Friday, January 6, 2012


Earning a halaal livelihood is a command of Allah and the responsibility of every man. Hazrath Anas [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] has said: "It is a bounded duty upon every Muslirn to earn a halaal livelihood."

Earning halaal saves one from begging, consuming haraam and doubtful things which are truly harmful.

Many aayaat as well as ahaadith have been given explaining how one should conduct oneself while seeking a halaal livelihood and regarding the importance of doing business and trade in accordance to the shariah.

We see that Hazrat Umar [radhiallaahu anhu] would not allow a person to do business until he had learnt the Islaamic manners and etiquette of running a business. Thus, it is also essential that we too, learn the correct method of dealings, trade and that of running a business.

While doing business, one should be honest, as this will bring blessings in the trade. One should apply good conduct and also be lenient. Never should one be harsh or rude. Also, avoid swearing oaths excessively when selling.

We must also realize that earning is only a necessity and not one's object. Therefore, the business should not make one unmindful of Allah nor should it distract us from His remembrance.

Furthermore, Allah says in the Quraan: "And I have not created Jinns and men, except that they worship me."

Here we should understand well that worship does not only mean Salaah, Fasting, Haj etc. In every aspect of life, if one will do it for Allah's sake, then that also becomes Ibaadaat (act of worship) - be it in one's eating, earning, providing for one's wife and children or spending on the family.

If one has the correct intentions, than that very same act, which outwardly may seem to be a necessity and a duty will become an Ibaadaat and a means of blessing and reward.

Likewise, even in one's (Halaal) business, if one will do it for the pleasure of Allah, having the correct intentions, then that very same business and halaal earning, which is a responsibility and an incumbent duty upon every Muslim, can easily become a source of gaining tremendous amounts of reward from Allah Ta'ala and a means of virtues and blessings. Therefore, while running a business, one should have the intention that:
1) I am working because it is the command of Allah.
2) To protect my wife and children from begging and to provide halaal sustenance for them. In this way saving them from haraam as well.
3) I am running this business, so that I can give employment to others so that they too, can earn a halaal livelihood.
4) The way I am going to conduct the business is going to be an invitation for the non Muslims to accept Islaam.
5) I will not indulge in interest, overdraft etc. and that I will close my shop at salaat times.
6) From the profit I get, I will assist the poor & help in good causes, like building madaaris, masaajid, hospitals etc.

These are just some of the intentions that one should have. Also, we see that although it may be just one shop, the rewards will be so much. Therefore, the more intentions that a person will make, the greater the amount of reward he will receive. As Nabi [صلى الله عليه وسلم] has said: "Verily actions are judged according to the intentions."

"And Allah Ta'ala has made trade lawful." (Baqarah)
"And We have made the day a means of earning livelihood." (Naba)
"And it is We who have placed you with authority on the land, provided you therein with means for fulfilment of your life." (A'raaf)
"And there are others travelling in the land, seeking Allah's bounty." (Muzammil)
"And when the prayer is finished, disperse in the land and seek the bounty of Allah (by working etc.) and remember Allah much so that you may be successful." (Jum'ah)
"O you who believe eat from the pure things of what We have sustained you." (Al-Baqarah)
The Importance and Virtues of earning Halaal

Hadith 1
Hazrat Abdulla ibn Masood [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said, "To earn a halaal livelihood is compulsory after the completion of other Fara'idh." (compulsory acts)

Hadith 2
Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] is reported to have said: "No one has ever eaten any food which is better than that which he had earned through working with his hands, and verily Allah's Nabi, Dawood [alayhis salaam] used to eat that which he earned with his hands."

Hadith 3
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri [radhiallaahu anhu] relates from Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] that he said: "For every person who earns anything halaal which he eats himself or whereby he clothes himself or anyone of Allah's creation, that shall be written as a deed of charity."

Hadith 4
Naseeh-al-Ansi [radhiallaahu anhu] relates from Rakb al Misri [radhiallaahu anhu] that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said: "Glad tidings to those whose earnings are halaal."

Khalifah Hishaam bin Abdul Maalik asked Abu Haazim Makki (Rahmatullah alayh):"How can salvation in the hereafter be achieved."
Abu Haazim said: "By the acquisition of wealth lawfully and spending it lawfully."

The Khalifah asked: "Who can do this?"
Abu Haazim (Rahmatullah alayh) said: "He who wishes for Jannat, Fears Jahannam and searches for Allah's pleasure. "

Hadith 5
Hazrat Abu Hurairah [radhiallaahu anhu] says that Nabi [صلى الله عليه وسلم] has said, "If a man brings a load of wood on his back, sells it and eats from its produce, itis far better than begging for bread and what about begging alm? Someone gives and some doesn't."

