Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most beloved places on Earth to Allah are its mosques, and the most despised places on Earth to Allah are its markets.” [Sahîh Muslim]
From all the places on Earth, Allah loves the mosques above all else. They fulfill the most important function. They are the places where those on Earth make contact with their Creator and Sustainer. The Arabic word for prayer – salâh – means to make a connection between the worshipper and his Lord.
As for the markets, they are not “the most despised places on Earth to Allah” on account of the buying and selling that goes on there. That is not the reason at all.
They are despised because of all the deception and fraud that goes on. The markets are places where false measure is given, and where every day false oaths are sworn. They are places of stinginess, avarice, wrangling, and disputation.
At the same time, we find that this hadîth provides us with a very essential and important concept. By placing the market in comparison with the mosques, the hadîth is acknowledging that the marketplace is an institution in Muslim society, just like the mosque is.
Life is not only about the mosque. The mosque and the marketplace are both integral parts of society.
Allah’s believing servants are people who engage in buying and selling. However, they do not let their commerce distract them from the remembrance of Allah. There is harmony between the rights of this world and the rights of the Hereafter. Allah says: “And do not forget your share of the worldly life.” [Sûrah al-Qasas: 77]
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today