Thursday, January 15, 2015

Earning a living?





عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ مَا أَكَلَ أَحَدٌ طَعَامًا قَطُّ خَيْرًا مِنْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ مِنْ عَمَلِ يَدِهِ

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "No one has ever eaten food better than earning from the actions of his hand (working)." (Al-Bukhari).



Here we go again! Hmm, this seems to a common theme. For some reason I coming across people who are not just willing to work and not really concerned about working. They would rather take money from the government and their relatives. 


Neither of these things should be a goal in one's life! When I grow up I do not work and sponge off the government! The reality is that the majority people work and only the minority do not; some however choose not to. Maybe because they have other means of supporting themselves like investments or whatever. But the person who does not work because he is too lazy to work needs to be told off in the sternest manner and his head shaven! But for some that might not help.



Prophets


The Prophets and Messengers (may Allah send them peace and blessings) are the exemplars of mankind in all aspects of life. So when we look at them we can see many examples that we can follow. Some were traders, soldiers, farmers, sheppard's and all were teachers etc.


 أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: كان زكريا عليه السلام نجاراً

رواه مسلم.

The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Zakariyah (the Prophet), upon him peace, was a carpenter."  (Muslim).


Our beloved Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was a shepherd working to help his family out and latter on in life he was trader; in the business of his uncle. Ali (may Allah ennoble his face) used to bring water to people in Medinah. Most of the companions were traders if they were from Mekkah and those from Medinah were mostly farmers.


If the prophets (upon them all peace) are the best of mankind worked; do you think that you are better than them and do not have to work? They worked and so should you. 


If you are trying to find work and are not having much luck then know I am not referring to you all. I'm referring to those who are able to work and simply chose not to. 


The greatest Islamic empire was the Ottoman empire without any doubt. The caliphs were leaders of millions of Muslims covering a vast empire and yet each leader had a trade. They had guilds and were craftsmen and so forth. We are not better than these people.




Hadith


 عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ وَإِنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام كَانَ يَأْكُلُ مِنْ عَمَلِ يَدِهِ أخرجه البخاري


The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) said, "Dawood, upon him peace, used to eat from the actions of his hand." (Al-Bukhari).


The Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) once sold some of his own items to give a man sufficient funds to buy an axe so he could become a woodcutter. Thus becoming independent, see the brilliance of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) in this matter. Rather than make the man dependent on handouts, he made him independent.




Man-like


A man's worth is in his work. If he does not work, even though he can, he does not have the value. Many women work and earn more than their male counterparts. Especially when their husbands are from Pakistan and can only do low paid labour. There are women who are more educated in the west and earn more than their partners. This is quite embarrassing for many males. They are insulted and even feel that their manhood's are blighted. In most cases the gap cannot be breached because they cannot re-educate themselves. So just accept it as it is and move on.


Women are more beneficial to their families that the men are. They are like men or worth more! Because the women will come home after working all day to cook and clean. Women have the same status as a man would and are more worthy of being called a man than lazy man asleep in his bed at dinner time.




Take aim


As for those who work and do their best for their families you are like gold; as far as I am concerned. You are doing a brilliant job and I salute you. Be you male or female; you are doing brilliantly.




Law


As far as a man is concerned with his wife, kids, parents too old to work and family he has to provide for them (Quduri). If he does not he is sinful and you can read up about this in the  books of Islamic law. This is in terms of housing, clothing and food etc. So the upkeep of the wife is upon the husband. She on her part has to respect her husband's wishes because of it. Though it was part of European culture for both genders to say that they 'love, honour and obey' their spouse. The man on his part should never take advantage of the weakness of his wife. More can be read about this about the treatment of women post; click here.


In any case women have more rights to be fulfilled than then the men. He has a lot to do for her that she does not for him. But that a totally different subject.




A honest day's pay


There is nothing better than doing an honest days work for a honest day's pay. In fact it's one of the best things one can do. It's also great for the nafs because it brings it down a few pegs and keeps it busy.


If you allow your nafs to be unoccupied it will rebel and you start sinning. Working is one of the ways of keeping the nafs tired so it does not have the energy to commit sins!


If you are not working then the least you should be doing is the prayer. You have no excuse is missing it and nor is their excuse even if you are working.




Opportunities


If you need other skills then seek them. If you want to try a few matters then pray Istikhara prayer and you'll find the right one open to you and the others closed. Unless, in the unlikely event of both being open for you. Keep trying to look for work and make use of your time with acts of worship. We hope that you have all the success in the world looking for lawful income.


So now we vented our spleen all over the place. We hope that its been useful for you to ponder and reflect. Peace!