Inspired by a book titled “15 Ways to Increase Your Earnings from the Quran and Sunnah” by Shaykh Yasir Qadhi.
It is said that a righteous man once left his town in search for Rizq-e-Halal. During his journey, he came upon a strange sight. A crippled sparrow (born without wings) was lying somewhere, and another sparrow was bringing it seeds and grains to eat. When he witnessed this, he immediately realized that if Allah (swt) could provide for this crippled sparrow, He could certainly provide sustenance for him, and, hence, he returned to his town. After returning, he met his teacher, who asked him why he had come back so early. The man narrated his observation and the conclusion he had drawn from it. The teacher smiled and said: “You have learned only half the lesson. Why did you not consider yourself to be akin to the sparrow who was providing food to the crippled sparrow? You could consider yourself as someone who can go out to earn sustenance, and then Allah (swt) will provide not just for you, but for others too – through you.”
People often complain: “Oh, I have lately suffered great financial loss, and it keeps getting worse. I think somebody has inflicted me with the evil eye, or I have been a victim of magic.”
Sounds familiar? There is no end to the ways and means that people employ in order to ‘drive away’ the ‘evil forces’ conspiring against them and hindering their earning. They seem to forget that the source of Rizq, or sustenance, is solely Allah (swt) and nobody else. Consequently, they become guilty of not only attributing their source of earning to someone other than Allah (swt), but also of harboring suspicion against their own family members or acquaintances. It is high time we recognize the real source of Rizq – Allah (swt) – who not only provides it, but has also given a comprehensive set of rules on how to increase it.
Allah (swt) says: “And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them).” (Ash-Shura, 42:27)
It is absolutely clear from the above verse that if Allah (swt) sent maximum provisions to all, they would not learn the value of hard work, honesty and diligence. His provisions, therefore, come in doses; each dose is carefully ladled out to the slave, who proves that the previous dose only increased his/her faith and piety. Our effort towards our Deen proves to Allah (swt) that we are ready for more Rizq. Unfortunately, we expect the opposite. We do very little in the path of the Deen and expect the skies to shower wealth upon us. Logically, this is not going to happen – not for the Momins, at least.
In Islam, working with one’s own hands is considered to be the best source of earning income. The Prophet (saw) said: “No one has ever eaten any food that is better than eating what his hands have earned. And indeed Dawood, the Prophet of Allah, would eat from the earnings of his hands.” (Bukhari)
Ways to Increase Halal Rizq
1) Offering and Inviting to Salah
In the Holy Quran, Allah (swt) says: “And enjoin as-Salah (the prayer) on your family, and be patient in offering them (i.e. the Salah). We ask not of you a provision (i.e. to give Us something: money, etc.); We provide for you. And the good end (i.e. Paradise) is for the Muttaqun (pious).” (Ta-Ha, 20:132)
This shows that a Salah that is just an exercise of the limbs is not going to increase our Rizq. The effort that goes into that Salah, the feeling with which we recite the verses of Allah (swt), and the enthusiasm with which we call our families, friends and acquaintances towards it contribute towards Allah’s (swt) pleasure, adding Barakah in our provisions. However, it is not recommended to offer Salah only to obtain an increase in provisions.
2) Seeking Allah’s (swt) Forgiveness (Istighfar)
Allah (swt) reveals that Prophet Nuh (as) told his people to seek forgiveness from Allah (swt) in the following words: “I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.’” (Nuh, 71:10-12)
Seeking forgiveness from Allah (swt) has to be done abundantly every day. This must be done because not a day passes, in which we haven’t consciously or unconsciously sinned before Allah (swt). Hence, this is another means of increasing one’s provisions.
3) Spending in the path of Allah (swt)
Charity or wealth/provisions spent on the needy are also a way through which one’s wealth can increase, if Allah (swt) wills. Apparently, spending money results in a decrease in wealth, but Allah (swt) defines it as a confirmed increase in your earnings. It is against Allah’s Sunnah to take favours from the believers. Every penny spent in His way is returned in multiple folds through various means to the Momins. The fact is that Allah (swt) does not need our money. He only wants to grant more to His slaves; hence, He trains them to sacrifice what they love the most, which is generally wealth and other materialistic essentials.
4) Migration (Hijrah) for the Sake of Allah (swt)
People who migrate today are mostly looking for better work or education opportunities. Hijrah is completely different. If you leave your homes, cities, or countries in the search for a better Islamic lifestyle for your children and families, that, Insha’Allah, will be counted as ‘migration for the sake of Allah (swt)’ and will be rewarded with an increase in provision. On face value, it seems as if migrating from one country to another is going to eat up the savings, and, hence, result in a decrease in wealth. But Allah (swt) promises that this kind of migration is going to result in an increase in provisions.
The Holy Quran says: “And those who believed, and emigrated and strove hard in the Cause of Allah (Al-Jihad), as well as those who gave (them) asylum and aid; these are the believers in truth, for them is forgiveness and Rizqun Karim (a generous provision i.e. Paradise).” (Al-Anfaal, 8:74)
The Holy Quran says: “…And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine…” (At-Talaq, 65:2-3). We usually believe we know exactly where our savings and salaries are coming from. Actually, we don’t. Once we don’t have a steady source of income, there is still Allah (swt), the Ar-Razzaq, Who can provide us with abundant provisions, if He (swt) so wills. The key is complete consciousness and fear of Allah (swt) – that is enough to keep us wary of even insignificant sins and the greater evil. This would guarantee provisions from Allah (swt) from sources we could never have comprehended.