Hadith 6
Sayyidina Anas [radhiallaahu anhu] reports that a certain ansari once came to Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] and begged him for something. Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] asked him, "Is there really nothing in your house?" He replied. "Yes, sire there is a hessian bag, one part of which I wear and the other part I spread when I retire to sleep, and a cup which I use for drinking water." Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said; "Bring both to me." He brought the articles. Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] took them and exclaimed, "Who will buy these from me?" A man replied, "I shall buy them both for one dirham" Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] asked twice or thrice, "Who will give me more?" A man finally said: "I shall buy them both for two dirhams." Thereupon Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] gave the goods to him and gave the two dirhams to the ansari and said: "Buy food with the one dirham and feed your family and buy with the other an axe and bring it to me." The ansari brought the axe. Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] took it and with his own mubarak hands fitted the handle to it, and said: "Go! Cut wood and sell and let me not see you for 15 days." The man did as he was told and came (again) after 15 days with 10 dirhams, with some of it he bought clothes and with the other he bought food.Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said to him: "This is better for you than that you shall appear on the day of Qiyaamat with a mark on your face to indicate that you were a beggar."

Hadith 7
Sayyidina Aisha (RA) reported that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said: "Whosoever in the evening is exhausted through his work, has all his sins forgiven by that evening."

Hadith 8
Hazrat Ka'ab bin Ujra [radhiallaahu anhu] says that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] has said: "To work for himself, his children and his parents is pleasing to Allah. To earn for show or pride is the devils way."

Hadith 9
Hazrat Abu Saeed [radhiallaahu anhu] says that Nabi [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said: "Whosoever maintained himself on legitimate earning, followed the prophets traditions and refrained from doing mischief, deserves Jannat and would be admitted to it." Those present represented that there were such people those days. Nabi [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said: "Even after him there would be such people."
Business which is done in the morning is blessed

Hadith 1
Hazrat Aisha (Radiallahu Anha) said that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] said: "One should go out to seek sustenance and legitimate earning in the morning, for morning work is blessed and prosperous."

Hadith 2
Hazrath Sakh'r ibn Wad'ah [radhiallaahu anhu] relates that Rasulullah [صلى الله عليه وسلم] supplicated: "O Allah bless the mornings of my people." Whenever he despatched a small or big army, he despatched it early in the morning. Hazrath Sakh'r was a merchant. He always despatched his goods in the early part of the day and as such his business flourished and his wealth increased.

Hadith 3
Nabi [صلى الله عليه وسلم] has said: "Allah distributes sustenance to the people from dawn till sunrise."

From “The Book of Wealth” By Ml. Moosa Olgar


Earning A Halal Living
Islam teaches that our success lies neither in asceticism nor in materialism. Neither should we shun nor renounce material life, nor be enslaved and motivated by it. Islam advocates a just balance between the two extremes. It adopts a balanced attitude between the spiritual development of an individual and his/her material needs.

Earning a Living

A Muslim is not only obliged to earn money. However, if he were to earn it, he is obliged to earn Halal money.

Rasulullah SAW is narrated to have said:

"The quest for a lawful livelihood is an obligation (like all other) obligations in Islam."

Once, Rasulullah SAW was seated with his Companions RA in the mosque, when a stout and strong man passed the masjid, running towards his business.

The Companions RA said:

"Alas! For this young man! Had his body and health run in the way of Allah."

Rasulullah SAW retorted saying:

"Do not say this. If this young man runs (to his business) with the object of not depending on others and refraining from begging, then he is in the Path of Allah. If he conducts trade with the view of providing for his weak parents and children, he is in the Path of Allah. If he tries to show his wealth out of pride, he is in the way of Shaytaan."

Saiyidina Umar ibn Al-Khattab RA adviced the Ummat with a precious compact advice:

"Let none of you refrain from earning livelihood (and simply resort to Du'a only) by saying: "O Allah, give me provision". Know for certain that the Heaven will not shower rain of gold and silver."

The Prophet Muhammad SAW has said:

"Poverty can lead to Kufr."

The Prophet Muhammad SAW also said:

"Take to trade, because out of ten divisions of livelihood, nine are in trade."


Is it naive for a Muslim to behave honestly and ethically in a globally competitive environment characterised by such murky undercurrents?

Is it naive for a Muslim to be honest and just in business?

Will honesty simply deprive them of the competitive edge over their business rivals?

Has honesty become an unsound business?

Has it become an unsound business practice to be honest?

Is it too costly to be honest?

NO! - is the emphatic answer.

Earning a livelihood is not only a duty in Islam, but a great virtue as well. Trade and commerce form an integral part of a Muslim's life and are regarded as acts of Divine worship. The quest for a living cannot be divorced from religious and moral ethics. Trade cannot be separated from trust in Allah Ta'ala, the Ultimate Provider.


Sadly, we see an increasing number of Muslims caught in the cobweb of fraud and deceit. Some of them - highly successful businessmen, rich and famous, the 'criminal aristocrats' of our communities.

The Noble Qur'an states:

"O ye who Believe - fulfil your covenants!"

The Qur'an calls on all Believers to be true to their contractual obligations.

Rasulullah SAW said:

"Fulfil the trust of one who has entrusted you and do not be treacherous to one who deceives you."

Another tradition attributed to Rasulullah SAW categorically states:

"There is no Imaan in one who is not trustworthy, nor is there religion in who does not keep his promises."

The Noble Qur'an states:

"O ye who Believe! Do not devour your property by illegal methods except that it be by way of trade based on mutual consent."

