Point No. 123: “The means of earning which are clear to be sound to you then they are unlimited except that which is apparently corrupt. If it is corrupt then he takes from it just enough to suffice himself. You do not say “I will leave the means of earning and take that which is given to me (by the people).” This was never done by the Companions nor the scholars up and until this time of ours. ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb said, “An Earning in which some part of it is lowly is better than being in need of the people.”

The Explanation:

The meaning of his statement, “The means of earning which are clear to be correct to you then they are unlimited..” is (according to) the statement of the Prophet ﷺ,

That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honour.” (Muslim no. 1599/107)

Therefore that which is clearly lawful is taken in accordance to the principle that every affair is lawful except that which its prohibition has been clarified and similarly the unlawful is clear, as Allāh ﷻ said,

۞ حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ

“Forbidden to you (for food) are: al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood, the flesh of swine, and the meat of that which has been slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allāh.” (Q 5:3)

Equally; betting, gambling and intoxicants are prohibited by legislative text. Likewise the prohibition of stealing and taking the possession of the people forcefully and eating their wealth unjustly. These are evidently prohibited.

As for the ambiguous (affairs) which are not known to be permissible or impermissible due to conflicting evidences, then these (affairs) are abstained from until (their rulings are) made clear. This is the principle in which the Prophet ﷺ established, a clear and evident principle. This is the meaning of the statement of the author “except that which is apparently corrupt.”

As for his statement “For if it is corrupt, then he takes from it just enough to suffice himself…” These are matters of necessity. If an individual fears that if he does not eat he will die then he may eat a sufficient amount from that which does not belong to him to stay alive, or from other than his wealth, or from impure wealth, even if it is dead carcass or other than that. He may eat out of necessity so that he does not die.

Allah ﷻ said,

۞ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللَّهِ بِهِ ۖ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

He has forbidden you only the dead animals, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allāh (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allāh’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without wilful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allāh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Q 16:115)

So take an adequate amount from the impure of which will preserve your life, then abstain from the rest.

Allāh ﷻ said;

۞  وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلَّا مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۗ

While He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity?” (Q 6:119)

So there is no prohibition in (matters of) necessity.

His statement; “..You do not say I will leave the means of earning and take that which is given to be (by the people).” Some people said, “I put my trust in Allāh ﷻ and I will engage in worship or seeking knowledge so the people will provide for me.” This is not permissible. Rather it is upon you to seek your provision which will suffice you, your wife, and your children and the people in your house. It is obligatory upon you to seek provision and this is a form of worship. Do not sit and expect the charity of the people. Rather upon you is to seek sustenance.

Allah ﷻ said;

۞ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is al-Taqwa (piety, righteousness, etc.).” (Q 2:197)

His statement, “This was never done by the Companions nor the scholars up and until this time of ours.” This action was not done. To sit and seek sustenance by looking into the hands of people [i.e beg and rely on handouts], this was not done by any one of the Companions! They were the most God-fearing and foremost of people in worshipping Allāh ﷻ. Rather they were people of work. From them were farmers and from them were merchants indulging in trade. There were Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq, al-Zubayr ibn al-ʾAwwām, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿAwf, and ʿUthmān ibn Affān – companions of wealth and they are the best of the companions.

They used to spend for the sake of Allāh ﷻ and aid the armies from their wealth. They did not abandon seeking provision. Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq used to indulge in business and help the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ from the time Allāh ﷻ sent him in Makkah. He used to help him in his well known affairs. He used to feed the needy. He bought punished slaves and freed them like Bilāl and other than him. He did not leave avenues of earning and say, “I will sit and worship Allāh and I am from companions of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ.”

His statement, “ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb said, “An Earning in which some part of it is lowly is better than being in need of the people.” So for you take a lowly job such as cupping and receive from it a wage to spend on yourself is better than asking the people and humiliating yourself .