Raindrops, Alloted Provision, Second Chance
Issue 733 » April 12, 2013 - Jumada Al-Thani 2, 1434
Living The Quran
Surah al-Zukhruf (Gold) Chapter 43: Verse 11 (partial)
"And He it is who sends down water from the sky in due measure."
Water comes down from the sky, as every person sees and knows, but most people are not moved by this remarkable phenomenon because of over familiarity. Muhammad, God's Messenger, (peace be upon him), however, held a different attitude. He looked at the drops of rain with love and welcoming delight, knowing that they came from God; in other words, his heart recognized God's handiwork in these drops. Every heart that is aware of its bond with God and the laws of nature He has set in operation should adopt this attitude.
Every raindrop is the result of the laws of nature which operate under God's eye and control. That rain originates from the vapour that rises from the earth and cools down in the atmosphere in no way diminishes the implication of these facts. Who has brought the earth into being, placed water on it, subjected it to heat, made water naturally evaporate and vapour rise and condense? Who has given the universe its other characteristics which give the condensing vapour an electrical charge so that when clouds gather, their electric charges cause rain to fall?
As we learn more about nature, however, our knowledge casts a heavy weight over our understanding. We no longer appreciate the messages given by universal phenomena; we no longer allow these messages to refine our feelings and responses.
"In The Shade Of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 15, pp, 220, 221
Understanding The Prophet's Life
The provision that one receives is called rizq. Rarely does God use two very similar names that evoke one attribute. When it comes to provision, God is al-Raziq and al-Razzaq, both names referring to Him as the provider. We creatures are known as marzuq, that is, the beneficiaries of God's provision. Some scholars say that provision is anything from which a person derives benefit. Others say it refers to all the material possessions one has. The dominant opinion is the former.
God divides the provision of people into two kinds: inner (batini) and outer (zahiri). The outward provision includes such things as food, shelter, and well-being. Inner provision includes knowledge, good character, contentment, and similar qualities. Even the people in a person's life (friends, teachers, spouse, family, and so on) are considered provision.
Along with the provision that God gives, He also has given the means (asbab) by which one must seek out his provision. There should be no confusion about the means of attaining provision and the provision itself. When one starts to believe that his or her provision is in the hands of another person, this creates a breeding ground for diseases, such as coveting what others have, doing whatever it takes to get it, and becoming angry when one does not receive what he or she expects.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that the Angel Gabriel disclosed to him, "No soul will die until it completes the provision that was alloted to it." [Sahih al-Jami] One must trust in God and seek refuge in Him from resorting to illicit livelihood out of fear of not having enough wealth.
"Purification of The Heart" - Hamza Yusuf, pp. 79, 80
If a friend or a lover is late to meet you for lunch or forgets your birthday, it's probably okay to give him or her a second chance. But more serious offenses, such as being unfaithful, getting drunk and becoming abusive, or maliciously starting a terrible rumour about you, probably do not deserve another chance.
Some people deserve a second chance more than others. These include:
- Those who have been understanding, compassionate, and forgiving toward you
- Those who generally treat you with consideration, kindness, and respect
- Those who have genuinely apologized and taken responsibility for their offensive behaviour
"The Nice Girl Syndrome" - Beverly Engel, pp. 199, 200