5 Business Ethics In Islam

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5 Business Ethics In Islam

5 Business Ethics In Islam

1. Honesty

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.

Honesty in business dealings is more entirely urged by Islam than by some other religion. It is much emphasized by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His Condemnation of commercial dishonesty is reflected in this hadith:

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) happened to pass by a heap of eatables (corn). He thrust his hand in that (heap) and his fingers were moistened. He said to the owner of that heap of eatables (corn):

What is this? He replied: Messenger of Allah, these have been drenched by rainfall. He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Why did you not place this (the drenched part of the heap) over other eatables so that the people could see it? He who deceives is not of me (is not my follower). (Sahih Muslim 102, Book 1, Hadith 190)

A Muslim businessman should not lie or deceit rather he should be honest. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

It was narrated from Rifaa’ah ibn Raafi’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The merchants will be raised on the Day of Resurrection as evildoers, apart from those who fear Allaah and are honest.” 

(Tirmidhi 1210, al-Daarimi 2/247, Ibn Maajah 2146 and Ibn Hibbaan 11/276). 

Honesty in Business

2. Not  Cheating by giving less weight

According to Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, the forbidden type of cheating is when the owner of the goods knows something which, if the would-be purchaser knew about it, he would not pay that amount of money for it.  are: Cheating may appear as covering deficiencies in merchandise or others, for example, deluding individuals about the nature of an item, or its segments, amount, weight, fundamental features or its source. In the glorious Quran, Allah says,

 “Woe to Al‑Mutaffifoon (those who give less in measure and weight). Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, demand full measure, And when they have to give by measure or weight to (other) men, give less than due” (Quran 83:1)

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Some natural product sellers put a lot of leaves or papers in the base of the container of organic product, at that point they put the best organic product at the top of the container. In this way, they deceive the buyer and cheat him by influencing him to imagine that the container is full of top to bottom and that the entire natural product is of indistinguishable quality from that which he sees on the top. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:  “Whoever bears arms against us is not one of us, and whoever cheats us is not one of us.(Saheeh Muslim)

Although, there is numerous harmful effect of cheating as it is a way that prompts Hell and it makes one be denied of barakah in one’s riches and life. When a person accepts the guidance of Islam, it leads a person to truthfulness, which implies a man totally abstains from conning and manipulating.

 “And when you measure, give full measure and weight with a balance that is straight. It is a good practice and its end results are good too. (There is not only reward in the Hereafter but it also promotes good personal relations which in turn promotes trading)”.(Qur’an 17:35)

3. Earning through lawful means.

Earning through lawful means

It is said that one ought to recall in every case that, just as nasty food spoils our physical wellbeing, correspondingly, sustenance earned through unlawful means ruins our spiritual and good wellbeing. Allah says:

“Do not devour one another’s property wrongfully, nor throw it before the judges to devour a portion of other’s property sinfully and knowingly.” (Qur’ān, 2:188). In another verse, He(swt) says:

“Do not devour another’s property wrongfully unless it is by trade based on mutual consent.” (Qur’ān, 4:29)

These days our young generation is so lost in their career and business that they are unaware of Islamic mua’milat (business dealings). As in a hadith,

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be to him) said: “A time will come upon the people when they will not care as to how he gets his money whether legally or illegally.” (Bukhari)

He also said: “The body which consumes illicit (Haram) earning is a proper fuel for hellfire.” (Bukhari).

Halal is referred to goods and services which are permitted to consume and take benefit from it. Almost all of the goods and services are Halal except a small number of declared Haram. It is mentioned in this verse of Qur’an:

“Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’ān 5:3)

Moreover, Allah encourages people to eat Halal things and discourage eating Haram things. As Allah says:

“O you mankind! Eat of what is on earth, lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the devil, for he is to you an avowed enemy.” (Qur’ān 2:168)

Eating halal food through earning halal income takes one to Paradise.  Prophet Muhammad said,

“Whoever eats the good and pure and acts in accordance with the Sunnah, and the people are safe from his harm, he will enter Paradise.”(Tirmidhi)

Although, one should always keep in mind that a person won’t move from his place until he answers Allah where he earned his income from. Prophet Muhammad said,

“The feet of the son of Adam shall not move on the Day of Judgment until he is asked about five things: about his life and what he did with it, about his youth and how he led it, about his wealth and how he earned it and where he spent it, and what he did with what he knew.” (Tirmidhi)

4. Fairness and Justice

Fairness and Justic

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organisations [sic], backed by consumers, are actively engaged in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.” (Khan & Thaut, 2008)

Justice refers to just conduct of authority in support of right and reasonable dealing with each other regardless of faith. In business transactions, we should always stand for justice as a matter of principle an issue of guideline regardless of whether equity should side against us. All transactions which involve any kind of injustice or hardship to the buyer or the seller is disapproved in Islam.

One should not take the undue favourable position of the simplicity or numbness of the other. The Islamic moral framework that is upheld by The Qur’an and sunnah uncovers that justice must be done in every aspect of life even in business and marketing regarding weight, age, quality, pricing etc. This implies that dealer must be mild in all things without taking the side of his benefit and do fair and equal treatment to all customers. In Quran, Allah says,

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 4:135)

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

“[O Muhammad SAW] Say: My creator has commanded justice”. (Qur’an 07:29)

 “Indeed, Allah loves those who are just”. (Qur’an 49:09)

Oppression will come on the Day of Judgment in the form of darkness and punishment. In a Hadith, it is mentioned,

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Guard yourself from oppression, for oppression will be darkness on the Day of Resurrection. Guard yourself from greed, for greed destroyed those before you. It caused them to shed blood and to make lawful what was unlawful.”

(Muslim 2578)

5. Trustworthiness

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Trust is an ethical virtue and obligation incumbent on a Muslim in the execution of his affairs. It requires purity of intention and sincerity in work. Although, true Muslim trader should avoid fraud, deception, and other questionable means in selling his goods and services. It is required to disclose goodness and flaws of commodity before selling it to buyer in full satisfaction. The debtor should also pay the creditor on or before time. A trader should also not cheat or keep selling price too high. Hence, Traders must trust in every transaction made. The Prophet(sws) was the best of all people in repaying the debts.

Abu Rafi’ reports that the Prophet(saw) took a young camel on loan. When camels came to him in charity, he asked Abu Rafi’ to give the creditor a young she-camel. Abu Rafi’ pointed out that there was no young camel except for a four–year old camel of very good quality. The Prophet(saw) said: ‘Give him the best one, for the best amongst you is he who repays the rights of others handsomely’. (Muslim 3002)

Verily, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Verily, Allah is ever hearing and seeing. (Quran 4:58)

“O you who believe! Do not betray (trust) in Allah and His Messenger, and (do) not betray your trusts while you know (them)” (Quran 8: 27).

It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: “The honest, trustworthy merchant will be with the Prophets, siddeeqs and martyrs.” 

(Tirmidhi, 1209)