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f:1195 -    Islamic precepts of business
Country : Hyderabad, India,
Name : Shah
Question:     I am businessman.  For some time, I have been suffering losses. Somebody advised to conduct my business on Islamic precepts.  Would you please tell me what are the Islamic precepts of business?
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Answer:     The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has mentioned the attributes and qualities of a businessman. Among them are:

1.  The businessman should start his work in the early hours of the day.  The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has prayed for blessings in the early hours of the day, and the Companions used to start their business in the early hours.  There is a Hadith in Jame Tirmidhi:

Translation: It has been narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Sakhr Al Ghamdi (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) prayed:  O Allah!  Bless the hours of the morning for my Ummah.  (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 1133)

Hadhrat Sakhr (May Allah be well pleased with him) says that whenever the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) sent a small regiment or a huge army, He (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) always sent it in the early hours of morning.  Hadhrat Sakhr (May Allah be well pleased with him) was a businessman and whenever he sent his men for trade, he sent them in the early hours of morning, because of which he became wealthy and affluent.

2.  The businessman should especially avoid deception, cheating.  There is a Hadith in Jame Tirmidhi:

Translation: Whosoever deceives/cheats is not from us.  (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 1234)

Although cheating may give the businessman some momentary gain, there are no blessings in such a gain.  The people form an opinion about the businessman that he/she cheats.  In this way, people gradually start avoiding transactions with such a businessman.  As a result of it, the businessman suffers losses.  There is such stress on staying away from lying, that the Jurists have said that if someone buys something in say Rs.100 and the cost of transport is say Rs.10, then if the businessman says that he bought the good for Rs.110; even that will be considered a lie; as has been mentioned in Hidayah, Vol. 3, Pg. No.71.

3.  The weighing of the goods should be meticulously fair.  Allah Most High says in the Holy Quran:

“Weigh with fairness, and do not diminish.” Surah Rahmaan (55:09)

There is strict warning in the Holy Quran for those who diminish the weight of the good:

“There is destruction for those who diminish.”-Surah Mutaffifin (83:01)

4.  It is Commendable (Mustahab) to weigh out a little more than what is required.  There is a Hadith in this regard:
Translation: Weigh more than what is required. (Jame Tirmidhi, Vol. 1 Pg. No. 244)

The aforementioned verses of the Holy Quran and Hadith have been mentioned only as an example.  There are many Hadith and Traditions, which make it clear that the businessperson should run his/her business with truth and honesty; that he should start the business in the early hours of the day; that he should avoid lying, cheating etc.; that he should not cheat while weighing.

The person who runs his business according to the guidelines given by Islam is a successful businessman; his business will be beneficial; he will receive blessings (barakah) in this world and in the hereafter he will be seated on lofty stations.  There is a Hadith in this regard:

Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (May Allah be well pleased with him) that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said:  The truthful and honest businessman will be with the Prophets, the Siddiqin (the truthful) and the Martyrs (Shuhada).  (Jame’ Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 1130)

And Allah The Most Merciful and The Most Beneficent knows best.

Mufti Syed Ziauddin Naqshbandi Qadri,

[Professor, Islamic Law, Jamia Nizamia,

Founder-Director Abul Hasanaat Islamic Research Center]

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