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Prophet (saws) preferred business or job?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

Dear Burhan bhai,

Salam Alaikum,

What did our beloved Prophet (PBUH) preferred, job as an employee or business? What are the items that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) did business with ? Did he ever groom others or encourage for doing business ? What should be the responsiblity on a muslim brother who is capable to lend / extend a pulling hand onto his other muslim brother who is struggling in his business, when the weaker brother asks for it ?

Seeking Dua,

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Answer:

Prophet (saws) preferred business or job?

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Your question: What did our beloved Prophet (PBUH) preferred, job as an employee or business?

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2783 Narrated by Rafi' ibn Khadij

Allah's Messenger (saws) was asked what type of earning was best and he (saws) replied, "A man's work with his hand, and every business transaction which is approved."

The Messenger of Allah (saws) was born a poor orphan, and earned his living initially in Makkah as a shepherd, and later as a trader. Rather than giving preference to the type of work one did for a living, what the Prophet (saws) emphasized was hard work, honesty, truthfulness, generosity, and the fear of Allah in whatever one did to earn his livelihood.

In the times of the Prophet (saws) trading or business was obviously the preferred way to make a living, but not everyone had the means to do business. Most of the companions of the Messenger of Allah (saws) were extremely poor and made a living working with their hands in the fields, or fetching water, or grazing someones cattle, etc. Very few of the noble companions like Hadrat Abu Bakr (r.a.), Hadrat Uthman (r.a.), Hadrat Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Auf (r.a.), etc. were blessed with wealth, and all of them were traders or businessmen.


The society that Islam wants to build would need all kinds of professions: doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, engineers, traders, workers, etc. Thus there is absolutely no restriction in Islam in whatever one does for earning his livelihood, provided he fears Allah Subhanah and stays within the boundaries of Islam.

Your question: What are the items that our beloved Prophet (PBUH) did business with ?

The items that the Messenger of Allah (saws) did trading with depended on the demand and supply of the market during his times. In the trip the Messenger of Allah (saws) made to Damascus, Syria as a trader, it is reported that he took amongst his merchandise: dried grapes, some leather goods, etc. which were available in Makkah and Taif and bought goods in exchange from Syria which were in demand in Makkah and Taif.

Your question: Did he ever groom others or encourage for doing business ?

The Messengers of Allah do not come to mankind to teach them how to make their livelihood, but rather they are sent to deliver and live the Message of the Lord of the Worlds.

The Prophet (saws) strongly discouraged the believers to sit idle, be lazy, or beg others for their livelihoods; and encouraged them to work earnestly and honestly to earn their living; be it as an employee or as a trader.

Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 1637 Narrated byAnas ibn Malik

A man of the Ansar came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and begged from him. He (the Prophet (saws)) asked: Have you nothing in your house? He replied: Yes, a piece of cloth, a part of which we wear and a part of which we spread (on the ground), and a wooden bowl from which we drink water. He (saws) said: Bring them to me. He then brought these articles to him and he (the Prophet (saws)) took them in his hands and asked: Who will buy these? A man said: I shall buy them for one dirham. He (saws) said twice or thrice: Who will offer more than one dirham? A man said: I shall buy them for two dirhams. He (saws) gave these to him and took the two dirhams and, giving them to the Ansari, he (saws) said: Buy food with one of them and hand it to your family, and buy an axe and bring it to me. He then brought it to him. The Messenger of Allah (saws) fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said: Go, gather firewood and sell it, and do not let me see you for a fortnight. The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it. When he had earned ten dirhams, he came to him (saws) and bought a garment with some of them and food with the others. The Messenger of Allah (saws) then said: This is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the Day of Judgment. Begging is right only for three people: one who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, or one who is responsible for compensation and finds it difficult to pay.

Your question: What should be the responsiblity on a muslim brother who is capable to lend / extend a pulling hand onto his other muslim brother who is struggling in his business, when the weaker brother asks for it?

Sahih Muslim Hadith 6518 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said: He who alleviates the suffering of a brother from the afflictions of the world, Allah will alleviate his afflictions from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection. He who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah will make things easy for him in the Hereafter, and he who conceals (the faults) of a Muslim, Allah would conceal his faults in the world and in the Hereafter. Allah is at the back of a servant so long as the servant is at the back of his brother. He who treads the path in search of knowledge, Allah will make that path easy, leading to Paradise for him and those persons who assemble in one of the houses of Allah (mosques), recite the Book of Allah and learn and teach the Qur'an (among themselves). There will descend upon them tranquillity, mercy will cover them, the angels will surround them and Allah will mention them in the presence of those near Him. He who is slow-paced in doing good deeds, his (long) descent does not make him go ahead.

It would be considered righteousness and a means of earning a huge reward from Allah Subhanah if a brother who is able to help his muslim brother, helps him in alleviating his affections of the world, be it in business or otherwise.

If only the believers truly knew the rewards that Allah Subhanah has prepared for the believers who help their muslim brothers in their distress, we would go out on the streets searching for our distressed brothers!

He who alleviates the suffering of a brother from the afflictions of the world, Allah will alleviate his afflictions from the sufferings of the Day of Resurrection.

He who finds relief for one who is hard pressed, Allah will make things easy for him in the Hereafter

Who amongst us would not like that Allah Subhanah would alleviate our afflictions on the Day of Resurrection? Who amongst us would not like that Allah Subhanah make things easy for us on that Eventful and Inevitable Day?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 21 Surah Anbiyaa verse 47: We shall set up Scales of Justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take Account.

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 99 Surah Zalzalah verses 6-8:

6 On that Day will men proceed in companies, sorted out to be shown the Deeds that they (had done).

7 Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good see it!

8 And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.

If any muslim helps his muslim brother in distress in any way, be it even as insignificant as an atom or the weight of a puny mustard seed, and does it solely to seek the Pleasure and Good Will of his Merciful Lord; Allah Subhanah will give him a huge reward on a Day when every good deed will be deemed invaluable and priceless in the Just Court of the All-Mighty Lord.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,

Burhan


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