Combining Business and Hajj, Profit and Spirit

The greatest days of the year are the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. The Prophet (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

‘There is no day more honourable in Allah’s sight, and no acts more beloved therein to Allah than those in these 10 days. So, say tasbih (subhanallah), takbir (Allahu akhbar) and tahlil (la ilaha illallah) a lot.’ [Ahmad]

The greatest journey of life is that of Hajj. Hajj is the epitome of worship, which combines various forms of worship into one experience. And these ten days sync all types of worship, such as Salah, Fasting, Tawaf, Dhikr, charity, Wuquf (being stationed in Arafat), animal sacrifice and further, several forms of worship of the heart, that are all packed in these blessed days of dhul Hijjah.

It is in the verses regarding Hajj in the Qur’an that we learn a fundamental principle, that the worldly resources are primarily there for spiritual elevation. The verses say:

“Take your provisions for the Pilgrimage; but the best provision is to be mindful of God- always be mindful of Me, you who have understanding. There is no sin in seeking lawful provision by trading or by other means during Hajj.” [Qur’an 2:197:198]

During the season of Hajj, grand markets would be established in and around Makkah, namely ‘Ukadh, Majannah and Dhul Majaz. The Muslims initially thought that this would be sinful or disliked activity during the Hajj season, as trade typically involves bargaining, tough negotiations, and several emotions. In addition, there were tribes that did not take any provisions for Hajj. They would simply say they are relying on Allah and practising Tawakkul during these blessed days. In response to all of this, the above verses were revealed. We learn three important principles:

  1. Worldly resources are ultimately there to get us closer to Allah.
  2. Being mindful of Allah is the greatest resource.
  3. Engaging in business can get us close to Allah when done with the correct intention.

Thus, the worldly resources that we have are all there to ultimately support us in our journey to the next life. These resources are only resourceful if they aid us in preparing for the Hereafter. If they do not support us in that journey, they are simply extra baggage weighing us down and a burdensome load.

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