Is it permissible to favor a Muslim in an affair?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah created beings in the best mold.

“ … Do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.”1

With the verse above, He ordered man to do everything in the best way. To do one’s job/task in the best way in every field is expressed with the word “ihsan” in our religion. As a matter of fact, when the Prophet (pbuh) was asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What is ihsan?”, he gave the following answer:

“...Ihsan means to worship Allah as if you see Him. Even if you cannot see Him, He sees you...”2

Thus, he informed us that we should do everything with the consciousness that Allah observes us all the time and that our deeds will be presented to Him.

Our religion regards all useful deeds as worship and orders us to give importance to what we do and do it in the best and soundest way. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

“Allah rendered ihsan fard in everything...”3

Thus, He wants man to do everything well in accordance with its rules and technique, in a sound, beautiful, good and perfect way. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith:

“Allah Almighty likes it when you do whatever you do soundly and well.”4

To do something, to produce a work is something peculiar to man. To do something well and soundly is a characteristic of the people who adopt their jobs and who have responsibility. Our religion advises us to do better and nicer things in every field. It does not approve of slapdash deeds and attitudes, purposeless acts and random deeds. Soundness in belief, sincerity in attitudes, honesty in business, fineness in art and quality and honesty in all kinds of deeds are among the things ordered by our religion.   

It is regarded important by our religion to have a good intention and the desire and effort to do “one’s job well” for something to be good. This desire and effort will make man successful in his job and enable him to have an innovative and constructive quality. A believer with a pure conscience cannot have the understanding of working “to fill in time” and ”slapdash” no matter what his job is. It should not be forgotten that the money earned by working with this understanding will not be halal.    

The most distinctive quality of a Muslim in business life is to do his job regularly and in the best way. A believer should work in a nice way that will make life meaningful and that will form an environment of peace for the individuals, families and the community. A scientist in his scientific study, a businessman in his business, an employee in his workplace, an official in his department, in short, everybody in their work should have “IHSAN”, which our religion regards as “doing something well and soundly” and advises everybody, as their target.

Introducing this principle in business, our religion orders us to have things done by others in the best way and to assign tasks to be done to qualified people.

“When tasks are given to unqualified people, wait for Doomsday.”5

In the hadith above, the Prophet (pbuh) states that tasks can be done efficiently and soundly only when they are assigned to qualified people and that things will go wrong otherwise.

To do things soundly and well necessitates self-sacrifice and solemnity first. It should be our target to apply the principle of doing the best and the criteria related to working life introduced by our religion in a balanced way in all of our deeds. We should not forget that if a person does his job well, he will lead a good life.

“As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We shall not suffer to perish the reward of any who do a (single) righteous deed.”6

When assigning a task to a person, we should prefer qualified and religious people. However, being qualified comes first. If two people are equally qualified related to a task, the more religious one is preferred. For, fear of Allah will cause him to do the task more soundly. It is not permissible to assign a task to a person who does not deserve it just because he is a Muslim.

Footnotes:

1. al-Baqara, 2/195.
2. Bukhari, Iman, 37. I, 18
3. Muslim, Sayd, 57
4. Bayhaqi, Shu’abul-Iman, 4/334
5. Bukhari, Ilm, 2
6. al-Kahf, 18/30

Questions on Islam

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