I’ve worked in and around the City for around 15 years now and one of the aspects of working in one of the financial capitals of the world I’ve really noticed is, the impact that the fiercely competitive environment has on an individual, and how they measure their own success by position and salary. Achieving more money (or even maintaining what you have) becomes the greatest aim we have, and this aim is reflected in how we behave, and what we are willing to sacrifice for it.
Pursuits in life can sometimes dominate the entire discourse of our existence, fooling us to reach fulfilment and satisfaction, only through attaining a status in this world attached to wealth.
الَّذِي جَمَعَ مَالًا وَعَدَّدَهُ
“Who collects wealth and continuously counts it.” 
The expression “money talks” personifies this rise and drives a person to amass as much capital as possible, even if this pursuit spanning an entire life-span causes one to live a miserable life. Humans have a natural affinity to run with an idea they believe in, often disregarding its legitimacy in the process, so long they can justify it to themselves. For that reason, those who risk it all to earn money by exhausting their energy, and spending their free and pre-occupied time, in addition to abandoning their family and neglecting their worship, are only heading towards an inconceivable loss. The provisions we earn in this world are not controlled by us, even if we decide to work extra shifts or more jobs, it was determined much earlier when we were in our mother’s wombs.
On the authority of Abdullah b. Mas’ūd (radiy Allāhu ‘anhu), who said: The Messenger of Allah (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)—and he is the truthful, the believed—narrated to us, “Verily the creation of each one of you is bought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a nutfah (a drop), then he becomes an alaqah (clot) for a like period, then a mudghah (morsel of flesh) for a like period, then there is sent to him the angel who blows his spirit into him and who is commanded with four matters, to write down his rizq (sustenance), his life span, his actions, and whether he will be happy or unhappy (i.e. whether or not he will enter Paradise).” 
We have complete reliance upon our mothers in the womb because their behaviour and decisions determine our condition. The same way we are provided for here, Allāh continues to provide for us when we are out. Because when Allāh commanded the pen to write, it was not to fill the pages of a book to be sold on shelves, but it was to document the story of creation in its entirety, and your life was part of that. Even the most intellectual mind and audacious imagination would struggle to accept that you, the reader, viewing these words at the current time and location you find yourself in, was recorded by that same very pen. How is this possible? The Prophet (sallAllāhu ʿalayhi wasallam) gives us the answer,
“The first thing created by Allāh was the pen, then, He ordered it to write, so it wrote everything that will happen until the Day of Judgement.” 
Our education, spouse, and children are just some of the provisions this pen was ordered to write to shape our future biographies. Provisions don’t just include our wealth or income, rather it is in reference to all that which has been apportioned for us which brings us benefit.
Allāh says in the Qur’ān:
وَمَا مِن دَابّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا عَلَى اللَّهِ رِزْقُهَا
And there is no creature on the earth but that upon Allāh is its provision. 
وَفِي السَّمَاءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ
And in the heaven is your provision and whatever you are promised. 
Here the word to denote provision is ‘Rizq’ comprising of our good deeds, and internal states such as our emotions; the moments of goodness and the moments of despair. Our Rizq is written but needs to be unlocked; not with a key, but with a state of mind realising that no matter what measures you put in place or the countless hours you may spend in pursuit of a goal, whatever comes to you was already written for you by that pen which your Lord commanded to write.
Can you increase your Rizq?
This is a fundamental point that I really want the reader to contemplate – your rizq has been ordained. The One whom people ignore in pursuit of wealth, is the One who is actually providing it for them, so how can you achieve it if He (azza wa jalla) doesn’t want it for you? And the reciprocal also holds true, that if He (azza wa jalla), wants something for you, who can stop it?
We have become a people that put our īmān in a linguistic sense in wealth; as though it is the enabler of our time. However, in spite of great wealth we see so many people who are bereft of the ability to do anything meaningful with that money. I see this especially amongst many of the professionals who are successful in the City. They earn great money, but are unable to save anything and live month to month; it is as if their money is devoid of any barakah.
