Moral Directives for Business

Moral Conduct in Entrepreneurship

“And measure full when you measure. And weigh with an even balance. This is better and its end is good.” [Al-Bani-Israel: 35]

“They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom.” [Al-Tauba: 34]

“You resort to oaths as instruments of mutual deceit, so that a person might take greater advantage than another; although, Allah puts you to the test through this. Surely, on the Day of Resurrection, He will make clear the truth concerning the matters over which you differed.” [Al-Nahl: 92]

“Who so desires the reward of the world, then with Allah is the reward both of the world and of the Hereafter. And Allah is Hearing, Seeing.” [Al-Nisa:134]

“And that the man will not get, but what he endeavors. And that his endeavor shall soon be seen.” [An-Najm: 39-40]

“O Believers! Whenever you lend money for a particular period, write and someone among you must write it justly. And the one who can write must not refuse.” [Al-Baqara: 282]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whosoever sells a defective product without disclosing its defect to the purchaser, shall earn the permanent anger of Almighty Allah and the angels continuously curse such a person.” [Ibn-e-Maja]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return the goods as long as they have not parted or till they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities [of the goods], then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost.” [Bukhari]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has exhorted that we should refrain from taking oaths unnecessarily; for although, it helps in the sale of one’s products, it reduces the blessings. [Bukhari & Muslim]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether.” [Muslim]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “May Allah’s mercy be on him who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money [or debts].” [Bukhari & Tirmidhi]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “A time will come upon the people when one will not care how one earns money, i.e. legally or illegally.” [Bukhari]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The flesh and body that is raised on unlawful sustenance shall not enter Paradise. Hell is more deserving to the flesh that grows on one’s body out of unlawful sustenance.” [Ahmad]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The truthful and trustworthy businessman will be in the company of Prophets, saints and martyrs on the Day of Judgment.” [Darimi & Tirmidhi]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “And what is most likely to send people to Paradise? Being conscious of Allah and good manners.” [Bukhari, Tirmidhi & Ahmed]

Islamic Teachings and Unethical Trade Practices

“Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity.” [Al-Baqara: 276]

“Woe to those that deal in fraud. Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure. But, when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account?” [Al-Mutaffifin:1-4]

Keeping the commodities of general use in possession and not supplying them in the market for the sake of increasing the price is prohibited. [Ahmed-Bin-Hanbal]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “No one hoards but the traitors (i.e. the sinners).” [Abu Da’ud]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The importer [of an essential commodity] into the town will be fed [by Allah], and the hoarder will have [Allah’s] curse upon him.” [Ibn Majah]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who accepts interest and the one who pays, and the one who records it, and the two witnesses; and he said: They are all equal.” [Muslim]

The Apostle of Allah (pbuh) cursed the one who pays bribes and the one who takes bribes. [Abu Da’ud]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Do not harbor envy against one another; do not outbid one another [with a view to raising the price]; do not bear aversion against one another; do not bear enmity against one another; one of you should not enter into a transaction when the other has already entered into it; and be fellow brothers and true servants of Allah.” [Muslim]

Trying to buy commodities before they reach market is prohibited because market will decide the price. [Muslim]

Futures and Forward Trading: Islamic View

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “He who buys food grain should not sell it until he has taken possession of it.” [Muslim]

Analogical Deduction in Matters: Islamic View

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “What is lawful is evident and what is unlawful is evident, and in between them are the doubtful things which many people do not know. So he who guards against doubtful things keeps his religion and honor blameless, and he who indulges in doubtful things indulges in fact in unlawful things, just as a shepherd who pastures his animals round a preserve will soon pasture them in it. Beware, every king has a preserve, and the things Allah has declared unlawful are His preserves. Beware, in the body there is a piece of flesh; if it is sound, the whole body is sound and if it is corrupt, the whole body is corrupt.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

Benefits of Honest Conduct in Partnership

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said that Almighty Allah proclaims: “I am a one third partner of a two man partnership until one of them acts dishonestly to his partner, and, in such an event, I then leave them.” [Abu Da’ud]

The importance of Paying One’s Liability

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “After the major sins which must be avoided, the greatest sin is that someone dies in a state of debt and leaves behind no asset to pay it off.” [Darimi]

Job Responsibility of Employee: Islamic View

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “The honest treasurer who gives willingly what he is ordered to give, is one of the two charitable persons, (the second being the owner).” [Mishka’at]

Responsibility of Employer: Islamic View

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Give the labor his wage before his sweat dries.” [Ibn-e-Majah]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Those are your brothers [workers under you] who are around you; Allah has placed them under you. So, if anyone of you has someone under him, he should feed him out of what he himself eats, give him clothes like what he himself puts on, and do not put so much burden on him that he is not able to bear, [and if that be the case], then lend your help to him.” [Bukhari]

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “I will be foe to three persons on the Last Day: one of them being the one who does not give dues to the servant he employs even after he has fulfilled his duty.” [Bukhari]

Justice and Honesty: Islamic View

“O believers! Stand firmly for justice, giving witness for Allah, may be therein your own loss, or of your parents or of your relations. Against whom you be a witness, he be a rich or be a poor, in any case Allah has more power than anyone over them, therefore follow not passion lest you may be far away from justice; and if you distort or turn your face, then Allah is aware of your doings.” [Al-Nisa: 135]

“O believers! Stand-up firmly by the Commandments of Allah, bearing witness with justice and let not the enmity of any people incite you that you should not do justice. Do justice that is nearer to piety and fear Allah, undoubtedly, Allah is aware of your doings.” [Al-Maida: 8]

Gender and Ethnic Discrimination: Islamic View

“O people! We created you from one man and one woman and made you divided in branches and tribes so that you may recognize one another. Undoubtedly, the most respected among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is more pious. Verily, Allah is knowing, Aware.” [Al-Hujurat: 13]

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