What Does it Mean to Have "Beautiful Restraint and Balance" in one’s Work, Career, and in Seeking one’s Provision?

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 restrain​t​ in your seeking provision.'” ​[Malik, Muwatta]​
​Imam ​Ibn Abd al-Barr says in his commentary on the Muwatta: ​T​his 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 ​hadith​s 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.

Faraz Rabbani

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