1) The importance of earning lawfully, its obligation and virtues.
2) The connection between pure earnings and the heart and belief.
3) Warning against ill gotten earnings and its effect on the community.
4) The importance of piety and abstaining from what is doubtful, and the situation of the Salaf in this regard.
O People, fear Allah as regards to your selves and to your families. Fear him concerning your deeds and to your wealth. Fear him with regards to what you eat and to what you save.
Allah says which translates as: "O Mankind eat from whatever is on earth that is lawful and good, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan indeed he is to you a clear enemy" (Al-Baqarah: 168).
Servants of Allah, earning provisions and seeking sustenance, is something that is commanded to be done by Islamic law - Shariah. It is something that is dictated by nature.
Allah has made the day for seeking livelihood and He has made for people by day prolonged occupation. He Subhanahu Wa Taala commanded them to walk among the slopes of the earth and eat of His provisions. He, Subhanahu Wa Taala connected in The Qur’an, the Mujahideen who fight for his cause, and others who travel through the land seeking His bounties. He says which translates as: "He has known that there will be among you those who are ill, and others traveling through the land seeking the bounties of Allah and other fighting for the course of Allah. So recite what is easy from it, meaning the Quran" (Al-Muzzammil: 20). The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said in the book of Al Imam Bukhari: "Never has anyone eating a better food that what he has procured through his manual work".
Dawood (Alaihi Sallam), the messenger of Allah, ate only from the earnings from his manual work. Some of the Salaf said: "Some of the sins are not expiated but through seeking lawful provisions".
From the narrations reported about Issa (Alaihi Salatu Wa Sallam), that he saw a man and said: "What do you do?" He said: "I am worshiping,” He said: "Who is providing for you?” he said: "My brother" he said: "Where is your brother?” he said: "In the field" He said: "Your brother is more of a worshiper to Allah than you".
In Islam, worship is not only by standing on you feet – meaning standing the for prayer, while someone else goes to seek your provisions. Rather you go seek the lawful earning and also worship.
Being independent of people dear brothers, by earning lawful provisions is a great honor and strength, so much so that the Khalifa Umar Ibnul Khatab (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said: "I would not prefer to die in a position better that a position where I am buying for my family or trading".
From the words of wisdom from Luqman, he said to his son: "O Son avoid poverty by lawful earnings. For no one becomes poor but will adopt three characteristics
1. Softness in his religion.
2. Weakness in his mind.
3. His manhood and sense of honor will be lost".
Lawful earnings and sound wealth, safe guards the religion, protects one’s honor, beautifies one’s face, and results in a strong position.
It is obvious from all this that seeking lawful provisions is desirable. For Allah is Tayyib, which implies goodness and kindness. He does not accept but what is good and lawful. Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala commanded the believers as He commanded the messengers, when He says which translates as: "O Messengers eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed I am knowing of what you do" (Al-Mu’minun: 51). Allah also says which translates as: "O You who have believed, eat from the good things which we have provided for you, and be grateful to Allah if it is indeed him that you worship" (Al-Baqarah: 172).
The greatest fruits of faith is the goodness of the heart, honesty, purity of the hand, and the soundness of the tongue. Good words are for good men and good men are objects of good words.
The most eminent objectives of the messenger Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is to make good - lawful and to make evil - prohibited, and on the Day of Resurrection the good consequences will be for good people.
Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala says which translates as: "The ones whom the angels take in death being good and pure, the angels will say: " Peace be upon you, enter paradise for what you use to do" (An-Nahl: 32).
In the book of Imam Tirmidhi, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "Whoever eats from good, and acts according to Sunnah and people felt safe from his evil, will enter paradise".
Also in the book of Imam Ahmad, Abdullah Ibnu Amri (Radhiyallahu Anhuma) said that the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "Four things if you have them, then do not be concerned about what you miss out in this life. Preserving the trust, saying the truth, well manners, and chastity and purity in what you eat".
Seeking lawful provisions and searching for it, is an obligation and a must for no slave's feet will be moved on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about his wealth. How he earned it? How he spent it? It is incumbent upon every Muslim male and female to look and search for lawful provisions and chaste and pure work, to eat of the lawful and spend on the lawful.
A good example is Abubakar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) who had a slave who brought him some food, which he ate. After which the slave asked him if he knew from where he had gotten the food. Abubakar asked: from where did you get it? He replied: "I acted as a sooth-sayer for a man in the pre-Islamic period, and not being good at it I deceived him. Today he met me and rewarded me for that soothsaying. From this you have eaten. Therefore, Abubakar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) put his hand in his mouth and vomited up all that he ate.
In another narration he said: "If it would not have come out except with my soul, meaning except with my death, I would have still forced it out. O Allah I ask you to excuse me for what my veins has carried from this and what has mixed in my stomach". (Bukhari).
