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 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 fulfillment of your life.” (A’raaf)
“And there are others traveling 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)