The Profitable Trade

 

 

O my Muslim brother! This worldly life is the abode of delusion! It is the abode of extinction! Only those who are heedless hoard (wealth) for it.

 

The worldly life! It is that cheap commodity. It is that deceitful mirage.

 

This worldly life! It has distracted the heedless and misled the deluded. Its new things are worn-out, its pleasure does not last, and its friendliness is untrue.

Its bliss is never undisturbed and its sorrows never cease.

 

People rushed madly upon its trade, competed for its luxuries and fought for its vanities. Few people have known its defects and discovered its vices.

 

I guarantee for the seeker of this world a life of grief,

Which does not come to stop.

A life of humiliation void of dignity and poverty,

Which does not come to prosperity.

Occupancy, which is not followed by free time,

And a constant toil by everyone.

And miserliness continued by a slave,

And the miser slave will never become of high esteem.

 

It is worthy of a person who knew this worldly life and accepted its people (as they are) to abandon it. He should give his attention to the eternal abode and make this worldly life his bridge to the Hereafter. Moreover, he should provide himself with the everlasting provisions and profitable commodities for the Hereafter.

 

This is the profitable trade

 

My Muslim brother: the profitable trade is that which is different from all kinds of trades. It is a trade known for the following:

 

-A trade in which there is no loss.

 

-Its owner always has increasing profits.

 

-It is a trade where there is only one gainer; that is you if you were one of its people.

 

-Finally, do not forget that the profitable trade is that which is with the King of all kings and to Him belongs the treasures of everything.

 

It is a trade with Allah Almighty. He says, {Verily, Allâh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be the Paradise.} [Surat At-Tawba: 111]

 

{إِنَّ اللَّهَ اشْتَرَى مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ} التَّوبة: 111

 

Transliteration: 'Inna Allāha Ashtará Mina Al-Mu'uminīna 'Anfusahum Wa 'Amwālahum Bi'anna Lahumu Al-Jannata 

 

 

This (profitable trade) is the trade of good deeds

 

It is a trade that does not seek Dinar or Dirham (money). So, are you among the people of this trade?

 

Allah says, {Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds, that last, are better with your Lord for rewards and better in respect of hope.} [Surat Al-Kahf: 46]

 

{الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلا} الكهف: 46

 

Transliteration: Al-Mālu Wa Al-Banūna Zīnatu Al-Ĥayāati Ad-Dunyā Wa Al-Bāqiyātu Aş-Şāliĥātu Khayrun `Inda Rabbika Thawābāan Wa Khayrun 'Amalāan

 

Ibn 'Abbâs, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said, "It is every righteous deed whether a saying or an action. They are the deeds which last for the Hereafter".

 

My Muslim brother! The market of the profitable trade is the market where every purchaser finds abundant profit from every commodity.

 

Such market can never have something worthless. In the contrary, everything it contains is precious and invaluable. Allah Almighty says, {The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allâh, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allâh gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allâh is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower.} [Surat Al-Baqara: 261]

 

{مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنْبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنْبُلَةٍ مِائَةُ حَبَّةٍ وَاللَّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ} البقرة: 261

 

Transliteration: Mathalu Al-Ladhīna Yunfiqūna 'Amwālahum Fī Sabīli Allāhi Kamathali Ĥabbatin 'Anbatat Sab`a Sanābila Fī Kulli Sunbulatin Miā'atu Ĥabbatin Wa Allāhu Yuđā`ifu Liman Yashā'u Wa Allāhu Wāsi`un `Alīmun

 

O seeker of abundant profit! O you who desire extreme wealth! O you who look for permanent richness! Adhere to the trade of good deeds "the profitable trade."

 

 

Contests towards the market of the profitable trade

 

O Muslims brother! The market of the righteous deeds is the best one to take provision from. However, many people are heedless of entering into this market. In addition, they are usually occupied with the fake market (the market of the fake trade). There, you see people engrossed in the commodities of the perishing trade. All of them dream of the transient profits.

If the sane man thought of it, he would know that it is out of resolution that he should be one of the hasteners to trade in the market of the profitable trade.

