‘I can get a better price’

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | May 20, 2018

During the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, there was a drought and people were in great distress. The Caliph told them not to worry, for God would soon relieve them. Before long, Uthman’s caravan arrived with its merchandise from Syria. There were one thousand camels in it, all of them loaded with wheat and foodstuff. When the news got around Madinah, all the great traders of the city flocked to Uthman’s house. They knocked on the door and he came out to meet them. He had a sheet on his shoulder, one end of which was hanging down in front of him, and the other behind him.

“Why have you come, and what do you want of me?” he said to the assembled traders. “We have heard that a caravan of yours has arrived from Syria. We want to buy it. Sell it to us, so that we can pass it on to those who need it in Madinah,” they replied. Uthman ushered them inside. “How much profit will you give me on my merchandise?” he asked them.“Twelve dirhams on every ten dirhams worth,” they answered. “But I can get a better price,” Uthman told them. “Then we’ll give you fourteen,” Uthman gave them the same answer. They put their price up to fifteen dirhams, but still Uthman said that he could get a better price.“But who can give a better price,” they protested, “when all the merchants of Madinahare gathered here?”

“I can get ten dirhams for every one dirhams worth,” he told them. “Can any of you give me a better price than that?There was no one that could. Then Uthman recited the verse of Quran which says that those who do good will be rewarded tenfold (6:160). Then he told them that he was giving all the goods to the needy people of Madinah.

If one has faith in God’s promises, then one’s courage is lifted to a degree where any self-sacrifice appears easy.