Well-wishing Businessmen

Well-wishing is a fundamental part of our Din.

In the famous, authentic (sahih) Hadith, Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:

‘The Din [of Islam] is well-wishing.’

(Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 196)

The fact that Nabi (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) used such an expression shows how inherent this quality is in Islam.

According to ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah), this Hadith is the core of our Din. i.e, The whole of Din is based on this principle of well-wishing (nasihah). This quality governs all aspects of a Muslim’s life.

( Al-Minhaj, commentary of Hadith: 197)

Well-Wishing Tradesmen

Well-wishing is undoubtedly a quality that is needed in every Muslim, in every facet of his/her life.

The following is a Hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) exhorted the adoption of this quality specifically in business and trade too. This applies to both parties of any deal; both should be considerate to each other, and apply the fundamental principle of well-wishing (nasihah).

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

The best of earning, is the earnings of that worker who well-wishes.’ [i.e. Is honest, upright, is one who has the well-being of the customer in mind].

(Musnad Ahmad, vol. 2 pg. 334)

Inspiring Incidents

There are several inspiring examples of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) and those after them adopting this beautiful quality in their business dealings.

Among them are the following:

1 & 2. Sayyiduna Jarir ibn ‘Abdillah (radiyallahu’anhu)

‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) writes:

‘It is reported about Sayyiduna Jarir (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that he ordered his slave to buy a horse for 300 dirhams, the slave came with the owner of the horse to discuss the price. Sayyiduna Jarir (radiyallahu’anhu) said to the owner of the horse, your horse is worth more than 300 dirhams, will you sell it to me for 400. He said you can have it, O Abu Abdir Rahman. Then Sayyiduna Jarir said it is worth more than that, sell it for 500. In this manner he continued increasing the offer by 100 and the owner was happily agreeing until it reached 800 dirhams, upon which the deal was concluded. Sayyiduna Jarir (radiyallahu’anhu) was asked about this to which he said: I pledged allegiance to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) to be a well-wisher for every Muslim.’

(Summarised from Al-Minhaj, commentary of Hadith: 197. Also see Al-Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 2395)

It was Sayyiduna Jarir’s (radiyallahu’anhu) habit whenever he bought or sold anything to anyone, to say to him:
‘I want you to know that what I have taken from you is more preferred to me than what I have given you. You may choose again if you wish.’

(Sunanul Kubra of Bayhaqi, vol.5 pg.271)

3. Another Sahabi (radiyallahu’anhu)

Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu’anhu) mentions that he went with a man to the market, when they noticed a particular item being sold. [Sayyiduna Anas says] I enquired about it, the seller asked for thirty. The man [that I was with] looked at it and said: ‘I will take it for forty.’ The seller asked: ‘What makes you do this, whereas I am offering it to you for less?’ The man took another look and said: ‘I will take it for fifty.’ The seller asked: ‘What makes you do this, whereas I am offering it to you for less?’ He replied: ‘I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: ‘A bondsman will not be a true believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself’, and I see this to be worth fifty.’

(Musnad Bazzar, Hadith: 7548 and Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 1 pg. 95)

4. Imam Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd (rahimahullah)

The Tabi’i; Imam Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd (rahimahullah) was a cloth merchant in Basrah.

On one occasion someone came to sell him a silken robe. When he enquired the price, he was told it was being sold for five hundred dirhams.

Imam Yunus (rahimahullah) replied: ‘It is better than that.’ i.e, it’s worth more.

The seller raised the price to six hundred, to which Imam Yunus gave the same answer.

This continued until he (the buyer) raised the price to a thousand dirhams!

(Tadhkiratul Huffaz, vol.1 pg.145)

5. Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah)

One one occasion, a merchant came to sell cloth to Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah).

The merchant wanted one hundred dirhams for it.

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) said that it’s actually worth more. (Again here, the buyer is actually raising the price!)

This person then asked for two hundred dirhams for that cloth.

Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) said: ‘Its worth more than that!’

The person then raised the price to three hundred dirhams.

To which Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) gave the same answer.

When the price was raised to four hundred, he said:

‘It’s actually worth more, but I’m prepared to pay four hundred if you agree.’

(Fadail Abi Hanifah of Ibn Abil ‘Awwam, vol.1, pg.130)

Lesson

The underlying lesson in all these incidents is for the buyer to look at the benefit of the seller. When one looks again at these incidents, one will understand that even the seller had the well-being of the buyer in mind, therefore in each of these incidents the seller didn’t ask for an unreasonable price!

