Do not let your Commerce divert you from the Remembrance of Allaah – Shaykh Saalih Fawzan

The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has forbidden us from certain types of business transactions due to what they contain from sinful means of earning and what is found in them from dangers to mankind and the taking of wealth unjustly. From these types of prohibited transactions are:

When the buying and selling keeps one preoccupied from performing worship , i.e. they take away from the time of the worship, such as when a person is busy buying and selling and holds back from praying in congregation in the masjid, to the point that he misses it or misses part of it. This is forbidden. Allaah says:

“O you who believe, when the prayer is called for on the Day of Jumu’ah, then rush to the Remembrance of Allaah and leave off the trading (commerce). That is better for you if you did but know. So when the prayer is finished then spread throughout the land and seek from Allaah’s Bounty and remember Allaah much in order that you may be successful.” [Surah Al-Jumu’ah: 9-10]

And Allaah says in another ayah:

“O you who believe! Do not let you wealth or your children divert you from the Remembrance of Allaah. And whoever does that, then such are the losers.” [Surah Al-Munaafiqoon: 9]

Take note of Allaah’s saying: “…then such are the losers.” He rules upon them that they are losers even though they may be wealthy, having amassed hoards of money even if they may have many children.This is because their wealth and their children cannot replace what they missed out on from the Remembrance of Allaah. So even if they gain a profit or earn income in this world, they will still be losers in every sense of the word. They can only be profiting in reality if they combine between these two good things. If they were to combine between the seeking of sustenance and the worship of Allaah, by buying and selling when it is time for buying and selling and attending the prayer when it is time for prayer, then they would have combined between the good of this life and the good of the Hereafter. And they would have acted on Allaah’s saying:

 “So seek your provision from Allaah and worship Him (alone)”

and His saying:

 “So when the prayer is finished then spread throughout the land and seek from Allaah’s Bounty.”

Therefore, commerce is of two types – the commerce of the worldly life and the commerce of the next life (Hereafter). The commerce of this life is with wealth and with earnings while the commerce of the next life is with righteous actions. Allaah says:

“O you who believe, shall I not direct you to a trade (i.e. commerce) that will save you from a painful punishment? Believe in Allaah and His Messenger and strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allaah with your wealth and your lives. That will be better for you, if you but knew! (If you do so), He will forgive you your sins and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in the gardens of ‘Adan (i.e. Paradise). That is indeed the great success. And He will also give you another (blessing), which you will love – help from Allaah and a near victory. So give glad tidings to the believers.” [Surah As-Saff: 10-13]

This is the immense commerce, which is profitable. So if the permissible commerce of this worldly life is attached to it, it becomes good upon good. But if a person limits his commerce to solely that of this worldly life while abandoning the commerce of the Hereafter, he becomes a loser, as Allaah says: “…then such are the losers.”[Surah Al-Munaafiqoon: 9]

Therefore, if a person were to turn his attention to performing worship and establishing the prayer, and if were to remember Allaah much, by doing what Allaah commanded him to do, Allaah would surely open the doors of sustenance for him. As a matter of fact, the prayer is a means for attaining sustenance (rizq), as Allaah says:

“And command your family with prayer and be patient in offering them. We are not asking you to provide Us with sustenance (rizq). (Rather), We will provide for you and the good end is for those who have Taqwaa.” [Surah TaHa: 132]

So the prayer, which some people claim takes time away from them seeking after the rizq (sustenance) and from buying and selling, is in fact the opposite of what they claim. It opens for them the door of provision, comfort and blessing. This is because the sustenance (rizq) is in the Hand of Allaah. So if you were to turn your attention towards remembering Him and worshipping Him, He would facilitate and open the door of sustenance for you. “And Allaah is the best of Providers.” [Surah Al-Jumu’ah: 11]

Allaah says, describing the worship of the believers:

“In houses (masaajid), which Allaah has ordered to be raised, and in which His name is mentioned. He is glorified therein during the mornings and the evenings. (They are) Men whom neither business nor commerce diverts them away from the Remembrance of Allaah, nor from performing the Prayer or giving the Zakaat. They fear a day when the hearts and the eyes will be overturned out of fear (of the horrors of the Day of Judgement).” [Surah An-Noor: 36-37]

In explanation of this ayah, some of the Salaf said: “They (the Sahaabah) would buy and sell, but when one of them heard the mua’dhin calling to prayer, and the scale was still in his hand, he would drop the scale and head out for the prayer.” So as stated before, the point is that if the buying and selling preoccupies you from performing your prayer, then this commerce is forbidden and futile. And the money earned from it is Haraam (unlawful) and filthy.

Source : From the al-ibaanah eBook – Forbidden Business Transactions : Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan hafidhahullaah