Friday, 23rd Nov 2012, 8pm
Followed by Artistic Minds, 8.30pm
Venue: Galeri Chandan @ Publika
Duration: 14th Nov until 10th Dec 2012
About the Show
by Faizal Sidik
Narrated Abu Zar r.a Rasulullah (peace be upon him) said:
“Allah Ta’ala loves a Mu’min who engages himself in lawful means of earning a living”
Rezeki (or sustenance) in the Malay vocabulary is derived from the Arabic rizq, which means everything granted by Allah for one’s physical as well as spiritual needs. The word rezeki is one of the many borrowed and adapted into the Malay language from Arabic; as there are between 2,000 to 3,000 of those in total. Sustenance is also synonymous with wealth, income, livelihood, salaries, wages, profits, earnings, allowances, commissions, dividends, bonuses or rewards.
In everyday life, we regularly hear common Malay expressions relating rezeki that can be loosely translated as “looking for a living”, “halal living”, “may [Allah] grant sustenance” and there is also proverb that says “don’t deny sustenance, don’t seek enemies”. Such is a handful of stories of the meaning of sustenance. As humans, it is something we won’t stop searching for as long as we remain breathing. One of the 99 known names of Allah is Al Razzaq (ar-Razzaq), which means The Sustenance Provider. There are around 82 verses that relates to sustenance in the Qur’an. Amongst the more commonly read and recited in prayers is in the surah after Al-Fatihah in the Qu’ran; from al-Baqarah, verse 3:
For those who believe in the existence of that which is beyond the reach of perception, who establish Prayer and spend out of what We have provided them.
This verse describes the attributes of the believers; i) of those who believe in a higher power (that cannot be directly captured by any one of the human senses) and believe that over above any human power lies the almighty power of Allah; ii) of those who perform solat (or prayer) with the unreservedly and with entirety of the mind, body and soul; iii) provide for and donate part of the personal wealth for the poor, through zakat, alms, and other charitable means.
The above verse ends rather abruptly yet Allah promises multiplied rewards to those who depart from portions of their wealth and earned living in such ways of Allah;
Who will you lend Allah a goodly loan (with full sincerity and absolute pure motives) which He will return after multiplying it for him manifold? For [remember], Allah has the power to both decrease and increase [rezekiand sustenance], and to Him will you be returned.
There are many additional hadiths that have been recorded by the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in relation to rezeki, amongst which is narrated ‘Abu Huraira: I heard the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Whoever desires to have expansion of his sustenance and a prolonged life, should treat his relatives with kindness”
(Al-Bukari & Muslim)
From the hadith in al-Awsath;
“To seek and attain halal rizq, begin early in the morning, as this results in barakah and prosperity in one’s work.”
The Prophet (pbuh) used to pray to The Almighty Allah to bless his people who are early risers, as narrated by Ashab as-Sunan and Ibn Hibban, when he called on his daughter Fatimah to find her lying down at dawn, he said:
“Allah distributes sustenance to the people between dawn and sunrise”
Ibnu ‘Abbas r.a narrated, Rasulullah (pbuh) said:
“The one who (regularly) says Istighfaar, that is, frequently repent to Allah Ta’aala for sins committed, Allah `Azza Wa-Jalla will open a path from poverty and difficulties. All sorrow and hardship will be removed, and in its place prosperity and contentment granted. One will receive sustenance from unimagined and unexpected sources“
The Malay world is rich with proverbs, pantuns and poetic sayings that carry subtle hints in the Malay expressions of rezeki, some of which can be found in the Malay Proverb Dictionary such as those can be loosely translated as ‘where there is life, there will berezeki’ and ‘where there is day, there is rice’. And these could be interpreted as a belief that for as long as we live, there will always be ways to obtain rezeki and to make a living. ‘If it’s not meant to be, what’s in grasp could still be lost’, that means that certain wealth has not yet been determined. ‘Foods of eagles can not be eaten by foxes’ means that a person’s rezeki cannot be taken away by others. ‘Danger must never be courted, and fortune must never be rejected’ means that while one must never seek danger, one should accept all good fortunes that comes one’s way with gratitude.
In addition, there are also more Malay proverbs that elude to sustenance and rezeki without direct mentions of the word; but instead they describe more on the act of sourcing and working for them. Amongst which includes, ‘better to nurture a hen than a rooster’, which gives meaning that it is better to source for a halal living than a haram one. ‘Wet throat’ indicates to obtain rezeki. ‘Fish trap set away from the stream’ describes when it is hard to earn a living. ‘Hill meets at the edge of the well’ eludes to obtaining luck and unexpected rezeki, whilst ‘sourcing food in a stranger’s land’ means to make a living despite the unfamiliar.
Other proverbs that reflects on obtaining rezekiincludes ‘diligent bones fill up bellies’; it would be easy for those hardworking to make a living. ‘Light bones, heavy bellies’; those reliable makes easy living (as opposed to ‘heavy bones, light bellies’). ‘Where there is sugar, you will also find ants’, indicating that there will be population growth where there are opportunities. ‘Where you find ripe paddy, you will also find sparrow’, means that learned people always have better opportunities. ‘Food on plate, left uneaten’; something so close yet could still not be yours. ‘Where there is dead branch, mushrooms will grow’, means wherever we live, there will always be rezeki.
Other than proverbs, there are also pantuns; a form of Malay poems, that give meanings to sourcing and obtaining sustenance, such as:
A Chinese boy plays ceki
Shirtless, with only trousers;
If something is not meant to be
What is in grasp could still be lost.
Broken branch amidst the jungle
Broken at Malim Sidi’s bridge
The elephants, they may appear substantial
But what belongs to the snake indeed will be.
(From Hikayat Abdullah)
Elias Yamani Ismail