Such are the sublime teachings of the Sunnah, that everyone should look at how to benefit the opposite party, and Allah grants barakah in those dealings. Unlike is common in the current capitalist system; where everyone looks for his own gain, irrespective of the collateral damage it may entail, whilst all are deprived of barakah!

The above incidents should serve as eye-openers for Muslims of today. See more on this, here.

Such was the exemplary traits of our predecessors. May Allah Ta’ala inspire us all to follow.

Imagine what a better place this world would be with such impeccable business practices!

Well-wishing Businessmen

emulating the kuffaar

Question: Is there any encompassing rule to determine whether something is Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar (emulating the kuffaar wal fussaaq) or not, especially with regards to clothes, eating, etc.?

ANSWER

There is no comprehensive principle regarding Tashabbuh Bil Kuffaar. The times and norms play a prominent role. Also, the wijdaan and baseerat of the Aalim of Haqq is important for determining this issue.

To correctly understand the mas’alah of Tashabbuh, there are three essentials: Ilm, Ikhlaas and Baseerat. Baseerat is the effect of Taqwa. Minus Taqwa, one’s ikhlaas will be contaminated. This contamination will eliminate Baseerat. The importance of Baserat could be understood from Imaam Abu Hanifah’s fatwa on the impurity of Maa-e-Musta’mal (used water). With his Baseerat he observed the spiritual filth in maa-e-musta’mal, hence his view is the strongest on this issue.

Without Ikhlaas and Baseerat, the view on an issue will be the emotion of the mufti maajin (a moron ‘mufti’ whose ‘fatwas’ are the products of his bestial nafs). Consider the example of western clothes. To which extent does Tashabbuh apply? The mufti maajin who himself may be wearing western fashionable dress styles will argue that the dress has become universal (aam) and there is no longer any religious connotation attached to it, e.g. the tie, hence it is permissible to wear shirt, pants, jeans, skippers, ties and all the miserable artefacts of shaitaan and his western progeny. Just imagine the level of jahaalat and mental convolution of even Ulama who argue that the satanic bermuda pants monstrosity is permissible simply because it is below the knees.

The baatini corrosion has blighted the intellectual perception so thoroughly that the mufti maajin fails to realize that a dress such as the bermuda pants is a pure western kuffaar fashionable dress item just recently introduced. Even prior to it assuming the decrepit and apodalic attribute of being aam, the maajin character proclaims it permissible simply on just one count, namely, the covering of the knees. Well, your wife’s ijaar and her burqah offer greater concealment of satr than the bermuda pants, and at the same time it is Tashabbuh bil Muslimah (emulation of a Muslim female), which rationally is better than Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar. Notwithstanding this fact, Tashabbuh bil Muslimah is also mal-oon (accursed). Thus, to a greater degree will a male who adopts kuffaar dress be mal-oon because of Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar.

However, the Mufti who focuses on the Aakhirat and who understands the maqsood (objective) of life on earth, ruminates with his Baatini (Spiritual) Heart and asks: Why does a Muslim want to wear shirt, pants, jacket, jeans, T-shirts and ties and strut about with a bared head, when Islamic dress is available, and when millions of Muslims are wearing such dress by which one can recognize from a mile away that the person is a Muslim? Careful reflection will convince one that there is the thief, shaitaan lurking in his nafs or it is the deception of his nafs which constrains him to proffer the ‘aam’ argument.

Since his nafs craves to don kuffaar garments because it is stylish and appealing to the desire, and it blends suitably with the kuffaar environment in which we live, he presents spurious arguments to justify such kuffaar dress. Little does he realize that in so doing he is according preference to kuffaar dress over and above Islamic dress which is easily available to him. This attitude thus confirms the element of Tashabbuh in kuffaar dress.

Someone may raise the argument that items such as jerseys, socks, shoes, raincoars and other necessary items of dress which all of us wear, are also of western origin. Does Tashabbuh apply here too? The response to this ishkaal (conundrum) is as follows:

Yes and no! At times it will be Tashabbuh and at times it will not be. In our environment and the circumstances in which Muslims work and live, these items are necessary. There is no suitable Islamic substitute for these items of dress. The idea of Tashabbuh is furthest from the mind. In this scenario the argument of the dress being universal is valid. Nevertheless, this still precludes such of these items which have entered society as the latest fashions. It also precludes footwear on whch appears logos and the like.

But, in a different setting such as India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are perfectly at home with a chaadar (shawl) thrown around the shoulders. They are comfortable in it and it does not interfere with their activities. Thus, for Muslims in those lands the element of Tashabbuh will be even in jerseys, and to a degree even in the type of shoes which we wear in the western world. The type of jooties worn in India and Pakistan suit them well although it is unsuitable for us here due to the flimsiness of the shoes and due to the feminine appearance.