6) Trusting Allah (Tawakkal)
Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: “And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” (At-Talaq, 65:3)
The true meaning of sincerely trusting Allah (swt) is having a firm conviction that whatever comes to us, whether provisions or any other circumstances, is from Allah (swt). Furthermore, Tawakkal means to make sincere effort and leave the results to Allah (swt), relying on Him to make things easy for us and to work things out. If a believer manages to have this kind of trust in Allah (swt), He guarantees that He will make a way out for him from any difficulty, including financial hard times.
Abu Hurairah (rtam) stated that the Prophet (saw) said: “Allah says: ‘O son of Adam! Take time out to constantly worship me; I will fill your chest with richness and remove your poverty. And if you do not do so, I will make your hands filled with occupation, and will not remove your poverty.’” (Tirmidhi) This means to submit our lifestyle, thoughts, beliefs and actions round the clock to the Creator (swt). There is no division of sacred and secular lines as is in the popular culture today.
8) Treating Family/Relatives Well (Silah-Rehmi)
Abu Hurairah (rtam) reported that the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever is pleased with the fact that his Rizq is increased and his life-span is extended, let him establish the ties of kinship.” (Bukhari) This is one of the easier ways to have Barakah and blessings in our provisions. All we have to do (easier said than done) is to smile back at any barbed comment, meet and greet any sour face, cheerfully wave away any backbiter’s tale, give affordable gifts to extended family members, and look after or visit an ailing or financially destitute relative, etc.
9) Being Grateful to Allah (swt)
The Holy Quran says: “And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed: ‘If you give thanks (by accepting faith and worshipping none but Allah), I will give you more (of My Blessings), but if you are thankless (i.e. disbelievers), verily! My Punishment is indeed severe.’” (Ibrahim, 14:7)
If we analyze our lives, there is so much for which we should be grateful: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the money we spend, etc. We not only have access to basic necessities of life, but we also manage to indulge in luxuries and designer brands every now and then. In His infinite mercy, Allah (swt) doesn’t prohibit us from enjoying His provisions; all we need to do is add Barakah in it by being constantly grateful to Him.
10) Reciting Surah Waqiah
The Prophet (saw) said: “Surah al-Waqiah is the Surah of wealth, so recite it and teach it to your children.” (Ibn Asakir) Thus, regular recitation of this Surah and teaching it to our children will surely benefit us, not only spiritually but also physically – resulting in Barakah in our Rizq. However, recitation should be followed by deep reflection on the verses and adhering to its commands for a positive change in one’s character.
11) Hajj and Umrah Multiple Times
It has been reported by Abdullah ibn Masood (rtam) that the Prophet of Allah (saw) said: “Follow up between Hajj and Umrah (continuously repeat Hajj and Umrah), because they both eliminate poverty and sins just like a furnace eliminates the dirty impurities of iron, gold and silver. And an accepted Hajj has no reward less than paradise.” (Tirmidhi) Wealthy Momins can finance others (relatives, etc.) to fulfill this obligation and reap equal rewards, Insha’Allah.
“And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihun (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people).” (An-Nur, 24:32) A pious wife can turn around any deficit budget with her prayers and wisdom. Also, when a Momin initiates a family, Allah (swt) arranges for an increase in his Rizq for the new arrival.
13) Supporting Students of Islamic Knowledge
Anas ibn Malik (rtam) said: “Two brothers (lived) during the time of the Prophet (saw). One of them would come to Prophet (saw), whereas the other one would seek his sustenance (by working). So, the one who used to seek his sustenance complained to the Prophet (saw) about his brother. The Prophet (saw) replied: ‘It is possible that you are provided your Rizq because of him.’” (Tirmidhi)
14) Showing Kindness to the Poor
The Prophet (saw) said: “The only reason that you are aided in victory (against your enemies) and provided with sustenance is due to your weak.” (Bukhari) Allah (swt) has promised the destitute that they will enter Paradise before the rich ones; thus, we can imagine Allah’s love for their forbearance in the face of abject poverty.
15) Being Honest in Dealings
The Prophet (saw) said: “The two parties of a transaction have the right (to annul the contract), as long as they don’t separate (from each other). So, if they are truthful (to one another), and honest in explaining (the defects of an item), they will be blessed in their transaction. But, if they lie and hide (the defects of an item), the blessings of their transaction will be destroyed.” (Muslim)
These are just some of the ways one can hope to have his/her provisions increased by Allah (swt). The important thing to remember is that our intention behind every good deed should never be on the lines of financial reward. The reward will, Insha’Allah, come from Allah (swt). The intention should always be to please our Creator first and hope for the infinite mercy of Allah (swt) to pull us out of any trouble whatsoever – financial or otherwise. May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to practice these ways and invite our family members to act on them, too. Ameen.
If you are a shop owner / business owner and your business is really down, ask yourself the following questions:
1) Did I take or give any interest-based loans when I was starting my business?
2) Did I unfairly usurp anyone’s property when constructing my office premises?
3) Did I offer any bribes to speed up my paper work?
4) How is my attitude towards my employees?
5) Do I pay my employees on time?
6) Do I ensure my employees are paid overtime and bonuses?
7) Have I installed UPS/generator for my employees so that their productivity is not affected by power outages?
8) Do I ensure my shop’s / business’ products are given for free to those who cannot afford them?
9) Do I regularly give charity out of my income?
Compiled for hiba by Unaiza Ahsan – PhD student and freelance writer