 

O Muslim brother! What are you waiting for? You have seen the disloyalty of this worldly life to its people.

Allah says, {And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)} [Surat Al-'Imrân: 133]

 

{وَسَارِعُوا إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَاوَاتُ وَالأَرْضُ أُعِدَّتْ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ} آل عمران: 133

 

Transliteration: Wa Sāri`ū 'Ilá Maghfiratin Min Rabbikum Wa Jannatin `Arđuhā As-Samāwātu Wa Al-'Arđu 'U`iddat Lilmuttaqīna

 

Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "It is the first Takbir (saying Allah is the Greatest)".

 

Sa'îd ibn Jubayr said, "Hasten to the righteous deeds in order to have forgiveness from your Lord".

 

So, you who have spent your lifetime collecting the transient vanities of life!

You who have frequently gone to the market of the perishing trade!

How far you are from the profitable trade!

How far you are from the invaluable trade!

Are you keen on increasing your profit from good deeds, as you are keen on increasing your money gains?

 

Huthayfa ibn Al-Yammân, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said, "Allah says, {The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder (the people of Makkah requested Prophet Muhammad to show them a miracle, so he showed them the splitting of the moon).} [Surat Al-Qamar: 1] Verily, this world is about to come to an end. Indeed, today is the racetrack and tomorrow will be the race. Truly, the end is the Hellfire but the winner is the one who speeds ahead to Paradise".

 

{اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانْشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ} القمر: 1

 

Transliteration: Aqtarabati As-Sā`atu Wa Anshaqqa Al-Qamaru

 

O you who are heedless of the profitable trade! Do you think that this worldly life will last for you? Or do you think that you are going to immortalize in this world?

 

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took me by the shoulder and said, «Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.»" And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.” [Al-Bukhari]

 

أخَذ رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليه وسلَّم بمَنكِبي فقال: «كُنْ في الدنيا كأنك غريبٌ أو عابرُ سبيلٍ» . وكان ابنُ عُمرَ يقولُ: "إذا أمسيْتَ فلا تنتَظِرِ الصباحَ، وإذا أصبحْتَ فلا تنتظِرِ المساءَ، وخُذْ من صحتِك لمرضِك، ومن حياتِك لموتِك" رواه البخاري

 

I advise you to hasten quickly to the market of the profitable trade before the coming of the moment of death and the breakoff of hopes.

 

Take provisions from your good deeds as you have taken provision from the perishing money. Win the enduring good deeds as you gained the transitory Dirhams.

 

 

The eternal profit

 

O Muslim brother! The trade of this world is cheap and short-living just as the case with this worldly life. On the contrary, the trade of good deeds or the profitable trade has everlasting profit and abundant benefit.

 

How strange is the one who turns away from the everlasting and gets ahead of the perishing!

 

The profitable trade is good for its owner even after his death.

 

Moreover, its profits are a salvation for its owner from the darkness of the grave and from the terrors of the Day of Resurrection.

 

The Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said, «The deceased is followed by three, two things leave him and return and one stays with him. His money and folks leave, and his deeds stay» [Reported by al-Bukhari 6514 and Muslim 2960].

 

«يتبع الميت ثلاثة، فيرجع اثنان ويبقى معه واحد: يتبعه أهله وماله وعمله، فيرجع أهله وماله ويبقى عمله» رواه البخاري 6514 ومسلم 2960

 

O Muslim brother! This is the eternal profit; it is not a profit of Dinar or Dirham which perishes after the death of its owner.

It is appropriate for the sane person to be among the people of the eternal profit and not to be deceived by the abode of delusion.

 

My brother! You have to know that whatever you gain from the possessions of this world, you will never find something more precious or better than gaining good deeds. Thus, trade in something in which you will have all the profits for yourself not for anyone else. Trade in something in which you will have its inheritance even after your death.

 

 

Invaluable commodities in the market of the profitable trade

 

My Muslim brother! In the coming pages, precious commodities from the market of the profitable trade will be introduced to you. Whoever seeks these commodities will be the most skillful trader and the best gainer purchaser. The following are these commodities so be aware not to miss them.