In addition, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) drank some milk, which he liked. He asked the one who gave him the milk: "Where did you get this?" He said: " I passed by the camels of Zakaah while they was drinking water so I took from its milk". Umar put his hand in his mouth and vomited it up".
Moerover a righteous woman advising her husband saying: "O husband fear Allah, and the provisions you bring us, for we can persevere through hunger but we can not stand and persevere through the punishment of hell fire". These are the righteous ones. They bring out whatever is unlawful or questionable our of their stomachs, though it was something they had taken unknowingly from food or drink.
However, generations came after them, earning unlawful provisions, filling their stomachs and the stomachs of their families with it.
O Muslims, do you know of the man whom the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mentioned in a Hadith found in Sahih Al Bukhari: "He travels for long periods, his hair tousled, his feet dusty, raising his hands in supplications to the heavens saying, My Lord, My Lord, but he eats from unlawful earnings, he dresses from unlawful earnings, and he lives by unlawful earnings. He will never be answered". This man has symptoms of humility, and poverty and his situation invokes pity, compassion, and the desire to help him in his need. He has lost his way, his journey is long, and he feels like a stranger, he has lost everything. He has lost connection with his Lord and has deprived himself of the support of his Lord. So his duas (supplications) are not accepted. He ate from the unlawful, dressed from the unlawful and his lived on unlawful earnings, so his ‘hands’ (meaning his dua [supplication]), were rejected.
I ask you by the Lord, what is left of the slave of Allah if he loses his connection with his Lord, his dua (supplication) is rejected and he is denied The Mercy of Allah. Some of the Salaf said: "If you stand up in worship like a pole, meaning for a long time without giving up. It will not benefit you, until you watch for what goes in your stomach".
What is amazing O brothers, is the acts of some people who avoid lawful provisions in fear of getting sick, but they do not have enough fear of Allah to avoid unlawful earning.
Servants of Allah, eating from unlawful means blinds the insight, weakens the religion, hardens the heart, darkens the mind, prevents the body from worship, entraps one in this life and prevents one’s dua (supplication) from being accepted. Allah does not accept, except from the righteous.
Unlawful earnings and provisions have bad effects on the individual and the community. It removes blessings and causes the spread of diseases, disasters, financial crisis, unemployment, oppression, and disputes.
O Muslims, Woe to the ones who eats from unlawful provisions, raises their children and family by means of unlawful earnings. Their example is like the example of one who is drinking out of the seawater. The more they drink the thirstier they become. They drink as the drinking of a thirsty camel. They are not content with little provisions, nor do a lot of provisions satisfy them.
They enjoy unlawful provisions and they use twisted means - usury, gambling, stealing forcefully taking, and they give insufficient measures and weights. They conceal deficiency in items. They use magic, fortune telling, they usurp the property of orphans and minors, they lie when they swear, they deceive, they plan, they forge, they betray, - all twisted - dark ways.
In the Hadith found in the books of Al Imam Bukhari and An Nasa’i, he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "A time will come on people, when a man will not worry where his earning come from, lawful or unlawful", and in another narration he added: "Such is one whose duas (supplications) and are not accepted".
O Workers and officers, businessmen, consultants, brokers, Muslim men and Muslim women, it is a duty upon you to seek what is lawful and stay away for the doubtful. Preserve the rights of people. Finish your jobs completely. Fulfil your pledges and your contracts. Refrain from cheating, and lying and delaying and fear Allah.
Lawful provisions are satisfying, brings ease, enlightens the heart, energizes the limbs and the body, rectifies and reforms the situation of the person, makes the body healthy, and Allah accepts the duas (supplications) of such a person.
Muslim brothers, the best ways is to refrain from unlawful and illegal things is to stay away from doubtful things, and to persevere through devout, pious ways and means, when hesitant.
In the Hadith found in the books of Al Imam Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Baiyhaqi and others, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "The servant will not be among the pious until he gives up and leaves things that are objectionable for things that are not objectionable and harmful".
In Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "So he who guards against doubtful things, keeps his religion and his honor blameless, but he who falls into doubtful things, falls into that which is unlawful". Narrated by AnNu’aman Ibnu Bashir.
Al Hassan Basri (Rahimallah) said: "The righteous people continues to practice piety and righteousness until they give up many of the lawful things out of fear from committing the unlawful".
Abu Dardah (Radhiyallahu Anhu), said: "Perfection of piety is when the servant fears Allah even in something as small as an ants weight. Until he leaves and gives up some of what he sees as lawful out of fear that it might be unlawful. To put a barrier between lawful and unlawful things. Know that is Allah is merciful upon you and that doubtful things always makes the heart worried, unstable, concerned and in doubt. The pious and the devout people are the people who refrain from doubtful matters and partakes only of the matters that are sure and free from doubt".
So fear Allah, May Allah be merciful to you and I. Fear Allah in yourselves and with your families and guard yourselves from the fire; the fuel of which is people and stones and has angels harsh and severe, they do not disobey Allah in what he commands them, but do what they are commanded to do.