Umar’s (RA) advise on seeking a profession


‘Umar (RA) commanding the people to work hard and encouraging them to earn a living:

It was narrated from Muhammad ibn Sireen that his father said: “I attended Maghrib with ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab. He came to me and I had a small pile of clothes. He asked, ‘What is this you have?’ I said, ‘Some clothes. I come to this market and buy and sell.’ He said, ‘O’ Quraysh, do not let this one and others like him control trade, for it is one-third of leadership.'”

It was also narrated that al-Hasan said that ‘Umar said:

“Whoever tries to trade in something three times and cannot make any money out of it, let him move on to something else.”[1]

‘Umar said: “Learn a profession, for soon one of you will need a profession.”[2]

And he said: “Were it not for this buying and selling, you would soon become dependent on people.”[3]

And he said: “Earning in which there is some material work is better than begging from people.”[4]

And he said: “If one of you wants to buy a camel, let him choose one that is big and fat. Then if he does not benefit from it, he can still sell it and make profit.”

And he said: “O poor people, lift up your heads and engage in trade,for the way is clear, and do not be dependent on people.” [5]

And he also said: “No one of you should refrain from earning a living and say, ‘O’ Allah grant me provision.’ when he knows that the sky will not rain down gold and silver, and that Allah grants provision to people by means of one another.'” Then he recited the verse:

{Then when the [Jum’ah] Salah [prayer] is ended, you may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allah [by working], and remember Allah much, that you be successful.} (Qur’an 62:10)[6]

If ‘Umar saw a young man and liked him, he would ask: “Does he have a skill?” If the answer was no, he would say, “I am no longer impressed.”[7]

And he said: “There is no situation in which I would like to die, apart from Jihaad for the sake of Allah, more than if death were to come to me when I was travelling with my camels (for the purpose of trade), seeking provision by the bounty of Allah.” And he recited the verse:

{Others travelling through the land, seeking of Allah’s Bounty} (Qur’an 73:20)[8]


[1]Nidhaam al-Hukoomah an-Nabawiyyah, 2/20




[5]Faraa’id al-Kalam, p.129; Tanbeeh al-Ghaafileen, p.211, by as-Samarqandi

[6]Nidhaam al-Hukoomah al-Islamiya, 2/20