By Amina Salau
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
As Muslims, we know that Allah’s blessings are the most important means of attaining goodness in anything that we do. Simply put, when we ask Allah (swt) for his blessings, we ask him to not only increase the goodness, but to also make whatever we have useful and satisfying for us.
When Allah’s blessings increase in the business, even if the business is a small one, it becomes a source of good for the owner. Here are some of the ways that we can ask for blessings in our businesses.
Begin with and maintain the right intentions
A lot of business owners start the business purely for financial purposes: as a major source of income, or as a side gig to complete the primary source of income. Many people also start because they want to solve a problem in the society. Whatever your reason for starting a business is, as a Muslim, our intention when beginning anything should be to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt).
This intention should precede the start of our business. We should also ensure that as time goes on, we reexamine our intentions so that it does not stray from the original. When we start out intending to use something to seek the pleasure of Allah (swt), we invite His blessings into what we are doing.
“And your Lord says: Call upon me; I will respond to you…” (40:60) If you seek anything from Allah, supplicate for it. A business venture needs lots of supplications for blessings which come in the form of success, growth, and profits.
Abu Hurairah said that he heard Allah’s Messenger (sa) say: “Swearing (by the seller) may persuade the buyer to purchase the goods but that will be deprived of Allah’s blessing.” (Bukhari) In another hadith, it was narrated:
“A man displayed some goods in the market and swore by Allah that he had been offered so much for it which had not been offered. He did that in order to cheat a Muslim. On this occasion, the following verse was revealed: Indeed, those who exchange the covenant of Allah and their [own] oaths for a small price will have no share in the hereafter…” (3:77)” (Bukhari)
A person who wants increased blessings in business does not lie, no matter how seemingly harmless. Do not post pictures of goods that are not yours in a bid to attract customers. A good Muslim should be truthful, and this means to not cheat customers, sell fake items, or lie about the state of your goods or services.
Telling the truth when selling also has to do with the price of goods. Do not necessarily hike the price of goods and convince customers that they are getting a fair deal.
Refrain from selling forbidden items
Once, a man gave the Messenger of Allah (sa) some alcoholic wine. He refused it, and he prohibited its sale, saying that it is unlawful to sell or consume alcohol. (Ibn Majah; sound) A Muslim business person should stay away from selling anything that is unlawful in Islam. This will count as disobeying the One from Whom you are seeking blessings.
Stay away from forbidden practices
It is not enough to stay away from selling forbidden goods. We also have to watch out for business practices that are not allowed in Islam. Interest on loans and savings (usury) and bribery are two such business practices. Abdullah ibn Mas‘ood narrated: Prophet Muhammad (sa) cursed the one who accepted usury, the one who paid it, the witness to it, and the one who recorded it.” (Abu Dawood; sound)
Give charity gladly
Giving charity out of what we have makes Allah (swt) give us more, as narrated in a hadith by Asma. In this hadith, the Prophet (sa) said: “Give (in charity) and do not give reluctantly lest Allah gives you a limited amount; do not withhold your money lest Allah withholds it from you.” (Bukhari) If we want more blessings for our businesses, we should cultivate the habit of giving more. Charity does not have to be in form of money, neither does it have to be so much that it burdens our own selves. The most important thing when giving charity is to be sincere, discreet, and habitual.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed: If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (14:7)
How would you feel if you did someone a favour and they did not acknowledge it? You will probably not do those favours in the future. Even though Allah (swt) may not withhold His blessings because we were not thankful, expressing gratitude to Him for what he has already done for us is a good way to invite more blessings into our lives and businesses.
Amina Salau is a freelance writer who is passionate about women’s issues in Islam
© IIPH 2016