Lie, Cheat and Steal. The life of the last Prophet, Holy Prophet (PBUH) (S.A.W.) is a perfect example for people to follow as a guiding light. No matter what religion or school of thought you belong to if you try walking in his shoes, it would be a righteous path. Islam teaches us to be honest, transparent and not to inflict harm on any living organism. The ethical route should be taken in all aspects of our life, whether its friends, family, education, career etc. The world we live is not as hospitable towards Muslims as it was before. Now is the time when we need to be exemplary specimens, show people that Islamophobia is a propaganda against a loving and peaceful group of people. The issue is when something is bad people would generalize and consider the rest to be bad, and the bad apples drag the good ones down the drain. Mohammed (PBUH) (S.A.W.) had started trading and commerce prior to him being declared a Prophet at the age of 40. He always treated all his stake holders with respect, dealt with them honestly and never cheated anyone. Sadly in today’s world the teachings of how to carry out business have gone in vain, monetizing has led people astray and they would lie, cheat and steal (Haram) rather than the other way around (Halal).
“The truthful and honest merchant is associated with the Prophets, the upright and the martyrs” (Al-Tirmidhi). “God shows mercy to a person who is kindly when he sells, when he buys and when he makes a claim” (Al-Bukhari). Moral values, ethics, honesty and fairness in all dealings is preached in Islam. There are rules which need to be followed to make our earnings Halal and blessed. The Prophet (SAW) prescribed business men and women not deal in any fraudulent activities; the transaction should be legitimate and agreed upon by both the parties. A seller is required not to oversell or exaggerate the benefits of the commodity in question to secure the sale. People who sell goods which have to be weighed need to be extra careful and make sure the customer is not paying more than what the scale shows. Fixing prices of goods is also not allowed, unless it becomes a necessity to fix it and also monopolies are not allowed. Stocking up commodities to create a shortage and make extra money eventually is also not allowed, and dealing of inferior goods such as alcohol is strictly prohibited (Haram) (Muzammil, n.d.)
Islam has given us an outline on how to carry out our dealings: the do’s and don’ts of Business. If followed properly, if the earnings are even less the magnitude they hold and the content you feel compensates for it. Pakistan, being an Islamic country should be following these principles. Well the truth is these rules just sound good in theory but no one practices them. I apologies for the generalization, but we all fall prey or are part of this corrupt society. I feel that no business is completely running on the Islamic rules and regulations, some discrepancies always exist.
I have raised my kids with halal earning and that’s what I feel proud of..
May God keep me on right path. https://t.co/z008GWrQZE
— Rauf Klasra (@KlasraRauf) June 23, 2016
Let’s take an instance of a person buying or selling properties. Seems like a legitimate yet profitable deal, well it is not. The buyer and the seller may under state their purchase value to avoid paying the required taxes and showing a money trail. In this case say one party wants to do the right thing and mention the actual amount, the deal may not go forth as the other party might not agree. So people end up following this norm as at times there is no way out. Take another consideration, a builder wants to build a house from scratch. First and foremost he might need to get approval on his designs. The normal route may take time and his or her project may get delayed, this is where the concept of under the table plays a part as an incentive for the authoritarians. Each step may require a small bribe to reach competition, and even if people don’t want to they have to pay it. Let’s take another example a normal shop dealing in retail and making good money. Every transaction is recorded and every debtor, creditor, employee and customer is dealt with fairness. Then where does the inconsistency exist? Well when it comes to paying their branding tax, or they might understate their sales to pay lesser tax. The understatement in sale to pay less tax is something they can fix, but other taxes may be unjust. What happens is the municipality of the particular area may come forth with an unjustified tax amount, then a compromise is reached which is at times of the books. There are many such examples in every walk of life where people turn a blind eye and are paid handsomely for it. Politicians as you know are mostly seen to be in knee-deep corruption. Their role should be that of exemplary leaders, on the contrary they endorse the principal of lie, cheat and steal.
World Bank says Rs 3.2 trillion loss yearly to Pak. Such levels of Corruption more than tax-generated revenue. https://t.co/2NEQ8gQ3vX
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 28, 2017
— CincyCher (@cincycher) September 21, 2017
Weather its banking, construction, trading, money exchanges, whole sale or retail; something or the other always stands out. These deviations might be carried out on small proportions, but regardless of the intensity, what’s wrong is wrong. The justification given by people is that it is necessary to survive or everybody does it “Sub kertai hain”.
So in such a scenario if the majority out of a bunch of people kill and steal does it become right? Life now has become very commercial, and happiness is associated with money rather than relations and good health. The message of Islam states that our earnings “Rozzi” has been decided and we would receive it all before we depart this world. Keeping this in mind we should work ethically and not be greedy for more. What happens is in our hunger for more money we get our earnings tainted and they lose their morality and our less blessed. God has promised us that we will receive what we deserve so shouldn’t we be believing his word and be content with what we have. Making fast money and get rich quick schemes by looking past grey areas leads to also losing money quickly. All the earnings made through the wrong path, all the extra bucks; do not stay with you. It either goes away in sickness or some unforeseen circumstances. It’s all about faith and knowing that God will take care of you, the right path is always hard; but that is where happiness exists.
Money may buy you an expensive car, a mansion and everything you desire but it cannot compensate for happiness. These things may make you somewhat happy but that happiness is just temporary until you jump to something new. There is no perfection is life; a poor man may be more satisfied with his life as opposed to a rich one
To conclude always reach for your dreams, aspirations and passions, but make sure that the route is pure without any ethical violations. Believe that God has a plan for you and be righteous in your actions. If someone else is doing it (lie, cheat and steal), that is not the right justification to taint your earnings, earn less but do it right. Just think about it in this way, your business is like your new-born child, would you nurture it in the best possible way? Money comes and goes, but the corrupt portion of your wealth is punishable in this life and the hereafter.
Muzammil, S. D. (n.d.). Business Ethics in Islam. Retrieved from Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.: http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_1101_1150/business_ethics_in_islam.htm