|O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up What remains of your demand For usury, if ye are Indeed believers. If ye do it not, Take notice of war From Allah and His Messenger: But if ye repent Ye shall have Your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, And ye shall not Be dealt with unjustly. [Holy Quran 2-278,279]|
Some general guidelines govern the Islamic code of ethics with relation to both one's daily life and business conduct. Muslims are required to behave Islamically in their business dealings because Allah Himself is witness to their transactions:
In whatever business you may be, and whatever portion you may be reciting from the Qur'an and whatever deed you may be doing We are Witnesses thereof when you are deeply engrossed therein. [Al Qur'an 10:61]
Here are some key business principles that Muslims should follow.
Be Honest and Truthful: Honesty and truthfulness are qualities which a Muslim business person should develop and practice in himself. Truth, for example, has a self-reinforcing effect. In a hadith reported in Sahih al Bukhari.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues to tell the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to al fujuwr (i.e. wickedness, evil-doing), and al fujuwr (wickedness) leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man may continue to tell lies till he is written before Allah, a liar." [Hadith No. 8.116]
Honesty and truth is especially important for Muslim business persons because of the need to make a profit and the temptations to enhance the attributes of their product of service during a sales pitch. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
The merchants will be raised on the Day of Resurrection as evil-doers, except those who fear Allah, are honest and speak the truth. [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Darimi]
Keep Your Word: In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said:
"If you guarantee me six things on your part I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your gaze, and restrain your hands from injustice." [Ubadah Ibn al Samit, Ahmad, Bayhaqi]
Love Allah More Than Your Trade: We must love Allah even if we have to sacrifice everything else. Allah warns in the Qur'an, which is translated to mean:
Say, "If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; or the dwellings in which you delight - are dearer to you than Allah, or His Messenger, or the striving in His cause -then wait until Allah brings about His Decision: and Allah guides not the rebellious." [Al Qur'an 9:24]
Be Humble in how You Conduct Your Life: Muslims must not lead a life of extravagance, and must exhibit good-will in any transactions among themselves.
O you who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah has been to you Most Merciful. [Al Qur'an 4:29]
Use Mutual Consultation in Your Affairs: In describing the characteristics of those who will receive higher and more permanent gifts from Him, Allah stresses the importance of consultation.
Those who hearken to their Lord; and establish regular prayer; who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation, who spend out of what we bestow on them for sustenance. [Al Qur'an 42:38]
Do Not Deal in Fraud: Businessmen should avoid duplicity. They should treat others in the same righteous and fair manner that they themselves would like to be treated.
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 Qur'an 83:1-4]
Do Not Bribe: Businessmen may sometimes be tempted to offer bribes or baqshish in order to persuade another party to give them special favours or to allow them to get away with dishonest practices. The practice of bribery is forbidden in Islam.
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed the one bribes and the one who takes bribes. [Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn Al As, Abu Dawud, hadith no 3573]
Deal Justly: The general principle that applies across all transactions including those pertaining to business is that of justice or 'adl. Allah emphasizes this point in the Qur'an: Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. [Al Qur'an 2:279]
[ Taken from 'Islamic Business Ethics: Rafik Issa Beekun' - Source: Muslim Trading Post..]
Mahatma Gandhiji Said:
A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us; We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on work; He is the purpose of it; He is not an outsider on our business; but he is a part of it, We are not doing him a favour by serving him; He is doing an favour by giving us opportunity to do so.
I will as a MUSLIM BUSINESSMAN, Insha-Allah, behave Islamically towards:
My intention for business will not be merely to enrich myself but to earn Halaal and spend in the right path.
I will regard it as a compulsory duty to learn all the Islamic rules and laws regarding business from the Ulama.
I will then always conduct my business according to the Laws of Shari'ah.
I will spend my resources wisely, always maintaining appropriate reserves for difficult times.
My primary responsibility is to provide the best quality product to those who come to my business.
I will receive my customers politely and treat them with respect and dignity.
I will work to cut my overhead costs in order to charge reasonable prices.
I will process all transactions speedily and without errors.
I will not misrepresent my products or services to any customer at all.
I will gladly accept to refund a dissatisfied customer.
My Suppliers and Distributors:
I will work with my suppliers and distributors to maintain consistency in quality and service.
I will ensure that they make a fair profit.
All my employees will work in safe and clean conditions.
They will receive fair and adequate compensation.
They will have ample opportunities to develop their skills.
They will feel free to make suggestions, or complaints.
I will safeguard their rights and respect their dignity at all times.
I will clearly communicate to all employees what is expected of them.
I will compensate my employees equitably.
I will allow them reasonable time to fulfill their religious obligations.
I will not engage in monopolistic behavior and preclude others from competing with me.
I will compete fairly without engaging in un-Islamic tactics.
I will not be envious or malicious towards my competitors in anyway.
I will support the community I live in as well as the world-wide.
I will be a good citizen, by contributing to the welfare of the needy and the destitute in society.
Allah has enjoined truthfulness and honesty, and He has forbidden lies and deceit. The matters which should be known and revealed to people should not be concealed. A sale transacted without complete honesty will not be blessed for the dishonest party.
What usually makes people dishonest is greed or the fear of loss. That makes them either hide a defect in the product that they should inform the client about, or they lie to increase the selling price. Whereas the fact of the matter is that the ‘rizq’/sustenance that Allah has determined for each and every one of us will reach us regardless of whether we adopt halal/ lawful means to earn it or haram/unlawful means.
If a Muslim has true faith in pre-destined rizq, it gives them the strength to avoid adopting haram means to earn money, as they see the pointlessness of it. Rizq is not just a person’s income but all that comes to them. When the blessing is lifted from the sale then the seller may have earned Rs 800 extra dishonestly, but then have had a minor accident and ended up having to spend the Rs 800 on medical care. So they ended up with no money that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) had not written for them, and instead also accumulated some sin for their dishonesty.
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