Etiquette of Walking, Riding, Going to the Market for Trade and Agricul Ture and Keeping Animals
1. Riding a horse, a mule, a donkey and their types:
It is stated from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) that keeping an animal for transportation is included in the good luck of a man.
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), one should keep an animal for transportation as it is a sign of his honour and it helps him in accomplishing many of his works. The Almighty God is responsible for its food.
In another tradition he (a.s.) asked Yunus ibne Yakub to keep a donkey which will carry his burden, and God will look after its food. The witness says he did as he was told, and as he kept an account of the whole year he realized that there was an increase in his income.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), an increase of fortune is related to the forehead of the horses until the Day of Judgement.
2. Regulation about saddling and harnessing:
One should understand that it is safe and preferable that the harness and saddle should not be made of silver or gold. It is sunnat that the saddle should not be of silk or of red colour. A woman is strictly prohibited to mount a saddle.
According to a reliable tradition, out of the many sigins of the world's end drawing near, will be the mounting of a woman on a horseback or saddle.
According to another reliable tradition, Ali ibne Ja'far asked Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.) if one could mount a horse, the harness or saddle of which is made of silver. The Imam (a.s.) answered that if the metal is gilted then there is no harm but otherwise one should not mount that horse.
Many reliable traditions state that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Ali (a.s.) that he should never mount a saddle of red colour whether it is on a horse or a camel; for it is one of the things on which the shaitan mounts.
In another tradition, people asked Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) if they could use the skin of a tiger or a panther for the purpose of saddle. The Imam (a.s.) answered that they could, but they cannot use it for prayer.
According to Imam Moosa Kazim (a.s.), there is a devil in the nose of a quadruped; therefore, while harnessing it one should say ‘Bismillah’.
A reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that when an animal gets out of hand while harnessing or is angry then one should pick its ears, otherwise even without picking the ears one should recite the following verse:
‘Seek they other than the religion of Allah? When unto Him submitteth whosoever is in the heavens and the earth willingly or unwillingly and unto Him they shall be returned.
3. Etiquette of mounting and prayers connected with it:
A reliable tradition from the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) states that when a person is mounting on the animal he should say ‘Bismillah’, for an angel mounts behind him and as long as that person is on the animal, the angel
looks after him. If a person does not say ‘Bismillah’ while mounting, then a devil mounts behind him and asks him to sing; if he cannot sing, the devil fills the man's mind with false hopes, and as long as the man is mounted, he thinks about all the impossible things.
He further stated that while mounting, one should recite:
‘Take the name of Allah ride; strength and might are possessed only by Allah. Thanks are due to Allah Who has enlightened us about these things and if Allah had not shown us the path we would not have been enlightened. Pure and purified is that Lord Who has made these animals submit to us though these had no power to submit by themselves.
4. To earn legitimately (Halal) and trade:
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), if a person has no intention of getting money by permissibble means, but wants to acquire it, that he may not be dependent and he may be able to return his debts and may be kind to his relatives, then there is no goodness in him (i.e. if he does not believe in permissibility and non-permissibility then his actions are of no avail).
In another tradition he has stated that for himself one should take the help of the world but should not become a liability for other people.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person who burdens another man with his wife and children, is cursed.
A reliable tradition states that a person asked Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) if he could wish for worldly riches. The Imam (a.s.) asked him why he needed it. The man replied that he needed that money for the expenditure on children and for kind deeds, charity and sadqa, Haj and Umrah. The Imam (a.s.) answered that wishing for money for the above purposes is not for the sake of the world; but for salvation.
According to a reliable tradition, a Sunni scholar entered the presence of Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.) when he was going out on a very hot day by taking the help of two of his slaves. As a taunt and criticism the scholar said to the Imam (a.s.) that as the Imam (a.s.) was the only learned man of Quraish, it was not advisable for him to go out on such a hot day for the sake of the world, for he may die and then what would be the result? The Imam (a.s.) replied that if death would have come at such a moment, it would have been opportune, for it would have come to him at the moment when he was busy in praying to the Almighty God and in a work which would have kept his wife and children from seeking help from people like him (the Sunni scholar). "One should fear that death", the Imam (a.s.) said, "which comes when one is sinning against God and is ashamed of his act of rebellion". Then the Sunni scholar replied that whatever the Imam (a.s.) had said was correct and though he wanted to give advice to the Imam (a.s.), he himself had taken a lesson from him.
In another tradition it is stated that Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) enquired about Umar ibne Muslim. The people replied that he had left trade. The Imam (a.s.) said thrice that it was the work of shaitan and whether he was not aware of what the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to say about trade and what the Almighty God Himself had declared about it at a certain place that there were a certain type of people who do not forget God while carrying on their trade and these people were a group of traders who used to trade, but
when it was time for prayers they used to get busy with prayers. These traders were much better than those people who were without trade and prayed at exact timings.
A reliable tradition states that people told the Imam (a.s.) that a certain person has said that he would retire from the world, offer his prayers, keep fasts and pray unto God and he would get his living from somewhere or other. The Imam (a.s.) declared that the man was of the type whose prayers were not heard.
It is stated that people enquired of the Imam (a.s.) about a certain person. A person in the gathering said that that particular man was facing a lot of anxieties. The Imam (a.s.) asked as to what work that man did. The person replied that now he had retired from the world and lived away by himself. When the Imam (a.s.) questioned as to what that man lived by, the person replied that the fellow-muslims looked after his welfare. At that the Imam (a.s.) said that the prayers and piety of the people who looked after the welfare of the man was better than the piety and prayers of that man.
