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BUSINESS ETHICS: AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ETHICS IN ISLAM
By Hossam Ed Deen Allam

 Both the Nobel Quran and the Authentic Sunna urge Muslims to maintain high ethical standards when they conduct business transactions, particularly as regards transparency, truthfulness, honesty, efficiency and professionalism as well as kindness and leniency. However, it worthwhile to shed light first on the significance of ethics in Islam and to highlight some of its distinctive characteristics.
The Significance of Ethics in Islam
Observing High Ethical Standards Constitutes an Integral Part of the Islamic Faith
When asked about the best of the believers, the Prophet (PBUH) replied, “They are those who observe the best character and manners.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Sunan Abu Dawoud)
Elevating the Human Character to High Ethics Stands on Top of the Objectives of Prophet Muhammad’s Message:
The Prophet (PBUH) once declared, “I have been sent to perfect noble character.” (Sunan Al-Bayhaqi)
Clearly, this tradition shows that perfection of noble character represents one of the most important objectives of the Prophet’s message.
 The Vast Rewards that Allah the Almighty has Promised for those who Observe High Ethics
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The dearest to me among you and the nearest to me on the Day of Judgement are those who have the best character.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi)
When the Prophet (PBUH) was asked about which act leads people to enter Paradise the most, he replied, “Piety and good character.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Maajah)
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “No deed that will be placed on the scale of deeds [on the Day of Resurrection] will be heavier than good character. Indeed, a person with good character will attain the rank of those with a good record of voluntary fasts and prayers.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi)

 

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High Ethical Standards are to be Observed Concerning All Human Beings

By Hossam Ed Deen Allam

 High Ethical Standards are to be Observed Concerning All Human Beings
Allah the Almighty has created human beings into various colours and languages. They are all equal in the sight of Allah, and no human has any superiority over another except by piety and noble manners, as the Noble Qur’an clearly states:

“O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.” al-Hujurat (The Private Apartments, 49:13)  

Evidently, observing high ethical standards encompasses Muslims’ relationship with all members of the society. There is no difference whatsoever between Muslim and non-Muslim, rich and poor, black and white, or Arab and non-Arab.
High Ethical Standards are to be Observed in All Circumstances
As far as observing ethics is concerned in Islam, there are no exceptions whatsoever. Muslims are required to comply with the teachings of Islam and maintain high ethical standards under all conditions and even in tough times. According to Islamic jurisprudence, for there is no such thing as the end justifies the means. In simple terms, unfair or malicious practices of doing something are in all cases rejected even if the result of such acts is favourable or praiseworthy.

“O, believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or close relatives. Be they rich or poor, Allah is best to ensure their interests. So do not let your desires cause you to deviate ˹from justice˺. If you distort the testimony or refuse to give it, then ˹know that˺ Allah is certainly All-Aware


“O, believers! Stand firm for Allah and bear true testimony. Do not let the hatred of a people lead you to injustice. Be just! That is closer to righteousness. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what you do.” al-Ma`idah (The Table Spread) 5:8

“Do not come near the wealth of the orphan—unless intending to enhance it—until they attain maturity. Give full measure and weight with justice. We never require of any soul more than what it can afford. Whenever you speak, maintain justice—even regarding a close relative. And fulfil your covenant with Allah. This is what He has commanded you, so perhaps you will be mindful.” al-An`am (Cattle, Livestock) 6:152

“Indeed, Allah commands justice, grace, as well as courtesy to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness, and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.” an-Nahl (The Bee) 16:90

“And if two groups of believers fight each other, then make peace between them. But if one of them transgresses against the other, then fight against the transgressing group until they ˹are willing to˺ submit to the rule of Allah. If they do so, then make peace between both ˹groups˺ in all fairness and act justly. Surely Allah loves those who uphold justice.” al-Hujurat (The Private Apartments, 49:9)

“As for the sky, Allah raised it ˹high˺ and set the balance ˹of justice˺. so that you do not defraud the scales. Weigh with justice, and do not give short measure.” ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful) 55:7-9


 

 

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