to anyone, they could do nothing against the will and command of God. Only what has been foreordained by the Lord and written down by the ‘Pen of Destiny’ much in advance – e en the writing has, now, dried up – can, and will, happen. Such being the case, it is pure foolishness to address one’s petitions to anyone save God. We should supplicate only to Him and stretch our hand before no one else for our needs, and the way to have our petitions granted and prayers answered is that we remembered His injunctions and fulfilled His rights. He will, also, remember us and fulfil our needs and be kind and merciful to us both in this world and the next.

(2) It is related by Abdullah bin Masud that the Apostle of God said: “There is nothing that takes you close to Heaven and away from Hell and I have not told you to observe it and, in the same way, there is nothing that takes you close to Hell and away from Heaven and I have not told you to avoid it. (I have imparted to you the knowledge of all good and evil deeds. and taught you, in detail, what is legitimate and what is forbidden, and conveyed to you all the positive and negative commandments of the Lord that were revealed to me). And Rooh-ul-Amin, (the Trustworthy Spirit), (and according to another report Rooh-ul-Quds, the Holy Spirit), (both of which denote the Angel Gabriel), has just brought to me the Revelation that no living creature dies until he has eaten up the sustenance decreed for him by the Lord. (The appointed provision reaches everyone, without fail, before he dies, and death, in any case, cannot come until it is consumed). Thus, oh people! Fear God, and be honest and God-fearing in seeking your livelihood, and let not a little delay in sustenance induce you to try to obtain it through unlawful means and by transgression of the Law of God for what lies in the power of God can be obtained only through submission and obedience to Him.”

–        Baghawi and Baihaqi


The opening part is introductory. The holy Prophet, in fact, wanted to convey to his listeners what Gabriel had instilled into his heart at that time, but in order to give a special force to what he was going to tell, he, first, said that he had taught them all that there was to be taught concerning what was allowed and what was forbidden by the Shariat, and now he wanted to inform them of a thing just revealed to him by Gabriel which, in a nutshell, was that the sustenance of everyone had been determined beforehand and it was sure to reach him before he died, and, thus, a faithful bondsman should abstain from doing anything with regard to his livelihood that was displeasing to the Lord, and if there was a delay or hardship in it, even then he should not act in violation of a God-given law, but believing in the Almighty as the Great Provider of the daily bread, try to earn it only through fair and legitimate means as the favour of the Lord and His blessings could be gained only through submission.

Suppose a man is hungry and he has no money to buy food. At that moment, be sees someone who is fast asleep and the Devil tempts him to steal his goods and go and sell them and purchase for himself something to eat. It is for such an occasion that the sacred Prophet has taught that the bondsman should take it for granted that the provision that is to reach him shall reach him in any event. So, why should he incur the displeasure of the Lord; defile his soul and ruin his prospects in the world to come by committing theft? His aim and endeavour ought to be to earn his livelihood through honest means instead of a despicable act like stealing. The scope for earning an honest living is not limited by any means.

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