The Best Trader/Trader’s Way of Conversation/Hastiness in Buying and Selling

Trading was the occupation of many people of Makkah Mukarramah. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم also travelled to Syria twice and once to Yemen for trading. He صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم made his first trade journey to Syria at the age of 12 with his uncle Abu Taalib. (Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 5, pp. 356, Hadees 3640; Seerat-e-Mustafa, pp. 86)

There isn’t another example of the level of integrity, truth, honesty and trust that he صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم showed while conducting trade. It is necessary for a successful trader to possess the great attributes of truthfulness, honesty, trustworthiness, fulfilling promises, and courtesy. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was the embodiment of all these admirable qualities.

Trade and honouring promises

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin Abil Hamsa رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ has narrated: Prior to his declaration of Nubuwwah, I made a business deal with the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. I already paid some amount of what I owed him but it was a considerable sum. I promised him that I would instantly go home and return with the remaining sum of money; but I forgot to return for three days. Then, when I [eventually remembered and] turned up at that place, I found him waiting at the same place. My failure to keep my promise did not infuriate him; he صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم only remarked: ‘Young man! You have troubled me; I have been waiting here for three days’. (Abu Dawood, vol. 4, pp. 388, Hadees 4996)

Never argued

Likewise, another Sahabi [companion] Sayyiduna Saa’ib رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ has narrated: Before his declaration of Nubuwwah, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was my business partner and he was a very good [business] partner; never did he صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم fight or argue. (Abu Dawood, vol. 4, pp. 342, Hadees 4836)

Trip to Syria

When the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was around 25 years old, Sayyidatuna Khadijah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا sent him a message due to his integrity and honesty, offering him double amount for taking her trade goods to Syria. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم accepted her offer and left for Syria with trade goods. In this journey, he صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was accompanied by Maysarah, slave of Sayyidatuna Khadijah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا. This was the second trade journey of Rasoolullah صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم to Syria. After selling the trade goods quickly, he صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم returned to Makkah Mukarramah. As his trade caravan entered Makkah Mukarramah, Sayyidatuna Khadijah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا saw the trade caravan arriving. From the upper room, she saw the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, she noticed that two angels were shading the blessed head of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم from sunlight. (Madarij-un-Nubuwwah, vol. 2, pp. 27, paraphrased)

Dear Muslim traders! The success in this world and the Hereafter lies in conducting trade in accordance with the Sunnah. May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ make us follow the Sunnah of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم sincerely and wholeheartedly.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن   صلَّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

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The Best Trader/Trader’s Way of Conversation/Hastiness in Buying and Selling

What is the Islamic ruling on selling old [stocked] medicines at the new price?

Question: What do the Islamic scholars state regarding the following matter? I have a pharmacy. We keep some medicines in stock; sometimes, their prices increase. Can we sell these medicines at the new price or will we have to sell them only at the old price?

اَلجَوَابُ بِعَونِ المَلِكِ الوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَةَ الحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: When the shopkeeper purchases some goods, he becomes the owner of those goods. Now he can sell those goods as he wishes. According to the rule, he is the owner [of those goods] and can sell them at any price he wishes.

However, the Islamic jurists have given this authority to the rulers that they can also fix the prices of the goods. Therefore, if the government fixes the price of anything and the person selling it at a higher price may have to face legal action as a result, then obviously, he will have to sell his goods according to the law as it will become Wajib [compulsory] according to Shari’ah as well to avoid that permissible act which the law forbids.

Therefore, if the law does not state anything about the old stock or if there isn’t any restriction on selling [the old stock] at the new price, then you can sell the old stock at the new price. If there is some legal restriction, then it is compulsory to follow the law.

وَاللهُ اَعلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعلَم صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

Laying down the condition at the time of selling the land that it should be sold only to me again

Question: What do the Islamic scholars state regarding the following matter? Can I sell my land to anyone, stating it to the buyer, ‘I sell this land to you for 6 lakhs for the period of eight months but you will not sell this land to anyone else; rather, you will sell it only to me for 6 lakhs and 50 thousand after eight months.’ Is it correct to sell the land in this way?

اَلجَوَابُ بِعَونِ المَلِكِ الوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَةَ الحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: It is not permissible to sell the land in this way. The reason is that there are some purposes of buying and selling and the greatest of these purposes is the transfer of ownership, i.e. the seller no longer owns the property [being sold] and the buyer now becomes its owner. After buying the property, the buyer has full rights over it and has the right to use it in any way he wants. The conditions you have mentioned, ‘I am selling it for eight months and you will have to sell it only to me again’ is Shart-e-Faasid [invalid condition] which makes the contract defective. It is Wajib [compulsory] according to Shari’ah to refrain from such type of contract.

