Choosing a profession or career path as a Muslim should be one of the most important aspects of our life. When it comes to earning a living we must take into consideration the values and teachings found in the Quran and Hadith.
Islam encourages us to pursue lawful occupations while urging us to avoid professions that contradict the ruling of Allah and his messenger (peace be upon him).
We are going to discuss 6 factors to consider when choosing a career path as a Muslim following the Quran and Sunnah.
1. Professions Involving Unlawful Transactions
For practicing Muslims, one of the factors in choosing a profession is to stay away from occupations that involve unlawful transactions. Islam strictly prohibits engaging in activities that contain elements those related to usury or interest.
Allah condemns the practice of Riba (interest) emphasizing its consequences in Surah Al Baqarah;
Those who consume interest will stand ˹on Judgment Day˺ like those driven to madness by Satan’s touch. That is because they say, “Trade is no different than interest.” But Allah has permitted trading and forbidden interest. Whoever refrains—after having received warning from their Lord—may keep their previous gains, and their case is left to Allah. As for those who persist, it is they who will be the residents of the Fire. They will be there forever.Quran (2:275)
As Muslims, we have been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting our affairs with integrity and adherence to the principles of Islam.
Jobs that involve charging interest not only go against the fundamental principles of Islam but also contribute to the exploitation of people and communities. Making money through interest contradicts the values of fairness and equal sharing that the Quran emphasizes.
The prohibition of Riba (interest) isn’t limited to transactions it also applies to professional pursuits. Opting for a career that involves transactions based on interest can have effects on ones well being and distance them from the blessings of Allah.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned about the consequences of engaging in activities emphasizing how it eats away one’s faith and overall state of being.
2. Careers that Contradicts with Islamic Business Ethics
When pursuing a profession Muslims are not guided by the principles of transactions but also expected to uphold the ethical standards set by Islam.
The teachings of the Quran and Hadith emphasize the importance of conducting business with integrity and honesty.
Choosing occupations that contradict these values not only goes against Islamic teachings but also puts one’s spiritual well being at risk.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) served as an exemplar of behavior and his teachings emphasize the significance of truthfulness, transparency and fairness, in all business dealings.
When assessing a profession it is crucial to take into account if it engages in actions, fraud, or causes harm to others. Islam condemns any kind of dishonesty or deception when conducting business transactions.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,
“The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return goods as long as they have not parted or till they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities (of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction, and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost.”Sahih al-Bukhari 2079
Selecting a career that involves engaging in practices undermines the core principles of Islamic business ethics. Such actions not only harm those directly involved but also weaken trust and integrity within society as a whole.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Do not envy one another; do not inflate prices by overbidding against one another; do not hate one another; do not harbour malice against one another; and do not enter into commercial transaction when others have entered into that (transaction); but be you, O slaves of Allah, as brothers…”Sahih Muslim
When contemplating on career choices it is important to remember that ethical considerations should not take a backseat to success.
3. Professions Involving Unlawful Substances or Products
Getting involved in occupations that deal with the manufacturing or selling of substances, like alcohol or drugs goes against the principles taught in Islam. In Surah Al Baqarah (2;219) of the Quran it emphasizes the effects of intoxicants mentioning that they have consequences.
They ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “There is great evil in both, as well as some benefit for people—but the evil outweighs the benefit.”1 They ˹also˺ ask you ˹O Prophet˺ what they should donate. Say, “Whatever you can spare.” This is how Allah makes His revelations clear to you ˹believers˺, so perhaps you may reflectQuran (2:219)
As individuals who follow the teachings of Islam, you need to prioritize the protection of your mental well being.
Being involved in professions that deal with substances not only compromises your own moral standing but also contributes to the societal issues caused by substance abuse.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) emphasized the severity of getting involved with intoxicants by stating that even a small quantity of something that causes intoxication when consumed in quantities is forbidden.
This prohibition extends beyond consumption it includes any involvement in the production, distribution or promotion of such substances.
We all know the harmful effects alcohol and drugs contribute to family breakdowns increase crime rates and give rise to health and social problems.
As Muslims, we need to consider how our actions impact the community and choose professions that align with principles of piety health consciousness and social responsibility.
4. Careers that Distance You Away from Your Family
When Muslims consider their profession it becomes crucial to evaluate whether the chosen career aligns with the family values in line with the Quran and the Sunnah.
Certain jobs require time away from family which can challenge the bonds that hold them together.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) emphasized the significance of spending quality time with one’s family stating;
“The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best among you to my family…”Mishkat al-Masabih 3252, 3253
Going for a career that consistently hinders family interactions and compromises time spent with loved ones contradicts Islam’s emphasis on maintaining familial ties.
Choosing a profession that contradicts family values may lead to relationships weakened bonds within the family unit and a deviation from Islamic principles.
Muslims need to assess careers for their compatibility with family life ensuring that pursuing a livelihood does not come at the expense of their well being as a family.
As you contemplate your career path consider whether your chosen profession allows for a balance between work and family life.
5. Careers that Contribute to Injustice
Professions that support or contribute to injustice, manipulation or harm directly contradict the teaching of Islam.
When considering career paths you need to know whether the chosen profession aligns with the values of justice and fairness as outlined in the Quran and the Sunnah.
The Quran urges believers to stand up for justice as witnesses, for Allah and warns against letting personal animosity cloud their judgment.
O believers! Stand firm for Allah and bear true testimony. Do not let the hatred of a people lead you to injustice. Be just! That is closer to righteousness. And be mindful of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Aware of what you do.Surah Al Ma’idah (5:8)
Engaging in careers that promote or tolerate injustice not only goes against the ruling of Islam but also responsible for an environment of inequality and oppression.
Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) stated;
A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim; he neither oppresses him nor does he look down upon him, nor does he humiliate him. Piety is here, (and he pointed to his chest three times). It is enough evil for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for his brother-in-faith: his blood, his property and his honour”.Sahih Muslim
6. Careers That Affect Practicing Islam
When choosing a profession you need to consider whether the career you pursue supports or threatens them from practicing Islam.
Certain occupations may require compromising Islamic obligations, such as neglecting prayers or engaging in activities that distance a person from Allah.
Observe the ˹five obligatory˺ prayers—especially the middle prayer1—and stand in true devotion to Allah.Quran (2:238)
A profession that constantly requires compromising one’s faith may weaken our ability perform salah on time and maintain a strong connection with Allah.
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said:
“A man is upon the religion of his friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”Jami` at-Tirmidhi 237
May Allah provide us with Jobs and occupations that He’s pleased with. And make it beneficial to us in this life and the hereafter. Aameen.