Compiled by Rafik Beekun, the Islamicworkplace.com. See other sources at bottom. Updated April 5, 2014.
Avoiding What is Doubtful:
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “That which is lawful is clear, and that which is unlawful is also quite clear. Between these two is that which is ambiguous, which most people do not know. One who avoids the doubtful safeguards his faith and his honor.”
——— Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 588.
Business and Trade:
O ye who believe! Do not squander one another’s wealth in vanities, but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good will.
——— The Holy Quran, 4:29.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked what type of earning was best, and he replied: ” A man’s work with his hands and every (lawful) business transaction.”
——— Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 846.
The Prophet also said: “A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets.“
——— Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 50.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ““It is better for any of you to carry a load of firewood on his own back than to beg from someone else .”
——— Riyadh-Us-Saleheen, Chapter 59, hadith 540.
And also: “There was a merchant who would lend to the people, and whenever his debtor was in difficult circumstances, he would say to his employees, ‘Forgive him so that God may forgive us.’ So, God forgave him.”
——— Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 292.
“Make your character good for the people.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as narrated Al-Muwatta, Volume 47, Hadith 1
“You will not attain righteousness till you spend in charity of the things you love.”
——— The Qur’an, Chapter 3, verse 92.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you…God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection.”
——— Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376.
Constancy in Doing Good:
“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as narrated by A’isha (ra) in Sahih Bukhari, vol. 8, hadith 471
“The actions which the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, loved most were those which were done most constantly.”
——— Narrated by A’isha (ra) in Al-Muwatta, vol 9, number 92b
If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.
——— Malcolm X.
Diversity and Equality:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves..”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s), Last Sermon.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite..”
——— Madiba Nelson Mandela.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
——— Thomas Jefferson who wrote this opening of the U.S Declaration of Independence.
Focus on What is Important:
““When we contemplate the duration of the universe, we see it limited to the present moment, which is nothing more but the point which separates two infinities of time. The past and the future are as meaningless as if they did not exist. Is anyone more misguided than the man who barters an eternal future for a moment which passes quicker than the blink of an eye?”.”
——— Ibn Hazm Al Andalousi (994-1064 A.D., Al Akhlaq wa’l Siyar
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ““It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing.”
——— Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1011.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Whoever is offered an apology from a fellow Muslim should accept it unless he knows that the person apologizing is being dishonest.”
——— Mishkat al Tabrizi, Vol 3, Hadith no. 5052.
“And among His signs is this: that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest and peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Certainly, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect.”
——— The Qur’an in Ar Rum, Chapter 30, verse 21.
“The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manners and kindest to his wife.”
——— Muhammad (p) cited in Sunnan Abu Dawud.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly.”
——— Al-Tirmidhi: Hadith 580.
Good Conduct Toward Others:
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.”
——— Bukhari and Muslim.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “He will not enter Paradise whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct.”
——— Sahih Muslim, Hadith 15.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet (i.e. abstain from all kinds of evil and dirty talk).”
——— Narrated by Abu Hurayrah, Sahih Al Bukhari, Vol: 8 Hadith 47.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “There is reward for kindness to every living thing.”
——— Bukhari and Muslim.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “God is kind and likes kindness in all things.”
——— Rihadh us-Saleheen, Volume 1:633.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Be kind, for whenever kindness becomes part of something, it beautifies it. Whenever it is taken from something, it leaves it tarnished.”
——— Imam Bukhari’s Book of Muslim Manners.
“Those who work for you are your brothers. Allah has made them your assistants.”
——— Bukhari and Tirmidhi.
“There are many doors to goodness. (Saying) ‘glory to God,’ ‘praise be to God,’ ‘there is no deity but God,’ enjoining good, forbidding evil, removing harm from the road, listening to the deaf (until you understand them), leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, and supporting the weak with the strength of one’s arms – all of these are (forms of) charity prescribed for you.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98.
“People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
… Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
… Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
… Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
… Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
… Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
… Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
… Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
… Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.”
——— Kent M. Keith (The Paradoxical Commandments) and Mother Theresa (potentially the last two lines of the poem).
“Do not be people without minds of your own, saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well and that if they do wrong you will do wrong. But (instead) accustom yourselves to do good if people do good and not to do wrong if they do evil.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported in Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1325.
When the allurement of this life comes to a person, he borrows the good manners of others. however, when it goes away from him, it strips his good manners from him.
——— Ali (r) as cited in the Book of Wisdom by Ahmad Sakr.
Gratitude and Thankfulness:
“And if Allah touches you with affliction, none can remove it but He: But if He bestows upon you a favor, remember that He is the Possessor of every power to do all that He wills.”
