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 trustees 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 that you do will make you work under constant surveillance and keeps your performance at its best while following God’s defined conduct.
(Quraan 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.
(Quraan 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.
(Quraan 65:1): And whoever puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.
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.
(Quraan 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.
(Quraan 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.
(Quraan 4:29): Oh ye who believe! Eat not up each other’s property by unfair and dishonest means.”
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 Muhammad (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”.
(Quraan 17:70): Respect and honour all human beings irrespective of their religion, colour, race, sex, language, statua, property, birth, profession/job and so on.
(Quraan 26:215): And lower your wings to those who follow you of the believers.
1. Islam has not permitted producing, selling, and purchasing of goods, which are prohibited in Islamic law like Alcohol or 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 quarrels or litigation. The Prophet of Islam has forbidden transactions involving unspecified quantity, acceptance of money for fish in the river or bird in the air as there is an element of uncertainty. Similarly, the Prophet of Islam has prohibited the 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 a 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 a 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. This is a shared value in all religions.
The Quraan is explicit about it and says, “God has permitted for you trade and prohibited interest” (2: 275).
The Bible says: “and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High” Luke 6:35.
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 buy a house for example? Islamic or Shariah financing works 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 of the lease home will be reassessed every year, and the rent will be adjusted accordingly.
“Islam” the religion, has almost 1.5 billion followers in the world. It is not only a religion but also a complete way of life, that’s why it is called as “Deen”. Islam does not only tell us about worshiping one God and offering prayers but it tells each and every thing related to life. It teaches us how to live, how to act, how to behave with elders and how to behave with young ones, how to eat, how to drink, etc etc. In short it tells each and everything related to human’s life that’s why it is called as “Deen for whole humanity”.
And The Almighty ALLAH sent Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to show us practically how to act on teachings of Islam. ALLAH sent Quraan on the Prophet and Prophet explained it with his sayings (Ahadees). The Holy Quraan, the most comprehensive divine book of the world has the solution to every problem. It’s a vast source of knowledge. It tells us about history, Geography, Astronomy, Biology, and Management etc. There is almost every kind of knowledge in it. Many people say that its exaggeration to say that The Holy Quran has Knowledge of almost of every kind my answer to their compliment is that Just like an Ocean has many valuable pearls in it but only those can find who are trained divers. If any one who doesn’t know diving starts saying that there is no pearl in Ocean then it is the lack of knowledge of that person. Similarly, any one who is not good enough to derive valuable teachings from The Holy Quraan cannot say that this book does not have teachings. This is the lack of Knowledge of that person. That’s why in Holy Quraan ALLAH says: “This is a book with verses basic or fundamental further explained in detail, from ones who are wise and well acquainted. ”So, it shows that this Holy book has some precious pearls. To find these pearls we just have to understand it thoroughly.
Management that is considered to be one of the most important subjects of modern times is also derived from the knowledge that Quran has given us. Many of its principles and theories that are made in 16th or 17th century are derived from the knowledge that The Holy Quran has given us 14 centuries ago. Now let’s look at the Islamic concept of management.
Management today is defined as “Getting things done through others.” Following this concept, A Manager is now understood as the person who works through others. A good manager, therefore, is a person who not only knows what is to be done but exactly how to get it done. The Holy Quran confirms:“…We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others…”[43:32]
This verse from Surah Al-Zakahraf reveals in a nutshell as to why God raised some people over others in ranks that being, that they can get work done from them. This verse (43:32) encompasses the entire philosophy and wisdom of modern management. It emphasizes, in essence, the creation of appropriate hierarchies and the division of responsibilities subject to individual capabilities. It basically implies the creation of organizational charts from the top management to the lower management. It stresses the division of work and responsibilities according to individual capabilities.
If we ponder over the definition of Management, we will get to know that points discussed in that had already been given by Holy Quran 1400 years ago. Now let’s look at the definition, “Management is coordinating work activities so that they are completed effectively and efficiently with and through other people.”