 

The remembrance of Allah Almighty: the remembrance of Allah Almighty is the most valuable reward and the most profitable trade.

 

Allah says, {Verily, those who recite the Book of Allâh (this Qur’ân), and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided for them, secretly and openly, they hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish. [29]. That He may pay them their wages in full, and give them (even) more, out of His Grace. Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (good deeds and to recompense).} [Surat Fâtir 29-30]

 

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ كِتَابَ اللَّـهِ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنفَقُوا مِمَّا رَ‌زَقْنَاهُمْ سِرًّ‌ا وَعَلَانِيَةً يَرْ‌جُونَ تِجَارَ‌ةً لَّن تَبُورَ‌ ﴿29﴾ لِيُوَفِّيَهُمْ أُجُورَ‌هُمْ وَيَزِيدَهُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ غَفُورٌ‌ شَكُورٌ‌} فاطر 29-30

 

Transliteration: 'Inna Al-Ladhīna Yatlūna Kitāba Allāhi Wa 'Aqāmū Aş-Şalāata Wa 'Anfaqū Mimmā Razaqnāhum Sirrāan Wa `Alāniyatan Yarjūna Tijāratan Lan Tabūra (29) Liyuwaffiyahum 'Ujūrahum Wa Yazīdahum Min Fađlihi 'Innahu Ghafūrun Shakūrun

 

The profit for those who often remember Allah Almighty is a guaranteed profit; rather a momentous profit, which no one knows its amount except Allah, Glory be to Him.

 

The messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said,«(Following are) two words (sentences or utterances) that are very easy for the tongue to say, and very heavy in the balance (of reward) and most beloved to the Gracious Almighty (And they are): Subhan Allah wa bi-hamdihi; Subhan Allahi-l-'Azim (Glory be to Allah and praise be to him; Glory be to Allah The Great» [Agreed upon]

 

«كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان، ثقيلتان في الميزان، حبيبتان إلى الرَّحمن: سبحان الله العظيم، سبحان الله وبحمده» متفقٌ عليه

 

The following, too, are the abundant profit from the trade of the remembrance of Allah Almighty:

The Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said, «Cleanliness is half of faith and al-Hamdu Liliah (Praise be to Allah) fills the scale, and Subhan-Allah (Glory be to Allah) and al-Hamdu Liliah (Praise be to Allah) fill up to what is between the heavens and the earth.» [Reported by Muslim 223]

 

«الطَّهور شطر الإيمان، والحمد لله تملأ الميزان، وسبحان الله والحمد لله تملآن (أو تملأ) ما بين السَّماوات والأرض» رواه مسلم 223

 

Another valuable saying is that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said, «He who uttered these words: "There is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner with Him. Sovereignty belongs to Him and all the praise is due to Him, and He has Power over everything" one hundred times every day there is a reward of emancipating ten slaves for him, and there are recorded hundred virtues to his credit, and hundred vices are blotted out from his scroll, and that is a safeguard for him against Satan on that day till the evening. No one brings anything more excellent than this, except the one who has done more than this (who utters these words more than one hundred times and does more good acts) and he who utters, "Glory be to Allah, and all praise is due to Him," one hundred times a day, his sins are obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the sea.» [Reported by Muslim 2691]

 

«لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك وله الحمد وهو على كلِّ شيءٍ قديرٍ في يوم مائة مرة كانت له عدل عشر رقاب وكتبت له مائة حسنة، ومحيت عنه مائة سيِّئة، وكانت له حرزًا من الشَّيطان يومه ذلك حتَّى يمسي، ولم يأت أحد أفضل مما جاء به إلا أحد عمل أكثر من ذلك، ومن قال: سبحان الله وبحمده في يوم مائة مرَّة حطت خطاياه ولو كانت مثل زبد البحر» رواه مسلم 2691

 

