Trade is the Sunnah of blessed Prophets عَـلَـيْهِمُ السَّلَام. It has many virtues. You can realise the importance of trade from the fact that a part of the life of the beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was spent in trade. He صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the most beloved of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ among His people and the best among the creatures of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. The most pious people of this Ummah, i.e. the blessed companions also chose this profession.
Sayyidatuna Aaishah Siddiqah رَضِیَ اللهُ عَنْهَا has stated: ‘كَانَ اَصْحَابُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم عُمَّالَ اَنْفُسِهِم Translation: The blessed companions would do the work with their own hands. (Bukhari, vol. 2, pp. 11, Hadees 2971)
Meaning, they would earn through handicraft or trade or agriculture. (Umdat-ul-Qaari, vol. 8, pp. 329)
Let us now talk about those blessed companions who chose trade.
Sayyiduna Sakhr Bin Wada’ah Ghamidi رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ
Sayyiduna Sakhr Bin Wada’ah Ghamidi رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ has stated that Nabi Kareem صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم once made this Du’a:
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لِأُمَّتِي فِي بُكُورِهَا
Translation: O Allah, bless my Ummah with Barakah in their early mornings [i.e. what they do early in the morning]. (Abu Dawood, vol. 3, pp. 51, Hadees 2606)
Sayyiduna Sakhr رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ was a trader and would send his trade goods (in travel) in early morning. With the blessing of this, he became very rich and his wealth increased so much that he was unable to decide where to store it. (Abu Dawood, vol. 3, pp. 51, Hadees 2606; At-Tareekh-ul-Kabeer lil-Bukhari, vol. 4, pp. 259)
Allamah Muzhir رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْه has stated: It is Sunnah to travel in the early time of the day and Sayyiduna Sakhr رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ would follow this Sunnah. Hence, with the blessing of acting upon this Sunnah (and the Du’a of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم), his wealth increased. Because the Du’a of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is always accepted.
Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ash’ari رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ
Sayyiduna Abu Musa Abdullah Bin Qays Ash’ari رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ was a great Islamic jurist and a teacher of Quran and would recite the Holy Quran in a very pleasant voice. It is found about his source of income that he would sell medicines. An evidence for this is the incident that once Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Masood said to him during a conversation: اِنَّمَا اَنْتَ مُدَاوِی (i.e. you are just a merchant of medicines).
Explaining this point of Sayyiduna Abdullah Bin Masood رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ, Allamah Ibn-e-Abi Zamaneen Muhammad Bin Abdullah Murree رَحْمَةُ اللهُ عَلَيْه (died in 339 AH) has said: ‘كَانَ يَبِيْعُ الْعَقَاقيْر Meaning, Sayyiduna Abu Musa Ash’ari رَضِىَ اللهُ عَـنْهُ would sell medicines. (At-Tarateeb-ul-Idariyyah, vol. 2, pp. 57) (Siyar-e-A’lam-un-Nubala, vol. 4, pp. 44)