While it is a religious duty to earn a living, as Islam commands it, not all means of earning, business idea, or possible business enterprise, is allowed for a human being.
The tradition of earning a living is based on making money. So, money is the ultimate gain of earning a living. However, our obligation should not be based on making money alone, but with a consideration of earning lawful money.
With the above statement, one might be intrigued, while others arguing, where on earth, let alone Malawi, could money be categorized as lawful and unlawful? This, is a broad statement, the basis of our writing, on economic life.”
Malawi, self ranked as God fearing nation, should be aware, that man is both a material and a spiritual being. While Islam command for purification of our earnings, most importantly earning lawful money, it is not a tool of denying material needs and desires. It only deny the claim to primacy.
Additionally, Islam deny earning a living through robbery, stealing, corruption, false pretence, interest in financial transactions, forgery, grabbing, unnecessary begging, prostitution, and even more for us as a nation.
So long as our earning of money, material worthy, abundance, and affluence are enhanced with spiritual tenets, they are an important part of our life. The Noble Qur’an refers to it as, “Your wealthy, which our Lord has made for you a means of support.” (4:5)
Explicitly, wealth is not bad. The problem is not money, but the means to acquire it. Acquiring or earning a living, should be based on purified means and model. It should be attached with morality. Even in the worldly terms, it becomes illegal to be involved in money laundering.
As we microscope Malawi, to ensure that its economic life is purified, a number of issues may prevail. For example usury in financial dealings, gambling, sale in liquor among others are unlawful. Again, on that note, others may get saddened.
Morality, urges us not be saddened, no matter how attractive the financial rewards of engaging in the above enterprises may seem to be. As a nation, we must desist from them. This, is the economic struggle of people with morals. No wonder, in Islam, earning a living, is a religious obligation. Therefore, religious obligations are meant to be free of unlawful tendencies.
Significantly, at the individual level, the obligation is to engage in lawful professions and businesses. At a collective level, the obligation, is to establish a system that facilitates lawful individual efforts and discourages their opposite.
Islam recommends attaining the sustenance provided by Allah Almighty through lawful hard work and striving. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught the human race as he said, “Seeking lawful earning is compulsory for every believer.” It is therefore incumbent upon us to rethink our economic lifestyles.