We all wish for a life full of luxury and comfort where we are never short of money and can fulfill our dreams. However, Islamic text teaches us to adopt a life based on simplicity and humility. As the real rewards for a pious Muslim are waiting in the life hereafter.
Furthermore, there are multiple references where Islam prohibits the use of immoral and unfair means to earn livelihood. It emphasizes that diligence leads to success in life. That is why most of the Prophets and Messengers were merchants and shepherds. They would strive day in and day out to win the bread for their family. Also, they would spend a miniature of this amount on themselves. The rest of their earnings were generally used as donations to help orphans, widows, and people finding it hard to make the ends meet.
Islamic Texts Encouraging Hard Work, Trade and Business
These are the teachings of Islam which shall be corroborated with reference to six Islamic texts. These texts encourage to work hard and gain profit through trading and a flourishing business. This would provide benefits to the whole Muslim ummah.
Firstly, we need to clarify our understanding of Islam as a complete code of life. It is not just limited to prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, and annual donations for the purification of our earnings. It has provided all the standards of living in the lifestyle and deeds of our holy prophet. He has provided a complete explanation. This includes topics regarding economic, political, social, and religious matters. So that the Muslims have the answer to all the different scenarios that they may come across while handling world affairs.
There are various occasions where the Holy Prophet drew a strict line to differentiate between halal and haram. The bread earned through the lawful means of trade and business would provide benefit to the body, mind, and soul. Conversely, the use of illegit means to earn an extra amount taking away the rights of other people would be transient. However, the punishment of such misdeeds would remain eternal in the hereafter world particularly on the day of Final Judgement. As there is no forgiveness for deceiving fellow Muslims. Therefore, the Holy Prophet has clearly stated that whosoever deceives us is not one of us.
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Imam Ghazali has emphasized the importance of comprehensive education of trade and business to commence with one’s own business. This awareness would make a Muslim merchant and trader conscious of one’s deeds. So that all the items are weighed appropriately. Also, there is not the slightest chance of withholding some part of the sold item by the trader himself or herself. Furthermore, the holy Quran proscribes from committing any evil with the intent of mischief on land and the people. In addition, the principles of commerce laid down in the Holy Book make a Muslim trader feel contented. This includes all the profit one has gained after selling all the items placed for trade and sale.
The Holy Prophet has referred to a good business in various Islamic texts. A good business is one whose foundation lies in the principles of justice and being magnanimous. Thus, all the deals in which every item is weighed justly are halal and would lead to a halal profit. Whereas, the use of unjust means to hoard the right of a consumer would make the saved income haram for the seller. To add further, the Holy Prophet has emphasized great rewards from Allah for a trader. This means a trader who is kind, affectionate, and provides more items compared to the cost paid by the consumer. This deed indicates a firm belief of a Muslim trader on the glory of one’s Lord who will reward such pious traders in the hereafter world via eternal paradise.
Allah pointed out piety as the most influential quality of the Nobel Muslim. Piety keeps a Muslim subservient to one’s creator for everything they have. There is never a single moment where they are not praising the glory of their creator. They are able to observe all the blessings of Allah in everything present in this world and the celestial bodies. Therefore, one is completely devoid of material gains. One is not interested to hoard items to save for themselves. They believe in earning as many virtues as they can to take along in the hereafter world.
The Holy Prophet has mentioned certain prerequisites to commence with your own trading business in Islamic text. Firstly, all the items that are put in place for trade should be priced through a legal procedure. A written account of this pricing would maintain discipline in the market. So that the shopkeepers may not sell the items at the rates of their own interest. Next, an individual must own the item before putting it for sale. In other words, if a person is not in full possession of an item or a product, there is no question of putting it in the market to gain profit with its sale. That is completely illegal and haram.
In the Holy Prophet’s words, bargain not about that which is not with you. Moving onwards, goods are supposed to be taken in the open market. So that the rates are decided based on the total quantity of the products available compared to the estimated demand by the consumers. This will regulate the prices of these items which are uniform in the whole market. The Holy Prophet has strictly prohibited the trade of haram commodities. This includes the selling of pork meat, alcoholic drinks, and even the dead bodies of halal animals which were not slaughtered in the name of Allah. Furthermore, monopolistic business, interest-based loans, and gambling are strictly prohibited in Islamic trade and business.
If you read the Quran, Allah narrates that He sent messenger Hazrat Shoaib (AS) to guide his people to discard the illegit practices of trade and business as they would be punished for weighing less and taking more money from their consumers. The whole Islamic text in this event and the punishment by Allah lays the foundation of trade and business. That is to be expected from a Muslim trader in the light of the teachings of the holy prophet.