I was inspired to write this article by a story a friend of mine recently told me. People who acquire some wealth and are no longer satisfied with the car they own tend to get into the habit of selling their old car with the aim to buy a new one. My friend also decided to sell his old car and told me the story of how it happened.
“I headed out to a car market with the aim to sell my iron horse, which had suffered quite a bit due to my travels into mountainous areas. On the way, I was already picturing in my mind the dialogue I will have with my customer and thought that most probably I will have to hide some of the shortcomings of my car, in order to sell it at a better price. Then, suddenly, I heard on the radio the Hadeeth of the Prophet (sa): “The one who deceives is not one of us.” (Abu Dawood) I had heard it before, but had not paid much attention to it… well, I was the sort of person who did not lie to others and lived honestly, or so I thought. However, this time, the words of this Hadeeth went straight to my heart and would not leave me. For the remaining part of my journey, I kept on thinking about these words of the Prophet (sa).
Having arrived at the market, I put a price on the windshield of my car, sat down in a shadowy place and in my mind, went through the upcoming conversation with my customer. “And how about the shortcomings?” the customer will ask me. If I will tell him about all the blemishes, he will, of course, wish to lower the price. And I was already in trouble of not having enough savings to add to the price of the old car, in order to buy a new one.
At that moment, an elderly man walked up to my car and began checking it out. I could see that he was interested in the car. The man came up to me and asked: “Are you the owner of the car?”
“Yes, the car is mine,” I said.
“The car looks decent, and the price also sounds good to me. What about the inside?” asked the customer, as if testing my honesty.
“Well, the car is practically fine… except… alright… I will tell you the way it is,” I said and told him all I knew about this car, detailing all the deficiencies, including those that could not be seen by the eye (i.e., changed parts and painted faults). As I was doing it, I was expecting that he will lower his price or leave me altogether in search of a better deal. Suddenly, the man handed me the money and said: “This is the money for your car, and this is on top of that as well.”
“What is this for?” I asked him in surprise.
“For your honesty!” he answered with a smile on his face.
I was in shock. How come? He bought my car, knowing all its drawbacks, giving me the price that I had set for it and even more! From that day on, I swore to myself to speak the truth always, without hiding any deficiencies. Because in any case, I will be the winner.”
The story is quite a usual one that all of us encounter – but do all of us act right in such situations?
Can any profit be gained by the one whom the Messenger of Allah (sa) does not count as part of his Ummah? How can a person be wealthy if his Creator is angry with him? Of what use will such wealth be for him?
A Hadeeth says: “If a person is selling something by hiding its shortcomings and defects, then he will be under the anger of the Most High, and the angels will be continuously cursing him.” (Ibn Majah)
Since the beginning of our pure religion, the Prophet (sa) pointed towards the significance of honest earnings and straight business dealings, the conditions of which include bringing into the customer’s notice the defects of whatever you are selling.
When the Prophet (sa) was taking the oath of allegiance to Islam from Jarir (rtam), who was already about to leave, the Prophet (sa) caught him by his garment and put the condition regarding being honest with every Muslim. After that, Jarir (rtam) always used to tell his customers about the shortcomings of his products, letting them decide: “If you wish to have it – take it, but if you do not wish to have it – leave it.” When he was told: “If you keep doing this, your sales will not flourish!” he would answer: “Truly, we have given the oath to the Messenger of Allah (sa) that we will be honest to every Muslim!”
We should realize that hiding shortcomings will not increase our sales but rather will cut our income and will take away from us the blessings, as Allah (swt) can withdraw from us unjustly acquired wealth in a blink of an eye.
Besides, we have to be absolutely convinced that the profits and wealth of the next eternal world are better than anything we can acquire in this temporary world, as worldly wealth can benefit us only while we are alive, while nobody would be able to take away from us the rewards we receive for being honest and righteous on the Day of Judgment, since Paradise is given to us forever.
“Verily, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and humble themselves (in repentance and obedience) before their Lord, – they will be dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever.” (Hud 11:23)
All of us know that when we have not lied and have not concealed anything, we are not bothered by pangs of conscience and feel at ease. But if we act otherwise, we feel worried and afraid that everything will get exposed and we will be accused of lying.
Dear readers! Let us commit to being truthful and honest towards ourselves and to those around us. And we should do that without thinking whether we will receive any monetary benefit for it here and now. Let us think about everything that will make Allah (swt) happy and try to follow His commands, and keep away from everything which will not please Him.
Translated for Hiba by Laila Brence. Source: www.islam.ru