What is the Islamic decree about following up a task?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah creates the beings in the best way and orders man to do what he does in the best way:

"… But do good; for Allah loveth those who do good."1

Doing one’s job/task/duty in the best way in any 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 "...To worship Allah as if you see Him." Even though you do not see Him, He sees you..."2 Thus, he tells us that we should do everything with the consciousness that Allah sees everything and that our deeds will be presented to Him.

Our religion regards all useful deeds as worshipping Allah and orders us to give importance to whatever 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 anything he does based on its rules and technique, in the soundest best and perfect way. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in another hadith:

"Allah likes it when you do something soundly and well."4

To do something, to produce a work is a talent peculiar to man. To do a task well and soundly is a feature of people who adopt their work and who have responsibility. Our religion advises us to do better and nicer things in every field. Our religion orders sound belief, sincere deeds, honesty in business, fineness in art and quality in all kinds of work.

The intention must be correct; the desire and efforts of the person “to do his work well” are regarded important by our religion for a deed/work to be good. This desire and effort will make the person successful, innovative and constructive in his work. A person with a pure conscience will not work perfunctorily and with the intention of passing time no matter what job he does. It should never be forgotten that the gain obtained from the work done with such an understanding will not be halal.

The most distinctive feature of a Muslim in business life is to do his job regularly and in the best way. A believer should work well as an individual, as a member of his family and society to make life meaningful and to form a peaceful environment. Everybody, a scientist in scientific study, a businessman in business, a worker in his workplace and a public official in his office, should aim “IHSAN”, which is regarded by our religion as “doing things well and soundly”.

Our religion, which introduced this nice principle in work life, orders us to have things done in the best way and to give tasks/works/jobs to qualified people. The Prophet (pbuh) states the following:

"When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons, wait for the Hour (Doomsday)."5

Thus, he stated that things could be done efficiently and soundly only when tasks were given to qualified people and that otherwise things would go wrong.

Doing one’s job soundly and well necessitates self-sacrifice and seriousness. It should be our aim to apply the criteria of our religion, which introduced the ideal of doing the best, related to work life in a balanced way in everything we do. We should not forget that when a person does his job well, he lives well. 

"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

Note: If what is meant by "following up a task" in the question is having somebody else do something for you like applying to a car dealer to take over a car, it is religiously permissible. It means to have something done by proxy. However, haram elements like bribery, injustice, deception and lying must not be included in it.

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.

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