Question: It is said that according to Islam a person should consent to “one morsel and one coat.” That is, does our religion prohibit people from working?
Religion is contentment and belief in qadar. But qadar does not mean that one should not work or aspire. Qadar means that Allahu ta’ala knows beforehand what people will do. Allahu ta’ala commands us to work. As a matter of fact, the Qur’an al-karim says (what means):
(Those who perform jihad, work, and struggle are higher and more valuable than those who sit and worship instead of performing jihad.) [An-Nisa’ 95]
It is declared in hadith-i sharifs:
(Allahu ta’ala likes those who earn a living by working.) [Bayhaqi]
(He who has remained in the same grade on two [successive] days or has not made progress has deceived himself.) [Bayhaqi]
(Do not postpone your work until tomorrow, or else you will perish!) [Imam-i Ghazali]
(Learn foreign languages. Thus you will be safe against the malice of the enemy!) [The book Documents of the Right Word]
Islam commands Muslim to work and to earn. Contentment does not mean to be content with “only a coat” and sit idly. Muslims are not this way at all. Contentment means to be content with one’s own earnings and not to cast covetous eyes on others’ earnings.
Contentment is a factor that prevents psychiatric diseases, removes incompatibility and hostility, and maintains order in societies. Contentment has expedited Islam’s spreading all over the world and the erecting of monuments of knowledge and science. Do the Qur’anic verses, “He who works will earn,” and, “Everybody will find [the recompense for] what he does,” and also many hadiths, such as, “Allahu ta’ala likes those who earn by working,” and “Allahu ta’ala absolutely dislikes those young people who do not work,” which is written in Al-Munawi, command Muslims to work and make progress or to be lazy?
Are the Umayyad, Abbasid, Ghaznavid, Indian Timurid, Andalusian and Ottoman civilizations, which were established by Muslims, indicators of studiousness or indolence?
Can a dervish’s uttering the words “a morsel and only a coat” change the commands of Qur’an al-karim and the hadith-i sharifs?
Taking precautions and divine decree
Question: A woman marries a wicked man. When he does evil, she says, “What can I do? It is my qadar.” Or a man steps on the gas. While he is driving at breakneck speed, he has a traffic accident. Then he says, “What can I do? The predestination is so. Taking precautions cannot thwart divine decree.” Or a person commits a theft, and then he is convicted. He says, “What can I do? My qadar is bad.” Or some people consume harmful food and drinks. Then they fall ill and suffer a stroke. They say, “What can we do? No one can avert qadar. We cannot escape fate. We put our trust in Allah.” Are these statements agreeable to Islam?
All these statements are true, but what is wrong in these statements is that they did not take precautions. It is wrong to place the blame on qadar without taking any precautions. Yes, these incidents were written in their qadar, but it is they who caused them.
When our Master the Prophet asked a villager, “What did you do with your camel?” he answered, “I put my trust in Allah and left it by itself.” He said to the villager, “Tie your camel tightly and then put your trust in Allah” (Ibn ‘Asakir).
It is necessary to take precautions because we do not know our qada’ and qadar, that is, what will befall us. Taking precautions and holding fast to causes are commands of our religion. (Durar)
If one keeps bad company and commits evil deeds and then puts the blame on qadar by saying “My qadar is bad,” it is nothing but ignorance and idiocy.