Characteristics of The Muslim Businessman
The prophet said: “The truthful and honest trader is among the prophets, the righteous, and the martyrs”. (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith hasan)
- Not to be greedy. The Muslim businessman should off course look at making a decent profit but should not aim to take advantage and make excessive profits. The Maliki scholars strongly recommend that one does not aim for profits that exceed a 1/3 of the price of the product/service.
- To be transparent. The Muslim businessman must give the full description of what he is promoting and selling stating the price clearly such that the buyer is not deceived in any way. The prophet said: “All merchants are resurrected on the day as sinners except for those who feared Allah, treated their customers well and were truthful”. (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Not to be aggressive. The Muslim businessman must be friendly and calm when conducting the sale. Likewise, the buyer should behave in a friendly manner. The businessman should not demand a high price and the buyer should not demand a low price, both should be reasonable in their approach.The prophet said: “Allah is merciful to the man who is easy when he sells, when he buys, and when he collects his loans’’. (Al-Bukhari)
- Not to swear by Allah. A Muslim businessman must avoid taking oath in the name of Allah even if he is telling the truth. It is disrespectful to swear by Allah in any business transaction as Allah has forbidden this in the Qur’an. “And make not Allah’s name an excuse in your oaths against doing good or acting rightly or making peace between persons” (2:224). Additionally, the prophet said, “Swearing destroys the goods, and wipes out their blessings”. (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
- Constantly give charity. A Muslim businessman should give charity regularly as it cleans the sins of that may have occurred intentionally or unintentionally during business transactions. The prophet said: “Oh merchants, the devil and sins are present at each sale, so purify your sales with charity’’. (Al-Tirmidhi)
- Document transactions. The Muslim businessman should always try to document and record any transaction that he conducts especially debts (using witnesses), this is emphasized in the Qur’an. Allah says, “O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down” (2:282). This will protect both parties as one can forget specific details over time.