Entering the Marketplace

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه، أما بعـد

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عن ميثم رجل من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال بلغني أن الملك يغدو برايته مع أول من يغدو إلى المسجد فلا يزال بها معه حتى يرجع فيدخل بها منزله وإن الشيطان يغدو برايته إلى السوق مع أول من يغدو فلا يزال بها معه حتى يرجع فيدخلها منزله

Maytham narrates that it reached him from the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم who said that an angel goes out, holding his flag with the first person to go to the masjid and stays (holding his flag) with him until he returns and then enters his home with it. And Shaytan goes out, holding his flag, with the first person to go to the market and stays (holding his flag) with him until he returns and puts it in his home.

[Ibn Abi ‘Aasim and Abu Nu’aym in ‘Ma’rifatus-Sahabah’ and others – graded as saheeh mawqoof  by Al-Albani in ‘Saheeh at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb’, 1/422]

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1. Abdullah bin Umar narrated that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

خير البقاع المساجد وشر البقاع الأسواق

“The best parts (on earth to Allaah) are its masaajid, and the worst parts are its markets.” [with variant wording – graded as saheeh by ibn Hajar in ‘Muwafiqat’,  1/11 – (see also ibn Taymiyyah, ‘al-Akhana’iyah’, 159; ad-Dhahabi, ‘al-Muhadhab’, 2/995 and al-Albani, ‘Saheeh al-Jaami’, 167 & 258]

Jubayr bin Mut’im narrated from his father that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said (as part of a lengthy hadeeth):

 

شر البلدان أسواقها

“The worst of places are the markets.” [See Musnad Ahmad, 16395; Al-Hakim, 2084; Musnad Abi Ya’la, 7348; Mu’jam al-Kabeer’, 1525 and others – graded as saheeh by al-Hakim – see also Ibn Hajar in ‘Fath al-Bari’, 4/398 and  al-Albani, ‘Saheeh at-Targheeb’, 325)]

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2. Salman al-Farsi رضي الله عنه said: “The market is a breeding ground (ovary) of Shaytan; if you can, do not be the first to enter it, and do not be the last to come out of it.” [al-Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 7/122; classed as saheeh]

In the version of Saheeh Muslim (3562), it contains similar wording to the above with the ending: “…and the flag of Satan is set there.”

3. The superiority of the masjid is self evident as it is a place of purity and ‘ibadah. While the market-places are usually places of many distractions where people forget the remembrance of their Creator and indulge in disliked or forbidden acts such as wasting time, indulging in loose talk, extravagant spending, looking/listening at haram things etc. It is not the place itself which is abhorred, but the bad things (and their consequences) that occur within it. The angel holds the flag of righteousness and reward, while Shaytan holds the flag of evil and sin.

4. Some of our Salaf used to go to the markets to trade and earn a halal livelihood, while others would fulfil their daily needs. Yet others would go, carrying their items with the intention of giving away the profits in charity. Sh. Muhammad al-Munajjid wrote in his ‘al-Muhlat at-Tijariyah ila ‘ayn’:

الصحابة ذهبوا للأسواق ، لكن لماذا ذهبوا للأسواق ، كما يقول ابن مسعود الأنصاري -رضي الله عنه- كان رسول الله ? يأمرنا بالصدقة ، فما يجد أحدنا شيئًا يتصدق به ، حتى ينطلق إلى السوق فيحمل على ظهره ، يشتغل حمال ، فيجيء بالمد فيعطيه رسول الله ? علشان ينفقوا الصدقة ، أينعم يشتغل في السوق حمال ليتصدق ، فهذه بعض أحوال السلف -رحمه الله – سلفنا مع الأسواق

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5. To counter the distractions, du’a and dhikr has been made a means to alleviate the negative effects. The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Whoever enters the souk (marketplace) and says:

لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك وله الحمد يحيي ويميت وهو حي لا يموت بيده الخير وهو على كل شيء قديركتب الله له ألف ألف حسنة ومحا عنه ألف ألف سيئة ورفع له ألف الف درجة

Laa ‘ilaaha ‘illallaahu wahdahu laa shareeka lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, yuhyee wa yumeetu, wa Huwa hayyun laa yamootu, biyadihil-khayru, wa Huwa ‘alaa kulli shay’in Qadeer.

“None has the right to be worshipped but Allaah alone, Who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the praise. He brings life and He causes death, and He is living and does not die. In His Hand is all good, and He is Able to do all things.”

Allaah would write for him one thousand thousand merits, would remit from him one thousand thousand sins,and would raise for him [his status] one thousand thousand levels”.

[At-Tirmidhi, 5/291; Al-Hakim, 1/528,538; Ibn As-Sunni, 178; Imam Ahmad ‘Az-Zuhd’, 214 – Graded as hasan in ‘Saheeh Ibn Maajah’, 2/21 and ‘Saheeh at-Tirmidhi’, 3/152 – (see also ‘Jaami as-Saheeh’, 6231; ‘Saheeh Targheeb wa Tarheeb’, 1694 and ‘Saheeh al-Kalimah at-Tayyib, 183)

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6. From amongst the reason of huge merit of this du’a (like many others similar to it) is due to the fada’il of the kalimah of Tawheed and confirmation of Allaah’s Wahdaniyyah (Oneness). The words of this du’a bring the focus back to the Creator, while its meaning creates awe and awareness of our purpose in life.

7. There is no limit to Allaah’s Generosity and His Mercy – Allaah provides countless ways and means for His creation to increase their rewards and achieve salvation. He is constantly providing excuses to forgive – through all of our daily routines; from the moment we awake to the moment we sleep. And even our sleep becomes ‘ibadah if we fufil the Sunan that is related to it! Allaah Said:

وَاللَّهُ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

“…And Allah provides without measure to whom He wills.”  [An-Noor, 38]

8. For more details, please read:  The market-place in the scales of Islam

9. On manners and etiquettes related to market places

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May Allaah make us amongst those who constant with Dhikrullah with our hearts and tongues. That we seek His Pleasure through fulfilling the obligations and come closer to Him through the Sunan and Nawafilah.

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