What is the best way to earn a livelihood?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
In our day and age, the best work we can do is to work in agriculture, then in the manufacturing of goods, and then trade. [Bushra al-Karim, Ba ‘Ishn]
That said, one should also look at one what unique service and benefit you can offer to serve the Muslims and promote Islam. One should also think about what the greatest needs of the world are.
Imam al-Ghazali said, ‘Those involved in manufacturing goods and trade should intend by their work to fulfil a communal obligation because if no one produced anything, life would cease and everyone would die. [Similarly] if everyone did the same work, all other work would halt and people would end up dying. It is in this way that the words of the [Prophet] (Allah bless him and grant him peace) “Differences among my nation are a mercy” has been understood. That is to say that the differences in people’s ambitions in manufacturing goods and livelihoods [is a source of mercy]. [Ihya ‘ulum al-din, Ghazali]
To summarise the words of Imam al-Ghazali, one should work with the intention of fulfilling one’s obligation to one’s family to put food on the table, and one should work to fulfill one’s obligation to the world to provide whatever service it is that one is providing. This gives love and meaning to our work and makes our daily grind beam with light.
I pray this helps.
[Ustadh ] Farid Dingle
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.