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Flesh nurtured by unlawful sustenance will not enter Paradise; Hell is more befitting for it."

Another Hadith states:

"No people decrease in weight and measure (practice fraud) except that their provision shall be restricted."


The Noble Qur'an has directed the Prophets AS in the following words:

"O Messengers of Allah! Consume what is pure and act righteously."

From the above verse we can observe that even the Noble Prophets AS were specifically directed to consume Halal, because there is a definite link between consumption of Halal and submission to the directives of Allah Ta'ala. The capacity to act righteously is directly related to the consumption of Halal. A body nurtured by Haram becomes incapable of submission to Allah SWT, for honesty is light and falsehood is darkness - both are naturally incompatible to each other. The overshadowing darkness of Haram blots out all rays of light from the heart. An individual is then unable to implement the Divine Laws of Allah SWT, nor is he able to conduct his dealing in an honest manner. Halal income breeds Halal thought and action, while Haram income breeds Haram thought and action.


Rasulullah SAW has said:

"The honest and trustworthy trader will be in the company of the Prophets, the Upright, and the Martyrs (on the Day of Qiyamah)."

Indeed, Rasulullah SAW has classed an honest merchant with:

- the Prophets, on account of him conducting his business affairs on principles of kindness, justice and honesty which are the hallmarks of Nubbuwah

- the Upright, on account of pervading Allah consciousness in all his dealings

- The Martyrs on account of fighting heavy temptation in treading the path of honesty and justice.


Many people entertain the false belief that a trip to Makkah or giving away monetary charity would guarantee them forgiveness for fraud. We must engrave this in our heart that a Muslim cannot seek penitence from Haram monies through giving it to charity.

Our dear Prophet Muhammad SAW has said:

"No man acquires unlawful property and gives some of it in charity will have it accepted from him, neither will he receive blessings for it..."


(Al Qur’ān 5:2) Allah Ta’ala says,
وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ…

And do not assist in sin and oppression…

Find attached a chart outlining the different categories of assisting in sins.

This includes all businesses that aid to or deal with (all earnings from such would be deemed haraam):


This would include all interest based banks, shops that sell alcohol (or items containing alcohol [not the chemical]) and/or pork (or items containing pork derivatives), all rest houses and/or hotels that serve haraam items and/or providing a place for people to commit zina (which seems to be a common usage of rest houses and hotels in today's day and age).


Hazrath Jabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) narrates that Nabi (Sallahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam) cursed those who are involved in usury (riba); whether it is the person who is giving usury, receiving it, writing the transaction or witnessing it.

(Sahih Muslim, Vol.11, Pg.28, Dār al-Ma’rifah)


The most essential thing to remember here is that it is not only that the earnings of an unlawful or Islamicly unacceptable business are haraam. Moreover the really worrisome thing is the fact that whosoever indulges in the gunnah or consumes haraam because of the conducive environment, or availabilty of the haraam product etc outsourced by you, even the weight of their sins will be on your shoulder. The gravity of which we cannot begin to imagine in this lifetime, and in the hereafter it would be too late!

Al-Quran states in Surah At-Talaq (65:3)

"And He-SWT provides for him (a sustenance) from whence he never reckons. And whoso puts his trust in Allah-SWT , He-SWT will suffice him. Verily Allah-SWT is sure to attain His-SWT Purpose, and has assigned to everything a measure."

Saying Of Prophet Muhammad-SAAW:
Sahih Al_Bukhari Volume 1, Hadith 315

The Holy Prophet-SAAW said, "At every womb Allah appoints an angel who says, 'O Lord! A drop of semen, O Lord! A clot. O Lord! A little lump of flesh." Then if Allah wishes (to complete) its creation, the angel asks, (O Lord!) Will it be a male or female, a wretched or a blessed, and how much will his provision be? And what will his age be?' So all that is written while the child is still in the mother's womb."

The entire thing is that Allah-SWT wants us to place our Trust in Him-SWT alone, and when we make our effort to earn a halaal living no matter how lucrative the haraam options seem to be, we show Allah-SWT how much we love and Trust Him-SWT ... And certainly Allah-SWT's Promises are not like ours, He-SWT always keeps them!

Therefore lets pray for ourselves and all those around us who may be finding it hard to give up the unlawful sources of livelihood, May Allah-SWT truly allow us to Love and Trust Him-SWT and earn and spend for His-SWT Pleasure alone and of the things that he has made pure and beneficial to us. Ameen!

2:268 - Satan threatens you with poverty and orders you to immorality, while Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and bounty. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.


Mehdee Hassan said...

Jazakumullahu Khairan. It's a very good article. Nicely written. This should be translated in bengali to benefit a large number of people who are comfortable with bangla. May Allah accept your efforts and grant you Jannautl Firdous. Ameen.

Raana Khan said...

JazakAllahu Khair for the appreciation, All Praises are for Allah. Brother I agree with you, if you could translate it and share it that would be great. You could leave the link in the comments for other people to benefit from your translation. May Allah Kareem accept our efforts and grant us His Immense and Intense Love. Aameen!