Do you know that one of the names of Allah is Al-Muqeet?
Though Al-Muqeet has many meanings, and all of them are such as would put us in awe, but the one that will be discussed here means the One Who provides sustenance. When we hear the word ‘sustenance’, what comes to our mind? Our food, houses, cars, clothes etc. Because we human beings tend to think of only ourselves. But have you ever given a deep thought to the millions and millions of creatures that live in this world and our provided with sustenance by their Creator, Al-Muqeet?
In 2011, it was reported that the natural world contains about 8.7 million species, according to a new estimate described by scientists as the most accurate ever. (reference)
- Animals: 7.77 million (12% described)
- Fungi: 0.61 million (7% described)
- Plants: 0.30 million (70% described)
- Protozoa: 0.04 million (22% described)
- Chromists: 0.03 million (50% described)
8.7 million are only the eukaryote species which means bacteria and other simple organisms were excluded from the count.
Note that for this consensus, to complete the count of life on Earth, scientists didn’t go from door to door or crevice to cave as the case maybe. They used a statistical technique to extrapolate from patterns in branches of the taxonomic classification system started 253 years ago by Carl Linnaeus. (reference)
There is one thing that I want to draw your attention towards; 8.7 million is only the number of species, it is not the total number of creatures that live on this earth. You can take species to mean type so this is only the number of types of creatures found in our world. But think about how many creatures will be in each type? Mind boggling, right?
For example, there is that small house-fly that we commonly see in our houses. It is one species. But how many total house-flies are in the world? We can’t even begin to count them!
Let me also make you wonder at the uniqueness and diversity of these creatures. For example, in 2011, two creatures received their scientific names who were newly discovered by science. One of them was a bat the size of a raspberry that lives in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The other is a nematode worm that dwells only in the lungs of the changeable lizard, in Singapore. (reference)
The reason that I’m going into so much detail is so that you come to realize how many living things are provided with sustenance by Allah, Al-Muqeet! He doesn’t have any difficult in locating where that little creature is hidden in the world and what food to give him and how to give it to him.
الله تبارك وتعالى هو المقيت، الذي خلق الأقوات كلها، وأوصل إلى كل مخلوق ما يقتات به، وأوصل إلى الكائنات أرزاقها، وصرَّفها بين هذه المخلوقات العظيمة كيف شاء بحمده وحكمته، وعلمه ورحمته
وهو سبحانه القائم على جميع المخلوقات بالتدبير والتصريف، الوهاب الرزاق، الذي يعطي كل إنسان وطير وحيوان قوته على ممر الأوقات
[Rough translation:] Allah, Blessed and Exalted, He is Al-Muqeet (the One Who provides sustenance). He created all livelihoods, and brought to every creation on what it feeds, and brought to the universe its sustenance, and dispensed with it among the great creatures however He wanted with His praise, His wisdom, His knowledge and His mercy.
And He, the Almighty, is Maintainer over all the creatures with His planning and direction. He is the Bestower, the Provider. He gives every human, bird, and animal its sustenance over the passage of time.
I tried to search a bit on various foods that different animals eat and how they obtain it. But there were so many creatures and so diverse were their food types that I started feeling dizzy. I’ll share some titbits as examples. The ants and bees have their colony system and they divide work and find food, ants leave a chemical trail for their peers to find food while bees have some ‘waggly’ movements. The big animals of the forest have combined hunting campaigns. Then some animals not only eat food, but they also store it in their strange little habitats; like squirrels store acorns and nuts. There are those snakes that swallow whole animals in one go. Some animals eat parts of other living creatures.
Moreover, they all know what do they have to eat. Those that eat only grass and leaves, do not eat meat, no matter how much you tempt them. Some eat only dead creatures, some only nuts and berries. They get their food wherever they live, whether they live underground, in the mountains, caves, forests, trees, in the water, in the desert; their food is provided for them there. True, they have to search for it, but they have been taught how to find it and it is always accessible to them.
Another interesting aspect is that Allah provides food over a passage of time. He doesn’t tell you that this is the amount of food that has been written for you over your lifetime so take it all together and keep it safe with you. Imagine where would we have saved so much food? And then it could have been stolen or gone stale. Rather we get food according to our needs and this way we always get it fresh and delicious.
All this makes me wonder at people who feel hopeless about their livelihood. Do they really think it is them who provide food to their families? Can’t the Al-Muqeet, who provides to billions on this earth, provide for a mere 5 or 10 people in your family? Yes, you need to strive for it and also make dua for it BUT you do not have to ruin your lives in trying to gather more and more, you have to trust Him in the end and know that you’ll get what has been written for you and try to focus on other things, like worshipping Allah and being good to His slaves and learning and teaching His beautiful deen to other people so that their lives also light up and they also know Who to trust!