All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Say [Prophet], ‘Take action! Allah will see your actions- as will His Messenger and the believers- and then you will be returned to Him who knows what is seen and unseen, and He will tell you what you have been doing.’” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.
The Almighty Allah has created this world and stated norms to govern it and rules that regulate every action in it. For example, no subsequent shall precede a precedent, nor the vice versa. The Almighty Allah says, “The sun cannot overtake the moon, nor can the night outrun the day: each floats in [its own] orbit.” He, the Exalted, also says, “You will never find any change in Allah’s practice; you will never find any deviation there.” Allah has made these norms a balance that regulates the movement of life, and achieves the construction and preservation of the earth, which is one of the purposes of creation, as the Almighty Allah says, “It was He who brought you into being from the earth and made you inhabit it,” and says, “do not cause corruption in the land after it has been set in order.” It goes without saying that nations that realize these norms and act accordingly will advance, even if they are not Muslim, or even if they are not believers at all; these norms do not take the side of certain people, or prefer someone to another.
Among these universal norms is the rule of causality. Allah is the creator of means and results, and He commanded us to make use of all available means. Once means are utilized, results will follow. This is a universal norm, unassociated with certain time or place. Every action has its cause: fire causes burning; killing causes death; eating causes satisfaction, working leads to success, laziness causes failure, etc.
The command to work is a religious obligation and a national duty, as the Almighty Allah says, “It is He who has made the earth manageable for you–travel its regions; eat His provision- and to Him you will be resurrected.” Allah also says, “Then when the prayer has ended, disperse in the land and seek out Allah’s bounty. Remember Allah often so that you may prosper.” This is the concept of the Islam regarding striving, hardworking, diligence, and the reconstruction of the land. There is no excuse for us to be in deteriorated conditions, under any pretext that have nothing to do with religion; these pretexts are just claims of idleness, laziness and backwardness.
Reviewing the lives of Prophets and righteous people, one finds that they used to diligently make use of the available means in all their affairs. Prophet Noah (PBUH) was a carpenter. After his long life in calling his people to Allah, the Almighty Allah commanded him to build the Ark, as Allah said, “Build the Ark under Our [watchful] eyes and with Our inspiration. Do not plead with Me for those who have done evil- they will be drowned.” It was possible that Allah saves Prophet Noah whit His Power without any reason or action on the part of Noah. But Allah wanted to teach us how to make use of available means. Prophet Noah obeyed the command of Allah and made the Ark in spite of his people mockery at him. Allah said, “So he began to build the Ark, and whenever leaders of his people passed by, they laughed at him. He said, ‘You may scorn us now, but we will come to scorn you:” He continued his work, and Allah rewarded him and the believers of his people.
Prophet David (PBUH) was a blacksmith. Allah taught him this craft that benefited him and his people. Allah said, “We graced David with Our favour. We said, ‘You mountains, echo Allah’s praises together with him, and you birds, too.’ We softened iron for him, saying, ‘Make coats of chain mail and measure the links well.’ ‘Do good, all of you, for I see everything you do.’” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “No food is better to man than that which one earns through his manual work. David (PBUH), the Prophet of Allah, ate only out of his earnings from his manual work.
In the story of Prophet Joseph (PBUH), using the available means and the careful planning were the reasons for the survival of the whole country from a deadly famine. Prophet Joseph prepared a long and deliberate plan to save the country from a famine that threatened the whole world, and achieved for his country prosperity, protection, and economic power. People of his time came from every far place to get the bounties of Egypt. The Glorious Qur’an narrates this for us saying, “Joseph said, ‘You will sow for seven consecutive years as usual. Store all that you reap, left in the ear, apart from the little you eat. After that will come seven years of hardship which will consume all but a little of what you stored up for them; after that will come a year when the people will have abundant rain and will press grapes.’”
Allah, Most High, used to provide Lady Maryam (Virgin Marry) with abundant provision that Prophet Zechariah was surprised, which is why he said to her as recorded in the Quran, “Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” In another situation, she was so weak yet Allah orders her to shake toward her the trunk of the palm tree so that dates would fall down. Had Allah willed the dates to fall down with no effort at all from her, He would have done so, yet He, Most High, teaches us to employ and not to neglect means. He, Most High, says, “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) offered the best example ever in utilizing means, a point that was clear during his blessed journey of Hijra. He (PBUH) taught his Ummah that good planning and careful arrangement are necessary to success and overcoming crises. He (PBUH) prepared two camels, chose his honest companion and set the place and time suitable for leaving Mecca. So, they left Mecca at night and chose a very skillful guide, which explicitly indicates that he (PBUH) was fully aware of the importance of giving precedence to efficient people and making use of energies, irrespective of the fact that thoughts, opinions and even creeds may be different. Then he (PBUH) ordered Amer ibn Fuhayra (Allah be pleased with him) to follow their footprints and erase them even though he fully knows that Allah fully protects them, which means that he (PBUH) was fully aware of the importance of utilizing the means; that is to say that he (PBUH) wanted to teach us the Allah’s Law decrees that we should utilize means and then entrust all our affairs to Allah, Most High.
With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet Muhammad is His slave and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows their guidance to the Day of Judgment.
Utilizing of means does not contradict with reliance on Allah, Most High. In truth, he who realizes the essence of reliance on Allah will certainly utilize means; that is to say that a person who truly relies on Allah is a one who utilizes means, exerts his efforts and energy and entrust all his affairs to Allah. In this regard, He, Most High, said, “It is You we worship and You we ask for help.” Highlighting the practical application of reliance on Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “If you all depend on Allah with due reliance, He would certainly give you provision as He gives it to birds that go forth hungry in the morning and return with full belly at dusk.” Birds do not store food or drink, yet they are active in seeking for their provision as they start their search in the morning and come back at dusk with what Allah provided them. This is actually a natural disposition that matches with life’s movement. Had they had what suffices them to the end of time, they would not have stopped seeking for provision.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to teach his companions the true meaning of utilizing of means in all matters; he prohibited them from reliance without making use of means, since it causes harm, not benefit. At that point, we can put it “we are sinful and unfair if we do not utilize the means of progress and advancement.” Our religion is that of knowledge, progress, civilization and beauty. It is a religion that brings forth benefit for all mankind. It is narrated that a man said: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall I tie it and rely (upon Allah), or leave it loose and rely (upon Allah)?” He said: “Tie it and rely (upon Allah).” This means that tying the camel is a means to protect it from being stolen or lost.
O Allah! Guide us to what realizes the essence of our religion, the advancement of our people and the progress of our country!