By Dr. Rafik Issa Beekun
Some general guidelines govern the Islamic code of ethics with relation to both one’s daily life and business conduct. Muslims are required to behave Islamically in their business dealings because Allah Himself is witness to their transactions:
In whatever business you may be, and whatever portion you may be reciting from the Quran and whatever deed you (mankind) may be doing - We are Witnesses thereof when you are deeply engrossed therein. (Quran-10:61).
Here are some key business principles that Muslims should follow.
• Be Honest and Truthful.
Honesty and truthfulness are qualities which a Muslim businessman should develop and practise himself. Truth, for example, has a self-reinforcing effect. In a hadith reported in Sahih al Bukhari:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man continues to tell the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood(Dusta) leads to al fujur (i.e., wickedness(maksiat), evil-doing(ditimpa masalah), and al fujur (wickedness) leads to the Hell Fire, and a man may continue to tell lies till he is written before Allah, a liar.
Honesty is especially important for Muslim business persons. The need to make a profit and the temptations to enhance the attributes(sifat2) of their product or service during a sales pitch may distract(menganggu/mgalih phatian) them to exaggerate(mpebesar2kan). This is why the Prophet said:
The merchants will be raised on the Day of Resurrection as evil-doers(zalim), except those who fear Allah, are honest and speak the truth.
• Keep Your Word.
In a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet is reported to have said:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “If you guarantee me six things on your part, I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something,...