THE HONEST BUSSINESSMAN
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THE HONEST BUSSINESSMAN

 

You may have heard or read this story elsewhere but it is worth reading it over and over again to remind one of How Allah Ta’ala would deliver us, from our financial problems regardless of how deep they are, when we adopt honesty and truthfulness in our business transactions at all times. On the other hand dishonest ways snatch away the assistance of Allah Ta’ala and also barakaah in our earnings. There’s always that temptation to resort to some form of deception to make a quick sale but would mean just a very short lived worldly gain of course with the depravation of a reward in the hereafter which would be replaced with a harsh and severe punishment. A Muslim, in every action of his, always keeps in mind the consequences in his afterlife. In fact this is always his main concern.

 

In Bukhaari Shareef there is the story of a man who asked another man to lend him one thousand Dinars. The second man was prepared to lend him the money on the condition that he brought forth a witness. The former replied, ‘Allah is sufficient as a witness.’ The second man then said, ‘I want a surety.’ The former replied, ‘Allah is sufficient as a surety.’ The second man then said, ‘You are right,’ and lent him the money for a certain period of time.

 

Because the man was sincere in his intentions to return the money very soon he made back more than triple the money in a business venture. When the time to pay back the debt neared the man went to the city and collected the money but somehow due to not finding a conveyance could not go himself to return the money on the appointed day which was two days away. The man was beset with worry as he knew he would not be able to keep his promise of returning the money on the appointed day. He sat and thought deeply of how he would be able to do this.

 

 

And then an idea sprung to mind. He took a strong bamboo stick and made a hollow in its centre.  He then placed the money inside and sealed it as best as he could. After doing this he prayed to Allah saying: ‘O Allah! You know well that I took a loan of one thousand Dinars from so-and-so. He demanded a surety from me but I told him that Your Guarantee was sufficient and he accepted Your guarantee. He then asked for a witness and I told him that You were sufficient as a Witness, and he accepted You as a Witness. No doubt, I tried hard to find a conveyance so that I could pay his money on time but could not find one, so I hand over this money to You.’

 

He then gently placed the bamboo stick into the river with the conviction that Allah would surely deliver the money. However on the next day on finding a conveyance he set out on the journey to the lender to make sure he had received the money. However he took the amount owing again in case the man did not receive the money.

 

On the other hand the creditor, on the due day of the repayment, went to the banks of the river where he was to meet his debtor but did not find anyone. As he anxiously awaited the arrival of the man he caught glimpse of a rather peculiar bamboo stick floating in the water nearby. It was as if the stick was coming to him. He bent down and picked up the bamboo stick only to find that a hollow was carved in it. This now piqued his interest. He dug through the bamboo and found concealed in its centre a letter and a thousand dinaars. The letter was from his friend who explained that because he could not come on the appointed time he resorted to convey the money in this way.

 

Shortly after that, the debtor came bringing one thousand Dinars to his friend and said, “By Allah, I had been trying hard to get a boat so that I could bring you your money, but failed to get one before the one I have come by.’ The lender asked, ‘Have you sent something to me?’ The debtor replied, ‘I have told you I could not get a boat other than the one I have come by.’ The lender said, ‘Allah has delivered on your behalf the money you sent in the piece of bamboo. So, you may keep your one thousand Dinars and depart guided on the right path.’ “

 

In times when deceit, lies and dishonesty crowns almost every business transaction the honesty of both the above men cannot be unheeded. The man borrowing the money had already sent the money to his creditor but was not entirely satisfied. He came back with the money again. However the creditor was honest and did not accept the second payment as he had already received the money. On both the sides there was no ‘real’ proof that could be presented. The only proof was the mutual integrity and consciousness of Allah Ta’ala of the rights of others. There was no witness, no proof, but there remained a deep contemplation towards peoples-rights and the fear of Allah that saw the fulfilment of each ones rights.

 

In an age where everything is held true only with scientific proof the above story may be far-fetched. However our Deen is not based on scientific proofs before we believe. It is based on belief in the unseen power and might of Allah Ta’ala and His promises to those who fulfil his commandments.

 

Here we have honesty and sincerity in both the parties concerned. The sincere and honest debtor who places his absolute trust in Allah Ta’ala to help him in repaying his debt on time and the creditor who does not take advantage of the situation where he could easily get back double his money. He was truthful and honest and returned the second payment made by the debtor in person.

 

Sadly our cases are quite different today. Whenever we see an opportunity to make a quick buck we grab onto it. Honesty, integrity and truthfulness are quickly forgotten as we set our eyes on the handsome profits we would be making from the deal at hand.

 

The qualities of honesty, sincerity and truthfulness are some of the noble qualities found in all the prophets of Allah Ta’ala, and his pious servants.

 

It is no wonder that the businessman who adopts these qualities in his trade practices would find himself raised up on the day of Qiyaamah amongst these noble personalities!

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