This paper focuses on the importance Islam places on seeking one’s own sustenance.
Highlighted within this paper are narrations concerning the livelihood of the Prophets and Caliphs,
who trained in particular crafts and ate from the toils of their own labour. Also emphasised is the
historical attitude towards relying on the state for an income: examples are cited where Prophets
and Caliphs in public service posts disliked the taking of income from public funds and preferred
instead to rely on independent earning.
The main aim of the paper is to guide our attention towards the key principles of working hard for
oneself and that relying on state help should be an exception rather than a norm. The paper
concludes by addressing the issue of the current financial situation in Britain where accepting
employment leaves individuals worse off financially than if they were to accept state benefits.