Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: In the Revival Circle class, we took the hadith on having “beautiful balance” in one’s work, career, and seeking one’s provision. What does this entail? And can you share the hadith, please?
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful and Compassionate
with blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah,
and his family and companions
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
The hadith is mentioned in the Muwatta of Imam Malik. He relates that, “It has reached us that it would be said that: ‘Truly, no one will die until they have fulfilled their provision. So have beautiful restraint in your seeking provision.'” [Malik, Muwatta]
Imam Ibn Abd al-Barr says in his commentary on the Muwatta: This is a Prophetic hadith of well-known contiguous chains of narration. [Ibn Abd al-Barr, al-Istidhkar] The hadith is also found in a number of the major works of hadith, with acceptable chains of transmission.
What does “beautiful restraint” mean?
Imam Tibi says in his commentary on (his student) Imam Tabrizi’s compendium of hadiths in the major hadith works, Mishkat al-Masabih:
“Have beautiful restraint in seeking…” (fa ajmilu fi’t talab) refers to seeking a livelihood in a beautiful (jamil) way–which is to only seek it in ways that accord with Divine Guidance (shari`ah).” [Tibi, Sharh Mishkat al-Masabih]
Thus, “have beautiful restraint in seeking your provision” would entail:
(1) remaining within limits of halal and haram, on the basis of sound knowledge;
(2) learning and upholding the sunnas and adab of earning a lawful, virtuous living;
(3) having the right intentions and aims in one’s work;
(4) upholding the right inward traits of faith and character in one’s work and through one’s work.
See: The Muslim Standard of Excellence in Work and Life – Faraz Rabbani
And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.
الاستذكار (8/ 272)
مَالِكٌ أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يُقَالُ إِنْ أَحَدًا لَنْ يَمُوتَ حَتَّى يَسْتَكْمِلَ رِزْقَهُ فَأَجْمِلُوا فِي الطَّلَبِ
هَذَا حَدِيثٌ مُسْنَدٌ مَعْرُوفٌ عِنْدَ أَهْلِ الْعِلْمِ
شرح المشكاة للطيبي الكاشف عن حقائق السنن (10/ 3337)
قوله: فأجملوا في الطلب)) أي اكتسبوا المال بوجه جميل، وهو أن لا تطلبه إلا بالوجه الشرعي