Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

On Buying and Selling

1. Abu Huraira relates that the Prophet was passing through the bazaar when he saw a heap of grain lying in front of a shop. The Prophet dug his hand into the heap and felt that the grain inside was a little wet. On this, the Prophet questioned the shopkeeper about it, who replied that some of it had got wet due to rain.

“You should have kept the wet grain on top of the heap so that the customer could see it; any man who cheats is not one of us.”

said the Prophet. On another occasion, he admonished those who hoarded grain in order to create artificial scarcity and then sold it at higher prices; they were committing a sin.

2. Ibn Umar relates that the Prophet forbade a Muslim from interfering in the business transaction or marriage negotiation of another Muslim, unless he had been permitted to do so.

3. Abu Huraira relates that the Prophet mentioned a certain businessman who had instructed his agents to be lenient and accommodating to those who owed him money, but were not in a position to pay on demand. He even forgave those who became bankrupt.

“When he died,”

said the Prophet,

“God in His mercy forgave him his sins, and sent him to Heaven.”

4. Abu Huraira relates that whenever a funeral prayer was to be said over the dead body of a Muslim, the Prophet always used to ask if the deceased owed any money or was in debt, and whether he had left any means to pay that debt. Only when he was assured that there were no debts outstanding against the person who had died, or that arrangements had been made to pay them off, would he take part in that person’s funeral prayer. Later on, due to the various conquests, his financial condition improved, and the Prophet used to pay the debts of deceased Muslims himself. He said:

“They loved me better than their own lives, so I accept responsibility for their debts if any; while their belongings may be given to their heirs.”

5. Abu Saeed relates that the Prophet said that a really honest and God-fearing trader would be found amongst God’s chosen people in the world hereafter.