If we look at the word “Efficiently” it means that proper usage of resources and less wastage of them. This is one of very important aspect of management. Wastage, either in terms of: material, human capital, energy, machine utilization, or processing time, creates inefficiencies resulting in the increase of costs and consequent decrease in profits. The Holy Quran has spoken against wastage and lavish expenditure in following words:
“And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer. But waste not (your wealth, time, health, Talents, opportunities etc) in the manner of a spendthrift.” [17:26]
“For the wasteful are the brothers of Satan; and Satan is ungrateful to his Lord.”[17:27]
These are the verses of Surah Bani-Israel and in this verse Islam has given Muslims the golden rule of not wasting any thing. Following these principles an organization can be able to produce best quality products at the least possible cost. A Muslim must also strive to eliminate any wastage around him, at home, workplace, or in society even when faced with resistance. A very common example would be to control the use of water, food, and electricity according to the needs. Wastage of resources such as material in the workplace, man-hours, machine-hours.
Human potential and time should also be minimized. While 100% elimination is not possible we should still try to get as close to it as possible, and this can only be achieved through continuous struggle (Jihad). Muslims would find this easier to do than non-Muslims because they have been explicitly instructed by the Holy Quran. Continuous striving is the only way available to achieve minimum possible wastage or maximum possible efficiency, which is nothing but Jihad in Arabic.
The Holy Quraan confirms this fact: “You who believe! Have fear of Allah and seek the means of drawing near to Him and strive in His Way, so that hopefully you will be successful.” [5:35]
Obedience and respect for authority is the basic fundamental requisite for taking work from others and getting it done. Working through people actually presupposes the willingness of people to obey. It is therefore necessary for those people who are given he job to complete a task to obey all legal and reasonable orders and perform it responsibly, as Holy Quran instructs: “Obey Allah and His Messenger and those in position of authority among you.”[4:59]
This verse is a commandment and not a plea. To be a good Muslim, it is incumbent upon the believer to observe the ruling with willingness and honesty. When this spirit of voluntary obedience is instilled in the mind of an employee, the scope of the hierarchy as envisaged by the verse is strengthened. Needless to say, without the spirit of voluntary obedience among those who work, the creation of hierarchy will not serve any purpose.
The modern world realized the importance of joint consultation (Shura) and teamwork when the Japanese based its management style on it and proved to the world of its effectiveness.
The Holy Quraan advocates for this concept:“…And those who do their work through mutual consultation.”[42:83] “…Pass over (their faults), and ask for (God’s) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then, when you have taken a decision put your trust in God, for God loves those who put their trust (in Him).” [3:159]
In the verse [3:159] ALLAH is saying to His beloved Prophet to consult with others and then take a decision and after taking decision don’t take stress just trust ALLAH. This ayah has beautifully stated not only the about teamwork and joint consultation but also about decision-making. A very simple and a beautiful rule for decision-making. Just consult, decide and leave rest of things on ALLAH.
And in the 2nd part of the verse ALLAH said He loves those who put their trust on ALLAH. It’s a very easy way to ease your nerves after taking a very difficult decision. You have two options either to worry about the consequences of the decision or put your trust in ALLAH. Definitely second option is better one. So, every body would like to choose the second one. That is the reason why ALLAH says that He loves human 70 times more than a mother.
The principle of equal opportunities postulate that all members of an organization shall have equal and fair chances to grow, contribute, and be rewarded accordingly. The Holy Quraan emphasis this golden rule: “O people We created you from a single male and female couple and then divided you in nations and tribes so that you may recognize one another. “Verily the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous of you.” [49:13]
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) expounded the verse for us on the occasion of 'Khutba at Hajjat-ul-Widaa', (The last Friday sermon by him) in the following words: “In the light of this Quranic verse no Arab has any superiority over a non-Arab nor does any non-Arab have any superiority over an Arab. Neither black is superior to white nor white is superior to black. Of course, if there is any criterion of superiority and respectability in the sight of Allah, it is Taqwa (righteousness).”
