We all have definitely visited various market places and experienced financial trades at least once in our life. We have either bought or sold properties in these markets. Obviously we have made profit at times and lost at others. Even if we have not done any financial trades ourselves, we have heard other people gain or lose profit many times. Indeed, this is the nature of markets that some people gain profit while others lose in financial trades. But regardless of being traders or not, we are all living and trading in a huge market.

Imam Hadi (PBUH) has drawn our attention to this fact in a brief statement where he has said,” This world is a market place in which a group of people have gained profit while others have lost (1)”.

Examining the verse of the Holy Quran confirms this fundamental point that this world is a market place where all people offer their life, strength, and capabilities; in fact, offering property is mandatory in this market place.

On the other hand, Amir al-Mu’minin (PBUH) has said,” Each breath one takes is a step towards death (2)”. Therefore, man inevitably loses the capital of life every moment passes, and he cannot stop his life from being spent. We lose time strength, whether we like it or not. Hence, what is crucial in this market place of the world is to choose a good customer.

Some people do trade with Allah (SWT); they offer all their belongings to Him, follow His path and seek His pleasure. They make their limited life eternal and trade this world for Paradise and Allah’s (SWT) pleasure. Such people are true winners due to the following reasons:

First reason: Their customer is the Lord to Whom everything belongs. (3)

Second reason: Allah (SWT) accepts even the smallest of deeds. He has said,” So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it” (4).

Third reason: Allah (SWT) buys good deeds at a very high price, which is the eternal Paradise (5).

Fourth reason: If we have the intention to perform a good deed but we do not find the opportunity to actually perform it, Allah (SWT) will still reward us. In fact, Allah (SWT) rewards based on effort and endeavor rather than the actions and consequences (6).

Fifth reason: Allah (SWT) rewards multifold (7). According to the Holy Quran, He rewards seven hundred folds. The parable of those who spend their property in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears (with) a hundred grains in every ear…(8)

On the other hand, those who sell their lives for their own or others’ desires and do not seek the pleasure of Allah (SWT) experience a huge loss. The Holy Quran refers to these people by the following phrases:

They have done a bad trade; evil is that for which they have sold their souls; and they have bought the wrath of the Lord (9).

Their commerce shall bring no gain (10).

They are losers (11).

(Rather) They suffer a manifest loss (12).

So we have to be smart in this market place and this situation. Some people consider a smart person to be one who can make a big profit using any actions or statements, be it right or wrong, and achieve fame, popularity, position, or award in the society. Otherwise, they would refer to a person who is not such as a loser, retarder, or unfortunate. However, in the Islamic context, a smart person is one who does not let go of his soul, rather controls it; one who works for the eternal life; one whose day is better than the last; one who does not forget about death; and one who instead of greed, oppression, or wretchedness, tries to gain piety, content, and justice, which is the real trade.

Indeed “This world is a market place in which a group of people have gained profit while others have lost”. Let us reflect on this statement of Imam Hadi (PBUH) in light of the verses of the Holy Quran again in this stage of our lives, and audit account of our lives just like what traders do. Let us realize whether we have made profit in the market place of this world or we are losers.

(The above is a selection taken from “A Ray of Light”, by Hujjat al-Islam Muhsin Qara’ati (with some changes and additions))

The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 15th of Dhul Hijjah, the birthday anniversary of the leader of the pious and the guardian of the servants, the tenth Imam of the Shiites,

Imam Ali ibn Muhammad al-Hadi (PBUH).

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Footnotes:

1-    Tufah al-Uqul, p. 483

2-    Nahj al-Balaghah, p. 480, wisdom no. 74

3-    “His is what is in the heavens and what is in the earth and what is between them two and what is beneath the ground” (The Holy Quran (20, 6)).

4-    “So he who has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it” ((The Holy Quran (99, 7)).

5-    “Say: Shall I tell you what is better than these? For those who guard (against evil) are gardens with their Lord, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and pure mates and Allah’s pleasure; and Allah sees the servants” ((The Holy Quran (3, 15)).

6-    “And that man shall have nothing but what he strives for” ((The Holy Quran (53, 39)).

7-    “Who is it that will offer of Allah a goodly gift, so He will multiply it to him manifold, and Allah straitens and amplifies, and you shall be returned to Him” ((The Holy Quran (2, 245)).

8-    “The parable of those who spend their property in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears (with) a hundred grains in every ear; and Allah multiplies for whom He pleases; and Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing” ((The Holy Quran (2, 261)).

9-    “Evil is that for which they have sold their souls– that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers” ((The Holy Quran (2, 90)).

10- “These are they who buy error for the right direction, so their bargain shall bring no gain, nor are they the followers of the right direction” ((The Holy Quran (2, 16)).

11- “These are they who have lost their souls, and what they forged is gone from them” ((The Holy Quran (11, 21)).

12- “… and whoever takes the Satan for a guardian rather than Allah he indeed shall suffer a manifest loss” ((The Holy Quran (4, 119)).

13- “O Allah! Send Your blessings upon Ali ibn Muhammad, the heir of the successors, the leader of the pious, the successor of the leaders of religion, and the guardian of all the creation” (Mafaatih al-Jinan, a phrase from the Salawaat on Imam Hadi (PBUH))