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Motivation for sustainance

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)


One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Brother in Islam,

Assala Mu alikum.

I sent you this additional question via e-mail. I am afraid, you may not have received that by e-mail. So, I am sending it again from your web site.

May Allah bless us all.


Copy of my previous e-mail sent on Sept 22, 2003

Dear Brother in Islam,

I thank you for taking time to read my question and providing references to the answer of similar question. I also looked into another answer (Question no. 1783) that you provided in the past to another brother/sister.

Both of these two answers are rich in nature and does provide some answer.

Still, I have one question left and hope you do not mind for asking that. My understanding from your website is that all of you have great heart and mind to help others and you do not stop on criticism from ignorance. It is unfortunate that some Muslims have threatened you. I feel the importance to let you know that your work matters to me and consider yourselves fortunate for the knowledge and wisdoms Allah has given you. With your honest effort at least I am moving closer towards my creator. May Allah give enrich us with knowledge and give us the strength.


Where the motivation factor lies?

Allah Subhanah Decrees the amount of rizk or sustenance of each person as He Wills and Pleases!

To answer one question, you mentioned, "The basic principle of rizk or sustenance is that the amount of rizk one receives does not depend on the intelligence, work, or effort of man; but rather rizk is a result of the distribution and Decree of Allah Subhanah! Whatever rizk Allah Subhanah has Decreed for man, he will receive exactly that much."

The same set of concepts applies to exactly how long a person will live.

I am finding it difficult to locate a motivation factor in these concepts. Why a man should strive? Why a man should try to live healthy? Why a man should work hard knowing his effort will not make any difference.

I believe Islam is complete way of life and there must be something that tells us to strive and work hard that I am not aware of. In one of your answers, you mentioned, "The guidance that Allah Subhanah has given in the Holy Quran, is that man must strive to earn his livelihood. It is misguidance and absolutely wrong to believe that one would sit and relax at home, and Allah would send his rizk to him from the skies." You did not provide any references from Quran regarding this.

Your brother in Islam.

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Motivation for sustainance

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


May Allah Subhanah reward you with the best of this world and the Hereafter for your kind comments of encouragement for our humble efforts in the propagation of the Truth. If our humble and modest efforts have helped even one brother or sister get closer to Allah and His Deen of Truth, then we would consider ourselves indeed fortunate to have been given this opportunity by the Lord Most Merciful to serve in His Cause. We hope, beg, and pray the Merciful Lord accepts our humble and weak efforts, forgives us our shortcomings, and saves you, us, and all the believers from the torment of the Hell Fire. Ameen.

Your Statement: Allah Subhanah Decrees the amount of rizk or sustenance of each person as He Wills and Pleases!
The same set of concepts applies to exactly how long a person will live.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankabut verse 62: Allah enlarges the sustenance (which He gives) to whichever of His servants He pleases; and He (similarly) grants by (strict) measure (as He pleases): for Allah has full knowledge of all things.


Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 8.594 Narrated by Anas bin Malik

The Prophet (saws) said, "Allah puts an Angel in charge of the uterus and the Angel says, 'O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now ) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the Angel asks, 'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female? A wretched (an evil doer), or a blessed (doer of good)? How much will his provisions be? What will his age be?' So all that is written while the creature is still in the mother's womb."


Your Questions: I am finding it difficult to locate a motivation factor in these concepts. Why a man should strive? Why a man should try to live healthy? Why a man should work hard knowing his effort will not make any difference. Where the motivation factor lies?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 31 Surah Luqman verse 34: Verily the Knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (Alone). It is He Who sends down rain and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is Full Knowledge, and He is Acquainted (with all things).


Beloved brother, indeed the All-Wise, All Knowing Lord Alone Knows what will the sustenance of the person be, and He Alone Knows the exact time of the persons death. The motivation factor of the person lies in the fact that he has absolutely no knowledge of what Allah Subhanah has Decreed for him; and the natural love for life and wealth, that Allah Subhanah has put in the nature of man gives him the motivation factor to strive to search for his livelihood and protect his life.


Had man known that he would die at so and so age, he would not be motivated to strive to save his life at all junctions of his life! Similarly, if man had known that he would be worth a million dollars on so and so date, he would not be motivated to strive to earn his livelihood. But Allah Subhanah, in His Supreme Wisdom and Knowledge has kept this information unknown and unseen to man; so that he may be motivated to strive to seek the blessings and bounties of Allah Subhanah.


Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 79 Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab

Umar heard the Prophet (saws) say: 'If you put your faith completely in Allah, He will arrange for your sustenance in the same way as He provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with their stomachs empty, and return filled in the evening.'


If one just studies the nature and behavior of the birds (or any other animal), one will realize how the bird goes from branch to branch, place to place, and looks around and strives to find some food for himself and his young ones; he does this striving all day in search for his livelihood, and inevitably when he returns back to his nest in the evening, his stomach is full. The striving is in the nature of the bird, the Providing of Sustenance is in the Domain of Allah Subhanah, which He never fails.


