(The Total Provider)

The provider, the sustainer. The one who creates sustenance for all His creations.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Ar-Razzaq (in Arabic: الرَّزَّاقُ) the provider, the sustainer for all His creatures. He is The One who creates all means of nourishment and gives them their livelihood. He is the provider of growth for all things good for the body, the soul, and the mind.

Mentions of ar-Razzaq:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root r-z-q which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to receive something beneficial, especially as a gift to be provided with the necessities of life, to receive a portion, share or lot, to be supplied with a means of subsistence.

There is often confusion between the name al-Wahhab (The Bestower) and ar-Razzaq (The Provider). Al-Wahhab contains the same root as the name Hiba, which means a gift. So, al-Wahhab refers to Allah's attribute of being the perpetual giver of gifts. It knows no bounds and requires no action from the receiver. Now, rizq has multiple meanings; the first is of general sustenance. This refers to any physical or material wealth. It's what has been allocated by the creator for you. However, unlike a gift, effort must be applied to receive it. This encompasses the outward definition of rizq. Rizq can also apply to inward sustenance - one that benefits your soul, your heart (emotional sustenance), your faith, and your health. When you count on Allah's blessings, seeking the rizq that will purify your soul, guide you, and increase your iman is nobler. It is ever-lasting, whereas material provision, although necessary, is only temporary.

In the Qur'an, Surah Ash-Shu'ara, Prophet Ibrahim (as) addresses Polytheists giving reasons why Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ should be the only one worthy of worship. He argues how it is Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, "Who created me and Who guides me; Who gives me food and drink, and Who, when I am ill, heals me; Who will cause me to die and then will again restore me to life." (26:78-81) What's interesting to note here is the order. Prophet Ibrahim (as) first shows appreciation for his existence than to be among those guided. He then shifts to the outward rizq of worldly provisions such as food, drink, and health.

There are countless ayat which discuss Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as being the provider. For example, "Allah is the one who created you, then provided for you, then will cause you to die, and then will give you life. Are there any of your “partners” who does anything of that? Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him" (Qur'an 30:40) and also, "O mankind, remember the favor of Allah upon you. Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the heaven and earth? There is no deity except Him, so how are you deluded?" (Qur'an 35:3) But as a reference to the name ar-Razzaq there is only one instance:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ ٱلْجِنَّ وَٱلْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ
مَآ أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍۢ وَمَآ أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلرَّزَّاقُ ذُو ٱلْقُوَّةِ ٱلْمَتِينُ

Wa maa khalaqtul jinna wal insa illaa liya’budoon Maaa ureedu minhum mir rizqinw wa maaa ureedu anyyut’imoon Innal laaha Huwar Razzaaqu Zul Quwwatil Mateen

English Translation:
"And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength." (Qur'an 51:56-58)

The pairing here is with the two names ar-Razzaq and al-Mateen, the perpetual provider and the firm possessor of strength. We can always depend on Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ for provision because He is the firm one. What does it mean to be firm? It means being solid, unwavering, or unbreakable. You can forever rely on Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ because of his strength. All other sources that claim to be strong providers really are not. The greatest countries or empires all rise and fall, and the biggest companies of the past no longer exist. Nothing is ever-lasting except Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. He is unshakable.

قُلْ مَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ ۖ وَإِنَّآ أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَىٰ هُدًى أَوْ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ

Qul mai yarzuqukum minas samaawaati wal ardi qulil laahu wa innaaa aw iyyaakum la’alaa hudan aw fee dalaalim mubeen

English Translation:
"Say, 'Who provides for you from the heavens and the earth?' Say, 'Allah. And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance or in clear error.'" (34:24)

The believer benefits from knowing ar-Razzaq. At some biological level, we have this looming anxiety of not having enough. We're afraid of losing our job, being unable to pay our bills, or not having enough to eat. We live with this constant worry.

The release comes in knowing Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as ar-Razzaq. He is the best provider for all; there is not a single creature that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ does not provide for. Since He is the only one who can give sustenance, we should seek it from Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Understanding this frees a person from the shackles of influence of an unjust employer, dictator, or any kind of authority. People may be coerced to compromise their morals and resort to cheating and stealing to secure sustenance. But the one who knows Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as ar-Razzaq will never act in this way as he knows the real authority is with Allah the almighty.

If your rizq is decreed, why make du'a? This question is often asked, and it's rather a moot point. Allah's qadr (divine decree) is known only by Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. We don't know what was written, and as mentioned previously, to receive worldly rizq requires genuine effort. We simply don't know; it could be after reading this, you make du'a asking from Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, and He increases what has been portioned for you. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ had already known this as it was in your qadr. It was written, but you did not know. So we proceed just as we would before, doing good deeds, making du'a, and putting our best foot forward.

"Who shall provide for you if He withholds His sustenance? Nay; but they persist in rebellion and aversion." (Surah Mulk verse 21)

Narrated Warrad: (the clerk of Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba) Once Al-Mughira dictated to me in a letter addressed to Muawiya that the Prophet ﷺ used to say after every compulsory prayer, "La ilaha illa l-lahu wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu l-mulku wa lahu l-hamdu, wa huwa `ala kulli shay'in qadir. Allahumma la mani`a lima a`taita, wa la mu`tiya lima mana`ta, wa la yanfa`u dhal-jaddi minka l-jadd. [There is no Deity but Allah, Alone, no Partner to Him. His is the Kingdom and all praise, and Omnipotent is he. O Allah! Nobody can hold back what you gave, nobody can give what You held back, and no struggler's effort can benefit against You]." And Al-Hasan said, "Al-jadd' means prosperity [??]." [1]

The attitude which is best for a believer was mentioned in the hadith of Sahih Muslim. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "Look at those who are beneath you and do not look at those who are above you, for it is more suitable that you should not consider as less the blessing of Allah." [2] This problem has multiplied a thousandfold in the age of social media. We see the highlight reel of everyone's best life. It then leads to shaitan planting his seeds of doubt in the garden of your mind. These weeds - if not dealt with immediately - take form and spread, soon overtaking the entire garden. This manifests in a variety of ways into doubt, resentment, or belittling of the favors which Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ has given us (nauzubillah). For those seeking tranquility, it is better to find contentment with that which Allah has already provided you. This sentiment is perfectly captured in Surah Ta-ha verse 131, "And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more enduring."

It was narrated from Salamah bin ‘Ubaidullah bin Mihsan Al-Ansari that his father said: "The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.'" [3]

[1] Sahih al-Bukhari 844
[2] Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 4142
[3] Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 4141

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