Ali ibn Abu Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, went to the Prophet (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) complaining about the bad effect of the stone hand-mill on her hand. She heard that the Prophet had received a few slave girls. However, (when she came there) she did not find him, so she mentioned her problem to 'Aisha. When the Prophet came, 'Aisha informed him about that. 'Ali added, "So the Prophet came to us when we had gone to bed. We wanted to get up (on his arrival) but he said, ''Stay where you are. "Then he came and sat between her and me that I felt the coldness of his feet on my abdomen. He said, «Shall I direct you to something better than what you have requested? When you go to bed say 'Subhan Allah' thirty-three times, 'Alhamdulillah' thirty three times, and Allahu Akbar' thirty four times, for that is better for you than a servant.» [Reported by al-Bukhari 3113 and Muslim 2727]

 

«ألا أدلكما على خير ممَّا سألتما؟ إذا أخذتما مضاجعكما أو أويتما إلى فراشكما فسبحا ثلاثًا وثلاثين، واحمدا ثلاثًا وثلاثين، وكبرا أربعًا وثلاثين، فهو خيرٌ لكما من خادمٍ» رواه البخاري 3113 ومسلم 2727

 

Another precious saying is that the Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said, «The uttering of (these words): "Glory be to Allah; all praise is due to Allah, there is no god but Allah and Allah is the Greatest," is dearer to me than anything over which the sun rises.» [Reported by Muslim 2695]

 

«لأن أقول: سبحان الله والحمد لله ولا إله إلا الله والله أكبر أحبُّ إليَّ ممَّا طلعت عليه الشَّمس» رواه مسلم 2695

 

'Ubaid ibn 'Umair, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "one glorification of Allah along with praising him -in the scroll of the believer- is better than having mountains of Gold of this world."

 

My Muslim brother! These are some of the examples that show you the rank of this profitable trade (the remembrance of Allah Almighty). So, be aware not to be among the deprived of these rare treasures.

 

-Another commodity: charity

My Muslim brother! Spending money for good purposes is a great category of the profitable trade. Allah says, {Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allâh! With Him is a great reward (Paradise). [15]. So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey, and spend in charity; that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones.} [Surat At-Taghabun 15-16]

 

{إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ عِندَهُ أَجْرٌ‌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿15﴾ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ وَاسْمَعُوا وَأَطِيعُوا وَأَنفِقُوا خَيْرً‌ا لِّأَنفُسِكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُوقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ} التَّغابن: 15-16

 

Transliteration: 'Innamā 'Amwālukum Wa 'Awlādukum Fitnatun Wa Allāhu `Indahu 'Ajrun `Ažīmun (15) Fāttaqū Allāha Mā Astaţa`tum Wa Asma`ū Wa 'Aţī`ū Wa 'Anfiqū Khayrāan Li'nfusikum Wa Man Yūqa Shuĥĥa Nafsihi Fa'ūlā'ika Hum Al-Mufliĥūna

 

My Muslim brother! Whoever spends his money to help the weak is saving for himself the best reward (from Allah) and is giving priority to the greatest treasure.

 

The charitable person adds to his credit an eternal profit which will grow and increase till he harvests its fruits on a day when he will need the reward even of one virtue (good deed).

 

The Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) has said, «When anyone of you gives in charity from the honestly-earned money, and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money, but that Allah takes it in His right hand even if it is a date, and then He enlarges it (its reward for that person who has given it) so much that it becomes bigger than a mountain. It is as anyone of you brings up his foal or young she-camel.» [Reported by al-Bukhari 1014 and Muslim 1014. The wordings are by Muslim 1014]

 

«ما تصدق أحدٌ بصدقةٍ من طيِّبٍ، ولا يقبل الله إلا الطَّيِّب، إلا أخذها الرَّحمن بيمينه، وإن كانت تمرة، فتربو في كفِّ الرَّحمن حتَّى تكون أعظم من الجبل كما يربي أحدكم فلوه أو فصيله»رواه البخاري 1410 ومسلم 1014، واللفظ لمسلم 1014

 

Yahia ibn Mu'âz, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "I do not know a small seed which equals the mountains of this world except if it is a charity."

 

My Muslim brother! Giving charity and spending in the ways of good is a profitable trade in which there is no loss.

 

How regretful the heedless will be on the Day when the great reward will be revealed for the charitable people. On that Day, the people of the profitable trade will rejoice and the people of the perishing trade will grieve. O wise person! Act for a Day when nothing will benefit you except the good deed. Spend the perishing money in order to gain the eternal bliss.

