Review Article

An Essay on the Islamic Vision of Labor in the Framework of Ibn Kemal’s Risale Titled Fi’l-Hassi ‘Ala’s-Sa’yi Ve’l-Men’i ‘Ani’l-Betâle


This study aims to evaluate the attitudes towards the labor (sa’y) and earnings (kesb) notions of a Muslim mind in three different cycles within the framework of the risale titled Fi’l-Hassi ‘Ala’s-Sa’yi Ve’l-Men’i ‘Ani’l-Betâle, written in the 16th century by Ibn Kemal. Ibn Kemal, who determined the nature of the relationship that the Muslim mind would establish with the world (earnings), empha-sized the importance of moderate behavior before deviating to excess and inadequacy. This risale, which was published anew in the journal Mecmua-ı Fünun on the verge of the modernization process, can be said to have been used instrumentally when considering this period and the journal where it was published. However, the work/labor approach, which is based on Ibn Kemal’s concepts of mulk (property), kesb, and sa’y, possesses qualities that can also be referenced for these days. Ibn Kemal, while on one hand declar-ing the negative aspects of an attitude that excludes the world and stands aloof from the notions of work and earnings, on the other warned of the need to act ethically while being active. Ibn Kemal, who questioned the legitimacy of sa’y and kesb, measuredly used eliminating individual or social need alongside the notions of haram-halal. The call for behaving ethically at a time when earnings and work were sanctified also makes sense for these days as it did for Ibn Kemal.


Ibn Kemal Risale Labor (Sa’y) Earnings (Kesb) Laziness (Betalet) Concept of labor