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Which Occupation Should the Muslim Seek?

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Saʿdī

Advice to the Muslim regarding which occupations are most beneficial.

Imām ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn Nāṣir al-Saʿdī (d. 1376 AH) said:

If it is asked: What is the very best and most fruitful occupation?

We reply: The people of knowledge have differed concerning this—from them are those who favour farming and tilling [the land], and among them are those who favour buying and selling, and others favour craftsmanship, carving, and its like.

All [of these scholars] have well-presented arguments. However, it is this ḥadīth that completely settles this discussion. It is his (ﷺ)’s saying:

‘Aspire and strive towards that which is beneficial to you, and seek Allāh’s aid.’

The beneficial [occupations] are well-known, except that it differs according to the conditions [of man] and their respective abilities. Thus, amongst people are those of whom farming and tilling is the most favourable with respect to them, just as amongst people are those of whom buying, selling, and manufacturing products within their expertise is better for them. So the best of all these and other occupations are the ones that offer the most benefit [to mankind].
So may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon the [Prophet] who has been given the deepest, most beneficial of speech.

Source: Bahjah Qulūb al-Abrār: 44-5
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: December 30, 2022
Edited: December 30, 2022

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