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Understanding Ar Razzaq & Ar Raziq – The Provider & The Sustainer

One of God’s most beautiful names is Ar Razzaq, the Provider. The One who provides for His creation.

The name Ar Raziq is closely related to Ar Razzaq and means the Sustainer and indicates abundant provision and plentiful sustenance. God is the one who provides for and sustains us. God takes upon Himself the responsibility to provide sustenance to all His creatures, without exception. In addition to this, through His mercy and grace, He provides special provision to the righteous believers, such as strong faith and abundant lawful earnings.

What is Rizq?

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It is difficult to totally appreciate these names without first having an understanding of rizq. Rizq is what God provides for us and it is what sustains us through all the days of our lives. The Arabic word rizq means provision or sustenance, that which is given.

Rizq is often understood to mean only material possessions such as money, food, employment, housing and such, however it is more than that. Rizq is anything that brings benefit or goodness to us. It therefore includes but is not limited to wealth, family, faith, spirituality, health, and intellect.

Rizq also includes anything that will help us to fulfill our obligations to God. Rizq sustains us throughout our lives on earth, even the air we breathe is a form of rizq.

The believer remembers that God alone provides all rizq. And He provides it for everybody, not only  to those who believe. He provides sustenance to all of humankind, and to all of Creation, including animal and plants.

And there is no creature on earth whose provision is not from God, He knows its dwelling place and He knows where it will be stored. All is in a clear book. (Quran 11:6)

Your Rizq is Guaranteed, Strive for it

Ar Razzaq, the Provider has guaranteed our rizq. 

God wrote down the Rizq of the creation 50,000 years before He created the heavens and the earth. (Muslim)

Before our birth God determined and measured our rizq; He will provide it and distribute it over the course of our lifetime, in the manner that He deems most appropriate.

Often, we have a poor understanding of rizq and think that we achieve it by our own efforts. This is not correct; the believer is encouraged to work hard but our rizq is predetermined.  The birds are an example that demonstrates this. They trust God and know that He, the Provider, will provide for them. 

Prophet Muhammad said:

 If you were to rely on Allah as He should be relied on, He would provide for you as He provides for the birds. They go out early in the morning hungry and return in the evening full. (At Tirmidhi)

The birds go out in the morning and seek their sustenance. They do not remain in their nest waiting for their sustenance to arrive. Thus, we too are expected to work for our sustenance.  Effort should be put into working and striving, in a way that is pleasing to God.

In addition to this, through our efforts, God will distribute His rizq to others.  There are several reliable concepts in Islam that guarantee that rizq reaches those for whom it was intended. Obligatory charity is one of them, so too are the rewards waiting for those who are generous.

We must resist the temptation to hold onto our wealth because it is not our wealth. It belongs to God. We are merely the instrument He uses to channel the wealth to where it should be. Our wealth should slip through our hands and into the hands of those who need it. God assures us that if we treat our wealth in this way, He will replace what we generously give away with something better.

Who is it that would loan God a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is God who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned. (Quran 2: 245)

Don’t Fear Poverty

A person’s rizq cannot be diverted away from them, nor can someone with either good or sinful means attain more rizq than what has been written for them. Prophet Muhammad repeated this supplication after his prayer.

None has the right to be worshipped but God and He has no partner in His lordship, His worship, or in His Names and Attributes. For Him is the Kingdom and all the praises and thanks are for Him.  He is Omnipotent. O God! Nobody can hold back what You give and nobody can give what You hold back. Hard efforts by anyone for anything cannot benefit anyone against Your will. (Al Bukhari and Muslim)  

Thus, we are reminded that certain life matters should not be dependent upon the amount of rizq we imagine that we have, or have access to. In the Quran God advises us:

Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin” (Quran 17:31)

Nowadays we are more concerned with not having the financial means to support children, however, the verse remains relevant because God is clearly telling us that He is the one who provides for our children. They come with their own rizq that is not dependent upon their parents’ circumstances.

Similarly, the practice of delaying marriage in order to acquire more material possessions is not praiseworthy custom. A marriage, contracted to please God, is one of the things that increase a person’s belief. Rizq is always in the hands of God, the One who creates all means of nourishment and subsistence; He is Ar Razzaq, He who provides everything that is needed.  

Prophet Muhammad said that a soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been written for it. (Ibn Hibban)  

Therefore even if you feel that your provision is slow in coming you can rest assured that whatever has been written for you will certainly come to you. Our part is to strive for our rizq, like the birds we must go out every day working, not for material gain but for the sake of God.

Rizq in the Bible

The concept of God as Ar Razzaq, the Provider, and He who sustains us; Ar Raziq, is also found to a lesser degree in Christianity. Christians refer to God as the Provider.  In the Lord’s Prayer, Christians supplicate saying, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’. In the Bible’s New Testament, we find references to the rizq of the birds.

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? (Matthew 6:26)

Conclusion

Ar Razzaq and Ar Raziq are two of God’s Most Beautiful names. God asked us to call on Him for all our needs by using the names He gave Himself. These names are most appropriate when we are in need of provision, either physical or spiritual, or when we are in require sustenance, again, either physical sustenance such as food or water, or spiritual sustenance such as a burst of the sweetness of faith, or the comfort that comes from remembering God.

“Call upon God or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names. And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.” (Quran 17: 110)

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Aisha Stacey
Aisha Stacey is the mother of three adult children. She embraced Islam in 2002 and spent the next five years in Doha, Qatar studying Islam and working at the Fanar Cultural Centre. In 2006 Aisha returned to university for a second time and completed at Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Writing. Aisha is also a published writer in both internet and print media and in 2009 -10 she was the Queensland editor at a national Australian Islamic newspaper ~ Crescent Times.