Have you ever thought about the concept of earning in Islam? Or what role wealth plays in our lives and why we really need to earn money? To some people, money could be a result of the exchange of value. In other words, what you are doing is of value to someone, and that is why you are paid for it.
You might get excited to know the value you are delivering to people is making their lives better; then you will be probably more motivated to enhance your get-rich potential and try to make more and more money! This would be an ideal reason for someone to earn money. However, we all need money to spend for certain reasons, e.g., food, clothing, shelter, etc.
Muslims believe wealth is one of the innumerous blessings of Allah that is referred to as ‘Khair’ -meaning goodness- in some verses of the Holy Quran (2:215, 2:180). In another verse, it is mentioned as an attraction of this worldly life (18:46). What’s more, gaining wealth has been given so much importance in the religion of Islam that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says: “Seeking lawful earnings is compulsory for every Muslim” .
Islam also seriously recommends attaining the sustenance provided by God through hard work and striving. It is stated in the Islamic narrations that Allah does not like a person who prays for income while he has quit earning and does not try for it . The holy Quran also says:
“That nothing belongs to man except what he strives for, and that he will soon be shown his endeavor, then he will be rewarded for it with the fullest reward” (53:39-41).
Along with the importance Islam attaches to gaining wealth through hard work, it places greater emphasis on making money through lawful (Halal) ways.
“Eat of what is lawful and pure in the earth, and do not follow in Satan’s steps” (2:168).
Based on this verse, consuming only what is lawful (Halal) and good, and abstaining from unlawful (Haram) things, are among the basic principles of the Islamic lifestyle. Many Islamic narrations advise and praise the acquisition of livelihood through fair means, i.e., NOT through stealing, cheating, betting, etc. Islam actually underscores the importance of productive enterprises that can increase output and generate jobs; this is the reason why earning money through gambling is Haram in this religion.
According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in order for an income (in trading) to be Halal, one should not
fault the product he/she is buying,
praise the product he/she is selling,
swear to God while trading .
“Whoever lives on Halal earnings for forty days, God shall enlighten his heart” . Some benefits of earning income through fair means are:
Receiving the Protection of God
Allah says: “If what you eat is Halal and pure, I will protect you” .
Acceptance of Prayer
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says if you want your prayer to be accepted and fulfilled by Allah, make sure your income is Halal and pure .
Receiving God’s Glory and Honor on the Day of Judgment 
Strengthening One’s Faith [i]
Getting Allah’s Blessings and Favors (Barakah):
Your income sometimes may not seem enough, but if it is gained through Halal ways, it will be blessed by Allah; so it will suffice: “And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him” (65:3)
“You see many of them actively engaged in sin and aggression, and consuming illicit gains. Surely, evil is what they have been doing” (5:62).
Here are a few negative effects that await people who choose the wrong way of earning money (by foul means) either for their greed or deprivation:
Their Halal income will be reduced, and they will be deprived of Allah’s blessings (Barakah) 
Their prayers will not be answered .
They will become hard-hearted and cruel .
Consumption of Haram will have negative effects on their offspring and descendants .
Our sustenance lies with Allah
Finally, we should always remember that God is the All-provider (51:58) who has ordained Halal sustenance for all creatures, and the creatures’ efforts to earn their living is placed alongside His will. So, we will definitely reach what is provided for us by Him if we try more patiently, and if we are content with and thankful for what we already have.
God has not forgotten any of us; the Holy Quran says: “There is no animal on the earth, but that its sustenance lies with Allah, and He knows its [enduring] abode and its temporary place of lodging. Everything is in a manifest Book” (11:6) Then we had better avoid what Allah has told us is unlawful (Haram) since:
“Yet it may be that you dislike something, which is good for you, and it may be that you love something, which is bad for you, and Allah knows, and you do not know” (2:216).
[i] “Never give up striving for lawful livelihood as it reinforces your faith”. Imam Sadiq (AS) 
- Bihar al-Anvar, vol. 103, p. 9
- Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Mafatih al-Hayat, p. 582
- Ibid p.589
- Bihar al-Anvar, vol. 53, p. 326
- Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Mafatih al-Hayat, p.589
- al- Daawat, p. 24
- Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 14, p. 249
- Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Mafatih al-Hayat, p. 593
- earning in Islam
- Bihar al-Anvar, vol. 71, p.128
Generosity is such an important virtue in the religion of Islam that the holy Quran says with regard to it: “You will never attain piety until you spend out of what you hold dear, and whatever you may spend of anything, Allah indeed knows it” (3:92).
