Seeking lawful earnings
February 01 2018 11:05 PM

Khutbah by Shaykh Saalih ibn Humaid

O People, fear Allah as regards to yourselves 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 the meaning of 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 – Shari’ah. It is something that is dictated by nature.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made the day for seeking livelihood and commanded people to walk among the slopes of the earth and eat of His provisions. He says which translates as: “He has known that there will be among you those who are ill, and others travelling through the land seeking the bounties of Allah and other fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it, meaning the Qur’an (Al-Muzzammil: 20). The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said in the book of Imam al-Bukhari: “Never has anyone eaten a better food than 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 Isa (‘alaihi sallam), that he saw a man and said: “What do you do?” He said: “I am worshipping.” 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 worshipper 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  by earning lawful provisions is a great honour and strength, so much so that the Khalifa Umar Ibnul Khatab (radhiallahu ‘anhu) said: “I would not prefer to die in a position better than 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 honour will be lost.”
Lawful earnings and sound wealth safeguard the religion, protect one’s honour, beautify one’s face, and result 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 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 objective of the messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘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 ta’ala 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 (sallallaahu ‘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 (radhiallahu ‘anhuma) said that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “If you have four things, then do not be concerned about what you miss out in this life: Preserving the trust, saying the truth, good manners, and chastity and purity in what you eat.”
Seeking lawful provisions and searching for it, is an obligation and a must. 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 Abubakr (radhiallahu ‘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 got the food. Abubakr asked: from where did you get it? He replied: “I acted as a soothsayer 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, Abubakr (radhiallahu anhu) put his hand in his mouth and vomited 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 have carried from this and what has mixed in my stomach.” (Bukhari).
Umar (radhiallahu 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.”
A righteous woman advising her husband: “O husband fear Allah, and the provisions you bring us, for we can persevere through hunger but we cannot stand and persevere through the punishment of hell fire.”
These are the righteous ones. They bring out whatever is unlawful or questionable out 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 (sallallaahu ‘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. His supplications 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.
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 eat from unlawful provisions, raise 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 Imam Al-Bukhari and An Nasa’i, he (sallallaahu ‘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, bring ease, enlighten the heart, energise the limbs and the body, rectify and reform the situation of the person, make the body healthy, and Allah accepts the duas (supplications) of such a person. 
Muslim brothers, the best way 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 (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “The servant will not be among the pious until he gives up things that are objectionable for things that are not objectionable and harmful”.
In Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “So he who guards against doubtful things, keeps his religion and his honour blameless, but he who falls into doubtful things, falls into that which is unlawful.” Narrated by An-Nu’aman Ibnu Bashir.

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