Difficulty with regard to provision and sustenance is something that many of us face at some time in our lives. Naturally, when we are in this situation, we begin to panic and look for ways out. Some bear the situation remaining within the laws of Shari‘ah and with patience make it through, whilst others fail in this test from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and opt for Haraam (Prohibited) means to try to solve their problems.
So, when a brother asked a related question, I pondered for a while and the following advices, based on the Quraan and Hadeeth, came to mind:
1. At such difficult times it is paramount to adopt Taqwaa (Piety and Allah-fearing), which is to stay away from each and every sin. Remember, what is thought of to be a tough financial situation will differ from person to person, but in these circumstances it is necessary that we stay compliant with the Commands of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Both the do’s and don’ts, commanded by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), have to be adopted. Salaah (Prayers), Sawm (Fasting), Zakaah (Obligatory Charity), Hajj (Pilgrimage) and all other Faraai-dh (Obligations) must be performed. Similarly, all the prohibitions from Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) need to be adhered to: listening to music, watching films, casting lustful glances, adultery, fornication, etc. all need to be refrained from. In return for this adoption of Taqwaa, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has promised that He will see to our needs:
“Whoever adopts Taqwaa, Allah brings forth a way out for him and provides him (with what he needs) from where he does not even imagine. And whoever places his trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah is to accomplish His purpose.” (65:2)
“If the people of the towns believed and adopted Taqwaa, We would have opened for them blessings from the heavens and the earth, but they disbelieved. So, We seized them because of what they used to earn for themselves.” (7:96)
2. A second point to keep in mind is to make Istighfaar (seek forgiveness) abundantly. A person should look towards his own misdeeds and take them to be the reason for finding himself in the predicament he is in. He should turn to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and repent. Sometimes, such circumstances are caused by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) in order to make His servant turn towards Him. Such is the Mercy of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)!
“Pray to your Lord for your forgiveness. Indeed, He is Very-Forgiving; and He will cause the heavens to rain upon you in abundance, and will help you with riches and children, and will cause gardens to grow for you, and cause rivers to flow for you.” (71:10-12)
“O my people, seek forgiveness from your Lord, then turn to Him in repentance, and He will release the heavens pouring upon you, and will add strength to your strength, and do not turn away like sinners.” (11:52)
The Prophet, Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam), has said: “He who holds firm to seeking forgiveness, Allah will make an exit for him from every tight situation, will grant him relief from every trouble and will provide for him from where he does not even imagine.” (Abu Daawood, Ibne Maajah, Ahmad)
3. Another point is to ensure that we keep our transactions free from sin. For this, we must consult the pious ‘Ulamaa (Muslim scholars), learn from them in regards to what is Halaal (Permitted) and what is Haraam (Prohibited) and act accordingly. Any transaction which is contrary to the teachings of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and His Messenger (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) will be devoid of Barakah (Blessings); therefore, no matter how great the profit or benefit seems, it will soon disappear. The Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) said:
“The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return the goods until they part. And if both parties spoke the truth and described the goods accurately, then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost.” (Bukhari)
Similarly, the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) also said: “Taking (false) oaths improve the sales, but it eradicates the blessings.” (Bukhari)
4. Nowadays, many people look for Wazaaif (Recitation of certain Verse(s), name(s) of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) etc. a certain number of times to fulfill a particular need) to solve their problems. Whereas, within the boundaries of Shari‘ah, this is permissible, there can be no better solutions than those shown by the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) regarding whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says: “He does not speak out of (his own) desire. It is but revelation revealed (to him).” (53:3-4)
In a Hadeeth the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) mentions that whoever recites the following 100 times between Subh Saadiq (When the day time starts as per Shari’ah, when it ispermitted to offer Morning Prayers i.e. Salaatul Fajr) and Salaatul Fajr, wealth shall come to him unwillingly and humbled.
»سُبْحَانَ اللهِ وَبِحَمْدِه سُبْحَانَ اللهِ الْعَظِیْمِ، أَسْتَغْفِرُاللهَ«
“Pure is Allah and for Him is praise. Pure is Allah, the Great. I seek forgiveness from Allah.” (Ihyaa ul Uloom by Imam Ghazali)
In another Hadeeth, the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) passed by a person who was disheveled and worried, at which the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) told him to recite the following words through which his worry and poverty would go away. The words were:
»تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ: وَالْحَمْدُلِلهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ وَلِيُّ مِنَ الذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا«
“I place my trust in the Ever Living who is not to die, Praise belongs to Allah who has neither had a son, nor is there any partner to Him in His kingdom, nor is anyone (needed) to protect Him from (any) weakness. And proclaim His greatness, an open proclamation.” (Abu Ya‘laa, Ibn-as-Sunni)
5. ReciteSoorah al-Waaqi‘ah every night:
The third Pious Caliph of Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam), Hadhrat ‘Uthman visited a Sahaabi (Companion) of Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam), Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibne Mas‘ood during the last stages of the latter’s life. Hadhrat ‘Uthman asked him: “What is your illness?”
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood replied: “My sins.”
He then asked him: “Is there anything you desire?”
Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood replied: “The Mercy of my Rabb.”
Hadhrat ‘Uthman then asked if he would like him to re-issue the allowance that was allocated for him during his life that he had refused. When he declined, Hadhrat ‘Uthman said: “Let it be for your daughters for after your death.”
Upon this, Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood asked: “Do you fear poverty upon my daughters after my death? I have instructed them to recite Soorah al-Waaqi‘ah every night; for I have heard the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) saying, ‘Whoever recites Soorah al-Waaqi‘ah every night shall never be afflicted with poverty.” (Qurtubi)
6. Imam Tabaraani has quoted a Hadeeth in which the Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) has said:
“Washing hands, before and after food, safeguards against poverty.”
7. We should constantly make Du‘aa(Supplication) to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), for in Du‘aa lies the solution to all our problems. The Prophet (SallAllaahu Alaihe WaSallam) has said:
“Indeed, Du‘aa is of benefit for those things that have descended and (also) for those things that have not yet descended. O servants of Allah!Hold fast to Du‘aa.”(at Tirmizi)
One important point to ponder upon here is that to be afflicted with financial difficulties is not an everlasting problem, for tomorrow we may be relieved; either our problem may ease or we may not live for long. Why then do we have so much concern for this temporary issue? If a solution is guaranteed, we will be prepared to do anything. On the other hand, the Aakhirah (life hereafter) is inevitable and definite, but we do not have the same concern. How surprising it is that for something inevitable we have no concern, yet that which is uncertain occupies our hearts and minds all the time. Surely, we have set our priorities incorrectly!