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Day to Day Business Ethics and Manners

Day to Day Business Ethics and Manners

by Riwaya

    Ibn al- Jazari reported: Ibn al Mubarek, may Allah have mercy on him, said, I sought manners for thirty years and I sought sacred knowledge for twenty years. The righteous predecessors would seek manners first, then seek knowledge. Ghayat al - Nihayat 1/446

    The early scholars recommend that we spend at least thirty years understanding the etiquettes of good Akhlaaq (ettiquettes) and adab (manners) before starting their scared knowledge.  This applies to all our daily affairs or mu’malaat. Remnants of such etiquettes exist in other aspects of our day to day life, but it seems when the matter is of a commercial nature then we hit a problem. 

    The global Muslim market was estimated at $2.1 Billion, the halal market size is expected to reach $3 Billion by 2023. Despite this phenomenal progress one thing remains clear whilst we have excelled in Talim (knowledge) be it secular or Islamic, Tarbiyah (manners) has sadly fallen short. Islam is a full and comprehensive way of life and so it naturally includes commercial transactions. 

    Recently a friend of mine agreed to tutor two young boys - the friend was a single parent and was dependent on the income to sustain herself.  Tutor and tutee agreed to start after the boys returned from holidays. In the interim, the tutor refused other students in order to uphold their side of the agreement.

    Weeks went passed and the tutee neither returned calls nor responded to contact. Blue ticking messages but never replying to them. A simple sorry but we do not wish to continue would have sufficed after all circumstances can change. Yet the mother of three young Huffaz (memorisers of Quran) did not deem it necessary to do so.  This is a small example, but it does highlight an underlying issue. In this situation, a simple text message would have removed all doubt from the matter. Sadly, very often this inconsiderate approach is prevalent in the world of ‘halal’ commerce. Whether its poor customer service, promises which are never kept or goods or services which fall below standard far from the necessary Ihsaan required in Islam. Perhaps this reflective time should be used to clean our business and return to our Quran and sunnah as guidance for our worldy and ‘other’ worldy transactions. Our beloved Prophet (saw) a trader by profession left countless examples in the Seerah (his biography) of excellent work ethic which undoubtedly impressed all those around him as well as well becoming a source of barakah to his Rizq (provision).

    The trustworthy, honest Muslim merchant will be with the martyrs on the day of Resurrection.

    It was narrated that Hakeem ibn Hizaam may Allah be pleased with him said the messenger of Allah pbuh said: the two parties to a transaction have the option of cancelling it) until they part. If they are honest and disclose will be blessed, but if they lie and conceal defects the blessings will be erased.

    (Narrated by al Bukhari 1973) and (Muslim 1532)

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