The Best of Provisions is Taqwa
(by Sheikh ‘Abdul Rahmaan as Sudais)
All praise is due to Allah, the Praiseworthy, the One who showers His servants with abundant favors. Glory be to Him in His Highest attributes. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, as testimony that we hope will take us to Jannah. I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and messenger, the best of the universe, in purity, manners, and generosity. Oh Allah, send your peace, blessings, and favors upon him, his companions, and his pure household, those who showed mercy each other, his companions, and those who followed them hoping for the mercy of their Lord.
Oh servants of Allah, the best advice that one should start his speech with is the fear of Allah. Therefore, fear Allah, May Allah bless you. Whoever fears Allah will attain success and achieve what he hopes for. The fear of Allah will be a light for him in times of darkness and a means of lifting difficulties when they befall him.
Oh Muslims, with the constant changes of worldly affairs it has become even clearer that Islamic law with its teachings came to give us good morals and ethics that purify souls and spirits, thus increasing faith in the hearts of the believers. Likewise, it increases the spirit of the Islamic brotherhood at a time when people have lost the aspect of true love and mercy amongst one another. They have lost security, stability, and the true meaning of life. Islam is the leading pioneer in calling to love, mercy, and brotherhood, especially in times of adversities, calamities, and hardships. In fact, Islam is the only religion that encourages these morals and makes them an essential part of its roots. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
“Do good that you may be successful.” (Surah Hajj 22: 77)
These good morals are the only hope that all suffering countries and people have. These morals are what sound pure hearts seek in establishing, especially in these materialistic times. In these times of hardship and difficulties the people that practice their religion will cross deserts in order to quench the thirst of those who are suffering from thirst, to console those whose hearts are full of grief, and plant the seeds of faith in the heart of the sick. They do all this hoping to console each other and seeking the pleasure of Allah. Allah says:
إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا
“We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.” (Surah Insan 76: 9)
Verily, glittery slogans alone do not relieve grief or difficulties, nor do they relieve a nation or their people. These glittery slogans will never be able to do this, unless they are followed by actions; actions that promote unity. From the examples of this consciousness of unity are relief campaigns when distant lands will face starvation due to floods and hurricanes and also those who suffer from extreme winter conditions such as heavy snowfalls. These relief campaigns are helping the Muslims in lifting their pains and sufferings. By doing this, those who engage in relief campaigns are following the command Rasulullah (SAW) concerning feeding the needy and helping those who seek assistance. It has been narrated by Nu`maan bin Basher (RA) that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The Believers in their mutual love and affection are like one body. When an organ is in pain the whole body has fever and become restless.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
This is the goal we want to achieve: one united nation, in order to plant the seeds of brotherhood in our souls, a brotherhood that is not affected by pain or suffering. If we attain this, verily the mercy of Allah is near to the doors of good.
Oh my brothers in faith, from the wisdom of Allah in His creation is to test them with hardship after ease and sadness after happiness. Allah says:
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنْ الأَمْوالِ وَالأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرْ الصَّابِرِينَ
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sâbirun.” (Surah Baqarah 2:155)
These calamites that our nation is going through is due to exaggerated and unfair increases in prices of basic necessities. These increases have forced people to become sad and depressed as they become overburdened by the cost of living. This is a big problem that needs a fast solution. Each one of us should do his utmost best, according to his position and ability, to help in finding a solution. This is because the issue of provisions is occupying the peoples mind and the community to a large extent. Oh Muslims, the poor have been hurt by these increases and the Ummah is suffering while the traders have shown no concern. Whereas the correct opinion according to the scholars is that the government has the right to set the prices that is beneficial both to the seller and the buyer. Ibn al Qayyim stated: “If the interests of the public cannot be achieved except through making a fixed price, the ruler has the right to do this, without being biased to the seller or the buyer.” This is done in order to fulfill the aim of the Islamic law, which came to fulfill benefits and repel and minimize corruption. This is also based upon a principle of Islamic jurisprudence which states that hardship necessitates ease, harms should be removed, and the interests of the general population should be given precedence over individual interests. All this is in order to achieve equal distribution of materials and in order to achieve equal economic balance and social coherence that leads to love and mercy. In order to purify the individuals from greed and selfishness, there is a warning for the one who unfairly increases the price of commodities for the Muslims and practices monopoly in order to increase their prize. Samura ibn Jundub (RA) narrated Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Whoever interferes with the prices of Muslim commodities in order to increase their prize, Allah has made it incumbent upon Himself to place him in the lowest part of the fire.” Ma’mar ibn ‘Abdullah (RA) narrated that Rasulullah (SAW) said: “No one practices monopoly except a sinner.” (Ahmad and Muslim) Oh Muslim Ummah, the correct solutions to these problems are, Firstly, abstaining from sins and turning to Allah in repentance, seeking His forgiveness, so that we may attain security and stability from Allah. Allah says:
فَقُلۡتُ ٱسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ غَفَّارً۬ا (١٠) يُرۡسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّدۡرَارً۬ا (١١) وَيُمۡدِدۡكُم بِأَمۡوَٲلٍ۬ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكُمۡ أَنۡہَـٰرً۬ا (١٢)
“Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.” (Surah Nuh 71:10-12)
Secondly, by appreciating our security and comparing ourselves to those who are deprived of food, medicine, housing, and clothing, and to those who have been tested with fear. May Allah relieve them of their hardship. By doing this, we are following the saying of Rasulullah (SAW) where he said: “Look to those are below you, and not to those who are above you in rank, so that you may be closer to not rejecting the favor of Allah upon you.” (Sahih Muslim]) All of you by the praise of Allah are living in comfort.
