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By Luqman Sadiq

The Arabic word rizq رزق means provision. It is derived from the verb razaqa رَزَقَ meaning to provide, to make provision for, to give, for sustenance. It can also be translated as a gift, or anything beneficial or repels harm. Rizq comes in different forms including but not limited to food, health, income, property, family, peace and ability. Hence, rizq can be summarized as anything intangible (knowledge & emotions) or tangible (food & clothing) which deals with a person’s need or contingency. 

Types of Rizq in the Quran

وَٱللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍۢ

And Allah provides for whoever He wills without limit. (2:212)

The word rizq appears 123 times in the Quran and The Quran mentions one of Allah’s 99 names as The Provider (Ar-Razzaq). Rizq encompasses your lifespan, emotions, the ability to seek knowledge, the strength of your imaan, physical health, and much more. The main types of rizq or provision discussed in the Quran are as follows:

1. Food

وَعلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis. (2:233)

Here the word رزقهن means their feeding according to Tafsir Ibn Khathir.

2. Gift

ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَـٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Who believe in the unseen, establish prayer, and donate from what We have provided (Fruits) for them. (2:3)

The word used here is رزقناهم, which means: we gave them. Thus commentators are in favor of interpreting it in the sense of a gift.

3. Jannah or Paradise

وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌۭ وَأَبْقَىٰ

But your Lord’s “provision in the Hereafter” (Jannah) is far better and more lasting. (20:131)

According to Imam Al-Bagawiy the meaning of rizq here is Jannah (Paradise). (See: What Does the Quran Say About Heaven?)

4. Fruits

وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًۭا ۖ

He found her supplied with fruits. (3:37)

Al-Imam ibn Jarir al-Tabari mentioned in his tafsir that rizq here means fruit. 

5. Rain

وَفِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ رِزْقُكُمْ وَمَا تُوعَدُونَ

And in the sky is your provision (rain) and whatever you are promised. (51:22)

Sheikh Al-Tahir ibn Ashoor in his tafsir says, “Rizq here is the rain which is carried in the clouds.” Hafiz ibn Kathir is also in favor of interpreting provision here as the rain.

3 Ways to Increase Rizq

1. Trust in Allah (Tawakkul)

Depending upon Allah is a sufficient way of having an ample Rizq. Allah the Almighty says in the Quran:

And provide for them from sources they could never imagine. And whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He ˹alone˺ is sufficient for them. (65:3)

The verse denotes the extent that it explicitly grants rizq to a servant once he puts trust upon Allah. From the word فهو حسبه, one can relate that Allah will be sufficient for him in any affair. Umar ibn Al-Khattab narrated from the Prophet (PBUH):

“If you were to rely upon Allah with the reliance He is due, you would be given provision like the birds: They go out hungry in the morning and come back with full bellies in the evening.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 4164)

A bird does not stay in its nest waiting for rizq. It goes out every day and comes back with it. So sitting down and waiting for rizq with folded arms is not true tawakkul (trust) in Allah. (See: The Meaning of Tawakkul)

birds perched on aqsa dome
Birds perched on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

2. Establish Prayer (Salat)

Allah the Almighty says in his glorious Quran:

Bid your people to pray, and be diligent in ˹observing˺ it. We do not ask you to provide. It is We Who provide for you. And the ultimate outcome is ˹only˺ for ˹the people of˺ righteousness. (20:132)

3. Spend in the Cause of Allah (Sadaqah)

Giving sadaqah out of rizq is one of the ways of increasing it, because Allah SWT in the Quran made a promise that He would multiply whatever someone gave out from his wealth/rizq as sadaqah. Allah the Almighty says:

Who will lend to Allah a good loan which Allah will multiply many times over? It is Allah ˹alone˺ who decreases and increases ˹wealth˺. And to Him you will ˹all˺ be returned. (2:245)

The verse shows that whatever someone gives for the sake of Allah, will never be in vain. The Prophet (PBUH) also told us that,

Everyday two Angels descend to the earth, one of them is always saying: O Allah give a replacement to whoever spends his wealth for the sake of you.” (Muslim)

Conclusion

This article elaborated some of the interpretations of the word rizq in the light of Arabic lexicon, and through the Quranic context as it is explained by the scholars of the exegesis of Quran. There are different meanings of the word rizq in the Quranic verses which revolve around the literal meaning “Provision.” These meanings include food, fruits, paradise, rain, and gifts which are beneficial and provided to creatures by the Almighty Allah. So this brings us to know that everything provided is a provision رزق from Allah, The Provider (Ar-Razzaq) رزاق, and He alone is the Sustainer of rizq. Moreover, tawakkul, salah, and sadaqah are assurance-giving approaches for expansion in rizq.

What do you think? Share your reflections below!

References

  • Azaddin, Salem & Khalifa, Azaddin. (2001). Towards an Islamic Foundation of Strategic Business Management. 
  • Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 107 (1995) 279–281, AN ADDITIONAL NOTE ON AR. RIZQ
  • Musa, Abubakar Abdullahi. (2022). The Application of the Qur`anic Moral Ethics: A means toward Expansion of Wealth (Rizq). 
  • Al-Bagawiy, A. B. M.( 1417Ah/1997), Maalim al-Tanziyl fi Tafseeri al-Qur`an, (npp) Dar Taybah, Third edition, p. 303.
  • Tirmidhi, M. A. I., ( 2009) Sunan al-tirmithi, al-Qahirah, Dar al-Fajr. P. 614.
  • Ibn Rajab, A. B., ( 1423Ah/ 2002) Jami`u al-ulumi wa al-Hikam, al-Qahirah, Dar al-Fajr First Edition.
  • Ibn Katheer, I., ( 1434Ah/2013), P. 217.