THE STORY OF THE BAMBOO SELLER – BY HADHRAT MASEEHULLAH RAHMATULLAHI ALAYH

Hadhratwala (RA) mentioned that there was a person in Kanpur who started a business selling bamboo. (Hadhratwala (RA) had stayed in Kanpur for some time. He taught at the madrassah there for fourteen years.) This businessman had taqwa in him. The mas’alah (ruling) is that if there is a fault in any item you are selling, you should reveal it to the buyer. Bamboo may have holes, or various other defects. Reveal these to the customer. Similarly, clothes or other items, may have defects which the customer may not be aware of. The trader knows these and he should tell the customer. According to the defect the price of the item will also be less. So, this businessman selling bamboo, used to point out to the customers that this particular bamboo has this problem, that that bamboo has this particular defect and shortcoming in it but the other bamboo was of good quality. The price of the former was less and the price of the latter was more. Because of his forthright manner, his business was not flourishing. The other adjacent bamboo-sellers who did not have this taqwa and did not exercise this precaution, saw his plight and mocked at him. They said, “Is this the way to make business, that you mention such things to the customers and do not make a sale and get no profits? This is definitely not the way to do business!” However, this bamboo-seller was of an honourable temperament and “sidiqul-amin” (as in the Hadith Shareef above) and carried on as he used to.

But, dear brothers, after the buyers developed confidence and trust in him, his business picked up and the business of the others began to wane. This person’s business flourished to such an extent that the business of the others virtually collapsed. He became very wealthy. If a person acts according to the Shariat with taqwa, and he remains steadfast, that he should find himself in straitened conditions? This can never be!