Islam and Business Ethics
Islam places its highest emphasis on ethical values, and the moral codes taught by the Quran and demonstrated by Muhammad are numerous and comprehensive; therefore, it is important to define what ethics is. Ethics may be defined as a set of moral principles that distinguishes the differences between right and wrong (Renaissance.com on ‘Business Ethics’). Because the decisions people make are not always black and white, especially in business, the Quran specifically identifies the issues that may arise in a person’s life. Generally, the Quran does not prohibit or replace existing practices, but rather consists of regulations or moral guidance that limits certain behavior. Islam gives complete freedom to economic enterprise, which corresponds to its encouragement of hard work to earn one’s living. However, this freedom is restricted by set of commercial rules, and requires Muslims in the profession to practice it with a sense of responsibility.
Muhammad, the prophet of God, was chosen at age 40 to be His last prophet and messenger at the age of 40, and before that he had been very involved in commerce. He had a good reputation as a hardworking, honest, and successful businessman (Theislamicworkplace.com on ‘Business Ethics’). Because Muslims follow the Sunna, the normative behavior of the prophet, good business is encouraged in Islam. The Quran specifically addresses certain behavior in business transactions that must be demonstrated and also behavior that is prohibited. The Quran states that a person should “not devour one another’s property wrongfully, nor throw it before the judges in order to devour a portion of other’s property sinfully and knowingly” (2:188) (Renaissance.com on ‘Business Ethics’). It prohibits people to attain property illegally and states that one should only attain property through legitimate means. What is legitimate and was is not is clearly defined in the Quran; however, it identifies that...
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