A typical Muslim, however unreligious-low morals, missing prayers and fasts, even drinking (alcohol) and fornicating-is sure to abstain from consuming pig's meat. Even the mere mention of the term is distasteful to him; just imagining it gives him shivers. In fact, consuming pig's meat has become synonymous with illicit gain of wealth. But this attitude is restricted to swine. Muslims do not react with equal intensity to illicit earnings, despite God forbidding it, just as He forbade consumption of swine. A restaurant suspected of frying halal kebabs in pig's fat is very likely to be vandalized by an angry mob. But the same people think nothing of unfair, illicit means of making money. Is it not baffling? Even when some means of earning are deemed illegal by the state, people consider them just that-illegal-not illicit or forbidden, haraam. There may be some means of making money allowed by the state but deemed unfair by God. Let us have a look at the criterion of permitted, halal. But forbidden, haraam means of earning as laid down by Allah Almighty.
Two of the fundamental terms of the Quran are: haq, Right-honest means of income, and baatel, Wrong- dishonest ways of making money. The ways of making money approved and disapproved by the Quran are halal and haraam respectively. Al-Baqara, Chapter Two of the Quran, deals with Fasting in verses 183-187. Muslims the world over very honestly follow them but very conveniently, without any qualms whatsoever, ignore the very next verse 188: And do not consume each other's wealth illicitly. The Quran cites illicit financial practices as one of the basic causes of the downfall of the Jews 4:161, going on to say: And the transgressors among them had been promised a painful punishment. There are various illicit financial practices-cheating, fraud, bribery, stealing, embezzlement, hoarding, overpricing etc-but one mentioned specifically by the Quran often escapes our attention. And that is the one practiced by the clergy and the spiritual leaders: who are Convinced! Most of the religious scholars and mystics consume illicitly the public money and block the way to Allah, 9:34. Thus the priests and the mystics keep the masses entrapped in their web of deceit in order to safeguard their own vested social and financial interests. Obviously, if the public break free of the mesh and see the Truth, these men will have no more income.
The Business World :
The practice of bribery may be restricted to specific sections of society, but the area flooded by illgotten money is the world of business-trade, buying and selling, factories, shops, etc. The Quran has laid down various rules of conduct in this regard. Take trade for example: those who are Convinced, Don't consume each other's money illicitly, social life necessitates buying and selling, so that it should be done in agreement of the parties involved, otherwise, it is just like killing others. God wishes to save you from it,4:29 The verse in point resolves the problem of trade. But actually the exact opposite happens. Shopkeepers unite and decide prices. If a prospective customer finds a price too high, he is told to try elsewhere. Failing to get a lower rate, he is forced to pay the price for the asking. That is obviously not in agreement of the parties involved but the shopkeepers maintain, wrongfully of course, that that is the case. They obviously exemplify the verse: Many go astray, as many find the right path Quran 2:26. The shopkeeper, who insists on charging his quoted price and maintains that it does not impinge on the agreement of the customer, does not himself feel the same way when the roles are reversed. That is why the Quran goes on to say: Then whoever commits it, does it deliberately and wrongfully; the end of it will be hellfire, which is easy for God to do, 4:30. As trading involves the manufacturers, stockist, wholesalers, retailers as well as consumers, fair trade can only exist in a system which controls profits and prices.