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NO CONFLICT BETWEEN PRAYER AND COMMERCE

According to the Qur’anic scheme of life, there is no difference between prayer and commerce. The Qur’an does not believe in drawing a line of demarcation between the two. Both the activities are divine, provided the believer observes the commandments of God. In the chapter Al-Jumu‘ah (The Day of Congregation), the Qur’an says Believers! When the call to prayer is made on the day of congregational prayer, hasten to the remembrance of God, and leave all worldly commerce: this is for your own good if you but knew it. When the prayer is ended, disperse in the land and seek to obtain [something] of God’s bounty; and remember God much, so that you may prosper. (62:9-10)

This Qur’anic verse makes it clear that people are allowed to engage in commerce before the call of prayer; and after the completion of the prayer, they are again allowed to go about their business. So these two activities are not at variance with each other. According to the Qur’an, the essence of religion is living in the remembrance of God. Prescribed prayer is a formal kind of remembrance of God, but in the course of commercial activities, believers are again required to keep remembering God, for—in the religion of Islam—without doing so, life is lacking in any religious virtue. Religion and worldly activities are only different facets of the same coin; the true believer discovers this divine truth.

This discovery is so strong that it brings about a great change in the believer’s life; it revolutionizes his mind and heart. Such a person becomes an all-time believer, day and night, morning and evening. When he is engaged in formal worship, he is mentally remembering God Almighty and when he is carrying on his trade or is busy in any otherworldly activity, he is again engaged in God’s remembrance. In this sense there is no dichotomy in the believer’s life, for his personality is holistic in nature. This is the true concept of the Qur’anic life.

A believer is one who discovers the Qur’anic truth as a complete theory of life. This belief is manifested in his worldly life as well as in that part of his life that is defined as being purely religious. This formula pertains not only to the day of congregation prayer: it gives, in fact, the complete scheme laid down for the believer. According to the Qur’an, belief is not simply a creed to be observed ritually. It is a complete formula for the whole life of the believer. A believer is one who discovers the Qur’anic truth as a complete theory of life. This belief is manifested in his worldly life as well as in that part of his life that is defined as being purely religious. A believer is a believer during his worldly activities as well as during his religious practices. The Qur’anic religion is a mind-based religion; this means that the Qur’an revolutionizes the whole personality of the believer in such a way that his intentions, his thinking, his behavior, his external conduct are all dyed in the same divine color. He is a believer when he is in a place of worship and he is also a believer when he is in the market or any otherworldly place. The criterion of a true believer is his soul and not his external form.

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