Different levels of utilizing the available means
Fatwa No: 44824

Question

What is the ruling on utilizing the available means?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The ruling on utilizing the available means varies according to the result needed. Utilizing the available means may be obligatory when it is done to achieve an obligation, such as utilizing the available means to fulfill the Sharee‘ah obligations like knowing the rulings of prayer, fasting, and similar duties.

Utilizing the means might be forbidden when the available means lead to prohibited acts, such as the means leading to adultery, drinking alcohol or the like.

Also, utilizing the available means might be disliked or recommended according to the results it is sought to achieve.

Therefore, there are different levels of utilizing the available means in terms of their ruling, and this does not contradict one's belief in fate or reliance upon Allaah The Almighty or having trust in Him. Ibn Muflih  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him a Hanbali scholar, said:

Shaykh Taqiyy-ud-Deen Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "Allaah created the means and the causes, and supplications are one of these means that Allaah has decreed. Complete reliance on the means is tantamount to polytheism, whereas to entirely  abandon the means contradicts the Sharee‘ah. A slave of Allaah must rely upon Allaah The Almighty, supplicate to Him, ask Him, and hope for His reward, and Allaah The Almighty will decree whatever means He wills for him in terms of people's supplication or the like. Supplication is permissible from the superior in terms of faith for the inferior and by the inferior in terms of faith for the superior.

 

He also added,

Ahmad said to Al-Maymooni  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them both, "Be in no need of people, for being free of need of people is unparalleled." A man said to Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him "What if a man remains in his house and claims that he trusts Allaah to bring him his sustenance?" He replied, "If he truly trusts Him, Allaah would not withhold whatever he requests. But neither the prophets nor others did so. Moreover, Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And seek from the Bounty of Allaah.} [Quran 62:10] and it is necessary to seek one's sustenance."

 

Commenting on the verse in which Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And he said to the one whom he knew would go free, "Mention me before your master."} [Quran 12:42] Ibn Al-‘Arabi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said,

It implies the permissibility of utilizing the available means even if one is certain of the result. Tis is because the matters are entirely in the Hands of their Effecter (i.e. Allaah), however, He connected them in a chain, one is based on the other. Therefore, utilizing the available means is an act of Sunnah and reliance on the result, i.e. fate, is certainty. The permissibility of this is supported by attributing his forgetfulness to Satan, as happened to Moosa (Moses)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention on his journey to Al-Khadir. This is clear evidence, so one should ponder over it.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa