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"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."

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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu

Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.

Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].

When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].

Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.

The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
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"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
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[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
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From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
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On the authority of Abu Hurayrah r.a., who said that Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. said: Allah SWT said:

Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
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“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”

Sunday, January 6, 2008

ISLAM AND BUSINESS

Source

Trade and commerce have always been a part of Islam. From pre-Islamic days, the Holy City of Mecca has been the center of commercial activities. It was indeed the annual trading center of Mecca that provided Prophet Mohammad the forum for preaching Islam.

The early Muslims were not only engaged in trade but they went to distant lands in connection with business. Islam in fact reached East and West Africa, East Asia through the business people.

Islam encourages work in general, and trade and commerce in particular, Prophet Mohammad was himself engaged in this profession before he became a prophet. He was a successful businessman. Known for integrity, he bore the honorific title, the Trustworthy, The Quran states:


"God has made business lawful for you"


In addition, the Qur'an includes rules not only for manners and hygiene, marriage and divorce, but it also lays down detailed rules for commerce and politics, interest and debts, contracts and wills, and industry and finance. Islam has permitted and in fact encouraged business. Islam lays out the basic principles of our economic behavior as consumers, producers and owners of wealth.

The Islamic principle in business is based on individual enterprise and correspondingly individual's reward. It is basically based on benefiting the humanity while maintaining God�s orders.

In business relationships Islam strictly forbids any discrimination between people based on their religion, sex, or gender.

There is no basic conflict between good business practice and profit making in Islam. Islam looks at profit as secondary way to measure efficiency. Business Ethics in Islam

1. Trust: Trust of God's creation and all that is in it. God has created and perfected the whole universe then Man is set over it all with delegated. So as Muslims we realize that we are just trustee for God�s universe and we truly do not owe anything in this life. That kind of belief along with your knowledge that God sees all what you do, will make you work under constant surveillance, and keeps your performance at its best while following God�s defined conduct.

(Quran 45-13): And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect.

(Quran 6:164): It is He who hath made you (His) agents, inheritors of the earth: He hath raised you in ranks, some above others: that He may try you in the gifts He hath given you: for thy Lord is quick in punishment: yet He is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


2. Justice and Honesty: Justice can be defined as just conduct, fairness exercise of authority in maintenance of right and fair dealing between each other regardless of faith is strictly laid down in Islam. Honesty incorporates the concepts of truthfulness and reliability and covers all aspects of relationships in human life thought, word and action. It is more than just accuracy; it is an attitude with integrity.


Quran 4:135): O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

Quran 6:115): Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower.

Quran 11:85): O my people! Give full measure and full weight in justice, and wrong not people in respect of their goods

Oh ye who believe! Eat not up each other's property by unfair and dishonest means." (4:29)


3. Mutual Respect: The third principle is mutual respect and consideration for others is also inherent in the moral teachings of Islam.

The application of this has come to mean that self interest only has a place in the community in as much as it takes into account the interests of others. So a person or organization can not under self benefit measures takes an action or start a business that will harm the community or environment more than providing good to it. The prophet (PBUH) said: "You will not attain righteousness, unless you give of that which you love�. And said "God loves kindness when you deal with any matter" And also said: "You will not enter Paradise until you have faith and you will not have faith until you love one another".

What is forbidden in business in Islam?

1. Islam has not permitted producing, selling and purchasing of goods, which are prohibited in Islamic law. Alcohol, Drugs.. The Prophet of Islam has said: "When God prohibits a thing He prohibits (giving and receiving) the price of it as well."

2. Islam has also prohibited any kind of transaction involving uncertainty, as this could lead to quarrel or litigation. The Prophet of Islam has forbidden transaction involving unspecified quantity, acceptance of money for fish in the river or bird in the air as there is element of uncertainty. Similarly the Prophet of Islam has prohibited sale of fruit till they are ripened. However; if the element of uncertainty is very small, the transactions are permissible.

3. Islam condemns hoarding to make high profit at the cost of public interest (when it is needed or so it will become needed). Islam, however; allows normal trade - buying and selling of goods again and again at a reasonable profit.

4. Islam prohibits fraud in business dealings. The Prophet has said: "Sell the good and bad separately. He who deceives is not of us" The sin of fraud is greater if the seller supports it by swearing falsely. The Prophet has said, "Swearing produces ready sale but blots out blessing".

5. Islam prohibits buying or selling what's legal if we know that it will be used for illegal use: weapons, abortion drugs, drugs for meth making, and so on.

6. INTEREST: Muslims are not allowed to pay or receive interest. The Quran is explicit about it and says, "God- has permitted for you trade and prohibited interest" (2 : 275).

Depositors in an Islamic bank would be treated like shareholders, would receive dividends when the bank makes a profit, and would lose capital when it suffers a loss.

The prohibition or fixed interest flows from Islam's concern for social justice Interest is said to reinforce a tendency for wealth to accumulate in a few hands
So how would you by buy a house for example? A new trend has recently started that work as follows: An Islamic financing company buys the house. The house then is leased back to you for a fixed period of time. You pay the finance group the rent value plus an additional amount for the house purchase. The value or the lease home will be reassessed every year, and the rent will be adjusted accordingly. In Closing
To close let me reassure that it is the responsibility of every Muslim to be ethical in their daily business practices and to act responsibly toward the community in which it serves. To review its business practices and remove from its organization any unlawful activities and devote themselves to productive and lawful activities that benefit mankind.

It is everyone's responsibility to take a long and serious look at their organization and implement policies and procedures that are conducive.

As a general guide to Muslims in business we should adopt the following overriding principals:

- Love God and his commands more than your trade or business
- Be honest and truthful
- Keep one's word
- Be humble in how you conduct your life
- Do not deal in fraud
- Do not bribe
- Deal justly


Abdoulrahman Kattih
The Islamic Education And Services Institute