The main objective for the creation of humankind was to recognize, submit, serve, worship and love Allah (swt). All careers commissioned to the prophets were in line with this purpose.
With the advent of globalization and digital connection, one of the greatest trials Muslims face today is finding Halal employment options. We must ensure that the choice of our career is a source of pleasure to Allah (swt). Naturally, any career that compromises our spiritual connection yet brings forth material gain is not acceptable.
Worldly opportunities are developing at the hands of the Kuffar, as they lead in research, trends, and futuristic progress. Often believers fall for monetary traps – sometimes deliberately and at other times ignorantly.
A girl I met was raving about a job that paid her well and was encouraging her peers to join her for the lucrative benefits. Later, she revealed that it was an online dating site that she was facilitating. Helping form Haram relationships cannot bring Halal income.
Allah (swt) is the Ultimate Provider. We will not leave this world without receiving what is destined to come our way. It is our duty to choose how we will earn that Rizq. This requires a thorough knowledge of our Deen, before we dive into the ocean of wonders and ruin our afterlife.
Sadly, the forbidden pursuits of employment bring money and status but do not grant contentment to the heart. They eventually self-destruct the person or the family he or she feeds.
Here are some of the fields the prophets were engaged in, besides their mission of establishing Allah’s (swt) order:
Prophet Adam (as)
He was the first to learn planting, harvesting, and baking. Allah (swt) also revealed the various food restrictions to him. He was taught the names of all things. He was made the first prophet to be sent as a vicegerent to Allah’s (swt) creation on the Earth.
Spiritually, he was guided how to repent (after he and Hawwa (as) were asked to leave Jannah upon eating the forbidden fruit).
Prophet Idrees (as)
Since he was the first to invent the needle, the first to open a hole in it and to thread it, he is considered to be the pioneer of tailoring.
He was the first of Adam’s (as) children to be granted prophethood. In Surah Maryam, Allah (swt) referred to him as “a man of truth”. According to Ibn Katheer, he was the first to write with a pen.
Prophet Nuh (as)
Prophet Nuh (as) was granted a long life and naturally a tough mission. He called people to Allah (swt) day and night for over 900 years.
Allah (swt) commanded Nuh (as) to build a ship, the Ark, and as he was building it, the chieftains passed him and mocked him. Upon its completion, the ship was loaded with pairs of every animal, Nuh’s household, and a group of believers who submitted to Allah (swt).
Spiritually, he was guided by Allah (swt) on submitting and refraining from invoking about something (in this case, for forgiveness of his disbelieving son) that he had no knowledge about and that was known only to Allah (swt).
Prophet Ibrahim (as)
He built the Kabah and was taught the skills of a mason. Spiritually, he was a leader for his progeny and the Ummah. He was the epitome of trust in Allah (swt), whether he was thrown in the fire or had to offer his son as sacrifice.
He was the father of hospitality, when some angels came to him disguised as strange visitors. He was forbearing, when his own father and his community turned against him in severe hostility.
He was termed as ‘Hanif’, focused and excellent in his worship and conduct, always meeting his Rabb’s expectations.
Prophet Yusuf (as)
He is a prophet, who first invented the clock. He was the first to establish an office for agricultural products. Prophet Yusuf (as) stocked in abundance, forecasting future needs of food. Hence, he was able to distribute to the public in scarcity and famine, without disturbing the food supply chain.
He was one of the sons of Prophet Yaqub (as), who was granted the talent of interpreting dreams. He was patient against the evil of his brothers, and steadfast when he was falsely accused by his master’s wife and incarcerated for no crime.
Prophet Musa (as)
He was a physically strong man who was raised as a royalty in the Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt. Later, he became a shepherd and served Shuayb (as) in Madyan. Serving for a revered person is also one of the professions of the prophets.
Spiritually, Prophet Musa (as) wasted no time to repent. When a Coptic was accidentally killed at his hands, Prophet Musa (as) immediately turned to Allah (swt) for forgiveness and guidance.
He hastened to obey Allah (swt), when he was called to meet Allah (swt) on Mount Tur. Similarly, he hastened to help the weak – he disregarded his own troubles and helped the daughters of Shuayb (as) water their flock.
Prophet Dawud (as)
He forged the iron and made armours. He established a regular army and defeated Jalut’s (Goliath’s) army.
He was granted the divine scripture of Psalms, which was a book of hymns. His worship was unparalleled and witnessed by the mountains, too.
Prophet Sulaiman (as)
He was granted a kingdom that no one will ever inherit in the world – he ruled over humans, animals, and the Jinns. He was able to understand their languages and communicate with them.
He used to make baskets from rushes. He is the first to forge copper mine, too.
Prophet Uzayr (as)
He used to be a gardener. He is the first to teach people how to graft fruit trees, to raise saplings and how to prune trees. He is the father of those who are occupied with gardening.
Prophet Isa (as)
He was a hunter. He used to make his living on hunting. He is the father of the hunters.
He received Injeel as a Divine Scripture for guiding his people. He was granted miracles by Allah (swt) to cure lepers, breathe life into clay creatures and revive the dead, in order to guide his nation.
Prophet Muhammad (as)
In childhood, he used to be a shepherd. Later, he became a profitable trader and came to be known for his business acumen and trustworthiness.
Upon acquiring the mission of prophethood, he called the people to Allah’s (swt) Deen and pursued Jihad at the age of 53 years in Allah’s (swt) cause to establish a world order based on justice and wisdom.
He was the seal of the prophets. He will be the first one to be resurrected and will lead his Ummah for their account before Allah (swt).