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On Monetary Affairs

As most commentators agree, what this Tradition seeks to emphasise is that after the testimony that there is no deity save God, and Mohammad is the Apostle of God, and Namaz, Roza etc., which are the fundamental tenets of Islam, it is the earning of one’s livelihood through honest means and by engaging oneself cleanly in a trade or profession that comes first. Whoever is heedlees of it incurs the danger of succumbing to the temptation of earning money or acquiring wealth from illegitimate sources, and, then, his end, in the Hereafter, will be what has been indicated in the Quran and the Traditions with regard to those who live on unclean income. Again, to perform a duty enjoined by God, obviously, is an act of worship, and the bondsman who does so is deserving of the Divine reward a person becomes entitled to on doing anything he is required to do by the Lord. Hence, to strive towards earning one’s livelihood through honest means is virtually identical to worship and worthy of Divine recompense. What good tidings does it contain, indeed, for the conscientious traders, artisans, workers and peasants who make a clean living! It may, however, be remembered that the emphasis in this Tradition is on the seeking of a clean livelihood and not merely on making an income. The object of this saying is to warn against everything in connection with subsistence that is forbidden and unlawful.

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