So now a new question arises: what is barakah and how can you increase the barakah in your rizq?
Allāh says in Sūrah Saba:
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ
Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts it for him.” 
Imām al-Nawawi (may Allāh have mercy on him) said: “his rizq to be increased” means to be expanded and made abundant or, it was said, to be blessed (barakah).
While there may be no physical increase in the material size or quantity of your rizq, more barakah means the ability to do more with less of it.
12 ways to increase your rizq
Consider the following qualities and actions of a person that will answer this, sanctifying barakah into your lives and thus, increasing our provisions.
Tawakkul (Trust and reliance upon Allāh alone)
‛Umar b. al-Khattāb (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) say,
“If you would trust in Allāh as He truly should be trusted, He would surely provide for you as He provides for the birds. They set out in the morning with empty stomachs and return in the evening with full stomachs.” 
Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“Allāh says, O son of Ādam! Take time out to constantly worship me, I will fill your heart with contentment, and remove your poverty, and if you do not do so, I will make your hands constantly occupied but I will not remove your poverty.” 
Tawbah (Repentance) from sins
The Prophet Nūh (‘alayhi al-Salām) said:
فَقُلْتُ ٱسْتَغْفِرُوا۟ رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ غَفَّارًا (10) يُرْسِلِ ٱلسَّمَآءَ عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَارًا (11) وَيُمْدِدْكُم بِأَمْوَٰلٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّٰتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَٰرًا (12)
And I said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord, verily, He is Oft Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance. And give you increase in wealth and children, and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers.’ 
Keeping ties of kinship
Abū Hurayrah (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever would like his provision to be abundant and his lifespan to be extended, let him uphold his ties of kinship.” 
مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّائَةُ حَبَّةٍ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allāh, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. And Allāh multiplies for whom He wills. And Allāh is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower. 
Honesty and fairness in trade and business transactions
Ḥakim b. Ḥazim (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“The two parties of a transaction have the right (to annul the contract) as long as they do not separate (from each other). So, if they were truthful (to one another), and honest in explaining (the defects of an item), then they will be blessed in their transaction. But, if they lied, and hid (the defects of an item) then the blessings of their transaction are destroyed.” 
Performing Hajj and ‘Umrah
‛Abdullah b. Mas‛ūd (may Allāh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,
“Perform Hajj and ‛Umrah consecutively. Verily, the succession between the two (rituals) removes away poverty and removes away sins just as the bellows removes away the dross of iron, gold and silver. And a Hajj not mingled with a sin has no reward except paradise.” 
وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allāh will enrich them from His bounty, and Allāh is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” 
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
“And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is a great sin.” 
Umm Salamah (may Allāh be pleased with her) narrated that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) used to say, when he would pray the Morning Prayer, after making the taslīm [saying ‘al-Salāmu ‘alaykum wa Rahmatullāh to the right and left] he would say,
“O Allāh, I ask You for knowledge which is beneficial and sustenance which is good, and deeds which are accepted.” 
Gratitude and praising Allāh
وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكُمْ لَئِن شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ وَلَئِن كَفَرْتُمْ إِنَّ عَذَابِي لَشَدِيدٌ
“And remember when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour; but if you show ingratitude, indeed, My punishment is severe.” 
Taqwa (God-consciousness, Piety)
وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا(2) وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ(3)
“…And whosoever fears Allāh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way out for him (from every difficulty). And He will provide for him from (sources) where he does not expect…” 
The story of Hātim al-Asam
To conclude, consider the story of Hātim al-Asam, one of the most righteous people who ever existed, who encapsulates the assured belief that provision is from Allāh. Though he had no money for himself or his children in his absence, he desired to perform Hajj. As the time of the Hajj drew near, his financial inability to complete the pilgrimage upset him until his daughter asked why he was crying, to which he replied his lack of expenses meant he would not able to go for Hajj.