As perfect exemplars of this great ethical virtue, the holy prophet (PBUH&HP) and infallible Imams (AS) always recommended their followers to be unconditionally kind and bountiful with people. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) stated: “A generous person is closer to Allah, to the people and heaven” 
Allah says in the Holy Quran:
“As for him who gives and is Godwary, and confirms the best promise, We will surely ease him toward facility” (92:5-7)
Generosity is one of the qualities of the soul which Allah bestows upon His beloved ones, who are not concerned about material wealth and willingly give to others to make the world a better place and reach God’s satisfaction.
In return, The Bountiful Allah has promised to provide the generous with ease and facility both in this world and the hereafter. Under God’s promise to generous people in the verse above, scientific studies also confirm the ease and happiness generosity would bring about. “A huge review of 40 studies on the effect of volunteering on general health and happiness was published in the journal BMC Public Health. The results? Volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it is also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early” .
One of the most eminent characteristics of the holy infallible Imams was their generosity. It has been narrated that Imam Hassan (AS) granted his whole wealth twice in his lifetime to win Allah’s satisfaction and improve the life of his fellow human beings. He also divided his property with the poor three times, granting half his wealth to the poor altogether, including his own shoes . Money was only a means for him to help the needy. “Once, he was asked: ‘We do not see you disappoint a beggar. Why?’
He replied: ‘I am asking Allah for His favors, and I love to be near Him. I am ashamed, as I am myself in need of Allah, to repulse a beggar. Allah got me used to a habit; to shower me with His bounties, and I get Him used to me showering His bounties on the people. I fear that should I stop my habit, He may stop His habit.’” 
This implies the verse of the holy Quran that says:
“Be good [to others] just as Allah has been good to you” (28:77)
It is noteworthy, however, that the infallible Imams never sought excessive asceticism. Neither did they ordain absolute abstinence from worldly delights [i]. Although they were sometimes rich, they willingly wanted to lead the life of the poorest people in the society. So that they could sympathize with them, and show the nothingness of the perishable earthly wealth compared with other eternal values.
But does it mean that Muslims have to give all their wealth away generously like their leaders? In fact, this kind of behavior mostly suits the leaders of a community. What Islam expects from the rest of the people is moderation in generosity.
Along with the social and individual benefits of the generosity in Islam for the giver proven by the researchers, ranging from a better outlook on life to having a lower risk of early death, the Quranic verses also name some more spiritual effects of this act of benevolence:
Generosity and charity make us receive the unlimited, immeasurable blessings and mercy of God:
“Those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah and then do not follow up what they have spent with reproaches and affronts, they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve” (2:262)
God has guaranteed multiplied reward as the replacement of donation and generosity in this world and the hereafter:
“… and He will repay whatever you may spend, and He is the best of providers’” (34:39)
“The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain which grows seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. Allah enhances several fold whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing” (2:261)
God showers his endless blessings upon generous people. He makes it easy for them to follow the path of obedience and charity until they are granted a life free from any fears or difficulties:
“Those who give their wealth by night and day, secretly and openly, they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve” (2:274)
“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and maintain the prayer, and spend secretly and openly out of what We have provided them, expect a commerce that will never go bankrupt” (35:29)
“Those who are patient for the sake of their Lord’s pleasure, maintain the prayer, and spend secretly and openly out of what We have provided them, and repel evil [conduct] with good. For such will be the reward of the [ultimate] abode” (13:22)
In the next part of this article, we will introduce 6 Etiquettes of Generosity and Almsgiving.
[i] Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says: “there is no monasticism in Islam” .
There is no doubt among us that after our dear Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP), our twelve Imams (AS) are the most important figures of our religion. On that account, today we want to get to know more about our first imam and the first male convert of the religion birth matter and conditions.
