In an authentic narration narrated by Abdullah ibn `Umar, in Ibn Majah's Kitab al Fitan, which is also mentioned in Al-Hakim's al-Mustadrak, as well as by al-Baihaqi and al-Bazzar, we learn about several causes of most fascinating consequences. The following can be deduced from that narration:
1. Rain is withheld when zakat is not paid, and it would not fall at all were it not for animals.
2. Illnesses not seen before appear when immorality spreads among people and when it becomes public.
3. Lack of provision and injustice of rulers towards their people occurs when those people cheat in measuring.
4. Allah sends an enemy to a people that takes from their hands that which they like, when those people leave their covenant with Allah and His Messenger and leave the Book and the Sunnah.
5. Discord among people occurs when leaders do not judge by Allah's Book and when they choose from it what they like and leave the rest.
One can wonder, how many secular scientists and those usually perceived as intellectuals are there that fail to understand Allah's Sunan yet spend their lives trying to understand causes of many happenings in the universe? More importantly, how many of us fail to understand true reasons behind various disasters in our own Muslim countries? Thankfully, we can correct this by learning.
What follows is a mention of two major causes of provision, many of which are mentioned in the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Among other causes of provision and development are Jihad in the Path of Allah, Hijrah for the sake of Allah, Hajj and `Umrah, leaving sins, da`wah to Allah, seeking forgiveness and repentance, good behavior towards the weak and spending for the sake of Allah.
Causes of Provision (Rizq)
Tawakkul - Relying and depending on Allah the Exalted
Allah the Exalted said:
"And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent." [at-Talaaq: 3]
"If you relied on Allah with a true reliance, He would provide for you the same as He provides birds: they set off in the early morning with empty stomachs and return back at the end of the day with full stomachs." [At-Tirmidhi, Ahmad]
Sh. Fadl Ilaahi said: "The one who relies upon Allah with a true reliance is provided for as birds are provided for, and how would it be otherwise, when he has relied upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and whoever relies on Him, He will suffice him." [Mafaatih ar-Rizq, 36]
Tawakkul in the Qur'an:
Tawakkul is enjoined in the Qur'an in many places and is a lofty station:
"And upon Allah let the believers rely." [Ibrahim: 11]
"And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die." [Al Furqaan: 58]
"So worship Him and rely on Him." [Hood:123]
Tawakkul is a cause of Allah's love for His servant:
"Verily, Allah loves those who rely on Him." [Aal `Imraan: 159]
Tawakkul is a condition of iman and a distinguishing mark of the believers:
"And upon Allah rely if you are believers." [al-Maa`idah:23]
"The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely." [al-Anfaal:2]
The believer knows that no harm and no benefit can come except by Allah's permission, that He gives and withholds and that He owns everything in the universe. She or he knows that no one can give what Allah withholds, and that no one can withhold what Allah gives.
Lastly, relying on Allah does not mean that one leaves striving in this world. Allah says:
"So walk among its slopes and eat of His provision" [Al-Mulk: 15]
"And when the prayer has concluded, disperse within the land and seek the bounty of Allah." [al-Jumu`ah: 10]
"And whoever fears Allah - He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he does not expect." [At-Talaq: 2-3]
Ibn `Abbas said: "'And will provide for him from where he does not expect': meaning from where he does not hope." [Zaad al Masyr 8:291-292]
"And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened (i.e. bestowed) upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied (the messengers), so We seized them for what they were earning (of blame for their sin)." [al-A`raaf 96]
Ibn `Abbaas said: "Meaning, We would enrich them with what is good, and facilitate it for them from every side." [Tafsir Abi Sa`ood 3/253]
"And if only they had upheld (the law of) Torah, the gospel and what has been revealed to them form their Lord (the Qur'an), they would have consumed (provision) from above them and from beneath their feat (i.e. in great abundance). Among them are a moderate (i.e. acceptable) community, but many of them - evil is that which they do." [Al-Maa'idah: 66]
Ibn Mas`ood said: "At-Taqwaa is that Allah is obeyed and not disobeyed, that He is remembered and not forgotten, and that He is thanked and not shown ungratefulness." [At-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer 90/92]
[Most quotes mentioned in “Asbaab ar-Rizq”, collected by Abi al Mundhir Khalil ibn Ibrahim Amin, and published by Daar ibn al Atheer, 1420 H.]