(OUR PROPHET (S.A.V.) WORKED AS A SHEPHERD AS THE PROPHET MOSES DID, BUT HE NEVER OCCUPIED HIMSELF WITH TRADE.)
It is said that our Prophet (A.S.V.) was a merchant. This is a slander towards our Prophet. Our Prophet had never engaged with commerce. He watched over and herded the sheep of his uncle Abu Talib. He worked as a shepherd like Prophet Moses. He never worked as a merchant. He went on a journey a couple of times in order to protect the caravans of Mother Khatija as he was known “Trustworthy Muhammad”. He directed, inspected the goods of Mother Khatija, he kept the account of them and received a certain amount of wage from the trade of Mother Khatija in return of his service and protection but not as a profit.
The person who dealt with trade was Hz. Khatija but not Hz. Muhammad. In no way, nobody had said: “The goods, the caravan of Muhammad have come. Let’s go and do shopping!” Our Prophet had never sold these goods himself at the streets of Mecca. Nobody can prove that it was not like that. The person who engaged with commerce was Mother Khatija but not the Prophet of Allah Hz. MUHAMMAD (s.a.v.).
I AM DECLARING THIS TRUTH BECAUSE IN THIS MATTER THERE SEEMS TO BE CONFUSION OF CONCEPT.
Hz. Prophet (a.s.v.) said in a sacred hadiths in Musned of Ahmed bin Hanbel: “The tradesmen are sinning people.” When he was asked: “O the Prophet of Allah, is the trade not permitted?” he answered, “Yes, it is permitted but they tell lies and cheat people.” (Source: From Ahmed b. Hanbel and Hakim Ihya-i Ulumud Din, Ghazzali, vol.3, pp. 292-300) (Ahmed bin Hanbel is the founder of one of the religious sect and a hadith transmitter).
In addition to this, the Glorious Prophet of Allah (S.A.V.) says: “Tradesmen, those who commit sins will be resurrected as sinners on the Day of Resurrection. However, those who fear Allah and who commit good deeds and do not stray from the right path are excluded from this.” (See from Rifaa Ibni Rafi, Thirmizi, Büyu, 4th Hadith 1210; Ibni Mace, Ticaret 3rd Hadith 2146)
In Islam, retail sales, handicraft business and independent businesses are allowed. In Islam, there are open markets and shopping places however, they are always under the control of the state. At that time, there were not any means of today’s communication and transportations. Hence, they used to bring goods from distant cities such as Damascus, Cairo, Tabriz, Delhi and Yemen by caravans through hard work in order to suffice the needs of people in Mecca and Madina. In return of this, people that were dealt with this business were paid some wages or profit on condition that it would not be excessive. They were called as dealers or merchants.
In fact, the word “ticaret (trade)” was derived from the word “ücret (wage)”. It does not mean “PROFIT” as liberals understand. It is a certain amount of pay in return of the labor they do. As for today, the administrations that believe in social and governmental economy (as in Islam) do it themselves using developing means of communication and transportation. State can particularly deal with the wholesale trading itself. A STATE, which is governmental and social, is able to bring the goods and the necessities of people from all over the world even by a telephone call. However, it is both impossible and a great burden for the state to undergo the retail sales and market shopping. This is left to tradesmen who deal with small businesses.
A piece of information: When Mother Khatija married our Master, she had left all her goods to Hz. Muhammad and he used them for the sake of his claims by producing and buying the technology of that time.
Islam did not set a fixed price on the retail sale of properties and food according to the kinds of food and goods but it set a profit limit. Punishments or fines were applied to those who sold at exceeding profit limit and when they sold at exorbitant price, accepting it a profiteering. That is to say, selling at exorbitant price requires punishment. Hz. Prophet himself and Hz. Omar specially prevented selling at exorbitant price and rotten bad goods by walking around the market places and shops and they inspected whether or not they used correct weighing and measuring.
In other words, Islam intervenes trade and economy in the name of society (people) and it is not liberal as it intervenes but there is a strict control. All the Muslims are a witness of the fastidiousness of Hz. Omar in this matter. Islam does not accept the individual ownership on the means of general production. He did not leave the ownership of land, which was the only means of production, to individuals. However, the state itself did not operate the land either. It left the lands to peasant families that were occupied with agriculture according to their population on condition that ten percent of income (it is called “öşür”) would be given to the state. (See Kitabül Haraç by İmam Muhammed, the student of Abu Hanifa)
When Ottoman land Registers are searched it will be seen that it is true. This is a definite proof. All the Land Registers show that the ownership of agricultural lands belong to the state. The whole of Ottoman lands are “ARAZİİ EMİRİYE -STATE-OWNED LANDS DISRIBUTED TO INDIVIDUALS”.
The obligation of accepting capitalism of our time, which is being global, and making capitalism and liberalism legitimate and showing them Islamic are different things.
A note: Atilla İlhan brought Poet Nedim and Poet Nazım Hikmet together at a point by gathering the poetry of Poet Nedim and the epic poem of Sheikh Bedreddin from Simavna.
This means that Islam cannot be near imperialism and capitalism. Socialism cannot start a war against Islam and against its sacred values in a country, 95 percent of which is Muslim. Socialism, which is French, means to support society and people. Real Islamic Religion and real Christianity are definitely socialist and support people. Neither of them can be for individual ownership. When all the religions pertaining Holy Books were searched justly, it will be seen that all of them are for social economy. Nobody can prove that the religions pertaining to Holy Books, the Prophets and Sufis are for the capitalist economy. Permitted and retail sales are not capitalism. Capitalism means that individuals keep the ownership and management of the means of general production. It means to annihilate the governmental and socialist economy. This is an apparent tyranny. Capitalism’s rearing up is IMPERIALISM. THIS IS THE REALITY! The fact is not to exploit and overwhelm the labor and the people. They should never and never be insulted. The opinions besides this are all the details, nonsense talks and demagoguery. In one word, they are delirium!
It cannot be thought that socialism suggest atheism as a preliminary condition. If it is presented in that way, they will find three and a half billion people related to the religions that are connected with holy books and two and a half billion people related to Hindu Religions against them. They will never have acted wisely then. They will have occupied themselves with the impossible then. As for the world, the religious people of the world and socialists who exclude atheism will unite soon. They do not have any other chances to live. Otherwise, it is strongly possible that they will be annihilated in the violent claw of imperialism and capitalism that keeps it alive. What Atilla İlhan constantly emphasized was this. This is the point that I have reached as a forty years’ Muslim socialist.
NOTE: Those who would like to get detailed information on this subject can read the articles “84- Why do I say I am a Muslim socialist” and “80- Reform cannot be applied in religion.” They can also get detailed information about them in our books “Islamic Economy” and “Rufai Külliyatı (Three volumes)”.
12 January 2007
Kazım YARDIMCI / Adıyaman / Turkey