Causes of provision
August 23 2019 12:54 AM

In an authentic narration narrated by Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, in Ibn Majah’s Kitab al Fitan, which is also mentioned in Al-Hakim’s Al-Mustadrak, as well as by al-Baihaqi and al-Bazzar, we learn about several causes of most fascinating consequences. The following can be deduced from that narration:
* Rain is withheld when zakat is not paid, and it would not fall at all were it not for animals.
l Illnesses not seen before appear when immorality spreads among people and when it becomes public.
* Lack of provision and injustice of rulers towards their people occurs when those people cheat in measuring.
* Allah sends an enemy to a people that takes from their hands that which they like, when those people leave their covenant with Allah and His Messenger and leave the Book and the Sunnah.
* Discord among people occurs when leaders do not judge by Allah’s Book and when they choose from it what they like and leave the rest.
One can wonder, how many secular scientists and those usually perceived as intellectuals are there that fail to understand Allah’s Sunan yet spend their lives trying to understand causes of many happenings in the universe? More importantly, how many of us fail to understand true reasons behind various disasters in our own Muslim countries? ...Thankfully, we can correct this by learning.
What follows is a mention of two major causes of provision, many of which are mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Among other causes of provision and development are Jihad in the Path of Allah, Hijrah for the sake of Allah, Hajj and ‘Umrah, leaving sins, da’wah to Allah, seeking forgiveness and repentance, good behaviour towards the weak and spending for the sake of Allah.

Tawakkul – Relying and depending on Allah
Allah the Exalted said:
“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.” [at-Talaaq: 3]
“If you relied on Allah with a true reliance, He would provide for you the same as He provides birds: they set off in the early morning with empty stomachs and return back at the end of the day with full stomachs.” [At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad]
Shaykh Fadl Ilaahi said: “The one who relies upon Allah with a true reliance is provided for as birds are provided for, and how would it be otherwise, when he has relied upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and whoever relies on Him, He will suffice him.” [Mafaatih ar-Rizq, 36]

Tawakkul in the Qur’an:
Tawakkul is enjoined in the Qur’an in many places and is a lofty station:
“And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Ibrahim: 11]
“And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die.” [Al Furqaan: 58]
“So worship Him and rely on Him.” [Hood:123]

Tawakkul is a cause of Allah’s love for His servant:
“Verily, Allah loves those who rely on Him.” [Aal ‘Imraan: 159]
Tawakkul is a condition of iman and a distinguishing mark of the believers:
“And upon Allah rely if you are believers.” [al-Maa’idah:23]
“The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely.” [al-Anfaal:2]
The believer knows that no harm and no benefit can come except by Allah’s permission, that He gives and withholds and that He owns everything in the universe. She or he knows that no one can give what Allah withholds, and that no one can withhold what Allah gives.
Lastly, relying on Allah does not mean that one leaves striving in this world. Allah says:
“So walk among its slopes and eat of His provision” [Al-Mulk: 15]
“And when the prayer has concluded, disperse within the land and seek the bounty of Allah.” [al-Jumu’ah: 10]

“And whoever fears Allah – He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect.” [At-Talaq: 2-3]
Ibn ‘Abbas said: “‘And will provide for him from where he does not expect’: meaning from where he does not hope.” [Zaad al Masyr 8:291-292]
“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened [i.e. bestowed] upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning [of blame for their sin].” [al-A’raaf 96]
Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Meaning, We would enrich them with what is good, and facilitate it for them from every side.” [Tafsir Abi Sa’ood 3/253]
“And if only they had upheld [the law of] Torah, the gospel and what has been revealed to them from their Lord [the Qur’an], they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet [i.e. in great abundance]. Among them are a moderate [i.e. acceptable] community, but many of them – evil is that which they do.” [Al-Maa’idah: 66]
Ibn Mas’ood said: “At-Taqwaa is that Allah is obeyed and not disobeyed, that He is remembered and not forgotten, and that He is thanked and not shown ungratefulness.” [At-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer 90/92]
[Most quotes mentioned in Asbaab ar-Rizq, collected by Abi al Mundhir Khalil ibn Ibrahim Amin, and published by Daar ibn al Atheer, 1420 H.]

Loving Allah’s Creation

Let us think about some of the ways that Islam’s spiritual orientation and its concrete rules for social and economic life, offer potential solutions to concrete problems that face us.
Islam asks us to submit to Allah, to bend toward our creator as a reed bends in the wind. Put in another way, this suggests we should live with divinely-ordained nature, not opposed to it. We should not strive to create radically artificial environments, but instead adapt ourselves more flexibly to the natural environments we have. Allah has made this easy for us in many ways: We have been given a lunar calendar to keep us in touch with the natural lunar rhythms, and a daily time-keeping system based on the sun, whose position is the key to the timing of the five daily prayers. By orienting our time-frame around these divinely provided systems, we automatically move in harmony with the solar and lunar rhythms that are, according to the Qur’an, among the most powerful signs of Allah.
At a more mundane level, we have to ask ourselves questions like: Does living in harmony with nature mean that we should give up air conditioning? Certainly if we attain gratitude and inner peace by the grace of Allah, we will be less desperate to make every last detail of our physical existence as comfortable and luxurious as possible. Since air conditioning will always be a luxury that only a tiny percentage of the world’s population will ever be able to afford, perhaps we should at least be frugal (and grateful) in our use of it, and try to use our wealth to feed our hungry fellow human beings. Likewise, we should build modestly with local, natural materials, and eat modestly with locally-grown, natural foods. We should use mechanical transport with moderation, relying as much as possible on such healthy, pollution-free, non-fossil fuel burning means as walking and bicycling, and as little as possible on private automobiles.

