Many of you would’ve been inspired knowing more and more Muslim women nowadays embarking on entrepreneurial venture, investing their future in business or into some kind of flexible, freelance work that allow them to live better and juggle their priorities (read my previous article to know more of the reasons behind Muslim women’s entrepreneurial journey). Probably you began to think of starting your own journey now, but.. another question pops up in your mind:
From the religion perspective, Is business really a good choice for us, Muslim women? Is it allowed? Can we count it as a good deed?
Well, let’s stick to the ground rules to keep it simple:
1. Islam Encourages Business
Understand clearly that Islam encourages its people, including women, to undertake business or trade, as it is the acts of devotion to Allah. It is written in the Qur’an that 9 out of 10 of substances came from business activity.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said:
“There are 70 parts of Ibadat. The best part of it is that of earning in a Halaal way, the best action is to work and earn livelihood by Halaal means. If a person earns by Halaal means then he will get the Thawab equal to the Prophets (PBUH) on the day of Qiyamat.”
It is believed that business activities are meant to strengthen the Muslims’ faith — taking a plunge into business means we are taking the opportunity to get ourselves ready to uphold the Islam rules and the characters of Allah. We are ready to widen, expand our activities to seek higher level of “taqwa” (fear of Allah). If you have sufficient energy, time and money to invest in a business, aiming to seek more knowledge and be more useful to the environment, why don’t you grab the chance?
2. The Equality Between Men and Women
Islam, too, has the principle of equality between men and women in some aspects of life. Islam does not restrict the involvement of women in business — other than the fact that Prophet’s wife, Khadijah, was a successful businesswoman, there’s no express prohibition that prevents women from being a social worker as well as long as it does not exceed the Islamic principles. It has been clearly said that Muslim women have the privilege to earn money like men, too, from the Surah below:
“Men shall have a benefit from what they earn, and women shall have a benefit from what they earn.” (4:32)
3. Islam is Flexible
Islam is easy and flexible. It permits its followers to find ways to adapt when our Shariah rules conflicts with the practical life. The obligations allow exceptions, subject to circumstances. Take a quick look on this hadith:
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Religion (of Islam) is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded.” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 39).
“The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Make things easy and do not make them difficult, cheer the people up by conveying glad tidings to them and do not repulse them.” (narrated by Anas)
Islam doesn’t restrain you for doing things that are good for you. Islam doesn’t require you to make it difficult — if doing a business for your family makes it easier for you to earn a living, go for it. If a business could open up more chances for you to give more to the society, do it. If running a business can help you strengthen your Iman to Allah, be it.
However, you need to remember there is a huge difference between being a flexible and being a chameleon. Chameleons have no aims in life nor following one true principle. Instead, they chose to destroy principles for their personal benefit. While flexible persons behave mildly, unless they sense something against their principles — sometimes they have to let go their personal advantages, sometimes they have to argue with the ones against them.
Hence Ladies, one more important thing to note when you’re about to start venturing into business: mind the dos and don’ts.