——— The Holy Quran, Chapter 6, Verse 17.
Honesty and Faith:
“An adulterer will not commit adultery when he has full faith (in Allah), and a thief will not steal when he has full faith (in Allah)..”
——— Ibn Majah.
“The (true) servants of (God) the Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, reply with (words of) peace.”
——— The Holy Quran, 25:63.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “(God) has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.”
——— Riyadh-us-Salaheen, Hadith 1589.
The Prophet (s) said, “Shall I inform you about the people of Paradise? They comprise every obscure unimportant humble person, and if he takes Allah’s Oath that he will do that thing, Allah will fulfill his oath (by doing that). Shall I inform you about the people of the Fire? They comprise every cruel, violent, proud and conceited person.”
——— Narrated by Haritha Bin Wahb, in Sahih Al Bukhari, vol 8 hadith 97.
“Maybe I was great in the ring, but outside of boxing, I’m just a brother like other people. I want to live a good life, serve God, help everybody I can. And one more thing. I’m still gonna find out who stole my bike when I was 12 years old in Louisville and I’m gonna whup him. That was a good bike.”
——— Muhammad Ali.
Knock. And He’ll open the door.
Vanish. And He’ll make you shine like the sun.
Fall. And He’ll raise you to the heavens.
Become nothing. And He’ll turn you into everything.”
Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence. This is the equation.
——— Ibn Rushd (Averroes)
Allah loves, when one of you is doing something, that he [or she] does it in the most excellent manner.
——— Muhammad (p) cited in Al-Qaradawi, Yusuf, Dawr Al-Qiyam Wal-Akhlaaq Fi Al-Iqtisaad Al-Islaami. Maktabat Wahbah, 1995.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
“When a man says I cannot, he has made a suggestion to himself. He has weakened his power of accomplishing that which otherwise would have been accomplished.”
——— Muhammad Ali.
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
——— Muhammad Ali.
Excellence and competitiveness aren’t incompatible with honesty and integrity.
——— Jack Welch, Former CEO, GE, in his autobiography Jack, p. 282.
Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
——— Thomas Jefferson.
When something weighs on your conscience, give it up.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 8.
If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Abu Darda in Sunan Abu Dawood, hadith #1631.
The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure out of which nothing is spent in the cause of Allah.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Abu Hurayrah, transmitted by Ahmad and Darimi in Al Tirmidhi, hadith #108.
He who issues forth in search of knowledge is busy in the cause of Allah till he returns from his quest.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Anas Ibn Malik in Al Tirmidhi, hadith #420.
The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim. […]
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi in Shu’ab al-Iman; also reported by Anas Ibn Malik in Al Tirmidhi, hadith #74.
We need authentic leaders, people of the highest integrity, committed to building enduring organizations. We need leaders who have a deep sense of purpose and are true to their core values. We need leaders with the courage to build their companies to meet the needs of all their stakeholders, and who recognize the importance of their service to society.
——— Bill George, Former CEO, Medtronics, Authentic Leadership, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, CA: 2003.
All these boundaries – Africa, Asia, Malaysia, America – are set by men. But you don’t have to look at boundaries when you are looking at a man – at the character of a man. The question is: What do you stand for? Are you a follower or are you a leader?”
——— Hakeem Olajuwon.
“The worst of guardians is a cruel ruler. Beware of becoming one of them.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported in Sahih Muslim, Hadith 846.
When He opens for you a way of getting to know Him, do not mind if the quantity of your actions lessen in its presence. He only opened this way for you so that He may make Himself known to you. Do you not see that His making Himself known to you is something that issues from Him to you, while actions come from you to Him? And where is what you are sending to Him in relation to what He is sending to you.
——— Al Hikam of Ibn Ata Allah.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: ““Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.”
——— Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, #473.
The best of all dealings is the one which is moderate.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Baihaqi.
They are the losers, those who make the religion hard and tough. They imperil themselves who enforce tough practices of Islam. They destroy themselves, those who are extremes.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Ibn Masud in Sahih Muslim.
Make things easy and convenient and don’t make them harsh and difficult. Give cheer and glad tidings and do not create hatred.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Riyadh us-Saleheen, Volume 1:637.
“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.”
“Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein, and whoever recommends and helps an evil cause shares in its burdens.”
——— The Holy Quran, Chapter 4, Verse 85.
“Be patient (in adversity); for, verily, God will not let the reward of the righteous be wasted.”
——— The Holy Quran, Chapter 11, Verse 115.
“[W]hoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.“
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Abu Said Al Khudri
in Sahih Bukhari, vol 2 hadith 548.
“Verily, the patience is at the first stroke of a calamity.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Anas bin Malik in Sahih Bukhari, vol 2 hadith 372.
