Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

The Dignity of Labour

1. Maqdam bin Ma’di Karb relates that the Prophet said:

“Nobody has eaten better food than the bread which a man earns out of the work done with his two hands. David, the Prophet of God, worked with his hands for his living.”

2. Abdullah bin Umar relates that the Prophet said:

“Pay the workman his wages before the perspiration on his body (due to labour) dries up.”

3. Abu Huraira relates that the Prophet said:

“God has said that on the Day of Judgement, He would take to task three persons in particular: one who enters into a covenant in the name of God and then lightly breaks it; the second who enslaves and sells a free person and spends the money on himself; the third who engages a labourer and takes full work out of him and then refuses to pay him his wages.”

4. Abu Huraira relates that the Prophet said:

“God did not send a Prophet into this world who has not acted as a shepherd, tending goats and sheep, at one time or another.”

And when the Companions asked about him, the Prophet said:

“Yes, even I used to tend goats owned by the Meccans and was paid a few coins for the work.”