This is Part Two of a Two Part Series... Click here to read part one
They say one should work smarter, not harder; but what are we doing in this modern world? Working ourselves to the bone to reach a mirage, how is that smarter? No matter what one may or may not have, the food going into us all gets digested in the same way. You can break and fry an egg and eat it that will cost you 40p or you can eat a deconstructed reconstructed egg for £90, NOTHING WILL CHANGE! Either way all you ate was an egg, either way how it will get digested in your body is the same, either way what the body will get is carbohydrates proteins and fats from it. In fact, actually in truth you probably will lose some nutrients in the process of the deconstruction and reconstruction and probably your body may have had to work a little bit harder to digest this twice processed egg. So in truth, you worked harder and paid more to actually get less nutrition and probably lost more nutrients from your body in the process for achieving the opportunity to eat the deconstructed reconstructed egg; so in actual fact you were better off just eating a “normal” fried egg earned for in a more “normal” way.
Another thing, one might say: oh but you cannot compare the taste, the £90 one tastes so much more different and better; you are paying for the taste, the experience etc etc.. Really! Go and ask any Chef, no matter how innovative, crazy and experimental, they will all tell you their favourite food is that of their childhood, cooked by their mother or grandmother. Taste does not come from ingredients, but from the hands of the person cooking it and no one can put more love in a meal than a mother or grandmother, thus no meal can taste better for anyone than that cooked by their own mother, because she is not feeding you food, but love. No matter who anyone is, how they cook, what they like to eat, all anyone is ever trying to do is replicate the taste of their mother’s cooking; but this is not something that can be bottled and sold, because what makes that food what it is, is a sentiment. Don’t believe me, well Oobah Butler, a journalist at Vice Magazine, indirectly proved this very phenomenon to us with his The Shed at Dulwich; that it’s not the actual food, but our perception of it all that makes us think something is more than it is; or conversely think something is less than it is. Ambience, presentation, cost, accessibility all deceive our senses into convincing us that what sits in front of us is so much more than it actually is. However, in truth as mentioned above, in reality it is probably less due to all the processing that it under goes; or in the case of Oobah’s restaurant, it is probably a pic of shaving cream and his foot, or that which sits in front of you is a plate of food from Iceland!
We need to distil our thinking.
Money does not equate to Rizq, we need to understand this. If you are meant to have only 5 grains of rice today that is all that you can have, no matter what you do you cannot change this. The reasons why someone has only 5 grains of rice can and may differ. For example: a person can only have the 5 grains because he is too poor to have any more; another can only have 5 grains because he is too sick to have any more; some other because he could only steal away 5 grains; another might only have 5 because they are dieting; one might have 5 because that is all that they are hungry for; yet a different person maybe only eats 5 because that is all they have time for and yet another perhaps only has 5 grains because they are in a fine dining restaurant that serves tiny portions! So you see, “wealth” cannot determine Rizq! They are not two of the same! The Rizq that is written for us is written, and nothing can change that. How Allah has our 5 grains packaged and parcelled to us may differ, but the quantity cannot increase just because someone may appear to have “more wealth”.
Now this does not mean that I am saying one should just sit lazily at home and not make any effort from their own part thinking my Rizq is fixed so why should I struggle, it will get to me I don’t have to make any effort on my own part. No, that is not true. Again let’s look at the packaging I mentioned above. The reality we live in, how much effort we put in, all make a difference on the packaging. The poor man will eat the same, but perhaps feel an emotional hunger stemming from the thought that if he had more wealth he could have had more grains of rice. The dieting person may feel emotional pains of hunger, thinking perhaps if I didn’t need to diet I could have eaten more to my satiety. The thief, likely maybe suffering from morality hunger, where his lack of morality is leading him to steal rather than work for his 5 grains. Whereas on the other spectrum, the person who only had hunger for 5 grains may feel satiated naturally, but the sick man may feel “health hunger”. The rich man, may be full on his ego and feel satiated from that rather than the actual meal; and the man rushing round probably is too hungry for time and may not even notice what food has or has not gone into his stomach. So you see, life is how we paint it for ourselves. What we need to be is a “grateful man”, one that is not hungry for something nor full on other things. One that can see that Rizq is from Allah SWT and that HE is providing me today what I need for today, however it can be or is packaged is not that important, because if I can fill my image with the right colours, then the package can change.
So how do we fill our image with the “right” colours? What are the right colours? Are there only one set of “right” colours? This is where it comes back to understanding that Rizq and earthly wealth are not connected. Rizq and work are not connected. Do in life that which you want to do, be in the world how you want to be, because that is how you wish to be. Don’t do things thinking: will this be a stable source of income for me? Disconnect from the idea that Rizq is dependent on work. When you start living life how you want to, start doing things that you want to, then you will start enjoying life, irrespective of how much worldly wealth you may have, irrespective of how much Rizq you have.
Rizq goes beyond just grains of food or money in the bank. Rizq is a concept that is far greater. From provisions to facilities, from places to experiences, Rizq encompasses all the amenities that enable life; grains of food are just easy to wrap our heads around so it is easier to use as an example to explain the concept, but it is not limited to it.
So the thought(s) that prevailed from my epiphany is: don’t confuse more money with more Rizq. More members of the family working does not equate to more Rizq. More members of the family working does not mean more comfort, on the contrary it means more struggle and strain on the family, because you have to pay for it in other ways that are most likely more harmful and detrimental for the overall wellbeing of the family and its members. There is nothing wrong with a woman working, but wanting to become a breadwinner at the expense of being a mother is not healthy (again referring to “normal” household, not that of single mothers or of those that are supporting ill husbands). Sure women can work, but not with the intention to “provide”, but rather because they want to do something on the side – this is important because when work is something they do for “themselves” on the side, it does not take “centre-stage” in their life. For men on the other hand, work is something that is “centre-stage” in their life so it should be something that they enjoy, not something that they feel is “a better bet” for getting a good stable income – this is important because coming back to the Rizq packaging, the Rizq is fixed and pre-determined, so regardless of what they do, they will get the same amount of Rizq, so one might as well do something that they enjoy that can become a means for Allah SWT to bestow one’s Rizq through, rather than do something that they do not enjoy, because this will then determine how that Rizq is packaged for us and therefore how that will be received by us – i.e. will our soul feel satiated by it, or will it feel any type of “hunger” due to it.
Its comes back to what I have talked about previously – “unframing”, in my Finding Gratitude Post. Everything in our life is dominos all lined up, what and how we face each one does not matter. It does not change the domino and what it is meant to do, regardless of whatever frame and colour we superimpose on to it.
See life for what it is unfiltered and unframed.
How we experience life, is up to us, not what will happen in our life.
How we frame life, defines our journey, how we experience each frame, narrates our story; but neither can or does change its destination…
Wishing you all Peace and Blessings.
This space features my reflections, opinions, ponderings and from time to time announcements of what I am up to. It literally is me in my corner on my soapbox.
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