What is sustenance?

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SHAFAQNA – Imam Ali (AS) said: There are two types of sustenance (Rezq in Arabic), the one that you seek it, and the other is the one that seeks you [1]. According to this narration, the sustenance that human being seeks can be materialistic or spiritual, the sustenance which comes to human being can also be in material or spiritual form. If human being thinks only about the worldly goods, naturally will seek materialistic sustenance and does not care about the hereafter.

But a person who thinks about the materials of the world as well as the hereafter, will seek both materialistic and spiritual sustenance because the aim is to secure a place in the paradise. The pious people always remember God and perform their obligatory deeds and for attaining spiritual sustenance, perform recommended deeds (Mostahabbat). Parts of Ayahs 2 and 3 of Surah Al-Talaq describe the pious people and how God looks after them: “And for those who are pious, God prepare a way out for them and provides sustenance for them from sources that they never could imagine.”

[1] Nahjul Balaghah, Wisdom 431.

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