“If, in spite of intense supplication, there is a delay in the timing of the Gift [al-‘ata], let that not be the cause for your despairing. For He has guaranteed you a response in what He chooses for you, not in what you choose for yourself, and at the time He desires, not the time you desire.”
——— The Hikam, Ibn ‘Ata’illah, Chapter 1, 6.
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
——— Carlos Castaneda.
“He who makes peace between people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Hadith 857.
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
“I’m amazed, that how salam (peace) is always the first word to start a meeting. but in prayer it is the end word. Maybe it means the end of prayer is the start of a meeting…”
——— Ali Shahri’ati.
“(Islam) is spacious (and has room for relaxation), and I have been sent with an easy and straightforward religion.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported in Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 2, Number 153.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Do you know who will go first on the Day of Resurrection to the shade of God…Those who when given what is right accept it, when asked for something give freely and who judge in favor of others as they do for themselves.”
——— Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1042.
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “Do not wish to be like anyone, except in two cases: (1) A man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it righteously. (2) A man whom Allah has given wisdom (knowledge of the Qur’an and the Hadith) and he acts according to it and teaches it to others.”
——— Narrated by Abdullah in Bukhari, vol: 9, hadith 255.
“Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people.”
——— Eleanor Roosevelt.
“Service to others is the rent you pay here for your room on earth.”
——— Muhammad Ali.
“We believe that poverty does not belong in a civilized human society. It belongs in museums […] A poverty-free world might not be perfect, but it would be the best approximation of the ideal.”
——— Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
“Anyone who has property that exceed his needs, let him support someone whose property does not (meet his or her needs), and anyone whose food exceeds his needs, let him share it with someone who does not have food.”
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) in Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 93C.
Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say something good or keep quiet.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Abu Huraira–mutafakkun ghalai.
A strong person is not the person who throws his adversaries to the ground. A strong person is the one who contains himself when he is angry.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as quoted in Islam on Line website.
The best place to succeed is where you are with what you’ve got.
——— Charles Schwab.
Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.
A woman should have the ability to choose her own destiny.
——— —Ranya Al-Baz, Domestic Violence Face of Saudi Arabia.
Trusting in Allah:
One of the signs of relying on one’s own deeds is the loss of hope when a downfall occurs.
——— Al The Hikam of Ibn Ibn ‘Ata’illah, chapter 1,1.
Among the signs of success at the end is the turning to Allah at the beginning.
——— Al The Hikam of Ibn Ibn ‘Ata’illah, chapter 2, 26.
The best that you can seek from Him is that which He seeks from you.
——— Al The Hikam of Ibn Ibn ‘Ata’illah, chapter 9, 75.
A true action leads to the path of virtue and good deeds, and virtue paves the way of a person to Paradise, and the said person continues to speak the truth till in the sight of Allah he is named Siddiq or Truthful. Lying leads to vice, and vice leads to indecent acts and if a person goes on lying till in the sight of Allah he is named a liar.
——— The Prophet (s) as reported by Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (r) in Bukhari and Muslim.
I’m for truth no matter who tells it. I’m for justice no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
——— Malcolm X.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.
——— Mark Twain.
Wealth and Success:
Wealth is not due to plenty of money, but wealth is the wealth of the self.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as agreed upon–mutafakkun ghalai.
The most valuable things in life) are a tongue which mentions God, a grateful heart and a believing wife who helps a man with his faith.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported in Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 721.
Forsake wordly pleasures, Allah will like you, and forsake what others have, mankind will like you.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as reported by Ibn Majah.
I have a wife who loves me in spite of all my faults. I have four dogs. Two love only me. One loves everybody. One loves no one, but is still very loyal…. I enjoy my business. I love my farm and my home. I have a few close friends, and money has never been my God.
——— Edward D. “Ted” Jones, former CEO of the global investment firm Edward Jones.
Wisdom is a long-cherished wish to the believer. He takes it from wherever he listens to it; and he does not mind from where it came out.
——— Prophet Muhammad (s) as as narrated by Ibn Hibban.
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
Some of the above Qu’ranic ayats and hadiths are quoted from:
- Newsletters of CAIR at http://www.cair.com
- Pearls of wisdom.
Request from Rafik Beekun: If you come across positive quotes from Prophet Muhammad (s) or any of the model leaders in Islam relating to the topics listed above or any other topic relating to work issues, please e-mail them to us together with the complete bibliographical reference of the quote, including book or article title, author, publisher, year, location of publisher, and page number of the quote. If the quote is appropriate to this blog, we will include it here after we have verified its authenticity. We appreciate your cooperation. Shukran for your contribution fisabilillah.
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