Once Hazrat Haatim Asamm رحمه الله asked the distinguished jurist Hazrat Imām Ahmad bin Hambal رحمه الله: “Do you search for Rizq (sustenance)?” Hazrat Imām Ahmad bin Hambal رحمه الله said: “Yes.” Hazrat Haatim Asamm رحمه الله then asked: “Do you search for it before its time or after its time?”
Hazrat Imām Ahmad bin Hambal رحمه الله thought: “If I say, before its time, he will respond – ‘Why waste time?’ and I say – ‘After its time’, he will say – ‘Why pursue something which has already transpired?’ If I say – ‘I search for it on its time’, he will say – ‘Why search for something which is already found?'” Imām Ahmad bin Hambal رحمه الله remained silent in bewilderment.
A pious saint commented; “The answer for this question is: ‘The search for Rizq is not Fardh nor Waajib nor Sunnah. Why should one search for something which is beyond the confines of these categories? And why should one search for something which itself is searching for you?’ This is affirmed by Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is in fact the response to the question of Hazrat Haatim Asamm رحمه الله. Hence the pious servant said: “Upon us is to worship Him as He had commanded, and upon Him is to feed us as He has promised.”
1. The stage of conviction (Yaqeen) was of a very high degree in these pious personalities. Theirs was a perfect conviction in the statement of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah صلى الله عليه وسلم that Rizq follows one like one’s shadow.
2. These advices do not negate the fact that to search for Rizq is an injunction of the Qur’ān and Sunnah. What is highlighted to us weak ones that subservience and reliance unto Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله will ensure the provision of sustenance. The impediment nowadays is that people slip into transgression in search for sustenance.
Hazrat Haatim Asamm رحمه الله offered profound advice to an individual: “Banish having hopes on others so that they too will have no hope in you. Worship Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله in such a manner that no one besides Allah Ta’ala جل جلاله and you are aware thereof. Wherever you are, be of service to creation.”