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!

08/07/2022

RENTAL INCOME FROM HARAAM

Please comment on the fatwa given by a Mufti. Is his fatwa correct?
Question
Who is acceptable to have as a tenant? There is a building for sale. The building is made up of a few shops. There are some general retailers which I have no issue with. There is a bottle store on site which I know is not acceptable and the agent has advised me that he can request the terms of the sale be that this store moves out. There is also an undertaker as a tenant as well as a company providing financial services which include interest.
Please advise if we can have the above as tenants.
Please also advise which businesses we can strictly not have as tenants.
Answer
A Muslim should always be conscious of halal income and distance himself as much as possible from alcohol, interest and other non-Shari’ah compliant sources of income. Ideally, we advise against having a bottle store or bank or (a company dealing with interest) as tenants. However in view of the practical difficulties of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries, our Akabireen have issued the fatwa on the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah Alayhi) permitting leasing out one’s property to a bottle store and a bank. However leasing out to an avenue that is completely immoral, for example a casino, is prohibited.
(End of the fatwa)
OUR COMMENT
We are in disagreement with the fatwa. While the mufti totally prohibits letting premises for a casino which he brands ‘completely immoral’, he fails to understand that interest and liquor are also ‘completely immoral’. In fact, both these evils are worse than a casino . R a s u l u l l a h ( S a l l a l l a h u a l a y h i wasallam) said that riba is worse than a conglomeration of 70 major sins, the lightest of which is like fornicating with one’s own mother.” In the Qur’aan Majeed, despite shirk being an unforgiveable sin, the only sin against which Allah Ta’ala declares war is Riba. We fail to understand by what stretch of Imaani logic does the mufti sahib believe that riba and liquor are not ‘completely immoral’. He has sought support for his convoluted permissibility by citing the Akaabir’s view which he claims is based on Imaam Abu Hanifah’s opinion. If he is a staunch follower of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh), then what is the view of this illustrious Imaam regarding letting premises for a casino? On the basis of what the mufti has claimed, there is no daleel for excluding a casino from the same view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh). The very same logic which Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) has employed for his opinion on the issue of letting premises for liquor applies to a casino as well. On what grounds has the mufti sahib differentiated? The argument of living in a non-Muslim country is trash. This does not halaalize such haraam deeds from which abstention is fully within one’s volitional power. There is no compulsion to hire premises for any haraam activity. Regardless of what the Akaabireen have said, the Qur’aan Majeed castigates following the views of the Ulama if these are in conflict with His commands. Thus, the Qur’aan, reprimanding Bani Israaeel for their nafsaani acceptance of the fatwas of their ulama, says: “They take their ulama and their buzrugs as gods besides Allah, and even Isaa, the son of Maryam.” The Qur’aan Majeed commands: “Do not aid one another in sin and transgression.” For practical life, this command is adequate. There is no need for the acquisition of any fatwa to override the Qur’aanic prohibition of I’aanat alal ma’siyat (aiding sin). The attitude of fishing for fatwas to override the Qur’aan and Hadith for the sake of the nafs and wealth is a satanic despicability, the consequences of which will not be escaped in Qiyaamah. The person who desires to purchase the property, in all probability is a multi-millionaire. There is no need for him to seek more wealth by venturing into haraam avenues. It is the bounden obligation of the mufti to advise the questioner of the importance of Tawakkul on Allaah Ta’ala. The mufti has the duty of informing the mustafti that Rizq is sealed and the one of greed will be deprived as mentioned by Rasulullah ( S a l l a l l a h u a l a y h i wasallam). Therefore, it is futile to mutilate the ahkaam with weird interpretations, Ulama obscurities and with the errors of seniors to appease the nafsaani desires of people.
The mufti should not acquit himself as if he is a secular lawyer. But the problem nowadays is that the focus of the muftis is on the dunya because they had acquired Deeni Ilm for the sake of the dunya, not for Allah’s Pleasure and not for the Maqaasid of the Aakhirah. This is one of the signs of Qiyaamah.
Citing pages of Fiqhi texts to portray erudition is laughable and stupid. It is devoid of benefit. The jaahil questioner cannot find the way to Allah Ta’ala in the maze of technicalities which is meant for students in the Madrasah. Authenticity for a corrupt view and answer is not gained by pages of Fiqhi Ibaarat designed to browbeat the juhala.
There will always be conflicts in this dunya between our worldly /nafsaani demands and the demands of the Shariah. The Mu’min in such cases should act according to Rasulullah’s command: “Seek a fatwa from your heart.” There is no need to resort to technicalities for extravagating permissibility for a few extra rands.
Furthermore, assigning the opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) to the academic realm, we say that the Fatwa of all Math-habs is on the opinion and ruling of Imaam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullah alayh) and Imaam Muhamamd (Rahmatullah alayh). If and when Allah Ta’ala grants us the taufeeq, the opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah shall be discussed in some detail. But we need to say at this juncture that it is satanically stupid and deceptive to cite an opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) in such a manner as to convey the satanic idea that I m a a m A ’ z a m (Rahmatullah alayh) condoned haraam, and that he exercised extreme latitutde in Shar’i matters. The mufti sahib rendered a great disservice to I m a a m A ’ z a m (Rahmatullah alayh) by opening the avenue for Haraam in the name of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullah alayh) who was the paragon of Taqwa and Uloom, both zaahiri and baatini.