The Ever Winning Business
Merchandise. Investment and Returns. Buying and Selling. Profit and Loss. Balance Sheet. Asset and Liability. Stocking Taking and Accountability. Audit and Auditor.
These terms go beyond the normal meaning of business, trade or commerce.
Islam is business with Allah. You invest your time, talents, wealth and your own life in His cause, and He gives you in return, an unfailing reward.
This ‘Business’ with Allah brings nothing but profit. Other than this, by Allah! every other endeavor of man is an exercise in futility
Allah Who is my Creator and your Creator calls for this beautiful transaction in Surah As-Saff:
“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment?” (Surah As-Saff 61: 10)
“[It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you should know.” (Surah As-Saff 61: 11)
“He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment.” (Surah As-Saff 61: 12)
“And [you will obtain] another [favor] that you love – victory from Allah and an imminent conquest; and give good tidings to the believers.” (Surah As-Saff 61: 13)
Brief points of learning from the above Qur’anic verses could be summarized as follows:
1. Allah, at the very outset, clarifies and guides His believers towards a transaction that will transform a ‘believing Muslim’ into ‘a believing and practicing Muslim’.
If you believe in Allah, commit yourself to action.
2. The transaction’s benefit and motivation is mentioned first: That you will be saved from a painful punishment.
The anxiety of a normal businessman is whether his business will bring profit or not, will he will be successful in his venture or not.
So Allah in the first place removes that fear and anxiety, and guarantees the prospective businessman that his transaction will never let him down.
3. The main agenda of business is clearly spelled: That you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives.
Eemaan and Jihad’ are juxtaposed which clearly indicate that one will be incomplete without the other!
a. Eemaan: Belief in Allah. It means that Allah is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Sovereign Lord, the Legislator and the Only One Who is really worthy of being worshiped and obeyed. Belief in Allah also include believing in the Angels of Allah, the Books of Allah, the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, the Last Day, the Life After Death, Good and Evil – all happening with the knowledge and permission of Allah.
Belief in Muhammad (sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam) means to believe and accept that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and that he is the last and the final Messenger of Allah to mankind. Following in the footsteps of Muhammad sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam in letter and spirit is an essential part of this belief.
b. Jihad: It is to strive oneself against sin, oppression and all kinds of evil, in the best possible manner.
Business with Allah is not a bed of roses. That you lie down relaxing with a rosary in hand. It is to challenge your own self to come up to the expectations of Allah. Business begins at home. Striving against the evil in one’s own self is tougher Jihad.
Jihad can be of six types:
a. Financial Jihad. Today earning a lawful income is a Jihad, a struggle in itself. Establishing waqf, giving donation and charity.
b. Educational Jihad: Educating the community, investing in knowledge and education, creating expertise in science and technology, creating resources for the benefit of mankind, reforming the community against alien the onslaught of alien culture
c. Spiritual Jihad: Worshipping none but Allah, giving up sleep to offer Qiyamul Layl, getting up for Fajr prayer, being regular in fulfilling the obligatory duties in Islam, inviting people to Islam
d. Moral Jihad: Fighting the temptations of the modern world, the 21st century Satan. Dressing modestly, controlling one’s tongue, having hayaa, observing hijab, lowering one’s gaze, being honest
e. Political Jihad: Speaking the Truth and countering tyrants, raising voice against oppression.
f. Military Jihad: Defending the land of Islam, fighting against hostile enemies. This Jihad is to be done by the officials and the authorised army of a Muslim State.
4. Taking up this Business is best for us if only we know.
Who could deny entering into such a profitable transaction?
Recall what Allah says in Surah al Asr:
“By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Surah al Asr 103: 1-3)
5. The Return one gets because of entering into such a prosperous and profitable business is 1) Forgiveness for one’s sins 2) Admission into the Gardens beneath which rivers flow 3) Pleasant dwellings among lush green gardens of perpetual residence.
“He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is the great attainment.” Subhanallaah!
6. This Muslim Businessman not only gains unfailing profit and supreme success in the Hereafter but he also enjoys victory and success in this world too.
“And [you will obtain] another [favor] that you love – victory from Allah and an imminent conquest”. This is in reference to the great victory in the form of the conquest of Makkah.
Prophet Muhammad sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam and his companions did that Business in the most finest of manner and Allah gave them victory and success in the form of the conquest of Makkah.
Even though this part of the ayah mentions about that specific historical incident, it can be taken in general meaning as well: Help and Victory from Allah is near. So have positivism, be optimistic and carry on your Business with Allah, for you will surely win – Here and in the Hereafter as well, Inshaa’Allah.
7. Finally the command is given to the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam “to give good tidings to the believers.”
So be happy and involve yourself in doing your best in this profitable business with Allah.
Have right intentions and get going.
Sal-lal-laahu ‘Ala Muhammad, Sal-lal-laahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam.
Jazakallaahu Khayra for reading this post.