FINANCIAL PROHIBITIONS IN ISLAM - PART 2 OF 5
Disguising Damaged Goods
Once in the market place, the Messenger of Allah SAW passed by a pile of food; he inserted his hand inside it and felt moisture at his fingertips.
Nabi SAW asked:
"What is this, O owner of the food?"
The man replied:
"Rain got into it, O Messenger of Allah (SAW)."
Nabi SAW then said:
"Why don't you put it (i.e. the wet food) on top of the food pile so that people see it? Whoever deceives us is not one of us." (Muslim)
Nowadays, many merchants who do not fear Allah, try to conceal the defect of the merchandise by putting wraps around it, or by hiding it in the bottom of the box, or by , spraying it with chemicals to enhance its appearance. Some even change the expiration date, and when one buys it, it perishes sooner than he expects. Some do not let the buyer inspect the merchandise, or try it. So many merchants sell cars, or other machines, but fail to mention their defects, and this is unlawful.
The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:
"The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim, and it is not permissible for a Muslim to sell his brother a merchandise without mentioning its defects to him." (Ibn Majah)
Some people think that they are discharged from any responsibility, when for example they say, "I am selling a pile of metal", instead of saying, "I am selling this car".
This type of sale is void of the blessings of Allah, as the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:
"A sale is optional as long as the two parties did not separate, then if they said the truth and made things clear, there will be blessings on their trade, and if they lied and concealed something, the blessing on their trade will be wiped out." (Bukhari)
An-Najash or False Bidding
This type of trade occurs in auctions, where a person who does not have the intention to buy, participates in increasing the price of the merchandise. He makes bids as if he wanted to buy, but is doing this only to deceive the other buyers, by conning them into buying at a higher price.
The Prophet SAW said:
"Do not participate in An-Najash." (Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad SAW said this because it is no doubt a type of fraud.
The Noble Prophet SAW also said:
"(Those who commit) cunning and fraud are in Hell fire." (Silsilatul-Ahadeeth As-Sahihah).
Many of the auctioneers, especially in car auctions, earn their living in an unlawful way, by committing the sin of participating in An-Najash trade. They deceive the person who wants to sell his car by offering him a much lower price than its real value; this is done by previous agreement between the auctioneers. But when they want to sell the car they do the opposite thing, they infiltrate amongst the prospective buyers, and offer higher prices while they do not have the intention to buy, thus deceiving and harming the people.
Trading During Solatul Jumu'ah
Allah SWT commands in the Qur'an:
"When the call is proclaimed for solah on the Day of Jumu'ah, come to the remembrance of Allah, and leave off business, that is better for you if you did but know!" (Surah 62: Ayat 9)
Yet some merchants continue their business after the second call to solat, and stay in their shops, or even do their trade in front of the masjid. The buyers are their accomplices in this sin, even if they buy but a small miswak, because this trade is considered unlawful. Some restaurants, bakeries and factory owners force their employees to continue to work during the Jumu'ah prayers. These owners are really the losers, even if their profits might increase.
As for the worker, he should follow the saying of the Prophet SAW:
"No obedience is due to any person, in [what leads to] disobeying Allah." (Ahmad)