وَاللهُ اَعلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعلَم صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

It is not permissible to have the haircut without fixing its charge mutually

Question: What do the Islamic scholars state regarding the following matter? Zayd had a haircut by a non-Muslim barber but did not fix the charges. After having the haircut, Zayd gave some money to the barber who took it silently. Is it correct to do so?

 

اَلجَوَابُ بِعَونِ المَلِكِ الوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَةَ الحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: It is not permissible to have the haircut without fixing the charges. According to the rule, when you avail yourself of such permissible services from someone that are paid for, for example, services of having a haircut, etc., then it is not permissible to avail oneself of such service without fixing the charges. If service is availed without fixing the charges then the person will have to pay Ujrat-e-Misl, i.e. the charges will be paid which are usually paid in the market for this specific service. However, if the charges are already known or the service provider and the one availing the service know the charges, then it will not be necessary to fix the charges each time. However, it is specified in the question that the contract has been made between [a Muslim and] a non-Muslim; this act will not be declared to be impermissible in any case as ‘Uqood-e-Faasidah [defective contracts] are permissible between a Muslim and a Harbi non-Muslim.

وَاللهُ اَعلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعلَم صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

To fix a gift instead of salary for a job

Question: What do the Islamic scholars state regarding the following matter? Zayd sells the products of a company. The company sets a target; it does not offer any proper employment contract. For example, it states that if you achieve the target of one lakh-sale, you will be given 40 thousand as a gift. Is it correct to make a contract in this way?

اَلجَوَابُ بِعَونِ المَلِكِ الوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَةَ الحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: The amount referred to as the gift in the question is actually the person’s salary. In some cases, salary is fixed separately and commission is also given separately as a gift upon achieving the target. The Shar’i rule states: ‘اَلْاِعْتِبَارُ لِلْمَعَانِیْ لَا لِلْاَلْفَاظِ’ It means that the words are not taken into account in such type of contracts; instead, purposes are taken into account. Therefore, in this condition when the salary has not been mentioned at all, the amount being referred to as gift is actually the salary.

وَاللهُ اَعلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعلَم صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

Ruling on buying and selling prize bonds

Question: What do the Islamic scholars state regarding the following matter? The prize bonds that are purchased are kept, and if one does not win a prize, he cashes it. Is the prize one has won in this way Halal or Haraam?

اَلجَوَابُ بِعَونِ المَلِكِ الوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَةَ الحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: It is permissible to buy and sell the prize bonds and the prize won in this way is Halal. However, the premium bonds of 40 thousand recently issued by the Government of Pakistan are interest-applied bonds; buying and selling them and the profit obtained through them is impermissible and Haraam.

وَاللهُ اَعلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُولُهٗ اَعلَم صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم

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The Best Trader/Trader’s Way of Conversation/Hastiness in Buying and Selling

 

As honesty, truthfulness, hard work and knowing the rules of trade are mandatory for a successful trader, similarly it is important for him to be courteous, sociable and a possessor of excellent character. Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه says: It is essential for every Muslim to be courteous; but a trader in particular needs to be courteous. One of the reasons for the failure of Muslim traders is also their discourtesy. One customer who came to them once will not come back to them due to their discourtesy. We have seen some non-Muslim traders that when they open a new shop in any town, they give small children some sweets, etc., when they come to buy something, so that children only buy from their shop, being attracted by sweets. Big merchants even provide hospitality to special customers by offering them food etc. All these things are to make a loyal and solid customer base. If you cannot do all this, then at least speak to the customer with such sweetness and compassion that he becomes fond of you. (Islami Zindagi, pp. 153; summarized)

A trader should not take an oath on every matter during conversation. If he has to take an oath when needed, then he shall only take a true oath. Traders normally take a false oath in order to grab hold of the customer by saying that ‘by Allah, another customer before you was paying more money than you. But I did not sell it to him.’ For people like these, there is a very strong admonition mentioned in a blessed Hadees. Therefore, the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: There are three such people with whom Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ will neither converse, nor look at them with a merciful gaze on the Day of Judgement. One (among them) is he who takes an oath on a product saying that “I was getting more value of it before’, whereas he is lying. (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, pp. 100, Hadees 2369)

This epidemic normally exists among the shopkeepers that when a buyer talks about the price of a product, they then say that ‘By Lord! Another customer just before you was giving more money than this. But I didn’t sell it to him.’ And their actual state is such that when the customer doesn’t agree and starts to walk off, then they call him from behind and say, ok no problem, I agree to sell you on your prescribed offer. Remember that lying does not change fate. Instead, it is proven through experience that a true shopkeeper earns abundantly. (Mirat-ul-Manajeeh, vol. 4, pp. 341)