Social and Political Activism

None of these individual actions, however, will save the planet if it continues to be dominated by ruthless exploiters. We need to become Islamic-environmental activists, organising and agitating for both Islamic and environmental causes and showing how the two are closely linked. By demonstrating concern for our planet, and a commitment to finding solutions, we will be spreading a positive image of Islam to all. Together, the rising army of eco-warriors and the awakening Muslim Ummah will carry the green banners of Islam and environmentalism to every corner of the planet, creating the basis for the sustainable, balanced, harmonious society of the future.
Qur’anic Concepts: The Deepest, Purest Source of Environmental Wisdom

Meezaan “Balance”

Literally “the scale of balance.” The word Meezaan expresses the harmony of Allah’s creation. It expresses the perfect equilibrium and absolute justice of creation, which humans, as successors are obliged to help maintain. Allah says (what means): “The sun and moon revolve to a reckoning/and the grasses and trees bow in adoration/He raised the sky and set the balance/so that none may transgress against the balance.” [Qur’an, 55:5-8]
Humans must help maintain the cosmic balance by acting justly toward nature as well as toward each other. The built environment and the natural environment should be in perfect harmony, as suggested by the fact that Meezaan also means, “ground design” in architecture. Traditional Islamic architecture, especially masjid architecture, harmonises building, landscape and sky in many marvellous ways. The most famous and influential 20th century architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, drew heavily on traditional Islamic architecture as he revolutionised Western architecture. Wright refused to build the usual rectangular boxes that squat like alien presences on the landscape. Instead, he used graceful Islamic-derived forms to harmonise and balance indoors with outdoors, building with landscape, and humanity with the rest of creation.

Ayah, “Sign”

The word ayah means, “sign” as well as “Qur’anic verse.” The first way the early Muslims recognised that the Qur’an is the word of Allah was due to the miraculous beauty of its verses. Likewise the Qur’an invites us to look at the beautiful world around us as a sign pointing to its Creator. We are meant to “read” these signs and gain ever-deeper knowledge and appreciation both of creation itself, and especially of the Creator Who set such signs before us.
The Qur’anic revelation began with the command “iqra’”, “read!” This commanded Allah’s last messenger, Muhammad, to begin reading/reciting the words of Allah. It also commanded the people to whom the message was sent to become literate - and within a few generations Arabic, with the Qur’an as its central influence, had become the world’s leading written medium of expression. Finally, at the most general level, “iqra’!” commanded all humans to “read” the book of Allah’s creation to decipher its truth and beauty, which always points beyond itself toward its Creator. If we look at the world around us as an ever-shifting panorama of signs of Allah, rather than as a meaningless heap of dumb brute matter, we will contemplate it with awe and act as cautious and respectful stewards rather than hyperactive, transgressive exploiters.

Haraam, “Forbidden, Off-Limits”

The concept of Haraam, whose legal meaning is “forbidden,” suggests the necessity of setting limits that must not be transgressed. Traditionally the “Haraam” was the intimate part of the house which was off-limits to strangers and casual visitors. Westerners, colonialists, wishing to transgress whatever limits they found in the lands they invaded, projected their own fantasies upon the private areas of the Muslim home, turning this innocent word into the salacious English word “Haraam.” But the original word Haraam, with its implication that limits sometimes need to be drawn, is the word Western culture really needs to borrow from Islam.
Among the places where limits need to be drawn, and spaces set aside, are the earth’s remaining natural areas. Nature parks, game preserves, wilderness areas, and so on are absolutely essential to the future of our planet. Yet when a secular government says, “Don’t transgress in this area because the law says so”, many people, driven by greed or desperation, will not listen. Under an Islamic system, when an area is declared Haraam, and Qur’anic precepts invoked to protect it, Muslims will be much more likely to sacrifice their immediate self-interest and respect the lines that must not be crossed.
This is just one example of how sacred law, which touches our hearts and carries Allah’s imprimatur, is more effective than secular law, which requires ever-greater armies of ever-more-corrupt police, soldiers, bureaucrats and prisons to try to enforce it. In the absence of Allah’s guidance, man imagines himself self-sufficient and is driven to violate limits. Allah says (what means): “No! (But) indeed, man transgresses, because he sees himself self-sufficient. Indeed, to your Lord is the return.” [Qur’an, 96:6-8].
When humans understand that they are not self-sufficient, but utterly helpless and dependent on a marvelously beautiful and unimaginably complex natural world - a natural world which, like us, is utterly dependent on Allah for the tiniest nanosecond or smallest subatomic particle of its existence - they will be overtaken by awe and accept the limits that sustain the balance (meezaan) of Allah’s creation.

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