Business: A Solution for Peace


Business and trade are one of the main drivers of peace. For example many countries who went to war no longer do so, and many who could potentially be at war are not, because of business ties, and the potential loss to each economy should they engage in war.

This also goes beyond country and transcends even individual ties. In proper business dealings, there is a strict code of conduct to follow if you want to get the deal. For example, when having a meeting, you are expected to warmly greet your client, make him feel at ease, talk politely, handle any disagreements diplomatically, and yes no matter how you dislike him, bite your tongue and accord him the best respect possible. Here we are not questioning the intention of such good character, but highlighting the amazing fact of how the business environment can create or even insist such good morals over the temptation to behave in our usual rebellious selves when faced with obstacles and irritation.

Maybe that could be a reason why in the Quran – the holy book of Islam (one of the meanings of the word “Islam” is peace), the longest verse in this book, of all things, talks about transactions in business and trade:

“O you who believe, when you contract a debt, one upon another for a stated term, write it down; and let a writer write it down between you justly; and let not any writer refuse to write it down, as God has taught him; so let him write, and let the debtor dictate; and let him fear God his Lord, and not diminish anything of it. And if the debtor be a fool, or weak, or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate justly. And summon to bear witness, two witnesses, men; or if the two be not men, then one man and two women, such witnesses as you approve of, so that if one of the two women errs; the other will remind her; and let the witnesses not refuse, whenever they are summoned; and be not disdainful to write it down, small or great, with its term; that is more equitable in God’s sight, more upright for testimony, and nearer, that you will not be in doubt, unless it be trade carried out there and then that you give and take between you, then you will not be at fault if you do not write it down. And take witnesses when you are trading with one another. And let not either writer or witness be pressed; and if you do, that is sinfulness in you. And fear God. God teaches you and God knows all things.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 282)

Can there be any doubt too why marriage – in Islam – is also treated more like a contract than anything else.

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