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Muslims Business Ethics
- As Muslims, we have to adhere to ethical standards, not only in business but also in all aspects of life. Both business and ethics are interrelated.
- As Muslim must be honest and upright in his business and monetary dealing. Also the true Muslim should keep his word and fulfill his promises, shun fraud and avoid deceit and perfidy, encroach not upon the rights of others, nor take part in wrongful litigation. Also a good Muslim does not give false testimony, and abstains
from making unlawful money as from usury and graft. According to Islam whoever is not free from these vices, is not a true believer but a renegade and a worthless transgressor.
- Major principles of fair business dealings
According to Islam, the following things must be avoided to commence fair business.
1. No fraud or deceit, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) is reported to have said, “When a sale is held, say, There’s no cheating”
2. Sellers must avoid making too many oaths when selling merchandise. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) is reported to have said, “Be careful of excessive oaths in a sale. Though it finds markets, it reduces abundance.”
3. Mutual consent is necessary. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) is reported to have said, “The sale is complete when the two involved depart with mutual consent.”
4. Be strict in regard to weights and measures. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said, “When people cheat in weight and measures, their provision is cut off from them.” He told the owners of measures and
weights, “You have been entrusted with affairs over which some nations before you were destroyed.”
5. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) forbade monopolies. “Whoever monopolizes is a sinner.”
6. Free enterprise, the price of the commodities should not be fixed unless there is a situation of crisis or extreme necessity.
7. Hoarding merchandise in order to increase the prices is forbidden.
8. Transaction of forbidden (Haram) items, such as intoxicants, is forbidden.
- Fraud and dishonesty in business
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) has stressed the importance of honesty in most of his sermons, saying, “Remember, there is no faith in him who is not trustworthy; there is no place for him in religion who cares not for his pledged word or promise. He (PBUH) also said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three, when he speaks, he is false, when he promises, he fails; and when he is trusted, he plays false.”
Condemning those who cheat in business Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has said, “He who cheats is not of us. Deceitfulness and fraud are things that lead one to Hell.” Once Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) came upon a heap of corn in the market of Madinah and thrust his hand onto it. His fingers felt damp. On being asked, the trader replied that rain had fallen upon it. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) observed, “Why did you not then keep (the wet portion of) it above the dry corn, so that men may see it? He, who deceives, is not one of us.” Thus traders who deceive by showing to customers a false sample or by concealing from them the defects of the product they’re selling are not true Muslims in the judgment of Allah Prophet (PBUH) and, they are going to end up in hell. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “The seller must explain to the buyer the defects, if any, in the quality of the article offered for sale. Should this not be done, the seller will permanently be caught
in the Wrath of Allah.” In short, all manner of deceit and dishonesty in business is prohibited in Islam. The Holy Prophet has expressed his strong dislike for those who do so.
- Bribery in business transactions
Bribery and usury, although might be practiced by mutual consent and agreement, are totally prohibited and forbidden. Those who are guilty of them have been condemned by Allah and His Prophet (P.B.U.H). Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “The curse of Allah rests on him who offers loan on usurious terms, and on him who receives, and on those who are witnesses to the transaction, and on the writer who writes the deed thereof.” Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) said, “If a person made a recommendation for anyone in a just manner and gratified party gave him something as a gift (in return for it) and he accepted it, then he committed a grave error (meaning that it, too, is a form of bribery).”
Usurpation of another’s property by force or fraud or dishonest litigation is even worse. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) made this clear, as he says, “Whoever occupies land belonging to another unjustly will be sunk into the ground along with the plot of land on the Doomsday till he reaches the lowest layer of the earth.” And “He who acquires the property of a Muslim unjustly by taking a false oath (before an Officer) is debarred by Allah from entering Paradise and the Fire of Hell is made inevitable for him.” Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) again, is reported to have warned a person who was very fond of entering into litigation with others in these strong words, “Remember, he who will obtain the property of another by swearing a false oath will appear as a leper before Allah (on the Day of Judgment).”
And, again he (P.B.U.H) said, “Whoever laid a claim on a thing that was not his is not of us.”