Similarly, a trader shall neither falsely praise his trade goods during conversation, nor shall he do Zikrullah to show the excellence of his trade goods. As it is mentioned in Bahar-e-Shari’at: It is impermissible for a trader to recite Salat-‘Alan-Nabi or to say سُـبْحٰـنَ الـلّٰــه at the time of showing products to the customer with the intention of revealing product’s excellence upon the buyer. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, pp. 533)

Similarly, a trader shall not “donate his righteous deeds” by backbiting others just for the sake of few pennies, such as, so-and-so sells impure goods or does not weigh the goods properly, etc. While reprimanding a backbiter, Sayyiduna Ibraheem Bin Adham رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه says: O liar person! You have been miser in giving your friends the unworthy wealth of this world, whereas you have spent the provision of the Hereafter (i.e. treasure of righteous deeds) upon your enemies! Neither your worldly miserliness is accepted, nor your generosity of donating your righteous deeds by backbiting is accepted. (Tanbih-ul-Ghafileen, pp. 87)

 

Think before you speak!

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The Best Trader/Trader’s Way of Conversation/Hastiness in Buying and Selling

Fictional parable

As soon as Zayd received the news in the office that his brother has passed away in Lahore, he informed his manager and arrived home straightaway. He quickly packed necessary provisions and arrived at the railway station. After a bit of struggle, he managed to get a seat in a train for Lahore. After sitting in the train, he took a sigh of relief. At night, when train stopped at a station, Zayd approached a stall quickly, took out money from his pocket and bought a bottle of water. Thereafter, he quickly boarded the train. At the time of breakfast in the morning, when he checked his pockets, he found only Rs. 20. Rs. 5,000 note could not be found in any pocket. Upon this, he was absolutely stunned and could not believe himself because at night whilst buying the bottle of water, he gave Rs. 5,000 note in haste instead of Rs. 20 note. Nothing could now be done except regretting it because he even forgot to see the name of the station in haste.

Dear Islamic brothers! It is stated in a blessed Hadees: Calmness is from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ and hastiness is from Satan. (Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 3, pp. 407, Hadees 2019)

Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states: Performing worldly or religious tasks with calmness is as an Ilhaam (bestowment) from Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, whereas performing them hastily is satanic whisper. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 6, pp. 625)

Buying and selling is also one of the tasks in which a person makes haste. Hastiness in buying and selling not only causes financial loss, but at times, along with physical harm, it also creates various problems such as mental stress, disappointment, embarrassment, etc. Few expected harms of buying and selling in haste are mentioned below:

Buying a product at a high price

In relation to buying and selling, some hasty people buy a product at an expensive price without thinking and inquiring about the market rate or consulting with an experienced person. Then they become embarrassed upon listening to the heart-breaking comments of people such as “you have been robbed. The shopkeeper has fooled you”, etc.

Purchasing a sub-standard or harmful product

Sometimes one buys an unhealthy or very cheap-standard product in haste which is harmful not only for the buyer, but for his family too. Hence, the product is of no use, as well as money goes to waste too. For example, buying a low quality electronic product for an expensive price in haste which stops working within few days; or giving an expired medicine to a patient without checking it which worsens the patient’s condition or perhaps the poor guy loses his life due to it. The blessed son of Maula ‘Ali, Sayyiduna Muhammad Bin Hanafiyyah رَحْمَةُ اللهِ تَعَالٰی عَلَيْه states: Our matter is even clearer and brighter than the sun. Therefore, do not perform hastiness and do not put yourself in destruction. (Hilya-tul-Awliya, vol. 3, pp. 205, Raqm 3711)

Wastage of time while purchasing

After reaching home, if one finds a fault in a product bought in haste, then he has to go back to either return it or exchange it. Due to this, a lot of time gets wasted. Furthermore, this becomes a means of great suffering for those who appreciate time.

Quarrelling

When returning back the faulty product bought in haste, one often ends up having heated conversation with the shopkeeper. And at times, it even results in a quarrel.

Shopkeeper can face losses

When there is a crowd of shoppers and there is also no assistant at that time, then the shopkeeper also gets confused in such circumstances and causes his own loss in different ways by doing tasks in haste. For example: At times, he sells expensive product for a cheaper price; at times, he is unable to correctly count the less amount of cash given by a customer; at times, he forgets to include some products while preparing the bill and receives less money accordingly; and at times, he accepts a note in haste without checking it and then he loses his senses after realising that it was a fake note. Hence, the shopkeeper and buyer, both shall not perform hastiness in buying and selling.

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