Similarly, the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws) for man is to strive his best in search for his livelihood to the best of his ability, and put his full trust in Allah Subhanah Alone in whether his striving will be successful or a failure; for that decision is in the control of Allah Subhanah Alone. His duty and responsibility is to strive, and the responsibility for Providing is in the Sole Domain of Allah Subhanah Alone.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verse 14: Fair-seeming (in the hearts and eyes) of men is the love of things they covet: women and sons; heaped-up hoards of gold and silver; horses (or vehicles) branded; and (wealth of) cattle and well-tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world's life; but in nearness to Allah, is the best of goals.


Because of the inherent nature of mans love for the things he covets; women, and sons, and the accumulation of wealth, etc., man, in his nature has an automatic inclination and superb motivation to these things! Thus the real issue is not how to motivate man to earn wealth in this worldly life, but how to control this motivation!


Just imagine the motivation level for the accumulation of wealth of the thief or the burglar, who is willing to break the law and go to jail for his theft or burglary! Just imagine the motivation level of the smugglers, and the drug dealers, and the kidnappers who would even kill human beings in order to earn some wealth!


Allah Subhanah has created this huge motivation in the nature of mankind for the accumulation of wealth; but has commanded that man must control this motivation and can only earn it through legal means and channels. And when he does earn his wealth, he must remember the rights of the poor and the indigent upon his wealth.


Man will never be questioned on the Day of Judgement whether he accumulated $100m or not, or why he never lived upto the age of 200!!!; for these are not in his control. What he will be questioned on are things that were given in his control: how did he earn his wealth, and where did he spend it; and what did he do with the time or life given to him by his Lord.


If the person loses his focus on the Hereafter, he joins the rat-race and strives his utmost to earn and accumulate as much wealth as he can; regardless of whether or not it is honest, ethical, righteous, legal, etc.


Thus in conclusion, the real issue is not whether how to or what will motivate man to strive to earn his livelihood, or how best to protect his life; for the love of these are inherent in the nature of man! The real issue is how to actually de-motivate or control the motivation of man, and to make him comprehend that instead of being so motivated in the striving of accumulating wealth and saving his life, his motivation should be actually diverted to earning the eternal home of the Hereafter.


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 9 Surah Taubah verse 111: Allah hath purchased of the believers their lives and their possessions; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise)! They fight in His Cause and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the Achievement Supreme.


Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4284 Narrated by Thawban

The Prophet (saws) said: The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He (saws) replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and put enervation into your hearts. Someone asked: O Messenger of Allah (saws)! What is wahn (enervation)? The Messenger of Allah (saws) replied: Love of the world and the dislike of death!


Thus my beloved and dear brother, if we just look around us, we will soon realize that there is no dearth of motivation amongst mankind when it comes to striving to earn and accumulate wealth, or saving ones own life! The real issue is not what will motivate them to earn more or live more, but how to de-motivate from the accumulation of these transitory things, just for the sake of accumulation? And the answer is to motivate them to strive towards the Truth of the Everlasting and Eternal life of the Hereafter; and that motivation can only be gained if one strives to understand and implement the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah in ones life!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imraan verse 180: And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah hath given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: nay it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld, be tied to their necks like a twisted collar on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 102 Surah Takathur verses 1-3:

1 The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things)

2 Until ye visit the graves.

3 But, nay! ye soon shall know (the reality).


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 104 Surah Humaza verses 1-6:

1 Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter

2 Who piles up wealth and lays it by

3 Thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever!

4 By no means! He will be sure to be thrown into that which breaks to pieces.

5 And what will explain to thee, That which Breaks to Pieces?

6 (It is) the Fire of (the Wrath of) Allah kindled (to a blaze!)


Beloved and dear Brother in Islam, if only, and I repeat, if only we can control our desire and motivation to accumulate the things of this transitory world, will we ever be able to gain the motivation to strive for the real and everlasting home of the Hereafter!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 79 Surah Naziaat verses 35-41:

35 The Day when Man shall remember (all) that he strove for

36 And Hell-Fire shall be placed in full view for (all) to see

37 Then for such as had transgressed all bounds

38 And had preferred the life of this world

39 The Abode will be Hell-Fire;

40 And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord's (tribunal), and had restrained (their) soul from Lower Desires

41 Their abode will be the Garden.



May Allah Subhanah control yours and our motivation for the accumulation of the lowly and transitory desires of this passing world, and bless you and us with the motivation to strive for the Hereafter!


Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 17 Surah Israa verses 18-19:

18 If any do wish for the transitory things (of this life) We readily grant them--such things as We will to such persons as We will: in the end have We provided Hell for them: they will burn therein disgraced and rejected.

19 Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter and strive therefore with all due striving and have Faith, they are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah).


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your Brother in Islam,





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