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Business Ethics

Muslim DirectoryTrade and commerce have always been a part of Islam. From pre-Islamic days, the Holy City of Mecca has been the center of commercial activities. It was indeed the annual trading center of Mecca that provided Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) the forum for preaching Islam.

The early Muslims were not only engaged in trade but they went to distant lands in connection with business. Islam in fact reached East and West Africa, East Asia through the business people.

Islam encourages work in general, and trade and commerce in particular, Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) was himself engaged in this profession before he became a prophet. He was a successful businessman. Known for integrity, he bore the title, “The Trustworthy”,

The Quran states: “God has made business lawful for you” . In addition, the Qur’an includes rules not only for manners and hygiene, marriage and divorce, but it also lays down detailed rules for commerce and politics, interest and debts, contracts and wills, and industry and finance. Islam has permitted and in fact encouraged business. Islam lays out the basic principles of our economic behavior as consumers, producers and owners of wealth.

The Islamic principle in business is based on individual enterprise and correspondingly individual’s reward. It is basically based on benefiting the humanity while maintaining God’s orders.

In business relationships Islam strictly forbids any discrimination between people based on their religion, sex, or gender.

There is no basic conflict between good business practice and profit making in Islam. Islam looks at profit as secondary way to measure efficiency.

These are few Hadith and quotes from the Qurãn that should be used as guidelines when embarking on a business venture. This will assist in governing the Islamic code of ethics with relation to ones daily and business conduct. We, Muslim brothers and sisters have a responsibility to behave Islamicly in our business dealings as ALLAH(SWT) himself is a witness to our transactions.



We should be able to sacrifice everything we have. Allah warns in the Qurãn, “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 Qurãn 9:24]
Honesty and Truthfulness is important for Muslim business as there is a need to make a profit, a need to enhance the products or service during a ales presentation. Hence 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]
“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 Qurãn 4:29]
ALLAH emphasizes this point in the Qurãn. “Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly. [Al Qurãn 2:279]
“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 guise, and restrain your hands from injustice.” [Ubadah
Ibn al Samit, Ahmad, Bayhaqi]
The practice of bribery is strictly forbidden in Islam. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribes. [Abd Allah ibn Amr ibn Al As, Abu Dawud, Hadith no 3573]
FRAUD Islam strongly condemns all such practices in business transactions (Al-Ghashsh). The Messenger(pbuh) of Allah has commanded the believers not to indulge in cheating and fraudulent practices in business transactions “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 Qurãn 83:1-4]  

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