Why people die of hunger when Allah promised sustenance to everyone?

Question

Why do people die of hunger when Allah has promised bread and butter?


Answer

Salaam

Thank you for writing to us.

It is generally misunderstood that Allah has promised sustenance to everyone regardless of whether the person puts in any efforts to get this sustenance or not and whether or not other factors influence the distribution of this sustenance. The Qur'an does not say this. When it says that everyone's rizq is on Allah (e.g. Qur'an 11:6), it means that Allah has placed the means of sustenance in this earth for everyone. But this sustenace is made available to people according to a set law involving both the effort on the part of the person seeking sustenance as well as factors beyond the control of the person. For example, if a person has a lot of food in his own house but refuses to move from his bed and get it, it will not be magically placed before him. Similarly, if an unjust system is in place hampering the equitable distribution of food, people will be affected.

The issue of hunger is not isolated. It is one of other similar problems affecting the world like poverty, injustice, exploitation etc. and is linked to the larger question of the freedom and authority given to humans. It is only because of some errors on the part of humans that other humans are deprived of the sustenance or some laxity on the part of the afflicted person to not put in the required efforts. This does not conflict with the concept that the Almighty has amply placed the means of sustenance for everyone on this earth.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

About the Author

Mushafiq Sultan


Mushafiq Sultan, born in Kashmir in 1988, has been studying world religions from his school days. In 2009 Mushafiq came across the works of Ustaz Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and since then has been highly influenced by his thought. He has an exceptional interest in world religions, their philosophies and their mutual relations. He formally joined Al-Mawrid in 2016 as Assistant Fellow (Honorary). Presently, he is in charge of Al-Mawrid’s query service. In 2016, he published his first book ‘Muhammad (sws) in the Bible- An Exposition on Isaiah 42’. He has written articles on Islam, Christianity and Hinduism. He has also translated several articles of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi into Hindi.

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