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Trade (Business) is the Sunnah of blessed Prophets (A.S.), and when done honestly and fairly, it can be a form of devotion to Allah.
Islam provides us guidance in every aspect of life, and business / trading is no exception. Our religion gives us a complete framework for conducting business fairly, justly, and ethically. These teachings are not just for Muslims; anyone who believes in fair trade and moral values is encouraged to uphold and promote the following 5 Islamic principles:
1- Trade In Lawfully Permitted Items
A person should only conduct business in sectors lawfully permitted in Islam. For example, one must not trade alcoholic beverages, tobacco, pork, obscene goods or services, interest (Riba) based transactions, etc. Different researches and studies have concluded the harm such things inflict upon the society as a whole, to a country's economy, and to the taxpayers.
2- Honesty and Trustworthiness
Muslims are particularly known to be honest people when it comes to trading and business dealings. While Islam has strong guidance on being honest and upholding integrity in all aspects of life, there is extra emphasis on these qualities in business as the stakes are higher. Importance of these qualities can be summed up in the following wordings of our Prophet (S.A.W.):
"An honest and trustworthy merchant will be [raised] with the Prophets, the truthful and the
martyrs." (Tirmidhi: 1209)
3- Treat Employees and Colleagues With Dignity
An imperative rule of Islamic business is the good treatment of employees along with timely payments of salary and wages. All employees should be treated equally, with respect and dignity. The importance of this quality can be judged by the following words of our Prophet (S.A.W.):
"'I will be an opponent to three types of people on the Day of Resurrection:
1. One who makes a covenant in My Name, but proves treacherous
2. One who sells a free person and eats his price; and
3. One who employs a laborer and takes full work from him but does not pay him for his labor.” (Sahih Bukhari: 2270)
4- No Deception and Fraudulent Behavior
Cheating is strictly prohibited in Islam. This principle ensures that we not only act with honor in our dealings but respect those we’re conducting business with.
Allah says: “O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent.” (Surah Al-Maida 4:29)
Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
"He who deceives is not of me (is not my follower).” (Sahih Muslim: 102)
5- Spend More In Charity
The Prophet (S.A.W.) frequently advised his followers to give charity. However, our Prophet (S.A.W.) especially instructed businessmen to give charity as the same is evident from the following Hadith:
Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
"O merchants, this selling involves lies and (false) oaths, so mix some charity with it.” (An-Nasai: 3797)
May Allah bless all Muslims with strong faith, purity of heart, good manners, and understanding of the true meaning of all teachings of the Quran and Hadiths. Ameen.
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