How does one earn money and gain sawaab at the same time? Something no business school teaches! Syedna Qadi n No’man in the Chapter on Trade has laid down the laws of halal trade.
Shariat promotes trade and business ventures. RasulullahSA proclaims that a businessman is no less than a warrior fighting for the cause of Islam, no less than a mumin who performs Haj and Umra. Maulana AliAS has said: I do not favor one who is idle in worldly matters, because he will be even more so in religious matters. He also says that one-tenth of barakat is in service, while nine-tenths is reserved for business.
The essence of healthy trade is ijmaal fit talab: A person’s wealth is predetermined, he shall not die before his wealth is dealt out to him. However a screen conceals that wealth. If he is patient he shall take it by halal, otherwise he will rip the curtain and take it by haram. Sins may diminish a person’s wealth. And sometimes when business is low, one must take solace in faith.
Jurisprudence, which is schooling in shariat laws, must precede trading ventures: without knowledge one may fall victim to interest. One day RasulullahSA declared: businessmen are wicked and will burn in hell. On hearing this, people shut down their shops. The next day Rasulullah (SA) inquired why all the shops were closed. RasulullahSA repeated what he had said: businessmen are wicked except those who trade by shariat laws.
In the chapters following, Syedna Qadi n No’man deals at length with haram products such as alcohol and pork, deception in business, laws of exchange, defective goods, and disputes.