O ye who believe! Eat not up each other’s property by unfair and dishonest means.

The verse forbids Muslims against all unclean and corrupt means of making money, such as, dishonest trading, embezzlement, gambling, speculation and bribery. Then there are verses in which these hateful practices are dealt with one by one. For instance, a severe warning is given in the following verse to traders who cheat in weighment:

Woe to those that deal in fraud, those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account on a Mighty Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds.

In the same way the under mentioned verse exhorts Muslims to be very particular about their trusts and about other people’s rights.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) doth command you to render back your trusts to those to whom they are due.

At two places in the Quran a chief distinguishing feature of Muslims is said to be that they are:

Those who faithfully observe their trusts and their covenants.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used often to say in his sermons:

“Remember, there is no faith in him who is not trustworthy; there is no place for him in religion who cares not for his pledged word or promise.”

Another Tradition says:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he is false; When he promises, he fails; and when he is trusted, he plays false.”

Condemning those who cheat in business the sacred Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said, “He who cheats is not of us. Deceitfulness and fraud are things that lead one to Hell.”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) of Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa) once came upon a heap of corn in the market of Medina and thrust his hand into it. His fingers felt damp. On being asked, the trader replied that rain had fallen upon it. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) observed, “Why did you not then keep (the wet portion of) it above the dry corn, so that men may see it? He who deceives is not one of us.”

Thus, traders who deceive by showing to customers a false sample or by concealing from them the defects of the article they offer for sale are not true Muslims in the judgment of the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) and, Allah (Subhaanahu Wata’aalaa)-forbidding, they are going to end up in hell. Another Tradition says:

“The seller must explain to the buyer the defects, if any, in the quality of the article offered for sale. Should this not be done, the seller will permanently be caught in the wrath of Allah (according to another narrator the exact words are, ‘he will always be cursed by the angels’).”

In short, all manner of deceit and dishonesty in business is prohibited in Islam. It has been proclaimed to be an act worthy of unqualified condemnation. The holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) has expressed his strong dislike for those who do so. He has said that he will have nothing to do with them; they do not belong to him.

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