She replied: “Allāh will provide for you from sources you could never imagine!”
He said: “What about your expenses?”
She replied: “Allāh will provide for us what we need.”
Eventually, the daughter convinced and reassured her mother that they would survive in their father’s absence. As Hātim left for his journey with no provisions, he followed the caravan walking behind it until the leader of the caravan was stung by a scorpion and needed someone to treat him with Ruqyah. So Hātim rose to the task following referrals by others due to his piety and knowledge, and with the permission of Allāh, the caravan’s leader was healed. As a reward, the leader announced he would cover all the expenses and provisions of Hātim along his journey.
Hātim thanked Allāh by saying: “O Allah! This is Your provision for me; show me Your provision for my household!”
A few days after Hātim left, the provisions he left behind had depleted and hunger began to affect his family members. Naturally, his family blamed the daughter who convinced them to allow their father to go in the first place. However, they were shocked at her reaction—she could not stop laughing!
“What makes you laugh while hunger is about to finish us all off?!”
She answered: “What do you think of our father? Is he a sustainer or a consumer of Allāh’s provision?!”
They assuredly answered: “A consumer of Allāh’s provision and Allāh is the Sustainer, Glory be His!”
She said: “Though the consumer of provision has left, the Sustainer of all provisions has always been there!”
Soon after, a knock was heard at the door; it was a man asking for some drinking water for the caliph. The daughter happily obliged and it was the most tasteful water the caliph had ever had. When he asked from which household the water was bought, his companions answered, “From Hātim’s house”. He said: “Bring him to me so that I give him a good reward”. They said: “He is performing the ritual of Hajj”.
So the caliph threw this belt, adorned with jewels and gems, at Hātim’s door and said “This is for Hātim’s household. Whoever loves me, let him do just as I did.” All the wealthy merchants and ministers obeyed this command until the belts were piled at their door. One of the wealthy merchants bought all the belts for a price that filled the house with gold that would be enough for them until their last day.
Undoubtedly, the family became elated but the daughter began to cry. Her mother asked: “How strange you are my dear daughter! We were crying out of hunger while you were laughing. And now, Allāh the Almighty removed our hardship and provided for us a great provision and you are crying. Why is that?”
The daughter replied: “This creature who can do his own self neither good nor harm (i.e. the Caliph) gave us a kind look which made us rich up until the end of days. How would it be if the Generous Creator of all gives us a kind look of His?!”
 Al-Qur’ān, 104:2
 Bukhari & Muslim
 Tirmidhi, Abū-Da’wūd & Ahmad
 Al-Qur’ān, 11:6
 Al-Qur’ān, 51:22
 Al-Qur’ān, 34:39
 Musnad Imam Ahmad, Ibn Majah 4164, Tirmidhi 2344. Authenticated in As-Saheehah 310.
 Musnad Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi 2466, Ibn Majah 4107. Authenticated in As-Saheehah 1359.
 Al-Qur’ān, 71:10-12
 Bukhari & Muslim
 Al-Qur’ān, 2:261
 Muslim Book 10:3661
 Musnad Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi 810, Nasa’i 2360 & 2361, Ibn Majah 2887. Authenticated in As-Saheehah 1200.
 Al-Qur’ān, 24:32
 Al-Qur’ān, 17:31
 Ibn Majah 926, 3843
 Al-Qur’ān, 14:7
 Al-Qur’ān, 65:2-3
Umer is Islam21c’s Finance Editor. He holds a PG Diploma in Governance Risk & Compliance from Manchester Business School, is one of the founding members of the National Waqf Fund and currently heads the Business and Economics Committee for the Islamic Council of Europe. Umer also serves as an External Consultant for Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC).
Umer has advised several start-ups, as well as the UK government, on alternative finance schemes and actively serves as a non-executive advisor in the FinTech and Islamic Finance space, amongst whom is the UK’s first FCA authorised Shariah Compliant FinTech platform, Yielders.