According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), a person who seeks for worldly gains so that his children may not be destitutes and remain well looked after and is kind to one's neighbours, his face will be as bright as the moon of the fourteenth night, on the Day of Judgement.
5. Etiquette of trade:
It is stated that Hazrat Ali (a.s.) used to say from the mimber (pulpit) that a person should learn the regulations of trade before indulging in it, for the difference between profit and interest is fainter than the mark made by an ant's foot on a hard stone. One should not take false oaths, as, except those traders who trade rightly, all the others are wicked and their destination is hell.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), a person who indulges in trade should save himself from five things:
a) Taking interest
b) Uttering oaths
c) Hiding the defects of the merchandise
d) To praise something which is supposed to be sold to others
e) To criticise those things wrongly, which are being bought from others
According to another reliable tradition, Hazrat Ali (a.s.) used to go out early in the morning with a Durra hanging from his arm in the market of Kufa saying, "When you start transacting between each other, first you should pray to God for your welfare, make the transaction easier, and do everything with concentration that you may reap fully from it. Make acquaintance with the custUmars and treat them with politeness. Make patience and sobriety your standard and keep away from speaking lies and taking oaths. Do not be cruel to people and render justice with those victimised. Do not go near interest and measure correctly without any misappropriation."
According to Imam Mohammed Baqir (a.s.), if a person goes to the market in the mornings and afternoons and says:
‘O Allah I seek of You benefits for this bazar and those who through it.’
When he reaches the market, God will make an angel look after him and his merchandise until he returns home. That angel says, "Today you have saved yourself from the mischief of the market and those who frequent it and you have gained their goodwill." When he sits at his shop he should recite this prayer:
‘I stand witness that there is no God except One, Who has no partner and I also stand witness to Mohammed Mustafa (s.a.w.a.) being His creature and His Prophet. O Allah I beg You to give me permissible and purified daily bread with Your blessings; and seek shelter for myself doing any cruelty on anyone of anyone doing any cruelty with me and also seek refuge from trade which incurs losses and false oaths.’
When he will recite this prayer the angel will say,
"There will be a revelation unto you, and there is no end in the market today, whose share will be greater than yours. You have been in a hurry to collect good deeds and to ignore bad deeds, and now, within a little while the rightful and rewarding earning from God meant for you is arriving."
According to Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.), whenever one buys something one should say ‘Allaho-Akbar’ thrice and then recite the following prayer:
‘O Allah, I have bought that thing, that I may gain some benefit from it through You. Thus ordain for me some reward in it. O Allah I have bought it with purpose that it may be the cause of Your further blessings, thus ordain for relevant blessings in this thing. O Allah I have bought it that through it You may give me my daily bread thus determine its course to increase my daily bread.’
It is stated in a reliable tradition that whatever merchandise Imam Reza (a.s.) used to buy, he used to write ‘Barktan Lana’ on it. (meaning, I pray for the market and the businessmen.) It can be presumed that he used to write with his finger.
A reliable tradition from Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that whenever one wants to buy something, one should recite the following doa thrice:
‘O the Ever-living, the Self-subsisting; the Eternal, the Generous, the Merciful, I bind You and by Your dignity, Your might and all those things which are in Your knowledge and beg You to increase my prosperity and respect and make my end good through today's trade, as those things whose end is not good are never good.’
It is stated in Fiqhe Reza that when one packs something with care and wants to keep it safely, then one should recite Ayatul Kursi and the following doa:
‘We have set a wall before them and another behind them and have closed the gap from above. They can think of nothing. That thing cannot be lost whose protector is Allah. And if after this they do not see in the right direction, then say Allah is enough for me: Allah! there is no Allah but He! I rely on Him and He is the Lord of the Arshe-Azeem.’[^7]
and keep it inside the package. This will keep that merchandise safe from all accidents.
According to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), the worst places in the market are those where the shaitan digs embiem every morning, sits on his chair and disperses his offsprings to tempt someone to measure less, to keep a
wrong scale, and make some rob from the measure and show the incorrect price of the merchandise and then the shaitan commands his offsprings saying, "Tempt the mankind whose father Adam is dead. I am your father and still alive and I had been insulted and degraded on account of their father." Therefore, the first person who enters the market, the shaitan enters with him and goes out of the market with the last person who leaves it. The best place according to God is the mosque and that person is the best who enters the mosque first and leaves it the last.
In another tradition it is stated that the people complained that the group against the Imam (a.s.) considered the profession of teaching as not permitted (i.e. haram). The Imam (a.s.) replied that those enemies of God are liars. They want the children of the people to remain in the dark about the Holy Quran and also they should not be able to recite it. If a parent keeps his child under the care of a scholar, then the scholar should accept it as a rightful means of earning but he should not bargain in the beginning and accept whatever has been offered to him happily.
According to a reliable tradition, when on sells a Quran, one should sell it with the intention of selling for the sake of paper and binding and not for the script.
According to another tradition, Imam Ja'far-e-Sadiq (a.s.) states that a person who does not sleep the whole night thinking about ways of earning then that earning is not permissible (haram) for him. Many scholars have considered it as repulsive and non-permissible.