Human Rights and Unlawful Earnings
Concerning illness, hunger, and death, which mortify the nafs, our Master the Prophet said, “If Allahu ta’ala had not given these three disasters, people would have become unmanageable and gotten out of hand.”
People may die of illnesses, earthquakes, accidents, or any other causes because death trails everyone. We chase the world, while death chases us. We cannot know where, when, and how it will capture us, so we should not be heedless and unmindful of death. That day will certainly come; therefore, we should get ready for death before it actually comes. Getting ready for it is fulfilled by earning through lawful [halal] means, spending on lawful causes, and being careful about eating lawful morsels. The end of an unlawful [haram] thing is the Fire. May Allah not allow any money obtained by selling people flawed products by deception or any other ill-gotten gains to enter through our doors. It goes out in such a way that it takes many things with it. We should not let that microbe enter. It is not a wise move to fill our bodies with fire. As a matter of fact, our Master the Prophet narrated:
(On the Night of Mi’raj, I saw people lying on their backs with drum-like, transparent bellies where there are all kinds of creatures. I asked my brother Jibrail, “What are they?” He replied, “O the Messenger of Allah, they are from your Ummah [community, nation].” I asked again, “What is their guilt?” He answered, “They are those who accumulated wealth without differentiating between lawful and unlawful means and who did not think whether the money they earned was lawful or unlawful. The unlawful substances they consumed turned to this state in their bodies.”)
We cannot benefit people unless we think by putting ourselves in their places. That is, we should put ourselves in the buyer’s shoes. We should contemplate how he will pay for this product, what benefits it will provide to him, where and how he will use it. We should seek to win his du’a [supplication, prayer] before his money and should not go to Allah’s Presence with others’ rights on us. The thing we have to fear the most in this life is the rights of humans. Allahu ta’ala may punish us for our sins that are between Him and us, or He may forgive them by His grace. It is a different issue. However, justice is observed in matters involving rights among people. No one’s usurped rights will remain unreturned. The justice in the Presence of Allah, the Most High, is not similar to the justice in the world. People will be interrogated in minute detail there, nothing remaining secret. For this reason, we should neither sin nor cause others to sin. Also, after buying and selling, the buyer and the seller should beg for each other’s forgiveness. Or else, it will bring about many troubles.
What made Hadrat Ubaydullah-i Ahrar a great person was the du’a of a villager. We should strive to win a du’a from everyone because it is unknown whose du’a is acceptable. Our religious superiors stated, “Regard every night as the night of Qadr. Regard every person who comes as Khidr.” Accordingly, we should get along well with all people and spare no effort to respect them regardless of their appearances and clothes.