Why do some people remain unemployed for a long time and why can they not eat their fill and why do they go hungry for days if Allah is supposed to give sustenance to His slaves? How can it be explained?

Details of the Question
Why do some people remain unemployed for a long time and why can they not eat their fill and why do they go hungry for days if Allah is supposed to give sustenance to His slaves? How can it be explained?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah created sustenance needed by the creatures He created. This sustenance is enough for survival. This sustenance is allocated to him up to the time he dies. Therefore, nobody dies before he eats the sustenance allocated to him.

The following statement of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi sheds light on the issue:  

"How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance? It is Allah Who feeds (both) them and you..." (al-Ankabut, 29/60),"For Allah is He Who gives (all) Sustenance― Lord of Power, Steadfast (forever)"(adh-Dhariyat, 51/58) According to the verses above, sustenance is directly in the hand of the All-Powerful One of Glory and comes from the treasury of His mercy. Since the sustenance of all living creatures is guaranteed by the Sustainer, it should be that none dies of hunger. Whereas apparently many die of hunger and lack of food. "

What is the mystery behind it? Badiuzzaman Said Nursi answers this question as follows:

“The Sustainer's guarantee is a reality; none die of hunger. For that All-Wise One of Glory stores up some of the sustenance He sends to the bodies of living creatures as fat, as reserves. In fact, He stores up a part of the sustenance He sends to each cell, in the cell, like a reserve stock to be spent when no sustenance comes from outside. They die before this store is finished. That is to say, such death is not from lack of sustenance; they rather die from a habit acquired through wrong choice and due to illness arising from desire for the wrong things and the giving up of habit.”(Lem'alar (Flashes), On İkinci Lem'a (Twelfth Flash))

Allah gives sustenance but He does not promise to give enough sustenance for a luxurious life. The sustenance that is enough to meet minimum requirements of man - as it is stated above - is guaranteed by Allah. 

The hadith below also indicates this fact: "The Holy Spirit whispered the following to my heart: 'No soul dies before he fully receives the sustenance allocated to him.' Then, fear Allah and seek your sustenance through nice and legitimate ways."(Suyuti, Itqan, I/59;  Ajluni, Kashfu'l-Khafa, I/231)

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for.”(an-Najm, 53/39) As it is indicated in the verse above, one of the reasons why sustenance does not go to a person properly is his laziness or using wrong methods. Besides, sometimes ways to sustenance might be closed due to negative attitudes of other people. This world is a place of testing and Allah gave people free will so that they will be responsible for what they do; therefore, He does not interfere in what they do. As a matter of fact, there are so many murderers that end the lives of so many people but Allah does not interfere in them.  

Therefore, there are several reasons why the sustenance of a person except his minimum sustenance is not increased. To accuse Allah because of it is contrary to reliance (tawakkul) and surrendering originating from belief. We should act in accordance with the order “fear Allah and seek your sustenance through nice and legitimate ways” included in the hadith above in order to attain peace in both the world and the hereafter.

It is vitally important to act in accordance with lessons taught by the following verses: “O ye who believe! if ye fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong), remove from you (all) evil (that may afflict) you, and forgive you: for Allah is the Lord of grace unbounded.”(al-Anfal, 8/29),“And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.”(at-Talaq, 65/3)

Besides, testing can be carried out by hunger and poverty. So many prophets and saints underwent this test. In the first years of Islam, the Companions were not given any food and were tortured just because they were Muslims. We should seek our sustenance through legitimate ways and accept the result; however, we should continue to seek our sustenance through legitimate ways with new excitement and determination. This is the necessity of being a slave of Allah.  

We should not forget that nobody can challenge Allah. Nobody can address Allah as follows:  “I will not obey your prohibitions since you do not find a good job for me.” To struggle against Allah means to fight with a broken hand or to hit an anvil with one's head.

The sustenance guaranteed by Allah is the sustenance that is enough to make a person survive. More sustenance depends on the work and effort of man. A contended person can work anywhere.

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