Thirdly, we must solve this solution by praying for blessings and increase in provisions. Many people have become negligent of this practice, whereas from the invocation of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) we learn that he used to supplicate Allahuma qani’ni bima razzaqtani wa bariklifee (Oh Allah, make me content with that which you have provided for me and bless it for me.)
Fourthly, by pronouncing on our tongues, with a loud a voice, oh traders decrease the prices, beware of monopolism and capitalism, and know that the Muslim community is a community of cooperation, love and mercy. It is not a community of wild animals that eats up each other. Know that it is the purified souls that control their desires when it comes to attaining wealth and leaves personal gains for the interests of the general public.
The same way you’ve been bestowed with many bounties from Allah, you have also been ordered to conduct high moral values. Yes, seeking to make profit is desired, but with kindness, tolerance, and justice, not greed that leads to blameworthy situations. Allah says:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَى نِسَائِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنْكُمْ فَالآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمْ الْخَيْطُ الأَبْيَضُ مِنْ الْخَيْطِ الأَسْوَدِ مِنْ الْفَجْرِ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ وَلاَ تُبَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنْتُمْ عَاكِفُونَ فِي الْمَسَاجِدِ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلاَ تَقْرَبُوهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ
“And eat up not one another’s property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully.” (Surah Baqarah 2:187) We must know that religious matters are not based on mere feelings and emotions. It is based on truthful condolence, good morals, and taking care of the poor, needy, and those in distresses. We must also abandon all bad morals such as stealing, bribery, theft, unlawful earning, and hatred. We must repel all means that lead to committing crimes that destroy the structure of the community. Therefore, try your best to spread mercy and solidarity and that which is with Allah is better an everlasting. May Allah increase your earnings.
Fifthly, we must confront these problems, and block all doubtful means that lead to capitalism and monopolism, by putting penalties that prevent these acts in place in the interest of the general public. We should also take care of those who have limited income in order to spread happiness, love, and mercy. May Allah reward you and purify you. Allah says:
تَعۡتَدُواْۘ وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلۡبِرِّ وَٱلتَّقۡوَىٰۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى ٱلۡإِثۡمِ وَٱلۡعُدۡوَٲنِۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۖ
“..Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa; but do not help one another in sin and transgression…” (Surah Ma’idah: 2)
Oh servants of Allah, fear Allah, and obey him. Know that Allah is Ever Watchful over you, so do not disobey Him, for disobeying Him leads to loss and punishment. Allah says:
وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيۡرَ ٱلزَّادِ ٱلتَّقۡوَىٰۚ وَٱتَّقُونِ يَـٰٓأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ
“…And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is At-Taqwa. So fear Me, O men of understanding!” (Surah Baqarah 2:197)
Oh Muslim Ummah, with the recent events that have befallen the Ummah with exaggerated increase in prices of basic necessities; we also have people who are seeking to destroy the image of our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) in the form of cartoons. Allah says:
اللَّهُ يَسْتَهْزِئُ بِهِمْ وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ
“Allâh mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly.” (Surah Baqarah 2:15) These slanders are in the form of a new language that aims to insult Prophethood. These lies and slanders are a form of terrorism that is being carried out under the name of freedom of speech and democracy. However, these are nothing but slanders and lies. Insulting our honorable Rasulullah (SAW) is to insult ‘Eesa and Musa and all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (Alayhi Salaam). We do not differentiate between any of Allah’s Messengers.
Let the whole world know that these people who are writing have not been able to and nor will they ever be able to harm our Rasulullah (SAW) .Allah says:
إِنَّا كَفَيۡنَـٰكَ ٱلۡمُسۡتَہۡزِءِينَ
“Truly! We will suffice you against the scoffers.” (Surah Hijr 15: 95)
All these actions of theirs is nothing but jealousy and envy that is burning in their hearts. Allah will extinguish their flame and weaken them, because no matter how much falsehood spreads it will only strengthen the truth.
بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ وَلَكُمُ الْوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُون
“Nay, We fling (send down) the truth (this Qur’an) against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it (falsehood) is vanished. And woe to you for that (lie) which you ascribe.” (Surah Anbiya 21: 18)
Oh nation of our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) know that true defense of Rasulullah (SAW) is to follow his footsteps, adhere to his teachings, and learn about him. Befriending Rasulullah (SAW) is not rioting or destroying properties oppressively. Beware of such reactions which are not rightly guided, or actions which are not well thought out. May Allah make us amongst those who defend the honor of Rasulullah (SAW) and follow his guidance. Allah says:
قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
“Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): “If you (really) love Allâh then follow me, Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah ‘Imraan 3:31)
Oh servants of Allah, I remind you oh Muslims, to be eager and sincere and repentant manner to asking for forgiveness and to abstain from all sins and evil deeds. We ask Allah to relieve our nation from hardships.