The faithless say, ‘You have not been sent [by Allah].’ Say, ‘Allah suffices as a witness between me and you, and he who possesses the knowledge of the Book’
The Holy Quran (13:43)
And among the people is he who sells his soul seeking the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants
The Holy Quran (2:207)
If the two of you repent to Allah... for your hearts have certainly swerved, and if you back each other against him, then [know that] Allah is indeed his guardian, and his supporters are Gabriel, the righteous among the faithful and, thereafter, the angels...
The Holy Quran (66:4)
If we seek the true meaning of these three verses above of our holy book, they all seek Ali (AS) as their primary target and guide us to some aspects of his life. our dear imam has been implicitly described by The Quran many times that shows us His great importance in our religion.
No one can fully describe the contributions of Imam Ali (AS) to his religion and the people and if anyone dares to do so, he can merely show a drop of the sea. That said we are about to speak about the first question that may occur to our mind: how was our first Imam born?
Thirty years after the “year of the elephant” (*) occurrence, in the 13th of Rajab (March 8), when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH&HP) was 30 years old, 10 years before our dear The Prophet (PBUH&HP) received the first revelation from the angel Gabriel and 23 years before the great migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina.
At this time, our dear imam's pregnant mother (Fatima Daughter of Asad) was praying at Kaaba. She felt an immense amount of delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from that pain. Suddenly the wall of Kaaba has moved apart and given shelter to her for 3 whole days. After these days, she came out of Kaaba with her dear son, our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS). Imam’s delivery was a great honor that happened to no one And after yet; walls moving apart, mother’s presence in the holy site of Islam, and the unique birth in Kaaba were all the signs of the greatness of son of Kaaba.
Fatima Daughter of Asad was the second woman that converted to Islam (after Prophet’s wife, Khadija” SA”). She had the honor of taking care of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) from the age of eight until his youth in her (Abu-Talib) house. Their relation was as much close that Prophet (PBUH&HP) called she “mother” So we can see the early strings of Prophet (PBUH&HP) calling Imam Ali (AS) his brother.
1.Sheikh Mofid (died in 413th AH): our first imam, Ali b. Abi Talib (AS) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the year of the elephant in Mecca. No one ever has been born in Kaaba before and after him. His delivery was the great honor that God granted him to show his dignity over other men of his age.
2. Allamah Al-Hilli (died in 726th AH): Imam Ali (PBUH) was born on Friday the 13th of Rajab and thirty years after the occurrence of the year of the elephant. No one before and after him, was born in Kaaba at that time, The Prophet (PBUH&HP) was thirty years old.
Many of the Sunni scholars Believe that Imam’s birth routine was in Kaaba and some of them even think this matter exclusively was only for the Imam.
We will name some of them briefly and look at their point of view:
1. Al-Hakim al-Nishapuri (died in 658th lunar year): a lot of Consecutive narrations have pointed that Fatima bt. Asad have delivered Ali b. Abi Talib in the Kaaba.
2. Sibt ibn al-Jawzi Hanafi (died in 654th lunar year): It has been narrated that when Fatima bt. Asad was pregnant and doing tawaf around the Kaaba, she sensed an immense delivery pain that she fled to Kaaba from the pain; when suddenly Kaaba’s door got opened to her so she went into the Kaaba and gave birth to his child.
Syed Ismail Himayari (who died in 173th AH) was one of the greatest poets of Arabic literature. He wrote a poem about this unique birth:
His mother gave birth to him in God’s safe site; God’s house and masque was his birthplace
He was pure and noble; her mother, her child, and her birthplace too
In one of the darkest nights, he appeared with lunar purity
No child other than Amine’s child is honored like him
- Kitab al-Kafi (first Volume – page 452)
- Kitab al-Irshad (first Volume – page 5)
- I'lam al-Wara bi A'lam al-Huda (first Volume – page 306)
- Bihar al-Anwar (35th Volume – page 182)
- Description of Nahj al-Balagha (first Volume – page 6)
- Manaqib Ale Abi Talib (third Volume – page 307)
- Rawżat al-Vaeezin (page 81)
* In that year, Kaaba invaded by faithless king Abraha and his great elephant army and ironically saved by Allah himself with an army of birds carrying small stones by their pecks that penetrate the elephant's body and skull and all of them got killed, and Kaaba was saved.