A daleel for us is the amal of Imaam Abu Yusuf (rahmatullah alayh). After he became the Qaadhi and he had to do considerable walking, he changed his style of shoes and adopted the style of the Ajam. When someone objected, he explained that because of the toughness of these shoes he has adopted them.

In conclusion: In our environment, shirts, suits, ties, jeans, T-shirts and the like are Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar without the least doubt, and furthermore it borders on kufr because it is preferred over Islamic dress which is readily available. Preferring a kuffaar style over an Islamic style is a major sin of kufr proportions.

Regarding the practice of eating from tables and eating with knives and forks, the element of Tashabbuh is too glaring for the need to cudgel brains for the determination of the Shar’i Hukm. The argument of its ‘permissibility’ on the basis of this practice having become universal is contemptuously baatil. Abandonment of the Sunnah is haraam whether it is abandoned by a few or by the entire population. After fourteen centuries of the Ummah eating on the floor, suddenly the table and chair practice becomes ‘halaal’ on the decrepit and deceptive basis of ‘universality’. If this has to be accepted as a standard ‘principle’ for abrogation of Shar’i and Sunnah practices, the same fate which has destroyed the Shariats of Nabi Musaa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Isaa (allayhis salaam) will mangle and mutilate the Sunnah which this Ummah of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has followed since the inception of Islam.

Those who have adopted tables and chairs for eating, after abandoning their original Sunnah practice, are hovering on the brink of kufr for having preferred a kuffaar practice over and above the Sunnah practice. Those who have been eating in western style since birth, whilst not perpetrating haraam as the former group, nevertheless, are under Waajib obligation to abandon the kuffaar style and to adopt the Sunnah style. If, after having been made aware of this essentiality, they refuse, then they will be guilty of the haraam practice of Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar. And, Allah knows best.

THE SALAF FOLLOWED THE HANAFI MADH-HAB

The Hanafi Madh-hab is the first among the four schools of thought. The Madhhab was developed very early and it had numerous followers from the pious predecessors (Salaf). Imam Abu Hanifa, himself a Tabi’i, had a panel of forty of his students where issues were discussed and the results compiled. This was the first Fiqh Academy in history. Imam Abu Hanifa was the first to compile juristic verdicts into different chapters. [See for example: Al-Khawarizmi, Jami’ al-Masaneed 1/34 and Al-Makki, Manaqib Abi Hanifa 2/131]

In this brief article, we will give a few examples of such pious predecessors who expressed their affiliations and adhered to the Hanafi Madhhab.
Hafidh Ibn Hajar said in the biography of Shu’ayb ibn Is-haq ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman ad-Dimashqi al-Umawi (118-189 H), a narrator in both Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim: “He narrated from his father and Abu Hanifa and he adopted his Madhhab (Tamadhhaba lahu).” [Tahdhib at-Tahdhib 4/347-348]
After quoting this saying, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Awwama adds: “So, adhering to Madhhab is something ancient (Qadeem).” [Annotations on Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 20/7]

Another example of those following the Hanafi Madhhab is Waqi’ ibn al-Jarrah (127-196 H). He was among the teachers of Imam Ash-Shafi’i and from the narrators of both Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their respective Sahihs. Imam Yahya ibn Ma’īn said about him: “I have not seen the like of Waki’ and he would give Fatwa according to the opinions of Abu Hanifa.” [Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Intiqa 211]

Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Qattan (120-198 H), the master and authority in Hadith criticism was a staunch follower of the Hanafi Madhhab. He said: “We do not lie in front of Allah. We have not heard any better opinions than that of Abu Hanifa and we have adopted most of his opinions.” [Al-Khatib, Tarikh Baghdad 15/474]

There are many such examples. Citing all these will be difficult in this brief article. Only in Sahih al-Bukhari, the number of students of Imam Abu Hanifa and those adhering to his Madh-hab rose to one hundred and fifteen narrators. Shaykh Mufid ar-Rahman compiled an entire book of four hundred and seventy-nine pages on these Hanafi narrators in Sahih al-Bukhari which he entitled “Al-Warda al-Haadira fi Ahadith Talaamidh al-Imam al-‘Adham wa Ahadith ‘Ulama al-Ahnaf fi al-Jami’ as-Sahih lil Imam al-Bukhari”.
The Madh-hab of Imam Abu Hanifa thus started spreading during the time of the pious predecessors and was accepted from this blessed early era of Islam. So, there is no reason why people of this age cannot make the Taqlid of Imam Abu Hanifa. The criticism usually facing the Hanafi followers in the name of the Salaf in recent days are thus baseless.