Is it true that markets are the most hated place by Allah SWT?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
In the Quran it is stated that this world is but a visiting place for humans and a place where they prepare their deed to be brought to the eternal life in the hereafter. This is according to the statement of Allah SWT:
مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الْآخِرَةِ نَزِدْ لَهُ فِي حَرْثِهِ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ حَرْثَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِن نَّصِيبٍ
“Whoever desires the harvest of the Hereafter - We increase for him in his harvest. And whoever desires the harvest of this world - We give him thereof, but there is not for him in the Hereafter any share.”
Surah al-Syura (20)
Thus, as believers, we should use the time given to increase our deeds so that the time will not be wasted for unbeneficial matters. Thus, in this series of Irsyad al-Hadith, we will answer the above question by first stating the related hadith:
- From Abu Hurairah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
أَحَبُّ الْبِلَادِ إِلَى اللهِ مَسَاجِدُهَا، وَأَبْغَضُ الْبِلَادِ إِلَى اللهِ أَسْوَاقُهَا
“The parts of land dearest to Allah are its mosques, and the parts most hateful to Allah are markets.”
Sahih Muslim (671)
Imam al-Nawawi when commenting on the above hadith in his book states, mosques are dearest to Allah SWT because they are the place of worship and based on taqwa. As for the hated place by Allah SWT are the markets because is a place where there is deception, renege, usury, distancing a person from the remembrance of Allah SWT and others. The meaning of dearest and hated are Allah wanting goodness and loss for each respectively. Besides, with His decision, a person will end up happy or in misery. Furthermore, mosques are places where blessings are sent down and markets are otherwise. (See: al-Minhaj Syarah Sahih Muslim, 5/171). This is also stated in Fath al-Mun’im. [3/397]
Imam al-Qurtubi in his commentary said the hadith is evidence that is makruh (undesirable) to enter markets. Especially in our time where there is no segregation of men and women. Scholars state that entering markets is makruh with the purpose of following the example of pious people who purify themselves form being in places where sins and transgression are usual. (See : Tafsir al-Qurthubi, 13/16)
Furthermore, Imam Ibn Batthal said, mosques are places where the names of Allah are always mentioned. While markets are places where it is usually noisy and distracting where people are busy trying to earn a living. Fortunately, if a person remembers Allah SWT in markets, then it is included as one of the good deeds. (See: Syarah Sahih al-Bukhari, 6/249)
Considering the above opinions of scholars, it is makruh (undeisrable) to enter markets for it is a place that could distract a person and make him turn away from remembering Allah SWT. Imam al-Mawardi and other scholars rebuke those who frequent markets and waste their time that they neglect their worship to Allah SWT. (See: al-Majmu’, 9/154)
As a conclusion, the hadith which states that markets are the most hated place by Allah SWT is sahih. Furthermore, the original ruling of entering markets is makruh (undesirable) according to scholars unless there is a necessity for it. However, it should be reminded that one should be mindful of the manners and do not waste his time with unbeneficial matters that he neglects his responsibilities and obligations as a slave of Allah SWT. Lastly, may Allah SWT protect us and accept all our deeds. Amin.