 

The Messenger of Allah (prayers and peace of Allah be upon him) asked the Companions, «Who amongst you loves the money of his inheritors more than his own money?» They replied, "O Messenger of Allah! There is no one of us but that he loves his own money more than he loves the money of his inheritors." Upon which the Prophet replied, «But his money is only that which he sent forth, and the money of his inheritors is what he left behind.» [Reported by al-Bukhâri 6442]

 

«أيُّكم مال وارثه أحبُّ إليه من ماله؟» قالوا: يا رسول الله، ما منَّا أحدٌ إلا ماله أحبُّ إليه، قال: «فإنَّ ماله ما قدَّم، ومال وارثه ما أخَّر» رواه البخاري 6442

 

My Muslim brother! You are in a great need of the trade of virtues. Helping the grieved is helping yourself before helping him.

The wise knows that spending in charity is returning to him with great rewards.

 

Ash-Sha'biyy, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "Whoever does not see himself in need for (the reward of) his charity more than the poor, so; he has nullified his charity and harmed himself."

 

My Muslim brother! These were some of the profitable commodities chosen for you from the market of the profitable trade and there are many others. So, be aware not to be among the aggrieved who exchanged pearls with stones.

 

The market of the profitable trade is open and the commodities are available. However, there will come a Day when you will have no access to such commodities, so be careful!

 

 

Those are the real winners

 

My Muslim brother! Verily, Allah Almighty has slaves who are busy with his obedience and who get pleasure in getting close to Him. Obeying Allah is more pleasing for them than the delicious honey.

 

They are people whose trade is the virtues, whose reward is the righteous deeds and whose delight lies in gaining the enduring good deeds. They knew the path and followed it. They observed the light so they headed for it.

 

-When Mu'âz ibn Jabal was on the verge of death, he said, "Take my soul! By Your Glory, I love You. O Allah! I used to fear You and today I look forward to Your Mercy. O Allah! You know that I did not love surviving in this world for digging rivers nor planting trees. I loved surviving to pass through times (for praying and good deeds), to endure thirst during the midday heat (for fasting) and to approach scholars in the circles of the remembrance of Allah."

 

Ar-Rabî' ibn Khathîm, may Allah have mercy on him, went out one day while he was wearing a silk garment. He saw a beggar; so, he gave him the garment and recited the words of Allah, {By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness - here it means Allâh’s Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allâh’s Cause) of that which you love;} [Surat Al-'Imrân: 92]

 

{لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ‌ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ} آل عمران: 92

 

Transliteration: Lan Tanālū Al-Birra Ĥattá Tunfiqū Mimmā Tuĥibbūna Wa Mā Tunfiqū Min Shay'in Fa'inna Allāha Bihi `Alīmun

 

When Abû Bakr ibn 'Ayyâsh, may Allah have mercy on him, was about to die, his sister cried. He said, "What are you crying for? Look at that corner where your brother has concluded reading the Quran eighteen thousand times."

 

Qatâda, may Allah have mercy on him, used to conclude the Holy Qurân once every seven nights. In Ramadan, he used to do it every three days. In the last ten nights of Ramadan, he used to do it every night."

 

Abdullah, the son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, May Allah have mercy on him, narrated about his father, "My father used to pray three hundred rak'as every day. When he fell ill because of being beaten by whips which weakened him (during the Mihna in the Abbasid era), he used to pray a hundred and fifty rak'as every day. At that time, he was eighty years old."

 

Allah has been pleased with those righteous people. Surely, they are the true men. They found nothing more profitable than the acts of obedience so they were its winning knights and its distinguished figures.

 

My Muslim brother! This is the profitable trade (the trade of good deeds). You have known its ordinances and its way so be aware not to lose its market so that you may not be among the regretful.

Make your profits of good deeds better than the profits of Dinars and Dirhams as this is the everlasting profit, the eternal reward and the profitable trade.

 

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Almighty. Prayers and peace of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.

 

 

By: Ahmed Mahmoud (slightly modified)

 

KHARWASTAN

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