1. MAKE PROFIT THE SECONDARY AIM
The first goal of a Muslim business should not be cashing in on a Muslim market. It should be pleasing Allah and establishing Halal as a way of life.
Seeking profit is not a bad aim, but it should be secondary.
By making Allah the goal, and implementing Islamic rules of honesty, truthfulness, and good behavior with customers, Insha Allah, any Muslim business is bound to boom.
2. BE TRUTHFUL AND HONEST
The Prophet has said the the honest and truthful businessman will be in Jannah amongst the Prophets the Truthful and the martyrs. Honesty and truthfulness are essential in this business. And when it comes to Muslim businesses, it means building a relationship of trust with customers, which cannot be done with lies and deceit.
3. BE OPEN TO SCRUTINY AND CRITICISM
While this may be a bitter pill to swallow, being ready to have your product or business scrutinized for cleanliness or the “Halalness” of products indicates a willingness to work with the consumer. This serves to build trust.
For those business people who may feel hesitant or downright angry with a Muslim consumer for even asking about the acceptability of a given product in their store, remember that this is the right of the consumer.
Remember, ultimately, we are all responsible to Allah. If a business is cheating, Allah will eventually expose those involved.
As well, a Halal business is not just one person's profit-making machine. It is also an institution of the Muslim community. Therefore, it must be ensured that it meets not just state and federal standards, but most importantly, the Quraan and Sunnah's standards.
4. BE CLEAN!
This is especially important. Not being careful of this means not only lost customers, but also possible sicknesses from the germs in the blood.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Cleanliness invites towards faith (Iman) and faith leads its possessor to paradise." (Tabarani)
This cleanliness, by the way, does not just apply to those areas of a store a customer will see. It includes equipment and storage areas as well.
5. AIM FOR A HIGHER GOAL
Don't just aim for one business. Think big. Improve the inventory of your business, the types of items in it, and strive to find ways to improve service and profit margins.
As well, look into the possibility of pooling resources within the community or with other shareholders to expand the business. Doing this will also reduce overhead costs and in the long run, the price of products for your consumers.
6. WORK WITH OTHERS IN YOUR MARKET
Yes. This can be very difficult. Finger pointing, accusations and nasty rivalry often characterize Muslim businesses aiming to market the same products. But this is not the way a Muslim economy should work.
Brotherhood in the Ummah cannot be forgotten. Consider forming an association of businessmen, that can sit down together share experience, and learn to cooperate. This cooperation could, in the long run, benefit the consumer, and in turn the businesses themselves.
One example of where cooperation can take place in the Halal meat industry is by having all grocers or butchers slaughtering the animals in one place, Instead of doing it the way it's been done since the beginning: every individual or couple of retailers slaughtering their own animals.
By slaughtering in one place, costs are reduced, and in turn, the Muslim consumer pays less for the same product.
7. DO NOT SELL THE HARAM
While there are more “Muslim” businesses sprouting up, not everything they sell is Islamic.
It is not difficult to find Muslim owned businesses selling pork, alcohol, pornographic magazines, and renting these kinds of movies on the one hand, while selling Halal items on the other.
Of a less offensive nature, perhaps, are those businesses which sell Halal products but rent or sell cultural (Hindi-Regional) movies. While these movies may seem harmless in comparison to those of the pornographic variety, what must be remembered is that when Muslim parents and elders indulge in watching such cultural films, their children can very easily find an excuse to watch their own “cultural” films (i.e. American-Hollywood).
This requires efforts on the part of Muslim business owners to wipe out the Haram and ensure the Halal in their businesses.
To close let us 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 principles:
>>> 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.
The Pink Mosque Photo by Faruk Kaymak on Unsplash