Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Assalam aleykum
Could you explain the hadith “Allah loves the slave who believes and acquires a career.”?
This hadith was narrated by Ibn Umar from al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Awsat, al-Quda`i in his Musnad, al-Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman, and others.
It was also narrated from Ibn Abbas by al-Quda`i, Ibn Abi al-Dunya in Islah al-Mal, and Muhammad ibn Makhlad in al-Fawa’id, as well as from Abu Sa`id al-Khudri by Ibn Abi Dunya.
Individually, each of the chains of this narration suffer from some weakness. Nonetheless, the meaning of this narration is sound, namely that earning a livelihood is an act of religious merit if done with the right intention and in the right manner.
Thus, the scholars have stated that to support oneself at a basic level through work is considered an obligation and beyond that praiseworthy or permissible as long as it remains within the guidelines of the religion. In fact, it was the sunna of the various prophetic figures to earn a livelihood as evidenced by the statement of the Prophet (blessings be upon him) regarding Dawud (blessings be upon him), “He would never eat except with the earnings of his own hand’s work.” [al-Bukhari]
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.