THE IBÂDAH OF A BREADWINNER, SCHOLAR AND RULER
For a breadwinner to work and earn halâl income, in order to fill the
bellies of his children and dependents, is more virtuous than other bodily
forms of optional ibâdah. However, even at such times, one should not
become unmindful of dhikr. Just as a lover of a beautiful woman is always
engrossed in the thoughts of his beloved, even though his limbs are
engaged in some other necessary occupation, similarly keep your heart
engaged in the thoughts of Allâh طائلة, even though your limbs are engaged
in other activities.
Sheikh Abul Hasan Khirqâni رحمه الله used to earn by manual
labour. He would say, “We have been granted three things i.e. hands,
tongue and heart. The hand is for earning a living, the tongue is for
speaking, explaining and teaching people, and the heart is solely for
Allâh طائلة .” We will suffice on this with regards to outwards actions.
Insha-Allah, this will be sufficient for those who desire to practice.
Ahadith on Earning
Ka`b ib `Ujrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man passed by Nabi صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم . When the Prophet’s صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم Companions saw his strength and energy, they said, “if only he used such strength in the cause of Allah.”
So, Nabi صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم commented:
If he is out to win bread for his little kids, then it is in the cause of Allah;
if he is out to earn a livelihood for [his] aged parents, then it is in the cause of Allah;
ِand if he is out to make himself content (that is, to protect himself from ill gains or prohibited -desires), then it is in the cause of Allah.
But if he is going out to show off and boast about (his strength), then that will be in the cause of the devil.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)
The Best Meal!
Al-Miqdam (رحمه الله) narrated that the Prophet (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم ) said:
“Nobody has ever eaten a better meal than that which one has earned by working with one’s own hands. The Prophet of Allah, Dawood, used to eat from the earnings of his manual labor.” (Al-Bukhari)
Az-Zubbair ibn Al-`Awwam (رحمه الله) narrated that the Prophet (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم said:
“It is better for any of you to take his rope, (cut some wood from the forest,) carry it over his back and sell it, thereby Allah preserves his dignity, rather than beg people who may give him or not.” (Al-Bukhari)