As I mentioned in the previous essay, although America has a nominal per capita income that is about six times higher than that of China, America is going through a mental health crisis which has gripped just about the entire nation. And as a result, China’s level of “well-being” is higher than that of America. Differences in the level of “well-being” between America and China means China is enjoying higher levels of productivity and growth than America at the moment. And by 2024, it is expected that China will exceed America in terms of overall GDP. And in turn, social momentum for China in terms of higher levels of “well-being” translates into economic momentum in terms of productivity and growth.
As mentioned before, China currently exceeds the United States in terms of both productivity rates and growth rates. Thus, in terms of economic and social competition between the United States and China, the advantage is very much on the side of China at the present moment because of the issue of “well-being.” And in the long run, economic and social momentum will eventually translate into political and military clout.
Moreover, monetary wealth is just one dimension of what is known as Rizq in the Islamic tradition. Rizq is an all-encompassing concept or term which takes into account all the various dimensions and elements which are necessary to sustain a long, healthy, and prosperous life. Thus, one of the literal English translations of the term Rizq is “sustenance.” Rizq includes a range of things, such as the quality of the oxygen we breath, in addition to the quality of the knowledge we acquire, access to potable water, and the kinds of foods we eat. All these different dimensions and elements of Rizq – or “sustenance” – work together in order to sustain a long, healthy, and prosperous life for an individual.
I was once told by a friend that if you have money, you do not have health. And if you have health, you do not have money. But if you have “love,” then you have both money and health. Thus, Rizq takes into account all of the different dimensions and elements of sustenance, without leaving out one or the other. Rizq is thus a balanced and holistic set of things which are necessary for a long, healthy, and prosperous life.
According to the Islamic tradition, one of the surest ways of guaranteeing one’s Rizq and thus guaranteeing a long, healthy, and prosperous life is by avoiding two things, namely, corruption and stinginess. Weaknesses in the human psyche may prompt an individual to resort to corruption and stinginess due to fears of survival. But as mentioned before, Rizq does not account for just monetary wealth. Corruption and stinginess in terms of monetary wealth adversely affects the other dimensions and elements of Rizq which are required for a long, healthy, and prosperous life. Thus, as the Prophet Muhammad said, the believer is defined by two things, namely, a long life and good deeds. And in turn, a believer is adherent to the discourse and mindset which are necessary for preserving one’s Rizq, despite the all-too-human inclination towards countervailing tendencies.