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The connection between provision (rizq) and death

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Publication : 17-06-2023

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Question

It is said that death is connected to provision (rizq), so when the provision that is allocated to the son of Adam runs out, he will die. But what I am thinking is that provision is of different types, and there are many sources of provision. For example, in the case of money, there may be someone who is owed money by other people, but he dies. And there may be someone who does work for someone else, but before receiving payment for his work, he dies. And there may be someone who enjoys perfect health and well-being, but he dies. Isn’t the debt that is owed provision, and isn’t the payment for work provision, and isn’t good health provision, and so on and so forth? But I feel that there is a specific type of provision which, when it comes to an end, the individual will die after that. This is the case if debt is connected to provision, so what is that provision which, when it runs out, the individual will die after that?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly: the individual’s lifespan is how long he will remain in this world, and it is a type of provision (rizq) which, when it comes to an end, the individual will die. That is his lifespan.

Humans are like all other creatures that have lifespans and an appointed time of death, which cannot be brought forward or put back, because the appointed time of death is the end of his allotted period. His lifespan is how long he remains in this worldly life, and his appointed time of death is when that period comes to an end.

It is soundly narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Allah decided the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth. And His Throne was above the water.” Narrated by Muslim (2653).

And it was soundly narrated that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There was Allah, and there was nothing before Him, and His Throne was above the water. He wrote everything in the Book and created the heavens and the earth. – According to one version: then He created the heavens and the earth. – And Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{So when their time has come, they will not remain behind an hour, nor will they precede [it]} [al-A‘raf 7:34].”

Narrated by al-Bukhari (3191).

Allah knows what will happen before it happens, for He has decreed that. So He knows that this one will die of a stomach disease, or pleurisy, or being crushed under a collapsed building, or drowning, or other causes of death, and that that one will be murdered either by poison, the sword, stones or other ways of killing.

See: Jami‘ al-Masa’il Vol. 7 (37).

The individual’s lifespan is included in the general meaning of provision (rizq), and whatever Allah has decreed of provision for a person will end when his lifespan ends. In the hadith that was narrated from ‘Abdullah it says: Umm Habibah, the wife of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: O Allah, let me have the joy of the company of my husband the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and my father Abu Sufyan, and my brother Mu ‘awiyah (all my life). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “You have asked Allah about lifespans that have already been determined, days that have already been counted and provisions that have already been allotted. Allah will never do anything before its due time or delay it beyond its due time. If you had asked Allah to grant you refuge from punishment in the Fire or punishment in the grave, that would have been better or preferable.” Narrated by Muslim (2663).

Secondly:

What is discussed above has a valid meaning and makes sense, and what is mentioned in the question does not contradict it.

Provision (rizq) includes what a person gets in this world that meets his essential and basic needs.

Provision refers to everything that serves to meet a person’s needs in this life such as food, livestock, animals, fruit-bearing trees, clothing, and whatever he may acquire thereof by means of silver and gold (currency). Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate} [an-Nisa’ 4:8]

that is, from that which the deceased left behind.

And He says:

{Allah extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. And they rejoice in the worldly life…} [ar-Ra‘d 13:26].

And He says, telling the story of Qarun:

{And We gave him of treasures …

… Oh, how Allah extends provision to whom He wills of His servants and restricts it!}

[al-Qasas 28:76-82] – what is meant here is the treasures of Qarun.

And Allah says:

{ And if Allah had extended [excessively] provision for His servants, they would have committed tyranny throughout the earth} [ash-Shura 42:27].

In Islamic terminology, according to the scholars of ahl as-sunnah, the meaning of rizq (provision) is the same as the linguistic meaning. The basic principle is that no specific religious meaning can be attributed to a word without evidence. So the word rizq (provision) applies to that which is acquired in both halal and haram ways, because whether it is acquired through halal or haram means is not relevant here. That is a matter to be discussed elsewhere, but we may note that Allah only accepts what is good and lawful. This varies from one stage of revelation to another, as in the case of alcohol and dealing in it before it was prohibited. The point is that they spent from whatever provision they had in their hands.

At-Tahrir wa’t-Tanwir (1/135-234). See also: al-Mu‘jam al-Ishtiqaqi (2/794-795).

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

The word provision applies to that which Allah, may He be exalted, has permitted to a person and given him possession of it, and it may refer to that which nourishes a person. End quote from Majmu‘ al-Fatawa (8/545).

Based on that, if a person dies before he has taken possession of something or before he has made use of it or benefitted from it, it is not part of the provision that was decreed for him. This is clear and understandable. That applies even if he did some work, then died before receiving payment for it; that payment was not part of the provision that was allocated to him in this world. And if he dies before he enjoys good health, then that good health was not part of the provision that was allocated to him in this world. The same applies to food that did not enter his stomach, or things that did not come into his possession or come under his control when he was in this world; these things were not allocated as provision for him.

In the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas‘ud (may Allah be pleased with him), it says that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no deed that will bring a person closer to Paradise but I have enjoined it upon you, and there is no deed that will bring a person closer to Hell but I have forbidden it to you. No one should think that his provision is slow in coming, for Jibril (peace be upon him) inspired to me that none of you will ever depart this world until he has received his provision in full. So fear Allah, O people, and be moderate in seeking provision, and if one of you thinks that his provision is slow in coming, let him not seek it by disobeying Allah, for the bounty of Allah cannot be attained by disobeying Him.”

Narrated by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak (2189) and others. Al- Albani said: It is sahih because of corroborating evidence.

Conclusion:

The words mentioned in the question are sound, and there is nothing wrong with them.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A