From the medieval, Muslims have been known as fore runners in business, science and other aspects of civilization. The principles of Islamic financial transactions span back to the 14th century. The early Muslims involved in trade and merchandise that created opportunities through the Mesopotamian colonies down to west Africa. This improved the financial strength of the Muslim community exponentially.
Here are some of the success tips harnessed by the early Muslims.
1. Set out with a good intention: Abubakr As-Sideeq (RA) was a wealthy merchant that conducted his business with integrity. He was the first man to attest to faith. When he became Muslim, he continued his business and was also calling to the path of Allah. Some eminent companions accepted Islam at this instance of Abu Bakr. Among which were: Uthman bin Affan, Zubair bin Awam Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas and Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah (RAM). These were men of status who later proved to be great assets for Islam. They were all from the ten whom Allah gave glad tidings of paradise from earth. Indeed this action of Abubakr earned him supreme success both in his lifetime and afterlife. In relation to business, start with a good intention, have a positive psyche, hit the ground running and aim for success in both worlds.
2. Indulge in ‘Halaal’ transactions: Allah the Exalted informs us in the noble Qur’an thus: “O you who believe! Eat not Riba (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.” (Q3:130).
Besides usury, Muslims also need to avoid any business related to alcohol, gambling, pornography and all that Islam forbids in entirety. Although, some of those businesses seem lucrative. However, there’s no success in aiding evil behind the scene. In addition, we’re forbidden from hoarding up goods in anticipation of scarcity. This is often done with the intention to make huge profit when the real scarcity occurs.
3. Build trust through sincerity: A good instance can be cited from the life of the messenger of Allah (PBUH). His sincerity with Khadijah was what earned her love for him. There should also be fairness in deals. While Islam doesn’t set profit limit, there’s also no need to exploit customer’s naivety. If there’s any fault in the good, its best one reveals it or fix it before sale. Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) told us: “He’s not one of us, the one who deceives us”. Another uncommon practice in recent times is adjustment of measures. It is so rampant that even gas stations do it in certain geographical locations. This is an act that is highly detestable as it incurs the wrath of Allah.
4. Steady cash flow process: Always adopt the principle of money tender for goods. In as much as you can, avoid incurring debts and welcoming debtors as this does little good to a running business. Also, exchange and swap deals are discouraged owing to complexity stemming from inferiority and superiority of items. Its advisable to sell goods once there’s an appreciable profit gained on the merchandise. This helps in preserving and recycling wealth.
5. Start little, expand large: One secret of business success is diversification and reinvestment of profits. A good example can be taken from the life of AbdurRahman bin Auf (RA). When he migrated to Madinah, his ansari brother donated half of his wealth to him. In return, Ibn Auf (RA) told him: “may Allah bless your wealth and family. Just show me the way to the market”. He set out by selling dried butter milk with just two dirhams. He later moved to selling horses and made more profits by adding the saddles to his stock. As Allah blessed him more, he expanded into agricultural produce and export trade. He was stupendously rich and he donated generously in charity.