(Series on Difficulties and Their Causes #3)

Among the greatest of concerns that most people have is the concern for financial security and monetary stability. The house that we live in – whether rented or owned, the food and drink that we require for day-to-day living, the clothing that we wear daily and medication that we require occasionally – everything costs money.

All around the globe, prices are rising and people are beginning to feel the pinch. Facing this predicament, most people will try to stimulate their business, restructure their finances or adopt some other means to soften the blow. However, one’s business, one’s job, one’s investments and any other avenue of earning an income is merely a means – and it is Allah Ta‘ala alone who provides for us through these means.

Therefore, together with adopting the means, even more importantly we must turn to Allah Ta‘ala and adopt the solution that He has shown to acquire ease and barakah (blessings) in our sustenance.

In the Quraan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala teaches us that adopting taqwa and leading a life of piety is the key to acquiring ease from financial hardships. Allah Ta‘ala says, “The one who fears Allah Ta‘ala (i.e. adopts taqwa), He will make a way out for him (from all difficulties), and He will provide him with sustenance from avenues he cannot imagine.” (Surah Talaaq v2-3)

In another verse of the Quraan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala commands us saying, “Enjoin your family to perform salaah, and remain steadfast upon it yourself. We do not ask you for provision, (rather) We provide for you, and the best outcome is for (the people of) taqwa.” (Sura Taha v132)

When we examine the above verse of the Quraan Majeed, we find that Allah Ta‘ala first commands us to uphold salaah in our lives and the lives of our family members, and immediately thereafter, Allah Ta‘ala tells us that He is the one who provides us with our sustenance. Haafiz Ibnu Katheer (rahimahullah) has explained the link between the two stating, “In other words, when you establish salaah, then sustenance will begin to come to you from avenues you do not expect.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer vol. 5, pg. 319) How unfortunate it is that many a time, because of earning a livelihood, a person neglects his salaah. How can one then enjoy barakah in his income?

If upholding Deen and establishing salaah is the key to receiving barakah and ease in one’s sustenance, then committing sins and neglecting our Deeni obligations is the cause for one facing difficulties and constraints. Therefore, Haafiz Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) has mentioned, “Just as adopting taqwa draws and attracts sustenance, leaving out taqwa draws and attracts poverty. Thus, the most effective means to acquire sustenance is to leave out sins.” (Ad-Daau wad-Dawaa pg. 58) Hence, we find that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “Indeed, a person is (often) deprived of sustenance due to the sin that he commits.” (Sunan Ibni Maajah #4022) Therefore, it is extremely important that we hold firmly to taqwa, and avoid every type of sin, since sinning causes difficulty, constraints, deprivation of sustenance and lack of blessing in one’s wealth.

It is perhaps for this reason that the Quraan Majeed and ahaadeeth have prescribed istighfaar and begging the forgiveness of Allah Ta‘ala as an effective means of earning sustenance. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The one who holds firmly to istighfaar, Allah Ta‘ala will make a way out for him from every difficulty, a relief for him from every worry, and He will provide him with sustenance from avenues he cannot imagine.” (Sunan Abi Dawood #1518) (See here for more details)

In essence, the solution to the financial constraints and lack of barakah that we see in our lives is for us all to uphold Deen and the sunnah completely and correctly.

May Allah Ta‘ala bless us all with halaal sustenance, in an easy and honourable manner, aameen.