By Sikandar Azam

The world population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022 and India is projected to be the most populous country on earth during 2023, surpassing China. World Population Prospects 2022 released by the United Nations on July 11 also suggests that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100. Demographers have analysed these prospects from the various angles.

Do we need to be worried about the population growth? Absolutely not. Any attempt to control population will further demographic imbalance. So we need to harness demographic dividend. We need to create employment opportunities, establish small and largescale industries, factories, educational institutions and hospitals, turn arid lands into fertile ones, etc. Thus we should make tireless strivings to do our part and leave the sustenance to the Lord Creator, for it is He who provides sustenance to all His creatures, humans and non-humans. The Qur’ān (17:70) says: “Indeed, We honoured the progeny of Adam, and bore them across land and sea and provided them with good things for their sustenance, and exalted them above many of Our creatures.”

This ayah speaks of the honour and dignity that God has blessed human beings with. One of the ways in which He has honoured us, apart from the others mentioned in the ayah, is by providing us with various types of eatables, clothes, and other bounties which are all part of the sustenance that He provides us with.

To see to it that God continues to bless us with sustenance, we need to be obedient to Him by following His teachings and practising the way of life laid down by His Last Messenger ﷺ. The Qur’ān (22:50) asserts: “So those who believe and act righteously shall be granted forgiveness and an honourable sustenance.” This ayah gives us two glad tidings. One, that the believers shall have forgiveness; it means that God will overlook their faults, weaknesses, and acts of omission and commission. And two, that they will have honourable provisions (rizq-un-kareem); it means that they will have excellent supplies of provisions which will be given to them in an honourable way, both here and in the hereafter.

As for receiving sustenance in the hereafter, the believers need to take care of two things, their faith (Iman) and good deeds (a’amal-i-saliha). The term rizq-un-kareem covers all material and spiritual blessings. Therefore, in the hereafter the believers will be blessed with various types of noble and valuable blessings. So, why should we worry about sustenance?

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