How to increase your life span and boost your income
There are so many verses in the Quran which emphasise this and so many hadith in the sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) again talking about the importance of connecting blood ties.
Life span and rizq
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him):
He who wishes to have his earnings grow and his term of life or his lifespan is prolonged; he should keep ties with his kin. (Bukhari)
Allah Almighty wants us to have strong relationships with our relatives, and so He gives us two huge incentives. He answers ‘What’s in it for me?’ Firstly connecting your blood ties increases your lifespan Secondly, it increases your rizq. You get two in one!
Why such a big incentive? Allah wants the family to be connected, because when the families are connected and thriving then the community is also connected and thriving. If families are disconnected, then the community is also dysfunctional.
Allah Almighty connects family ties with Himself
Arahm meanswomb and is connected to the word Allah Almighty uses for Himself Ar Rahman, Ar Rahim, arahm – the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful. In the hadith qudsi, ‘Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) said:
“The bond of relationship is suspending from the Throne, and says: ‘He who keeps good relations with me, Allah will keep connection with him, but whosoever severs relations with me, Allah will sever connection with him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
We see from this that Allah Almighty made it very crucial that we establish good relationships with our relatives.
Who are blood ties?
Scholars have wondered who classifies as blood ties. Are they are those who inherit from you? Or those who are your mahram i.e. you can’t marry them or something else? They said it includes anyone related to you, beginning with your parents, then siblings, uncles, aunts and so on. Your close or immediate family followed by your extended family. You are rewarded for connecting with all of them but the closer they are the more responsibility you have towards them.
The desire to live longer
The desire to live longer and to have more wealth are already deeply embedded in our system. We want to live longer, and have more, and this is how shaytan sneaked into Adam’s mind and tempted him in jannah.
Then Satan whispered to him; he said, “O Adam, shall I direct you to the tree of eternity and possession that will not deteriorate?” (20:120)
Qadar – Destiny
We have a different discussions now regarding qadar (destiny). Destiny has been written in the preserved tablet. We know from the hadith, that four things are written before our birth. `Abdullah bin Mus’ud narrated that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:
“(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behaviour and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the (Hell) Fire, and then what has been written for him decides his behaviour, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise.” (Bukhari)
Then how can lifepan and rizq be increased by your actions? There’s no contradiction, let me elaborate a bit more.
Al Lauh Mahfuz – the preserved tablet
To make matters worse, we also inherit broken relationships. For instance if your father has issues with your uncle, you will be less likely to talk to him and his family. Thus generations will be disconnected, because of sometimes-petty reasons or sometime because of shaitan’s whisperings exacerbating situations.
The four things which are written before birth are: عَمَلَهُ وَرِزْقَهُ وَأَجَلَهُ وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيدٌ rizq provision, ajal lifespan, amal actions and shakiun aw saedun, whether one will be amongst the people of happiness (jannah) or the people of misery (Jahannam).
What has been written is on two levels. The first level, which is in the preserved tablet Al Lauh al Mahfuz never changes. We know this from another Hadith Qudsi, in which Allah Almighty
“The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” (Tirmidhi and Ibn ‘Abbas)
Scholars have said this means the Pen has written everything that will happen till the Day of Judgement and nothing that has been written will change. There is no way to change it, or to rub it or to delete it.
He mentions in an ayat in the Quran; which many of us familiar with it especially in Rajab:
Yam hu Llahu ma yasha u wa yuthbitu wa indahou ummul Kitab
Allah abolishes whatever He wills and He affirms with Him is the source of the scripture. (Surat Rad 13:39)
The translation is not very clear, but it means that Allah is affirming the source of scripture Umm al Kitab, which is the Lauh al Mahfuz, as it is preserved, as is indicated by the word mahfuz, from the root hifdh – protected.
What is in the tablets of the angels can be deleted and changed, and thus when Allah says He ‘abolishes’ what He wills, it means that He delegates it to the angels to delete what is in their books, for instance when someone starts maintaining good relationship with their family and their lifespan is extended.
This is according to Allah’s knowledge, which is not growing like our knowledge, but perfect and complete. He knows everything about everything. His knowledge is incomparable to any knowledge, whereas our knowledge is based on effort.
The hadith is not referring to what is written on the preserved tablet. It is referring to the Book of the Angels which is the tablet on the second level.
The angels’ tablet
The angel’s tablet is where they receive the commands to execute. In their books they receive that this person has certain rizq and lifespan. For instance, if someone was not maintaining relationships well and had a life expectancy of 55, but then started strengthening their family relationships later in their life, the books of then angels will change. They will receive the second command from Allah Almighty, who knew that this person would do this after they turned 40, and Allah accordingly extends their life and rizq and adjusts the Book of the Angels.
How destiny can change
Allah Almighty knows both scenarios and the end result. However the book of the angels will change as the actions of the person change. They will now take his soul later as he has made an effort to strengthen his relationships so his lifespan has been extended and his rizq will be increased. This is the explanation.
How rizq is increased
The reward for this is that Allah will put barakah in your rizq (provision). Allah Almighty could open new avenues for you, in the form of new deals, or you may gain barakah in what you already have. For instance, the £10 or £100 you have in your pocket will buy you more, or what you bought will last longer than the £1000 you had in your pocket which vanished into thin air. In this way £10 can be worth more than £1,000 when Allah Almighty puts barakah in it.
In life span, it may be that someone lives to 70 instead of 60 or it may be that he will be able to do more in the 60 years which he has been given. Allah will put the barakah in his life, in his time, in his efforts. Something which usually takes a month might only take one day, so his productivity will increase and this is how his lifespan will be increased.
Difficulties in maintaining relationships
Yet, we know in reality, this is not always easy. For some people it is easier to connect blood ties than others. It also depends on the relatives and their character. We face many obstacles, such as personality clashes, different temperaments and conflicting opinions. These can lead to rudeness, bullying and feuds between family members. Moreover there is drifting apart – either because members are too busy or physically distanced from each other.
Barriers to connecting blood ties
Allah Almighty wants us to overcome hurdles in maintaining good relationships with everyone, but most especially our family, and our blood relatives.
There are relatives who are mean and can be quite nasty. They may bully, backbite or be envious of you and even stab you in the back. Such scenarios do happen. However this is why the return is so high.
Four reasons to make the effort
It makes it worth the effort. The benefits are both tangible as well as spiritual. Above all, it earns Allah’s pleasure and mercy. Particularly, as you are going against your ego to improve relations and to spread goodness. As a result you also gain the duas of those whom you connect. Therefore you cannot underestimate the importance of maintaining relationships.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim – from his Hadith Class on Ibn Hajar al Asqalani’s collection Bulugh Al Maram Transcribed by Rose Roslan
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